Megaways slots are a separate online casino game category characterized by a titular gameplay mechanic called Megaways. If you’re unfamiliar with this rising trend, these games are played with up to 6 reels. With each spin, the number of symbols on each reel changes. While pretty simple on paper, this concept was revolutionary in practice. It sent massive waves through the online gambling scene when it first appeared in 2016 in Big Time Gaming’s Bonanza Megaways.
If you’re still a bit spotty on the details of what the best Megaways slots entail, the simplest way to put it would be as so. Megaways slots change the number of potential ways to win every new spin. Megaways practically represent the number of symbols on each reel, so the more symbols appear on one, the more Megaways you’ve got.
The excitement these games bring is unmatched. In just over five years on the market, they’ve become a massive success that’s close to being considered an industry staple. Most operators are in stiff competition to host the best of these titles in their lobbies, and with player demand going up daily, we can’t say that we blame them. In this review, we’ll explore what makes Megaways slot titles such a gripping adventure, which ones you should go for, and where to find the best ones.
What Does Megaways Mean?
What Megaways mean is one of the most popular questions the GambleGuys team is asked. The concept of Megaways isn’t a complex one, but it can elude players that aren’t too deeply enchanted by the magic of slots or are new to the online gambling space. Thankfully, the name itself isn’t some overcomplicated title laced with symbolism and deep lore. It’s just a catchy title for a fun gameplay mechanic that’s become a revolutionary part of the modern online casino world.
In essence, Megaways means a random reel modifier. It changes how many symbols appear on every reel during one slot spin. With each subsequent spin, a new number of symbols populates each reel. This means players are privy to hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands ways to win! That’s where the title Megaways originates. Essentially, the ‘ways’, ways to win, are ‘mega’, huge! You have many more chances to score a winning combo than you generally do with classic slots.
The origin of the name may be a bit underwhelming, but nothing is underwhelming about these games. The best Megaways slots are some of the most exciting titles you’ll run into at the moment. Their creative twists make gameplay more exciting than the typical slot games, breathing new life into a classic casino category that’s been around for ages. If you want to learn more about how they work, keep reading.
How Do Megaways Slots Work?
Megaways is a popular slot gameplay mechanic where reels have a different amount of symbols and winning combos each round. This is the easiest way to get to the root of what the best Megaways slots are, without losing any of the important details. We’ve already covered this basic definition of Megaways in our introduction, but there’s more to this rising trend than meets the eye.
The best Megaways have a few defining traits you should be aware of. These observations are an excellent way to deconstruct these games and see their inner workings. First, the wins in these games occur when you match symbols in adjacent reels. Second, every reel has a different amount of symbols per round. The more symbols a reel contains, the more ways you can win.
In Megaways slots, determining the maximum amount of ways to win is calculated by multiplying the number of potential symbols in each reel. For instance, if a six-reel slot has five symbols in each reel, the calculation would be 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5, meaning the game has 15,625 ways to win.
Due to the many possible win combinations these slots boast, you’ll find tons of Megaways games available. These can offer up to 15,625, 248,832, 586,971 ways to win, or more! Despite the varying number of reels and symbols per reel, these games follow the same base. They’re now practically one of the pillars of modern online casinos.
Who Does Megaways Slots?
As we already mentioned, the Megaways mechanic debuted in 2016 when Big Time Gaming released its revolutionary Bonanza Megaways game. Since then, this game category has become of the biggest you’ll encounter in the online gambling world, but you might be surprised to hear that most of the games in it still come from a single company.
Of course, we’re talking about Big Time Gaming. Since the leading Australian iGaming developer and content supplier owns the patent to this exciting gameplay feature, it’s kept a close eye on it, ensuring it uses its popularity to the max. We can safely say it’s succeeded in doing so. The provider has released hundreds of Megaways titles over the years, cementing its brand as one of the best in the business. Its iconic games have landed it in the world’s best online gambling venues, making some of its titles the most-played casino releases to date.
