Win Both Ways Slots

In conventional slots, matching symbols bring a payout when they line up from left to right, and often, players miss the big prize simply because the symbols land on the last reels. Game developers have found a simple solution – slots where players can win from left to right and from right to left.

When this slot payout system was first introduced, it seemed revolutionary to players since it gave them twice as many ways to win the same game. Today, various gaming studios create slots of this type, adding a wide range of special symbols and bonus features to make the games even more interesting. Compared to traditional slots, they are, indeed, more appealing to players but are the so-called “win both ways” slots really better or more profitable?

What Is the Win Both Ways System?

1Standard Paylines

The most basic slot games consist of 3 spinning reels and in order to get paid, players need to get three matching symbols in the central horizontal line that crosses all three reels. It is known as the payline and is among the most fundamental parts of mechanical and video slots. Most games, however, feature 5 reels with 3 or 4 symbol positions on each of them. This 5×3, 5×4, etc., reel grid allows for many more paylines – not just horizontal but also diagonal, as well as lines that bend and curve, following different shapes and patterns.

There could be zigzags, V and W shapes, upside down Ws, etc. The variety of paylines in different slot games today is astonishing. There is one rule, however – the combination of 3 or more matching symbols has to start from the leftmost reel and continue to the right. This is how paylines have worked for decades, a payout structure all slot players are familiar with.

How Paylines Work in Slots?

2Two-Way Pay Structure

When winning combinations follow both directions and can start from either the leftmost or the rightmost reels, we are looking at a win both ways slot. These games are also known as two-way pay slots and the only difference between them and the traditional ones is the direction of the winning combinations.

It is important to note that in win both ways slots, the paylines do not mirror the original lines and there is no change to their shape whatsoever. The exact same lines are used but players can start from either end to hit winning combinations. Of course, the matching symbols that form a combo need to land on consecutive reels.

Example of Win Both Ways Slot

Advantages and Disadvantages of Win Both Ways Slots

Interesting Gameplay
Twice as Many Ways to Win
RTP Percentages

Are Win Both Ways Slots Better than Conventional Slots

1Odds and Expected Return

As explained above, win both ways slots do not differ much from games with standard paylines when it comes to the odds and RTP percentages. The actual mechanics and design of each game, however, are rarely publicly announced unlike the returns and the volatility of the slots. This is why it is impossible to know the exact odds and probabilities of slots. In comparison, we can relatively easily calculate the odds in games such as roulette, blackjack, or craps.

2Hit Frequency

Some game developers disclose the hit frequency of the slots they make. This is a crucial piece of information that shows players how frequently the game pays. Paired with the RTP percentage, the hit frequency is a good indicator of whether a game is worth playing or not. Generally, win both ways slots should have a higher hit frequency where every third spin of the reels is a winning one. Of course, to make the game more balanced, these more frequent wins are designed to pay less than in conventional slots.


The two-way pay slots are a great option for players who look for something new and fresh. Normally, these games do not offer better returns than regular one-way slots but their innovative payout structure brings more excitement to players. And as we all know, the more interesting and fun a slot game is, the better.

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Find the answers of questions people asked so far:

Dan Paul

I expected I would win more if I played both-ways slots but that is not the case. Why is that?

Asked by: Paul | Asked on: 2023-06-05
Answered by: Dan | Answered on: 2023-06-05

The easiest way to explain this is by comparing a left-to-right pays slot with 40 paylines and a both-ways pays slot with 20 paylines. While it may seem like both of these slots offer 40 paylines in total, that is not the case. With slots paying both ways, you may have a bigger chance of landing a winning line but that does not mean that you get double the number of paylines. If you get a five-of-a-kind combination in a both-ways slot, you will not be paid two times for the win. That is why, it is not necessary that you would win more if you choose a both-ways slot over a regular left-to-right paying slot.

Dan Cynthia

Are there slots that offer a third way for a payline or adjacent symbol combination to award payouts?

Asked by: Cynthia | Asked on: 2023-06-08
Answered by: Dan | Answered on: 2023-06-09

Surprisingly, yes. While there are not that many slots that offer more than both ways for a payline or symbol combination to win, thanks to the innovative solutions of a provider like Crazy Tooth Studio (CTS), players can place their bets on Any Adjacent Wins slots. These will typically have five or six reels, with combinations paying whenever an identical symbol lands on three or more adjacent reels. Thanks to this unique feature incorporated in some CTS slots, not only will players be paid when a combination starts from the leftmost or rightmost reel, but there will also be a win when the symbol is matched on the middle three reels of the slot. This means that there is no requirement for a winning combination to start from the far left or far right reel to pay.