3 Reel Slots

Ethan Lim
Written byEthan LimWriter

When you open up the games collection at an online casino today you will be amazed by the sheer number of games operators have to offer. One single casino can have thousands of slots, most of them being the popular video slots.
But at the same time, a lot of operators also have simpler slots in stock, games that are not likely to catch your attention with their visual details and bonus features but still can be exciting to play. Most of these games are 3 reel slots and they are often referred to as classic slots since they were the first slots to dominate the casino floors.

What are 3 Reel Slot Machines?

Basically, slots are divided into categories based on the number of reels. A reel is a vertical section on the slot that spins as you hit the spin button. Reels can come with a number of rows, starting from one and upwards. Most 3 reel slots that can be found at online casinos are classic slots, which have 1 or up to 5 active paylines.

What’s interesting to note is that some providers have 3 reel slots with all of the functions from modern video slots. These games come with a high number of paylines, bonus features, and the potential for big payouts. One provider which has a large number of modern 3-reel slots is Wazdan.

Three Reel Slot Machines Special Features

There’s a big difference in the bonus features on older classic 3 reel slots and the modern versions. Most classic slots come with no bonus features attached. In many cases, the game doesn’t even have a Wild symbol, nor any Bonus or Scatter symbols.

The payouts in the game simply depend on the paytable. But with modern 3 reel slots, this is not the case. Many of these slots have advanced bonuses or even come with more features. You can easily trigger a free spins bonus, which can come with extra features attached to the Wild symbol or win multipliers. These games are especially attractive to players who want to play simpler games but want to enjoy the benefits that new slots have to offer.

Tips on How to Play 3 Reel Slots Online

Playing 3-reel slots online can be both fun and rewarding if you know the process. Here are some practical tips to consider:

  • Start with Free Versions: Before wagering real money, try free versions of 3-reel slots to understand the game mechanics.
  • Check RTP and Volatility: Always look for games with high RTP (Return to Player) and understand the volatility to manage your expectations and strategy.
  • Understand Paytable: Familiarize yourself with the paytable to know which combinations pay the most.
  • Set a Budget: Decide your bankroll in advance and stick to it to avoid overspending.
  • Utilize Bonuses Wisely: Many online casinos offer bonuses. Use them to extend your playtime but be aware of wagering requirements.
  • Keep It Simple: 3-reel slots are less complex but don't underestimate them; each game has its quirks.
  • Bet Maximum for Jackpots: If the slot has a progressive jackpot, you usually have to bet the maximum coins to be eligible.
  • Review Paylines: Even though 3-reel slots typically have fewer paylines, make sure you know how many your chosen game has and bet accordingly.
  • Switch Games: If you're on a losing streak, it might be beneficial to switch games rather than sticking to one that's not paying out.

Best 3 Reel Slots

Each of these slots brings its unique edge to gameplay. The RTP (Return to Player) is a good indicator of the slot's volatility and long-term performance. It's important to play these slots responsibly and to verify all information as they can vary between different online casinos.

Slot Name Software Provider RTP Special Features Jackpot Type
Break Da Bank Microgaming 95.43% Multipliers, Wild Symbols Fixed
Double Diamond IGT 95.44% Wilds, Multipliers Progressive
Triple Red Hot 777 IGT 94.91% Free Spins, Multipliers Fixed
Fire Joker Play'n GO 96.15% Respins, Multipliers Fixed
Alchemist’s Lab Playtech 97.32% Bonus Game Fixed

Payout Potential

Classic slots are known as tight machines that produce low to medium payouts. So, for many players who are used to frequent payouts in video slots, 3 reel slots don’t seem appealing. But you have to understand that a 3-reel slot with a single payline will have a different Random Number Generator than a 5-reel video slot would. So it’s only natural to expect 3 reel classic slots to have fewer payouts. But you also have to look at 3 reel slots from another angle.

These games can also produce big payouts because of their rich paytable and the fact that you are betting on a single payline. For example, if you’re betting 0.25 per spin on a 25-pay line slot you are in fact betting only 0.01 per bet line. On the other hand, the same bet on a single payline slot means that you are betting the full 0.25 on a single payline. So when a good win comes it will be much higher in a bet-to-win ratio than the win on a 25-pay line slot. To get the same payout, you would need to be betting 25 x 0.25 = 6.25. As you can see the difference in bets is enormous.

3 Reel Slot Machine Jackpot

When you take a look at older classic 3 reel slots you can see that many of them promote a jackpot payout. Here the jackpot prize is simply the top payout that the symbols can produce. In the best-case scenario, this can be counted as a fixed standalone jackpot prize. But there are 3 reel slots that have jackpots attached, even progressive ones. In these games the top prize can range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, making them well worth playing.

The Pros and Cons of Playing 3 Reel Casino Slots

Pros Cons
Simplicity: Easy to understand Limited Features: Fewer bonuses
Fast Gameplay: Quick spins Lower RTP: Often less than 5-reel
Classic Appeal: Nostalgic feel Fewer Paylines: Fewer ways to win
Lower Bets: Suitable for new players No Storyline: Less immersive
Fewer Symbols: Easier to match Monotonous: Can get repetitive
About the author
Ethan Lim
Ethan Lim

Ethan Lim, a native of the Lion City, is Singapore’s rising star in the domain of online casino guide localization. He masterfully blends his intimate knowledge of local culture with international gaming standards to produce content that resonates deeply with Singaporeans.

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How do 3 reel slot machines work?

3-reel slot machines work by spinning three reels with symbols. Players win by lining up matching symbols on the game's payline.

What are reels in slots?

Reels in slots are vertical columns that spin and contain various symbols. When the reels stop, the combination of symbols may form a winning payline.

Are players able to earn bonuses while playing free 3 reel slots?

Yes, some free 3-reel slots offer bonuses like free spins or multipliers, but this varies by game.

Are 3 reel slots better?

Whether 3-reel slots are "better" depends on player preference. They are simpler and quicker to play but often offer fewer features.

Are free online 3 reel slots random?

Yes, free 3-reel slot machines use Random Number Generators to ensure fair and random outcomes.

What are the odds on 3 reel slots real money?

The odds on a 3-reel slot machine vary widely and depend on factors such as the number of symbols per reel and the game's paytable.

Can players keep their winnings after playing free online 3 reel slots?

In most cases, winnings from free 3-reel slots are credited as bonus money and subject to wagering requirements before withdrawal.