High-index contrast slab and slot optical waveguides have a high index variation both along the lateral and vertical interfaces and are usually analyzed numerically, requiring large computer memory and time. In this article, their analysis is done semianalytically using an effective-index based matrix method. This method, which is computationally very fast, was earlier used successfully for low-index profile waveguide structures only and is now suitably modified for use in high-index contrast structures. The electric field profile of the waveguide structures is plotted and the effective refractive index at different wavelengths is calculated. The results are compared with results obtained from numerical techniques like finite element method, finite-difference time-domain, and beam propagation method and they match very well. The dependence of their different optical characteristics with the waveguide parameters is also studied. These studies will help in obtaining improved sensitivity of slot waveguides for sensing applications.