What are the differences between these two types of online slot machines? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Here are a few tips.
Simple, classic machines with 3 reels delight fans as well as the modern versions with 5 reels, countless features, bonuses, and, in some cases, gigantic jackpots.
What are 3 reel slot machines?
When slot machines first saw the light of day, they were quickly called one-armed bandits and always had 3 reels in their original form.
With the change in technology, the machines also changed, more features and more rollers were added. The classic variants of slot machines are still widespread in the US and the UK today. You can often find them in cafes and arcades.
Many of these popular 3-reel machines have been adapted for use in online casinos.
You can best recognize these games by two striking peculiarities: very few pay lines and even fewer in-game features.
In most machines with 3 reels, 1 symbol on the payline is enough to win.
Wild symbols or jokers are also present in some games. These symbols can replace others to complete winning combinations.
What are the advantages of 3-reel machines?
The most important advantages are simplicity and uncomplicated gameplay.
You can understand the game in seconds, and there are no overly long bonus rounds that distract from the actual gameplay.
Your account balance will not drain so quickly either, as there are only 1 or two pay lines.
However, in order to be able to play for the really big jackpots, these slot machines need quite deep pockets. In some older 3-reel slots, the jackpots are reserved for players who play with the maximum bet.
What are 5 reel machines?
As the name suggests, machines with 5 reels, or also known as video slots. 2 additional reels compared to their ancestors the classic one-armed bandits and slot machines with 3. Additional vertical rows have also been added, which in turn enables more paylines.
Usual Microgaming slots with 5 reels, such as Thunderstruck II or Mega Moolah, offer 5 reels and 3 vertical rows and thus offer 15 paylines.
But, even though more pay lines look like more ways to win, the general payouts are often much smaller than with 3-reel machines.
However, there are clear differences between different 5-reel slots. For some, the density of higher-quality symbols is significantly better than for other games. Still, others offer many more special symbols, such as wilds and scatter.
This can be seen clearly in the far-reaching differences between the highest and lowest payouts. If a slot has low prices, it often means that the game is overloaded with low-value symbols.
What are the advantages of 5 reel machines?
It is common for a video slot to have at least one bonus feature. A wild symbol or joker is a standard feature of 5-reel slots.
At least one secondary bonus feature, such as free spins or instant wins, is also guaranteed to players.
Check RTP and consistency.
RTP (Return To Player Percentage) is the long-term average for payouts. The higher the RTP, the better for the player.
Online slot machines nowadays typically have an RTP between 93% and 98%. Classic 3-reel machines are rather at the lower end of this scale. 5-reel video slot machines with huge, progressive jackpots, on the other hand, often have high RTP.
A volatile game has fewer payouts, but when a win is triggered, it is quite large. Persistent machines, on the other hand, often pay off, but then not small values.
The best way to recognize the durability of a game is to compare the highest payout, usually a jackpot, with the lowest. The greater this difference, the more inconsistent the game is to be rated.