Most Unusual Pokies Structures Out There
There are many reasons why pokies machines appeal to players. And one of them is the inherent simplicity of the game. Wager, spin, win. At least this was the original premise of the game. But things have changed somewhat since the first one-armed bandit popped up in the late 19th century. And Charles Fey himself may not recognize his contraption these days if he was to come across a pokies machine in a land-based casino, and certainly not online.
That’s because long-gone are the days in which you popped in a coin, pulled the lever, and watched as the three reels spun. While there still remain some retro style fruit machine games on the market (most often online), pokies structure has changed significantly over time. And although simplicity is still very much a part of the game, pokies developers now keep a keen eye on originality to continue to attract and engage players with unique spins. So what are some of the most unusual pokies structures out there? Let’s begin.
The original pokies structure
To get a sense of what is unusual, we first need to determine what is standard. Nowadays, three or five-reel games are predominant, with 10, 20, 50, or even 100 ways to win is the norm. But this certainly was not always the case, if for no other reason than the technology needed to progress in order to get here.
The original poker machine, in fact, as alluded to above, was a simple structure. It had a pull lever to activate the reels and a simple, automatic mechanism which was comprised of three spinning wheels and five symbols – hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes and the game’s namesake, the Liberty Bell. The symbol combinations were ranked, as they are today so that three-of-a-kind bells paid the highest price at $0.50, a decent jackpot in those days.
Eventually, the pull lever disappeared, and a push-button took its place, even at offline casinos. The pokies machine’s physical appearance also significantly transformed, so that the very box it operates out of now looks much like an arcade game at first glance. And of course, these modern games pay out a whole lot more. This is in part due to the amounts you can wager. But it’s also a result of the unique structures and a proliferation of paylines that offer far greater complexity, and more opportunities to win.
5×5 reel pokies
First up on our unusual pokies structures list is a format that breaks the mold only slightly. And that is the 5×5 pokies machine. How it looks is exactly how it sounds; a table that is essentially five across, and five up and down. Or in other words, a total of 25 symbols on your screen at a time. Another term for such a setup you might hear, whatever the number, is grid slots. It’s a grid layout after all, with a table structure that runs 5 by 5.
So what are some examples of popular 5×5 pokies out there? Well, this is a domain in which the casino software developer Play’n GO actually seems to have an upper hand with a fair number of 5×5 titles with a range of themes such as Moon Princess, Troll Hunters, Energoonz, Cloud Quest, Sweet Alchemy, and Golden Ticket to name but a few. Playtech also has a lovely 5×5 grid game called Sweet Party in which the more sweets you land, the more you get paid. Lesser-known developers also deserve a callout when discussing a lesser-known format. So it is worth mentioning we have Gems of the Gods from Push Gaming and Wild Egypt from Cayetano Gaming as well.
As for the advantage of such games, there are a few. First of all, some would argue 5×5 games (like all unusual structures to follow) are simply more interesting. There are more symbols filling up the screen, more possibilities, and more potential for winnings. And since the software does all the work for us anyhow, calculating the wins, it is always fun to explore new formats with different ways to win.
6×6 reel pokies
Continuing on our grid theme, next up we have the 6×6 pokies games. This is a format you will not come upon regularly. So you will need to search it out specifically if the concept catches your fancy.
To help get you started, we suggest you look for games like Legend of the Nile. Created by Betsoft, this is probably the best-known game that utilizes the 6×6 format. And with an Egyptian theme – complete with pyramids, treasures, and hieroglyphics – this online video pokies machine always makes for a good choice. Plus, it has a progressive jackpot game, if you needed any more convincing.
Another interesting choice is the Temple Tumbles game from Relax Gaming. In addition to 6 rows and 6 reels, it gives you up to 46,656 ways to win (we kid you not). Based in the Cambodian jungle, all we can say is that with all that action and winning potential packed in, it really is a true adventure.
If you are looking for a classic theme with the 6×6 added twist, another nice option is the Squish machine from Revolver Gaming. Essentially a fruit machine, it has an added layer of fun as strawberries, lemons, watermelons, and kiwis take to the jungle. The goal is to form clusters of three matching symbols (or more) to win. Essentially functioning much like an arcade game, these symbols will be “squished” to disappear and replaced with new ones as the action progresses. While slightly different from a standard pokies experience, there are also free spins and bonuses, which will make gameplay feel more familiar.
7×7 pokies games
At the risk of getting a bit boring ourselves, moving up in numerical order we’ve got the 7×7 pokies structure. This one is pretty obscure, but can be found in a number of places.
For example, Gemix from Play’n GO is a spectacular 7 reel, 7-row game that is bursting with color, and with a 96.75% RTP, wins. The sparkling gemstones mesmerize as you spin towards cluster wins along the cascading reels in three different worlds with different levels of play, and four unique bonus rounds.
