If you’ve spent any length of time playing slots then you should be aware that games require you to get a combination of symbols in a row to win. These combinations will vary massively depending on which game you are playing and the paylines in operation for that game.
It’s pretty common for the majority of slots to work from left to right. This means you need the combination to start in the furthest left-hand reel and then work across the board. Generally, the more links you can make across that board, the higher the payout will be from that spin.
This is somewhat limiting, so these days some slots include a ‘win both ways’ feature or a ‘win all ways’ feature, as it’s sometimes referred to. This means that you are able to win from symbols that run from left to right and right to left, increasing winning opportunities.
The number of games that include this feature are growing and this is great for players because it adds yet another twist to online slots.
How Do Win Both Ways Slots Work?
A standard slot will work from left to right, so we would need for our symbols to start in reel 1 and then work across the board to reel 2, 3, 4 and so on. The more matching symbols that land in winning combinations, the better our prize.
Win both ways games allow the combinations to start from either side. So it could be that you have symbols run from Reel 5, to reel 4, then 3, and so on; your combinations can start from either reel 1 or reel 5, working left to right or right to left accordingly.
It’s worth noting that combinations can only start from the furthest left and the furthest right reels. You also need to be aware that combinations will only pay out once even if the line runs both ways.
For example, let’s say you have a standard 5 reel slot. You get 5 cherry’s in a row covering the board. This will obviously run from both left to right and right to left. You will only get paid once for this combination though as the right to left combinations will only come into play if there are no left to right combinations.
One of the best slots that highlight the win both ways feature is that of NetEnt’s, The Invisible Man. Whilst not only offering a ton of features, but this game is also flawless in terms of visuals and includes a great range of bonus games as well. But, that’s not what we are interested in for the sake of this article.
Below we have included two screenshots. The first is showing the standard left to right payout and the second is showing the right to left payouts. As you can see, the overview of the game is very familiar. In fact, it looks like pretty much any other 20 payline game.
The game functions in the same way that most others do, but the payouts will be adjusted based on where those combinations can be made.
Pros and Cons of Win Both Ways Slots
The first and most obvious positive point to note is the increased number of ways in which you can win. There are so many times when you are playing a slot that you see an amazing combination that misses out that important first reel and then continues to the end of your board. It can be frustrating, especially if you are on a losing streak. The win both ways feature means that you can take advantage of these situations.
The other thing that we liked was the fact that it pays out pretty often considering a lot of these games are classed as medium to high volatility. The volatility of a game is basically the mix between the frequency with which it pays out and the amount that it pays out. Low volatility games have high frequency but low values, and high volatility games are the opposite of this.
The downside is that given the huge number of ways that you can win, some of the games can feel diluted over time. The slot will obviously have an RTP that it wants to hit, so it needs to level up the playing field here. For this, they can make wins that come in little and often, or you can find yourself on the other end of the scale, seemingly spinning for ages just to get pennies.