How 3-Reel Slots Work: A Complete Guide


Posted: July 16, 2020

Updated: July 16, 2020

  • Benefits of 3-reel slots over 5-reel slots explained
  • They are better to play but give you less money
  • 3x3 slot machines are available at

Slot machines are the most popular gambling game at online casinos, according to the 2020 statistical data. If you also belong to an army of slot fans, read what machines are better to play to win. In particular, learn how 3-reel slots work and what is the difference between them and 5-reel games. 

Slots have always been one of the most popular and diverse gambling games. Although it is a game of chance, most online casinos in the US visitors still prefer slots to such games as poker or blackjack. 

Like any other gambling game, slot machines are also diverse. Everyone knows that they feature different themes, from sports to fruits, but there is also a difference in their structure. There are usually 3-reel and 5-reel slots available for playing. Today, we will explain how 3-reel slots work and what are their strong sides.

How 3-reel slots work

Three-reel slot games are considered classic thanks to their prototype – a 3-reel fruit machine also known as Liberty Bell. Modern slots can hardly recall it, but there is a common feature left, which is a 3-reel structure. Nowadays, slots are much more diverse and easier to play than more than 100 years ago.

Versions of 3-reel slot machines have a 3×3 reel setup. To play & win in such machines, gamblers have to match at least two symbols on a pay line to have a payout. Usually, two are enough, but some slots can require collecting all 3 symbols to win.

Classic 3-reel slots come with one pay line, but their improved versions can offer up to 10 pay lines. They can be positioned either vertically or horizontally, and even diagonally. Many online gambling sites in the US have slots with a 3-reel setup. Let’s see what their advantages are.

How 3-reel slots work
Let’s spin!

Benefits of playing 3-reel slots

Slots with a 3-reel setup have many advantages for players. Firstly, they are easier to understand for new gamblers who don’t have an idea about all nuances of playing slots. As 3×3 reeled machines have fewer pay lines, newcomers will quickie get what they should do to win and how to play slots.

What is even more important, three-reel slots are considered more profitable for players. Due to the limited number of pay lines, slot volatility and RTP is better. Playing such slot games will also help your budget last longer as they usually don’t require big deposits.

Finally, slots with a 3×3 reel structure are better to play for fans of classic gambling games. Fortunately, there are still many fruit machines and old school-themed slots available online. You can find the biggest variation of slots at Casino once you get how 3-reel slots work.

3-reel slots v 5-reel slots

There have always been debates about the benefits of 3-reel and 5-reel slot machines. Which game is better to play? We can say that both kinds of slots have their pros and cons.

  • Three reel slots are easier to play, so they are a better choice for new gamblers. They are also more beneficial thanks to the reduced number of pay lines. At the same time, they are less exciting to play as they mostly feature classic slot themes – fruits, Jokers, 7s. 
  • Five reel slots are way more interesting to play. They can follow very diverse topics, from movies to ancient civilizations. 5-reel slots are usually 3D with advanced visuals and animation. On the other hand, they have more pay lines than 3×3 slots, so the winning frequency is not so big. However, if you win, you win much more money than in 3-reel slots.

Follow online gambling news to read more about 5-reel slots.

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