Launched in 2011, Big Time Gaming has become a legend in less than a decade on the market. Much of this success is due to innovations like the Megaways mechanic, but it’s also due to smart business moves. The company has seen the potential of sharing this exciting gameplay addition with other big names on the scene, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you discover that some of the best Megaways slots are by different brands. Many of these releases are collaborations with BTG, but the company has licensed the use of Megaways to brands like IGT, NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, and several others.
Why Are Megaways Slots so Popular?
As you can probably guess, the popularity of the best Megaways slots is due to a cocktail of reasons that’s happened to propel them to stardom. Of course, the first of these reasons is the uniqueness of this feature itself. There’s only so much you can do with online casino games. Even with slots, one of the most diverse content categories, there’s a limit to how much change you can implement from one game to the next. The addition of the Megaways feature changes gameplay drastically. This adds a whole new feel to how the game works, making it a fresh and exciting take on a classic.
To add to the previous point. It’s worth noting that the best Megaways slots don’t often come as a solo venture. While a fun addition on its own, Megaways tends to be a feature accompanied by other exciting gameplay elements that give these titles an edge. These can include Multipliers, Free Spins, and even a Bonus Buy feature that allows players to purchase the bonus game as desired. These undoubtedly add some spice into the mix, turning more heads than your average casino title.
Interestingly enough, the volatility of these games is an enticing trait for many fans. Like most Big Time Gaming titles, Megaways tend to have high volatility. This means they hand out wins less frequently, but when they do, they’re heftier than most! Along with this, the rising trend of online casino live streams has impacted Megaways and their popularity. Since these titles come with higher levels of anticipation than most comparable games, they’re a popular pick among streamers and viewers.
Are Megaways Slots Better Than Traditional Slots?
Before we can start comparing these two slot formats, it’s best to point out the main differences between them. On one end, we have traditional slots. These games feature a set number of symbols per reel. If you’re playing a five-reel game with three rows, you can always expect a maximum of three symbols per reel. Megaways feature reels where the number of symbols varies from one round to the next. With these games, the win potential is inconsistent from one round to the next.
Even with these crucial differences in mind, it’s not hard to see that the better game is in the eye of the beholder. It’s all up to player preference, but there are a few objective truths that might sway your opinion one way or the other. For instance, the higher levels of excitement in the best Megaways slots are undeniable. These games are much more unpredictable than traditional slots, and in the online gambling world, this is generally a good thing! It makes things more interesting, adding to one of the most important parts of the gameplay experience – anticipation.
Megaways are incredibly popular at the moment, so it would be easy to say these games are the superior titles. Of course, we don’t claim this for a few reasons. Despite their cooler nature, traditional slots are classics that have withstood the test of time. These games know how to keep things light and fun even when competition is stiff, garnering tons of attention even now. Megaways slots are the hot new thing at the moment, but only time will tell if this new fun feature is the direction this game category will take going forward.
Pros and Cons of Megaways Slots
Megaways slots are some of the most popular casino titles right now. We’ve already gone over some of the reasons for their popularity, but now it’s time to dive a bit deeper and see what they bring to the table. Like every casino game, even the best slots with Megaways come with pros and cons that can make or break the gameplay experience. These defining traits can be detrimental to how you view these titles, which is why we’ll go into more detail about them below.
Let’s start with the positives. The first, and the most obvious perk of Megaways slots is the number of ways to win. Whichever way you twist it, the sheer number of potential ways per game is exciting. Not too long ago, 100,000 ways to win in a slot game seemed like an insurmountable number, while now, 117,649 ways to win are the norm in Megaways. These titles played it relatively safe when BTG kept the mechanic to itself, but with other brands licensing it, we’re seeing incredible feats that push the limits. Red Tiger Gaming’s Laser Fruit slot, for example, boasts a staggering 60,466,176 ways to win!
Another positive the best Megaways slots have is their very nature. This mechanic is a fun new addition to the slots category. Since this casino category has been around for a long time now, this fresh new take adds a bit of novelty, making things more interesting. Of course, the exciting gameplay doesn’t hurt either. With so many winning possibilities attached to these titles, you never know what you’re getting next! This ramps up the anticipation of these games, making them much more fun!
