What Are Megaways Slots?

5 January 2023
No, if you want to wager your casino bonus with as little risk as possible, then choosing a slot machine with a low variance and a high hit frequency is best. This means that you win relatively often but that these are low prices. Megaways slots do exactly the opposite. The chance of winning is relatively low, but you play for extremely high prizes.

At the beginning of 2016, Big Time Gaming came up with the Dragon Born Megaways slot. No one could have imagined then that Megaways would become the standard years later. Success takes time. The big breakthrough of Megaways slots and Big Time Gaming only came after the release of Bonanza Megaways.

Megaways slots have done Big Time Gaming no harm, and the casino software provider has become a significant player in the online gambling industry thanks to the mechanism.

Big Time Gaming made money from its Megaways slots and from selling sub-licensing to other software providers. Through these licenses, other game providers could release their own Megaways slots.

Well-known providers that purchased such a license are NetEnt, Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, Red Tiger Gaming, Stakelogic, and iSoftBet. In 2021, Evolution Gaming acquired Big Time Gaming for €450 million.

How Does the Megaways Slot Mechanism Work?

In 2016, it was simple. A slot machine (usually) had 3 or 5 reels. When the reels stopped spinning on your screen, there were (usually) 3 or 4 symbols on them. The number of symbols on the reel was fixed.

On Megaways slots, the random number generator determines the number of symbols on a reel for each spin.

For example, each reel contains three symbols on the Starburst slot machine after the spin has ended. The same applies to NetEnt’s Twin Spin slot. You win on Twin Spin if you land a symbol at least once on the first, second, and third reels. The position on the reel does not matter because Twin Spin does not work with pay lines. That gives you 243 ways to win with five reels. Three (the number of symbols per reel) to the power of five (the number of reels) yields 243 ways to win.

On Megaways slots, the random number generator determines the number of symbols on a reel for each spin. There are generally a minimum of two and a maximum of seven. Naturally, variations have emerged over time. Instead of 3 or 5 reels, Megaways slots typically have 6 reels.

This results in at least 64 ‘ways to win.’ In the worst case, you have two symbols on all six reels. Two to the power of six makes 64. In the best case, there are seven symbols on each reel. You then have 117,649 ways to win because seven to the power of six makes 117,649.

You win in a slot if you have a symbol at least once on the first two or three (depending on how many pieces a symbol pays out) reels. It does not matter where symbols are on the reel as long as they appear on consecutive reels. A symbol at least once on all six reels yields one six-of-a-kind.

Do you have a symbol on several reels several times? Then it can go fast.

For example, you have a symbol on each of the six reels. Twice on three reels, three times on one reel, and once on two reels. That gives you (2 * 2 * 2 * 3 * 1 * 1 =) 24 winning combinations in one go.

Most Megaways slots contain the “Avalanche feature.” This ensures that all symbols part of the winning combination disappear from your screen after a winning spin. All remaining symbols then fall down, and new symbols appear in the empty spaces. These “re-spins” are free and continue as long as they keep producing winning combinations.

Sometimes Megaways slots also contain a progressive multiplier. This increases after every winning “avalanche.” For example, the first “Avalanche” after the winning spin is 2 times. All winnings are then paid out times two.

The Most Popular Megaways Slots

Since 2016, many slots with the Megaways mechanism have been released. We have listed the most popular Megaways slots for you, which also gives a nice insight into the various ‘tweaks’ game providers have made to the Megaways mechanism over the years.

Bonanza Megaways


Each reel on the Bonanza Megaways slot by developer Big Time Gaming features up to seven symbols for each spin. That gives you 117,649 ways to win. In the basic game, winning combinations yield a maximum of 2,5 times your stake each. That’s not much, but if you can spin a maximum of 117,649 winning combinations in one spin, it can go fast. A winning spin also yields “avalanches.”

You trigger the bonus by spinning at least four golden scatter symbols. That gives you at least 12 bonus spins.

You play the bonus round on the Bonanza Megaways slot machine with a progressive multiplier. It increases by +1 after each successful “avalanche.” You can unlock 5 to 10 bonus spins every spin in the bonus game. There is no maximum ceiling for the multiplier, so it can go on indefinitely in theory.

In practice, a winning possibility of 12,000 times your bet is the maximum. That is to say: this is the highest profit that has come out of the billions of test spins that Big Time Gaming has simulated for the approval of this slot machine.

Legacy of Ra Megaways


One of the first competitors to approach Big Time Gaming for a Megaways license was Blueprint Gaming.

