Best 243 Ways Slots (Highest RTP, Free Play): Guide + Full List
Last updated: September 5, 2022
“Ways to win” is nothing but a fancy way to say “paylines”, which is a crucial element of any online slot, does not matter how new or old the slot is. Speaking about 243 ways to win, it is something that stands out a bit since the majority of video slots usually have 9, 20, 25 or 40 paylines, and 243 is significantly more.
Best Paying (RTP) Slots with 243 Paylines
(Players from United States are welcome)
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Full list of 243 ways online slots
An interesting fact is that the 243 ways to win feature was introduced by IGT Gaming at land-based casinos first, and at the time it didn’t seem like that the feature would gain a lot of popularity. However, in the early 2010s, Netent and Microgaming began to implement it in their slots, and since then 243 ways to win feature has started to rock.
It is fair to say that 243 ways to win is a bit overshadowed by Megaways feature nowadays, but it is still quite popular. Anyway, let’s move to the point and discuss:
How exactly 243 ways works and gets calculated
243 ways slots (best 5) and 243 ways software providers (top 10)
243 ways’ impact on RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency
Other things that make 243 ways special (including pros and cons)
How does 243 ways to win feature work?
In classic online slots, to get a winning per payline, slot symbols must form some pattern (called a payline), or in other words, to land on the reels in some strict order. There are predetermined rules that tell us which exact patterns are eligible to form a payline (called paytable).
In 243 ways to win slots, the only limitation is that paying symbols must land on adjacent reels to get you a win, and that’s it. No restrictions regarding how exactly symbols must land until they are on adjacent reels.
Rabcat has actually done a good job explaining the 243 ways feature in their info sections.
Please notice that it also doesn’t matter how far the symbols are vertically. The only rule, as we have learnt, they must appear on neighboring reels.
Now it is hopefully clear how the winnings get counted, let’s talk how such a big number, I mean 243 paylines, is even possible.
It may seem otherwise at first, but the mechanics of the 243 ways feature is quite simple and straightforward. You just have to raise the number of the rows to the power of the slot’s reels amount.
For example, a 243 ways to win slot has 3 rows and 5 reels (jumping forward, this is the only layout possible in 243 ways slots). Hence, our calculation is the following,
3 (number of rows) to the power of 5 (number of reels), or:
3 x 3 = 9 ways
9 x 3 = 27 ways
27 x 3 = 81 ways
81 x 3 = 243 ways
That’s why we have exactly this number as an amount of paylines.
The last thing to notice here, the number of active ways is not constant. 243 ways to win are just the maximum possible amount. In reality, it changes every spin you make and may be either of these:
9 ways (in slots that count 2 symbols as a win). In this case, 2 symbols mean only the first 2 reels have been activated, which results in 3 x 3 = 9 ways during this spin.
27 ways are activated when 3 paying symbols have formed a winning. The idea behind is the same, 3 symbols mean 3 active reels (as you can’t get 3 symbols in any other way), or 3 x 3 x 3 = 27 ways during this round.
81 ways are activated when 4 paying symbols have appeared on adjacent reels, or 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81 ways.
243 ways are only possible when you have managed to collect 5 identical symbols on adjacent reels. This is the best case scenario and may result in a pretty big win.
More on how total win gets calculated in 243 ways slots
You might be wondering what happens if, let’s say, not only 1, but 2 or even 3 symbols all appeared on the adjacent reels at the same time during one spin. Does it mean a 243 ways slot counts all of them separately? Not quite really.
In this scenario, only the highest paying symbol is being used to calculate your total win per spin. Other symbols, which are less in value, just simply get dismissed. This is the only limit to 243 ways magic, I would say.
243 ways to win video slots: Best 5 of all time in my humble opinion
Play Victorious for real money
Victorious is a truly best-seller slot of legendary Netent. Not only the slot is very decent in terms of RTP (96.88%), but it also allows players to adjust its volatility level. Worth to mention that Victorious was not designed as 243 ways slot initially. However, as for now, it is served as 243 ways slot in the majority of online casinos.
