How does AvatarUX’s PopWins mechanic work?

AvatarUX’s PopWins mechanic is very but very popular

AvatarUX, founded in 2018, is a relatively new game studio based in Malta. They are one of the original partner studios of Yggdrasil’s YGS Masters programme.

They distinguish themselves with slots with spectacular and beautiful Asian art.

They are best known for the PopWins mechanic, though, which they designed in 2020 and is (for now) exclusively available for AvatarUX slot games.

Till mid-2021, they released six PopWins slots (including BountyPop PopWins or TikiPop PopWins), and the seventh (PapayaPop PopWins) is on its way.

The mechanic is top-rated and gaining ground. As a result, it has tremendous win potential, and that also translates into possible massive wins.

The win potential of PopWins slots is enormous.

PopRocks PopWins, CherryPop PopWins and BountyPop PopWins have a maximum win of an incredible 72000x, 56000x and 55000x respectively. These are also in our list of slots where the maximum payout is at least 50000x the bet.

The table below provides a brief overview of the seven PopWins slots with all relevant details.

As you can see, we have seven PopWins slots, and most of these slots are incredibly volatile. PapayaPop is not as volatile as the others, and it’s evident that this AvatarUX is also targeting players who seek less volatility.

The table also shows that their latest five releases come with the Buy a Bonus feature, where it’s possible to buy the free spins straight away.

AvatarUX slot Year Bonus Buy
PapayaPop 2021 Yes (75x)
HippoPop 2021 Yes (85x)
TikiPop 2021 Yes (100x)
BountyPop 2020 Yes (100x)
CherryPop 2020 Yes (75x)
Wild Pops 2020 No
PopRocks 2020 No


Avatar UX slot RTP MAX Win Variance
PapayaPop 96.00% 10,542x mid-high
HippoPop 96.10% 48,150x super high
TikiPop 96.10% 32,000x super high
BountyPop 96.00% 55,000x high
CherryPop 96.14% 56,386x high
Wild Pops 96.20% 17,707x high
PopRocks 96.40% 72,188x high


A detailed explanation of this fascinating concept

Below you have an illustration of how this mechanic works. I use a detailed example of PapayaPop.

The idea is simple. Every time you land a winning combination, the winning symbols “Pop” (or explode) and create two new icons. You gain a free re-spin, whereby new symbols appear. This way, you get new chances for another win.

This sequence is called the PopWins sequence.


Below I have an illustration where you see how it works.

Step 1: You see that you’ve 486 ways to win at the start. You start with five “Q’s”, and these account for four wins on reels 1, 2 and 3 combined.

Step 2: These five winning symbols “pop” and immediately disappear afterwards. You see that ten new positions make way.

Reels 1 and 2 have five positions each, and reel 4 has four positions. In total, you have 5x5x4x3x3=900 ways to win. But these are both ways (also from right to left). So you end up with 1800 ways to win. And more importantly, new chances to win!

Step 3: You get a new win again. Four winning symbols on reels 1, 2 and 3. These “pop”.

Step 4: The 4 “popped” symbols become eight new positions. You end up with 6x6x6x3x3=1944 win ways. But these are both ways, so you end up with 3888 ways to win.

Step 5: you land quite a few new wins. The winning symbols on reels 1, 2 and 3 “pop” but are NOT replaced by two new icons (only by one new icon), as these reels already have reached the maximum of 6 positions (symbols) each.

Step 6: The good news is that reels 4 and 5 expand (from 3 symbols to 4 symbols) as these reels also have winning symbols that “pop” into two new icons. Now you have 2x6x6x6x4x4= 6912 win ways.

It’s like the avalanche mechanic – with expanding reels

The PopWins sequence resembles the Avalanche (cascading) mechanic, with two differences:

  • The winning symbol is replaced by two icons (symbols) rather than by one new symbol
  • The other symbols remain at the original positions (do not drop to the bottom of the reels).

What’s triggering with this feature is that the reels expand. The reels have three symbols initially, but these can grow to reels of six (or even more) symbols.

The win all ways mechanic

Indeed does the PopWins mechanic rely on the win all ways mechanic.

What’s different (to most win all ways slots) is that you can win both ways. You win if you have identical symbols from left to right (starting from reel 1) and right to left (starting from reel 5).

The result is that the number of win ways doubles.

As all PopWins slots have 5 reels with 3 symbols at the start, you have 486 ways to win (calculated as 3x3x3x3x3=243 and multiplied by 2, as you can win both ways).

The maximum number of symbols per AvatarUX PopWins slot

All seven PopWins slots have 5 reels with 3 symbols each at the start and 486 ways to win.

The slots have different maximum reel heights, and these also differ for the base game and the free spins bonus game.

The table below gives you a handy overview.

AvatarUX slot Max no. of Win Ways: base game
PapayaPop 2x6x6x6x6x6=15,552
HippoPop 2x6x6x6x6x6=15,552
TikiPop 2x5x5x5x5x5=6,250
BountyPop 2x6x6x6x6x6=15,552
CherryPop 2x6x6x6x6x6=15,552
Wild Pops 2x7x7x7x7x7=33,614
PopRocks 2x7x7x7x7x7=33,614


AvatarUX slot Max no. of win ways: bonus game
PapayaPop 2x9x9x9x9x9=118,098
HippoPop 2x8x8x8x8x8=65,536
TikiPop 2x7x7x7x7x7=33,614
BountyPop 2x9x9x9x9x9=118,098
CherryPop 2x9x9x9x9x9=118,098
Wild Pops 2x7x7x7x7x7=33,614
PopRocks 2x7x7x7x7x7=33,614


Let’s take CherryPop PopWins as an example.

When you play the main game (base game), you can win both ways, and the reels can have at the most 6 symbols. It boils down to 15,552 (2x6x6x6x6x6=15,552) win ways.

With the free spins game, the reels can get up to 9 symbols. That gets you 118,098 (2x9x9x9x9x9=118,098) ways to win.

Conclusions – The PopWins mechanic offers colossal potential and fireworks

The new mechanic will (most likely) not have such an impact as Big Time Gaming’s Megaways mechanic, but by no means is this one to be ignored.

The PopWins mechanic has a tremendous win potential, is graphically spot-on, is spectacular and is also easy to understand.

It has a proven track record already: many players love it, and slot streamers make a lot of noise, thanks to the enormous win potential of most of these slots.

At the moment, we have seven of these beauties, but I expect many more will follow.

Will other providers get a license for this mechanic? I expect some will in the future. It’s the best way to make a great idea accessible for everyone. Ask Big Time Gaming!


You may like

Overview of slots where the max win is 50,000x the bet or more

Explanation of the win all ways mechanic


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