Instead of a maximum of seven symbols, a reel on the Legacy of Ra Megaways slot can contain a maximum of five symbols. The maximum number of Megaways on this slot machine is 15,625 instead of 117,649.

There is no multiplier in the bonus game. But a “special expanding symbol,” just like on the Book of Ra slot from Novomatic.

One of the symbols – the Random Number Generator – determines which one – expands during the bonus if you get an (extra) win. After the expansion, this symbol will appear in any position on the relevant reel.

In the best case, your special expanding symbol appears once on each reel. After the expansion, you then have five copies on all six reels. That means 15,625 winning combinations. With a profit of 25 times your bet per combination, that adds up.

You would then take 390,625 times your stake in one bonus spin. Would, because Blueprint Gaming has limited the maximum payout on its slots. You can get paid up to 50,000 times your stake or up to $250,000 per spin.

Gonzo’s Quest Megaways


Gonzo’s Quest Megaways is a slot machine that was once made by Red Tiger Gaming but can now be found in the online casino as an Evolution Gaming slot. After the acquisition of Red Tiger Gaming by NetEnt, Red Tiger launched several Megaways versions of well-known NetEnt slots. Gonzo’s Quest Megaways is the old Gonzo’s Quest slot machine, but with the Megaways mechanism.

Gonzo’s Quest Megaways has six reels. There can be up to seven symbols on each reel. That gives you a maximum of 117,649 ways to win. The old Gonzo’s Quest slot machine already had a progressive multiplier in combination with “avalanches.” This mechanism fits perfectly with Megaways and has therefore been retained.

You start in the base game with a multiplier of 1x. This increases to 2x, 3x, and even 5x. From the fourth “avalanche,” you play with a multiplier of 5x. In the bonus game, the multipliers are three times as high, so in the bonus game, you play with a multiplier of 15x from the fourth “avalanche.”

The maximum win per combination is 15 times your stake in the base game and 225 times your stake in the bonus game. You can win a maximum of 21,000x your bet – a maximum bet spin of $20 results in $420,000 per bonus spin.

FAQs About Megaways Slots

  1. What are Megaways slots?

    Megaways slots are slots that are equipped with the Megaways mechanism. This Megaways mechanism ensures that every reel contains a random number of symbols every spin. Usually, that is a minimum of two and a maximum of seven symbols. With six reels, this provides a maximum of 117,649 ways to win.Megaways slots often feature “Cascading Wins” and a progressive multiplier that increases every successful “Cascading win.”

  2. Where can I play Megaways slots?

    All our best online casinos offer Megaways slots. You will find Megaways slots at LeoVegas, CasinoFest, Spinz Casino, SpinYoo Casino, Slot Planet, and Rizk.Which Megaways slot machine has the highest RTP?The payout percentage of Medusa Megaways can go up to 97.36% if you play with the Bonus Buy feature. If not, Medusa Megaways will pay out 96.38%.If we do not count “Bonus buy slots,” White Rabbit from Big Time Gaming has the highest payout percentage. White Rabbit pays 97.24%. If you use the “Bonus Buy,” the payout percentage even increases to 97.77%.

  3. On which Megaways slot machine can I win the most?

    That’s Bonanza Megapays. Bonanza Megapays is Bonanza Megaways featuring a progressive jackpot. The biggest jackpot is at least £300,000. With a bet of £0,20, you can already win the Bonanza Megapays jackpot.

  4. Where can I play Megaways slots for free?

    You can play Megaways slots for free at all licensed and regulated online casinos with Megaways slots. The free demo games are only available to logged-out users.

  5. What are the advantages of Megaways slots?

    The most significant advantage is that you can win relatively high payouts on slots with the Megaways mechanism. Maximum payouts of 10,000 times your stake or more are no exception. Megaways slots also often have a relatively low minimum bet. You can often play from $0,10 or $0,20 per spin.The gameplay is also entertaining. The varying number of symbols per reel, the “Cascading Wins,” and the progressive multiplier provide a building tension.

  6. Are Megaways slots suitable for wagering bonuses?

    No, if you want to wager your casino bonus with as little risk as possible, then choosing a slot machine with a low variance and a high hit frequency is best. This means that you win relatively often but that these are low prices. Megaways slots do exactly the opposite. The chance of winning is relatively low, but you play for extremely high prizes.

Author Morten

After being a recreational gambler for over 10 years, my professional gambling career started at LeoVegas in January 2019. I am now Head of SEO & Content at Casinogrounds, responsible for what you read on UKCasino.com, Casinogrounds.com, and Casinoscores.com.