Paylines: 243 RTP: 96.88% Volatility: Adjustable (either medium or high) Free spins: Yes Multiplier: Yes Maximum total win: x1,500 or x7,500 of your stake (depending on volatility level)
Narcos is a branded slot game produced by Netent. The plot of the slot is based on the self-titled Netflix TV show. The slot perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the series, which I enjoyed watching so much (might be a bit biased heh). Anyway, its RTP level is appropriate, volatility is rather high (which is a good thing for players by the way), and sounds and graphics are amazing.
Paylines: 243 RTP: 96.23% Volatility: Medium-high Free spins: Yes Multiplier: Yes Maximum total win: x1,506 of your stake
Penguin City (Yggdrasil)
Play Penguin City for real money
Penguin City is a perfectly made Yggdrasil slot (the company is well-known for its amazing graphics). Though it does not have Free spins round and Multiplier, the slot makes up for it introducing a separate Bonus game (Penguin escape mode). On top of that, x1,647 of your stake win is possible in Penguin City even if it is a medium volatility game. The RTP of the slot is not mind-blowing but quite decent anyway.
Paylines: 243 RTP: 96.2% Volatility: Medium Free spins: No Multiplier: No Maximum total win: x1,647 the total spin value
Pirates Charm (Quickspin)
Play Pirates Charm for real money
Pirates Charm is a product of Quickspin, which is a well-known brand in the Igaming industry. The slot has got quite an intriguing x3,861 maximum possible win. However, please keep in mind that as a result of it, the volatility level of the game is high. When it comes to graphics, this is where the slot shines. All elements are well-thought through, the resolution is super detailed.
Paylines: 243 RTP: 96.49% Volatility: High Free spins: Yes Multiplier: No Maximum total win: x3,861 of your stake
Immortal Romance (Microgaming)
Play Immortal Romance for real money
Though Immortal Romance looks a bit outdated by modern standards, it is still very popular among online casino players, and rightfully so. I guess this is the case because of an unbelievable x12,150 maximum possible win. Despite such a big number, Immortal Romance has medium volatility level, which is quite uncharacteristic, I would say. Definitely a good choice for players who aim to win big, enjoining reasonable volatility level at the same time.
Paylines: 243 RTP: 96.86% Volatility: Medium Free spins: Yes Multiplier: Yes Maximum total win: x12,150 of your stake
Best 10 software providers which produce 243 ways slots
243 ways is not a unique feature anymore, and quite a few slot producers implement it in their products. However, this is the most trustworthy software providers with 243 ways slots in their portfolios:
Netent (the gold standard of the industry!),
Microgaming (the gold standard of the industry!),
How does 243 ways affect RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency
When it comes to the main slot parameters, such as: RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency, 243 ways feature affect them differently.
243 ways’ impact on RTP
The 243 ways feature does not have any direct impact on RTP of online slots. So to speak, you can come across 243 ways slots with high RTP, medium RTP or miserable RTP. However, I have noticed that a decent chunk of 243 ways slots do usually have relatively high RTP levels. I assume this is the case, because Netent and Microgaming have played a major role in production of 243 ways games. And these software providers set standards in the industry making their slots appealing in terms of RTP.
243 ways’ impact on Volatility
Opposite to what we have in Megaways slots (where the impact on volatility is noticeable), 243 ways feature does not make slot games necessarily too volatile. As a result, there are many high, medium and low volatility slots with 243 ways to win on the market.
Anyway, as a rule of thumb, the medium level of volatility is what you can usually expect in 243 ways slots, maybe with a slight tendency towards high volatility.
243 ways’ impact on Winning hit frequency
The winning hit frequency is not frequently disclosed by software providers. However, I guess it is fair to imply that the winning hit frequency in 243 ways slots should be a bit lower than on average. Why? Because, as we have learnt, the volatility level of 243 ways slots tends to be rather medium-high. Therefore, you can expect to hit winnings not too often.
What else is special about 243 ways slots
Only 5 reels x 3 rows layout is possible
As we have learned from the previous chapters, there is no other way to make a 243 ways slot. Why? Because otherwise it would not work. Remember our calculations? 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 243 ways. Thus each and every 243 ways slot has exactly the same layout as its other counterparts.
Sometimes even 2 symbols are enough
This is unusual in regular online slots. In 243 ways slots (the same is true for Megaways slots), sometimes even 2 symbols are eligible to form a winning combination, which is not a big deal, but is cool anyway.