Finally, the last perk attached to these games is their frequent wins. Since these titles regularly boast over 100,000 ways to win, picking up wins is inevitable. Players are more likely to experience wins when giving these titles a shot compared to some of the other games available in the wider online gambling space.
Now that we’ve covered the good parts of playing the best Megaways slots, it’s time to cover some of the negatives. The first comes from the last pro we mentioned. While you might see many potential wins with these titles, these wins will likely be less exciting than usual. Since developers can’t offer massive wins that frequently, the wins you’ll encounter with Megaways are on the smaller end. The same goes for the top prizes. Even the top wins in this category range between 2,500x and 5,000x. These aren’t bad, per se, but they’re not as big as most players might expect.
Another big con to Megaways slots is their overcomplicated gameplay. Megaways titles can feel like a confusing mess, especially if you’re new to the category. These games feature varying reel heights, number of symbols, and reel sizes. These can be hard to understand, especially when trying to piece together how to combine them and see what your winning possibilities are. What’s worse, these games are often accompanied by additional gameplay features that only add to the chaos!
The final con to Megaways slots is their limited reach. First, these games tend to be limited location-wise. Most of the developers that release these games operate within Europe, so they’re mainly available in European online casinos. Furthermore, these games are exclusively online casino products. It’s not uncommon for online gambling innovations to cross the border between online and land-based, but Megaways are yet to do so. The main reason for this is BTG’s licensing. No land-based operators have shown interest in paying up for these licenses as of yet.
Megaways Slots RTP
If you’re not too well-versed in online gambling speak, you might be a bit confused about what RTP is. Allow us to clear the air. RTP, or Return to Player, is the amount of wagered money that’s paid back to players, on average.
RTP in Megaways slots is very important. Since these games have a high level of variance, a higher RTP means more frequent wins. Thankfully, you get what you expect with this category. Megaways slots tend to have a higher average return rate than classic video slots. While this isn’t much higher, it’s still a bit over. At the moment, the number rests at about 96%.
Interestingly enough, the RTP average for some of the most popular games in the Megaways category is a bit higher than this. It sits at just below 97% for the top 5 games.
Megaways Slots Free Play
As we mentioned before in the pros and cons section, one of the biggest cons to even the best Megaways slots is they can be confusing. Albeit endlessly exciting, this game category can be somewhat complicated. Naturally, this is why demo versions of these games are so coveted! Players love getting the chance to play these titles before they invest any money, and since bonuses that allow these opportunities are rare, Free Play is the next best thing.
We’re happy to tell you that most Megaways slots do include Free Play! You can try demo versions of these titles on various websites and give them a shot to see if they’re a good fit for your play style. Of course, it’s not just about the gameplay being a match. These games can be hard to grasp, so familiarizing yourself with the mechanics is a must. These free-to-play versions of popular Megaways slots are the best way to learn how the feature works without wasting your planned online gambling budget.
Best Paying Megaways Slots
We’ve already covered RTP and why it’s important in the Megaways category. Now, we’ll be taking a look at some of the highest-paying Megaways slots online! Naturally, before we go any further, it’s best to clarify how we’re basing this. Since RTP indicates the amount of wagered money paid back to players, it’s the best way to determine which slots pay players the most. This refers to the frequency of payouts and the total amount returned overall.
With that in mind, here is a top 5 highest paying Megaways slots list based on RTP:
- White Rabbit (Big Time Gaming) – 97.24%
- Buffalo Rising Jackpot King (Blueprint Gaming) – 97.01%
- Gorilla Gold (Blueprint Gaming) – 97%
- Queen of Riches (Big Time Gaming) – 96.90%
- 8 Golden Skulls of Holly (Microgaming) – 96.86%
What Are the Best Megaways Slots
The best Megaways slots can be a bit hard to determine these days. With Big Time Gaming giving licensing rights to other popular casino brands, the number of slots Megaways we’ve been privy to has grown exponentially. There are countless titles to compare, many of which offer top-tier gameplay, excellent payouts, and fun themes.