Viking Runecraft, also from Play’n GO (we’re guessing you’re noticing a theme here as well) also operates on a 7×7 grid and features the cascading reel effect. Visually appealing and totally engaging with its Nordic theme, it also has a huge betting range from $00.10 up to $100 per spin. Plus, a whole lot of features, wild symbols, and all sorts of entertainment wrapped in.
If you like the Viking theme, but want a different developer, you can also try Thor’s Lightning pokies game from Red Tiger. Highly ranked by other reviewers, in addition to a 7×7 structure, this game also has, cluster pays, cascading reels and a lot of possibilities for free spins. In other words, mighty good fun by most accounts.
Pokies games in which you can win both ways
The next unusual pokies structure isn’t so much about the physical setup of the game. Rather it is in how it plays. And that is pokies games that pay both ways. Basically this too is exactly how it sounds. That is, that wins are tallied in both directions of the payline. That means left to right and right to left. This is opposed to the standard pokies structure in which winning combinations are determined solely from left to right.
A few examples of win both way games (or what are also called pays both way games) include Crazy Chameleons from Microgaming, Flux from Thunderkick, and The Catfather from Pragmatic Play. There are also special games that give you a choice in terms of pay direction. For example, Good Girl Bad Girl from BetSoft gives you the option to play in Good mode which pays left to right and is low risk, Bad mode which pays right to left and is higher risk, or both ways which pay in both directions. The paytable, of course, fluctuates accordingly.
243 ways to win pokies machines
Beyond adding more physical spaces to the pokies grid – that is accommodating for more symbols – there are other ways in which pokies developers are offering more. Yes, more features, more animated action, and more bonus levels are certainly part of the equation. But so are more ways to win.
Once an unusual pokies structure, these many ways to win games are gaining in popularity, and will soon perhaps become common fare. This is certainly true of the 243 ways to win games that are seemingly popping up everywhere these days. Keep in mind, however, these are usually “all or nothing” games. That is, you cannot choose how many paylines to activate. Rather you need to bet according to predetermined increments to play all those paylines. Also, keep in mind, visually it is virtually impossible to comprehend all these different win ways. But luckily online pokies are programmed to always show any winning combination, and payout accordingly, automatically, so no worries there.
The equation, however, isn’t really all that hard to follow when you spell it out. Basically, with three chance to win on each reel and five reels, it is 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 for a total of 243 ways to win.
A few examples of popular 243 ways to win pokies games you may wish to explore include Beautiful Bones and Game of Thrones from Microgaming software, Thunderfist from NetEnt, Eyes of Fortune from Aristocrat Gaming, and Gypsy Moon from IGT. Of course, these are a mere sample, with plenty more options to be found in this quirky pokies structure is your thing.
1024 ways to win games
If 243 ways to win doesn’t strike you as enough ways to win, then it is time to check out the 1024 ways to win games. These once rare pokies games are also gaining in force these days, mainly as a response to the love that’s been showered upon them by players.
Basically, this format builds on the same premise of the 243 ways to win games but instead of giving you 3X the chances to win per reel, you get 4X the chances as there are four rows rather than three. Or as the equation would be: 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 1024 ways to win.
A few 1024 ways to win games you might like to try include Buffalo pokies from Aristocrat’s Xtra Reel Power line, Lucky Panda pokies from Playtech, Garden Party from IGT, and Sumo Kitty by Bally.
By the way, if you are looking for something in between, there are a few 720 ways to win games, but these are truly rare. For some reason, the casino developers mostly skipped over this category and went straight up from 243 to 1024.
And while 1024 may seem like an astronomical number of potential ways to win, the numbers are actually rising even higher these days. Even 3125 ways to win is becoming an increasingly less unusual pokies structure these days. So if ways to win are of interest to you, keep your eyes peeled on this burgeoning market, where the winning ways virtually never end.
A few final thoughts on unusual pokies structures
As we have just seen, while the standard pokies structures with either three reels or five reels continue to be the most popular, many software developers are thinking outside of the box. Or the grid if you will. There are now plenty of options for atypical pokies structures including 5×5, 6×6, 7×7, and so forth.
There are also increasingly games with more and more ways to win. As such, instead of standard payline structures, it is no longer all that unusual to find games that pay 243 ways. You might even say that 243 ways have become “common,” and we are now more regularly beginning to see games that pay 1024 ways and well beyond as well.
Obviously, if you prefer the more standard pokies structures, there is absolutely no shame in that. After all, there is a reason (in fact many) why they are continually so popular. But if you are looking for something a little different, then the most unusual pokies structures out there might just be your thing. Either way, they’re certainly worth a spin or two to find out.