There are quite a few 243 ways remakes of older slots
Especially true for Netent and Microgaming, which have rebuilt some of their older slots, making 243 ways feature available in newer implementations.
Sometimes is called “Win all ways” (for example, Yggdrasil)
“Win all ways” reflects the nature of this feature quite well, as for me. This is exactly what the feature does. However, “win all ways” is not that widespread naming convention, and the majority of casino players still call it “243 ways to win”.
Can I play 243 ways slots for free (in demo mode)?
Yes, you absolutely can. All 243 ways slots from the rating above include free (or demo) versions. It means that you can try it out in demo mode to decide whether some slot is worth or not playing for real money.
To do so, simply click on the “play for real” button. You are going to be redirected to the page where you need to choose an online casino.
Simply find this game at the online casino. It will have a free version.
243 ways vs 243 paylines slots
243 ways in slots appeared at the junction when the usual 25, 40 or 50 paylines were no longer sufficient. This number of paylines allows you to win simply when three or more of the same symbol appear on adjacent reels. More specifically, with 9, 25 or 40 paylines slots you had to get the exact same picture lined up in the allotted directions. And in slots with 243 paylines three or more of the same picture have to fall out on adjacent reels in any cell without gaps. That's how we get a great pattern, which increases the players' chances of winning. By the way, I want to warn you that 243 ways or 243 paylines are the same concepts. Some players change the name, but the meaning remains the same.
How to play 243 ways (paylines) slots
If you want to play 243 ways slots then don't think it's any trouble. These are regular slots with standard controls. All you need to do in order to start playing is to select a slot and start it up. When the game is loaded you will immediately notice for yourself that 243 ways slots are no different from the usual 5 reel slots. Yes, it really is, and there are no differences, except for one thing. That's the lack of possibility to change the number of paylines. You will be offered all the same features as in slots with a standard number of lines.
In the centre of the screen, there is a playing field with the slot itself and its built-in reels and rows. When you click on Spin the reels will spin and when they stop all the symbols will line up on the rows. If a winning combination is formed as a result of a spin you will get a win. Below the playing field are the game controls. There is a sound setting, a window with the balance of money in your account and the ability to adjust your bet. You will also find the paytable, which tells you which combinations will get you the most money. If you don't want to perform each spin by hand, you can activate Auto Play by simply selecting the number of spins you want.
How to win playing 243 ways (paylines) slots
Playing 243 ways slots and winning is easy. But, you can't win on a consistent basis in any slot that exists at the moment. Therefore, special measures or rules have been developed between players and these rules allow you to increase your chances of winning. You need to remember that there are no winning systems and these rules will help you minimize your losses. So, to begin with, pay attention to the RTP. The higher the figure, the better. You can find a theoretical return value for each slot on this page. The fact is that the higher the RTP value, the higher percentage of winnings you will get.
In addition to RTP, you should also pay attention to the volatility of the slot. If you want frequent winnings, but with a small amount of money, choose Low Volatility slots. If you are looking for big, but infrequent winnings, take a closer look at High Volatility. If you're not happy with both, then the golden mean is in slots with Medium Volatility. However, these are the only two criteria you should pay attention to in order to win the slots. The third and most important parameter would be bankroll management rules. The fact is that by managing your funds wisely, you will maximize your chances of winning. Don't allow yourself to lose all of your account in one game. If you are unlucky in one slot, switch to another. Be sure to withdraw your winnings and keep the original amount in your account. And one more tip, for a more or less productive game you need to have a 100+ bet money reserve.
Best online casinos with 243 ways to win slots
Pros of 243 ways slots:
often made by top-notch software providers (RNG is tested properly so the games are fair)
many high RTP slots among them
some 243 ways slots provide an opportunity to win really big (x10,000+)
many medium-high or high volatility options (why high volatility is actually good for players)
usually newer games, and high quality graphics and sound are results of it
Cons of 243 ways slots:
243 ways slots are only possible with 5reels x 3 rows layout
winning hit frequency is a bit lower than on average
deeper bankroll is required as 243 ways slots tend to be medium-high volatile
As for me personally, I like playing 243 ways slots in general. A big part of it is that so many of them are produced by either Netent or Microgaming, and it is really hard not to like their products.
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