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Published date 07 January 2021

What are Win Both Ways Slots?

“Win both ways” or “2 way pay” slot machines award winnings based on both left-to-right and right-to-left combinations and they are quite popular with casino players for obvious reasons. Most slot machines award winnings in the traditional left-to-right fashion, but the number of Win Both Ways machines is increasing.

If you hate it when those big money wilds appear on the last three reels instead of on the left side of the screen, and you feel as though you’d be much better at these machines if you could play them in reverse, then win both ways machines solve that for you.


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By considering both left-to-right and right-to-left combinations, these slots give you twice as many chances to score a big prize and is the kind of feature that removes a lot of the frustration that comes with hitting symbols that don’t fit just right on the paylines.

Some of these Both Ways slots only allow the bi-directional playing structure when you place either a side or bonus bet, or you wager double the amount of cash per spin as you would do when playing just the left to right pay lines. These types of Both Ways slots, therefore, charge you extra for the privilege of forming winning combinations from left to right and from right to left.

2waypay slot

How does it work?

The gameplay for Win Both Ways or 2 Way Pay is identical to a standard slot machine, and you don’t have to do anything different to take advantage of the feature. You will win as normal when you make winning combinations from left-to-right across any paylines that are active for that spin. You will also be able to win if you make any right-to-left combinations that begin on the last reel on that same line. The symbols must still be in consecutive order to count as part of a win. The payouts are usually exactly the same regardless of which way you win.

Some games allow Win Both Ways but require the feature to be activated with an additional side bet which will pay from left to right and right to left when activated.

  • Advantages of Win Both Ways: The primary benefit of Win Both Ways is that two ways to win are always better than one. The odds of the game are adjusted to take this into account and has little impact on the return to player(RTP). The odds are not necessarily better than a similar traditional machine that pays only left to right combinations. Still, the game does hold your attention longer on each spin, and can be more exciting. Often a player will lose interest when the first few reels stop without a winning combination, but with a two-way machine, that doesn’t end the chance to win on that particular spin. This feature means that you are not out of the game until the fourth reel is in place, and often you will have something on the line right up until the final reel settles.
  • The Drawbacks: Unfortunately, there is always a downside, and in this case it is that winning both ways will double your ways to win, but won’t actually double your wins. For example, landing a complete five-in-a-row combination on a five-reel game, will pay for that winning combination for one direction only. Similarly, pay lines with wilds near the middle may also only award the larger of the two prizes you might otherwise feel entitled to earn. Another drawback is that game designers have to account for the increased odds in paying wins in both directions and adjust for this by making wins smaller and lowering volatility, or by making it harder to find matches at all. If the pay-table includes the game’s RTP then this and the game’s jackpots can provide insight into the game’s volatility.

Similar Features

A limited number of online slots allow you to win in both directions, but many offer similar features. Traditionally a win on a slot machine is determined by pay-lines, and with the advent of video slots the technology allows for the “all ways” system which eliminates the idea of paylines altogether and pays out for every right-to-left winning combination of symbols on the board. That means a payout is possible for every combination on a five-reel slot machine, which is the equivalent of 243 pay lines. Other games add extra pay-lines that flow in that direction, these extra pay-lines require additional bets but are still a fun gimmick that keeps you interested in each spin for longer.

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