While the best Megaways slots are often the subject of personal taste and preference, there are a few traits we can look at to determine which slots are objectively close to the top. On top of RTP and gameplay features, this includes graphics, themes, creativity, and a few other things. We’ve researched the market considering these traits and have come up with this top 5 list of Megaways slots:
- White Rabbit Megaways (slot review)
- Great Rhino Megaways
- The Dog House Megaways
- Gorilla Gold Megaways
- Madame Destiny Megaways
New Megaways Slots
If you’re a fan of this exciting new feature, you’ll be happy to hear that new Megaways slot titles are thriving. Thanks to BGT’s generosity in sharing its trademark gameplay mechanic with other iGaming brands, the Megaways trend has taken off exponentially. There are tons of new titles released monthly, nearly enough for one to fill up every day of the month!
At the moment, online casinos are seeing around 20 new Megaways games each month. These titles might not be the best Megaways slots you’ll encounter, but they’re enriching this growing category with even bolder takes that manage to incorporate this feature at their core. We can’t say that we’re complaining. While these games are undoubtedly hit or miss, many of them are excellent options that any slot fan can enjoy for hours at a time!
WHITE RABBIT MEGAWAYS
Arguably one of the best, if not the best, Megaways slots, White Rabbit is a takeoff on the venerable Alice in Wonderland. This particular slot is so unique because it has such impressive graphics. The way the reels spin, the animations play, and the backdrop moves make the slot feel vibrant and alive. Making its graphics even more impressive is that this particular online slot is actually on the older side! It shows what a fantastic job Big Time Gaming did when they made this game. The other remarkable aspect of this slot is that its RTP ranges between 97.24% and 97.77% if Feature Drop is enabled, easily making White Rabbit one of the best-paying Megaways slots. That is above and beyond most online slots and certainly above what you will find in most brick-and-mortar casinos.
GREAT RHINO MEGAWAYS
Great Rhino has some of the most distinctive artwork of any slot. Indeed, you will invariably recognize this online game just by the graphics. Like many Megaways slots, it features an impressive 117,649 ways to win with a Rhino re-spin feature and a free-spin bonus round. These features add up to what is sure to be a fun time! Like many of the other slots on this list, the other reason why Great Rhino Megaways is such an impressive slot is that it offers a payout percentage of 96.58%. That high percentage makes Great Rhino another one of the best-paying Megaways slots! While that’s lower than White Rabbit, it still exceeds many other online slots and will almost certainly exceed what you’ll find in a place like Vegas
THE DOG HOUSE MEGAWAYS
To say that someone is “in the dog house” is negative, but you’ll want to get in this dog house! Developed by Pragmatic Play under license from Big Time Gaming, The Dog House Megaways has that well-known 117,649 ways to win and is easily one of the best Megaways slots to play! With the ability to win over 12,000x your bet and get free spins with sticky or raining wilds, this slot provides plenty of cute, cuddly entertainment! The return-to-player of this slot is an impressive 96.55%. It also has high volatility, meaning that this slot can provide you with some pretty fantastic wins!
GORILLA GOLD MEGAWAYS
Gorilla Gold comes from Blueprint Gaming and has its setting in a lush jungle. Like many of the games on this list, you’ll be able to enjoy the artwork and imagery as you go on an adventure into the wilderness. Gorilla Gold has four reels, each with 117,649 ways to win, so the total number of ways to win on any given game is truly 470,596 (117,649 x 4)! If you love giving yourself the most pay lines possible, you’ll adore Gorilla Gold. With an RTP of 97%, this slot will return more to players, on average, than most other online slots (some of which are as low as 95%!).
