The online slot sector has seen huge expansion over the last decade or so. Game developers like Microgaming and NetEnt have been desperately trying to come up with new games, new features, and new ways to entice a fresh breed of slot players to the virtual reels and keep those already there interested.
If you’ve browsed our site you will know that there are a lot of potential features that can be included in any given game to spice things up, but one of the most innovative has come in the form of paylines. More specifically, 1024 paylines.
A payline is the combination of symbols that you need to land in order to get paid. The number differs with each game and can range from just 5 up to around 100 on a regular slot. But games have now been developed that include a staggering 1024 paylines, so this means there are 1024 symbol combinations that will pay out for every spin that you make.
For those that haven’t already read our article on 243 payline games, then we’d recommend taking a look at that first and understanding how the two games differ.
How do the Games Differ from Regular Slots?
1024 payline games aren’t your normal slot. As stated, the sweet spot for games used to be around the 50 payline mark as a very rough guide, and anything above that was considered a big game.
A typical 50 payline game might have the following combination of payouts:
This image is taken from the Jolly Rogers Jackpot slot made by Rival Gaming. The coloured squares are the squares that pay out and from there you can see the 50 different combinations that will win you some money. As we stated, these patterns may differ from one game to another, but it gives you an idea of what to expect.
You may be expecting to see a massive combination of payouts for a 1024 game in our example below, but in reality the payouts are very simple. All you need to do is get three matching symbols in a row and then you are on to a winner.
The main thing to note from this is that they can be in any position on the reel, but they have be consecutive with no gaps between them. As you can see, it’s really easy to work out and this is one of the reasons the games are so popular.
How do the Games Differ from 243 Paylines?
The main difference between 1024 ways games and 243 ways games is the fact that we have 4 symbols per reel instead of 3, and this creates more possible winning combinations. The maths is quite simple: in the 243 games 3x3x3x3x3 would equal 243, whereas this would be 4x4x4x4x4 for 1024 games.
As you can see the extra symbol on each reel makes a huge difference, and that is the reason why a lot of companies are starting to release more games in this format.
There are still a lot more games with 243 paylines than 1024, however, and that is because 243 payline games are much more balanced, offering a good number of winning combinations (paylines) compared to the money returned. In the industry right now, there are over 250 243-payline games, whilst there are just 65 1024 payline games.
Pros and Cons of 1024
Like all slots, some aspects are going to suit certain players more than others. 1024 payline games have divided the industry in terms of whether they are a welcome addition or not. The bottom line is that it comes down to the player and whether or not it suits their playing style and what they want from their gaming experience.
A lot of positives come from the fact that there are so many ways that you can win. The games offer a massive range of payouts and these can keep bankrolls ticking over nicely; if you’re a player that likes to win little and often then 1024 payline games will be ideal for you.
The other reason is that the amount you can stake is much more controlled. So, with these types of games (243 payline games included) you don’t pay per line like you would with regular slots. Instead, you have a set amount per spin, which is easier to track for beginners. Whilst the games RTP (Return To Player) percentages remain in line with industry standard, you aren’t paying through the nose given the greater number of paylines that are in play.
The downside is that games can become quite diluted. As we said, you win a lot more often when playing these games, but more often than not these ‘wins’ are less than the initial spin. Whilst this keeps bankroll buoyant, it means that the big wins are few and far between.
Popular 1024 Games
As we stated earlier in the article, there aren’t a huge number of games to choose from just yet, but this number is growing steadily. Most of the major developers have at least dabbled in one or two titles.
Here are a few that we like:
This one can be played from between 20p and £100 per spin and can kick out up to 5,000x your stake, which is probably why it’s so popular. A decent RTP of 96.3, plenty of game features, and high variance make this a strong effort form Elk Studios.
Yggdrasil came up with Dwarf Mine, and on top of some brilliant graphics this slot is packed with features, free spins, and collectable symbols. There are also super high value symbols awarding up to 100x in the base game. Plus, the reels can expand with the bonus symbol creating up to 16,807 ways to win!
Alongside having 1024 ways to win, a fab locked reels feature during free spins sees two reels spin identical symbols, making winning lines much more likely. The 5 reels are adorned with dragons and imagery of the orient, and the game also features stacked wilds.