The Complete Guide To Slot Machine Reels

Andreea Udescu
By Andreea Udescu
Last updated on Feb 21, 2022
5 min

When you’re in the heat of the moment, spinning to win, you barely think about the mechanics of the game. But if you want to increase your chances at life-changing payouts, you have to know a bit more about slot machine features.

Some of the most important elements of all video slots are the reels. In this article, we will show you how they function, what makes them tick and offer you a few tips and tricks on how to better control them. 


What Are The Slot Machine Reels?

Before we dive into how they work, we have to know what the reels are. In any slot game, be it a classic one or a more modern 3D slot, the reels are the vertical lines on the screen. They’re filled with symbols and they will spin as soon as you’re done placing your bets. Every slot game has reels. As you can see, they’re the backbone of every game. 

The first ever slot machines had mechanical reels, with the symbols actually painted on them. You had to pull a lever and they would spin, instantly awarding you with your wins. The online slots however, do things a little differently. The symbols on the reels are never in the same place, allowing for more winning combinations.


Types Of Slot Machine Reels

The classic format comes with five reels. The setup of slots with 5 reels allows for more winning combinations. Usually, slots that come with 5 reels have a series of bonus rounds and Free Spins features attached to them. This format is being used by industry giants such as NetEnt and MicroGaming

Starburst Slot Reels

But if you’re looking for a simple experience, no glitz and glam added, you might enjoy some 3 reel slots. These games usually come with the base gameplay and no other features. Which is not bad if you’re new to online slots. You might want to experiment a bit with more simple games before diving into the complex ones. Developers such as Playtech or IGT have some nice 3 reel slots you can try. 

Triple Diamond Slot Reels

While the 5-reel and 3-reel slots are the most popular, some developers took it a step further and added more reels to their slots. Because the online allows for so many possibilities, there’s not a fixed number of reels slots can have. For example, NetEnt’s Archangels Salvation comes with 6 reels and 12 rows. Slots like there are pretty rare however. So you’ll have to do a bit of digging to find them.

Slot Machine Reels

What Slots Should I Choose?

That’s completely up to you. Sure, there are some good and bad options when it comes to all the slot machine reels but you’ll only have to try them to find out. If you’re new to online slots and wish to experience just the base game, 3-reel slots will be a good starting point. If you like to spice things up a bit, the slots with 5 reels will be a better choice.

Usually, the more reels a slot has, the more bonuses it has. That’s because they’re easier to be included in a bigger layout. So if you choose to play a 5-reel slot, you can be sure you’re getting something extra on the side. The more experienced players will start to find these boring at a certain point. So they usually up their gambling experience by going for slots with 6 or even more reels.


Closing Thoughts On Slot Machine Reels

The slots reels are the only thing you can’t change about a game. Sure, you might be able to adjust your paylines and your bet size but the reels will remain the same. That’s because they’re the single most important thing when it comes to slots - they hold the symbols and spin to form the winning combinations. 

If you’re still undecided, we recommend you take a look at some of the Best Slots on our website. And once you get the hang of a particular game and wish to enhance your experience, you can head over to our Real Money Slots and start playing for real cash!

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