MADAME DESTINY MEGAWAYS
Like The Dog House, Madame Destiny Megaways comes to us via Pragmatic Play. As the name implies, this slot has a fortune teller vibe, and the graphics are dark and mysterious. Of all the slots, this one, in particular, has an aura about it that sucks you in and entrances you! Fortunately, you can win up to 5,000x your bet per spin and win up to 12 free spins in the bonus round (plus multiply your winnings by up to 25x). The RTP on this slot is a very respectable 96.56%, and it has exceptionally high volatility. These two features combined mean that players could, theoretically, be in for some pretty substantial wins if they get lucky
GONZO’S QUEST MEGAWAYS
Gonzo’s Quest was a classic slot released by NetEnt back in 2011. Thanks to its incredibly rich storyline and immersive graphics (seriously, what other game has its setting in 1541 off the coast of Peru?), the original Gonzo’s Quest became a fan favourite. In 2020, Red Tiger took the original Gonzo’s Quest and gave it the Megaways slot treatment, making this online slot one of the new Megaways slots. The result is one of the most impressive slots ever – taking one of the best and most immersive games and giving fans so many more winning combinations! Gonzo’s Quest Megaways features an RTP of about 96%, making it still a much better alternative than hitting up your favourite land-based casino!
EXTRA CHILLI MEGAWAYS
Big Time Gaming developed Extra Chilli Megaways in response to one of their most successful slots ever, Bonanza. Indeed, this is one of the rare slots with a storyline set within another slot’s (Bonanza’s) universe. The graphics are entertaining, and the storyline is undeniably clever. As such, this became Big Time Gaming’s second hit and helped establish it as one of the top games providers! This Megaways slot boasts an impressive 96.41% RTP on its own. If, however, you’re playing the Feature Drop version, that RTP rises to 96.82%. Extra Chilli Megaways has very high volatility, like many slots on this list.
CHRISTMAS CAROL MEGAWAYS
Developed by Pragmatic Play, this slot is perfect for the holidays! This slot can generously payout, featuring the ability to win up to 20,000x your bet and an unlimited win multiplier in free spins. Additionally, this slot has some of the best graphics, with gorgeous artwork perfect for the holidays. The falling snow, the spinning reels, and 200,704 ways to win, make this slot one of the best in the Megaways collection! Christmas Carol Megaways has high volatility and features a return-to-player percentage of 96.5%. While that’s not the top RTP on this guide, it’s pretty good overall – especially compared with many other slots, both online and in-person.
DIVINE FORTUNE MEGAWAYS
Divine Fortune is a fascinating game that is unique in many ways. For starters, it features a genuinely minimalist appearance. While other slots feature many animations and colours, Divine Fortune is simple, following its theme of being in ancient Greece. Of course, like many NetEnt slots, this one has impressive bonus features and can offer some pretty significant wins! Divine Fortune has medium-to-high volatility (unlike many other slots on this list which are ultra-high volatility) and has a return-to-player of about 96.09%. Comparatively speaking, that’s better than many other online slots!
DAZZLE ME MEGAWAYS
If wins of up to 50,000x your bet sound appealing to you, Dazzle Me Megaways is the slot for you! NetEnt delivers another home run with this slot, thanks to its impressive graphics and audio. Players love the free spins and “dazzling wild reels,” all of which can result in significant payouts and large bonuses! NetEnt classifies Dazzle Me as a medium-to-high volatility slot with a return-to-player percentage of 95.08%.
Megaways Slots Are Fun and Exciting!
Whenever you see the Megaways logo and text, you’re invariably in for a good time! Thanks to the 117,649 ways (or more) that players can win, these slots are exhilarating! If you’ve been asking yourself, “what are Megaways slots?” hopefully, now you can see why they are so popular! Furthermore, as evidenced by this list, many of these slots tend to have higher-than-average return-to-player percentages, meaning that you’ll be keeping more money in your pocket with each spin!
If you haven’t tried a Megaways slot before, please go to your favourite casino and search for one of the best Megaways slots above! And, if you have tried Megaways before but haven’t checked out some of the ones on this list, we highly recommend them. They represent the best of the best in the storied Megaways collection! And, of course, if there are new Megaways slots that are better than the ones listed above, we’ll be sure to add them to our guide so you can always play the best of the best!