There’s a vast array of games available to play in online casinos, but perhaps none of them are as popular as the video slots on offer. These can range in the coin values offered in them, the bet level, the pay lines, the theme used to base the game on, as well as many other things, but they can also differ in the amount of reels that are incorporated into the product. This may seem like something that’s not quite so significant in terms of choosing a game to play, but for some people, it makes all the difference.

As technology advances, and slot games become more advanced in terms of their bonus features, game play and general outlay, some gamers have found it more inviting to go back to basics. So rather than playing on a 7-reel slot, for example, many people have chosen to invoke a little bit of nostalgia from when slot machines first appeared in land-based establishments, entertaining themselves with a standard 3-reel game as an alternative.

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What Makes 3-Reel Slots So Special?

Anyone who has the ability to remember back to when the first slot machines were introduced to the world will recall them offering up three reels worth of symbols to spin. These particular games offer up a nice flashback to such an era, as well as creating a nice introduction to the world of slot machines to any newcomers. It does, after all, make sense to start small and work your way up, in that sense.

One thing that is vastly different between slot games with three reels and those that feature a higher amount, is that the pay lines included in them will not be as large. So, while 5-reel games can feature up to 50 or more active pay lines, it’s fairly common to see 3-reel versions only offer a single one across the middle. Of course, there are certain games that include three, five and on the odd occasion, even more pay lines. Take, for example, ‘Break Da Bank’ from popular provider Microgaming, which offers up three reels and five pay lines. Or how about ‘Chinese Kitchen‘ from Playtech, providing players with eight different pay lines to fit across its three reels.

Many people might consider a game with fewer reels and fewer pay lines less interesting or exciting than others with a bigger proportion of such, but 3-reel offerings can be just as entertaining, and not only that, but they can also reward you with big payouts in the same way that a 5-reel game can.

What About Bonus Features?

As mentioned before, the swift advancement of technology has made it possible for many developers to create slot games with five reels or seven reels incorporated into them. However, in working with such figures, many providers, if not all, have also tied a strong selection of added extras into their products, such as bonus game rounds, freespins, wild and scatter icons, and much more, enabling them to create a multitude of interesting games.

With that being the case, many people may question whether or not a 3-reel slot can be considered as interesting in its special features department, as a 5-reel slot. Well, actually, yes it can. Fair enough, not all 3-reel slot games have had extras injected into them, but there’s a plentiful amount that have. Some include wild symbols, while others have scatters to make the base game more fun. And there’s even a small group of games from this variation out there which include bonus game rounds.

A Smaller Betting Range

It’s true that when it comes to these particular versions of slots, you’ll most likely have a decidedly smaller betting range to work with than compared to others. So, while you may be used to having a range that spans from a single coin up to 100 or 200, 3-reel slots tend to only have a choice of between two or three different coin values. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but offering such a limited amount of values makes it easier for beginners to the gambling world to become accustomed to such.

Popularity in the Third (Reel) World

While slot games with three reels are fairly thin on the ground when compared with their five reel siblings, there are quite a few which can be considered popular by today’s standards. For example, ‘Mega Joker’ from Netent offers up a set of reels featuring the classic fruit icons, and provides winnings of up to 2,000 coins. There’s also ‘Wheel of Plenty’ from Microgaming, which not only provides a game with a circus theme, but also includes nudges and holds, as well as a bonus feature in the shape of a wheel of fortune.

So, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to playing a game with three reels, as many would initially think. Yes, players may generally win on a more frequent basis when it comes to five reel offerings, but three reels do have the tendency to pay players more when they do achieve a win, giving players a hope of going on a quick run of wins with a strong chance of a big pay out.