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3 Reel Slots

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 to offer, most of them being the popular video slots. But at the same time, a lot of operators also have simpler slots in stock, games which are not likely to catch your attention with their visual details and bonus features. 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 slots?

Basically, slots are divided into categories based on the number of reels. A reel is a vertical section on the slot which 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 pay lines. But 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 pay lines, bonus features and the potential for big payouts. One provider which has a big number of modern 3 reel slots is Wazdan.

Bonus features on 3 reel slots

There’s a big difference in the bonus features on older classic 3 reel slots and the modern versions. You see, 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 bonus features or even come with several 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 which modern slots have to offer.

Payout potential

Classic slots are known as tight machines that produce low to medium payouts which are far apart. So, for many players who are used to frequent payouts in video slots 3 reel slots don’t seep appealing. But you have to understand that a 3-reel slot with a single pay line 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 pay line. 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 pay line slot means that you are betting the full 0.25 on a single pay line. 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 jackpots

When you take a look at older classic 3 reel slots you can see that many of them promote a jackpot payout. But this isn’t a classic jackpot, like in modern video slots. Here the jackpot prize is simply the top payout which 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 which 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.

Are 3 reel slots worth playing?

When you approach 3 reels slots you have to take several factors into consideration. First off you will need to have a bigger bankroll to try these games and have a chance to hit a big payout, because of the different RNG and usually the lower RTP value. The next thing to consider is if the 3-reel game is an older classic slot or a modern slot. Consider the number of pay lines and the payouts which come from each symbol combination. It’s also a good idea to try the games in fun play mode first to see what kind of payouts you can expect. In the end, 3 reel slots can pay big, you just have to be patient and lucky enough for that to happen.

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5 reel slots

5 reel slots are also referred to as video slots and they are without a doubt the most popular of all slot games you can come across at online casinos. These games are basically what made the entire gambling industry so popular. They are easy to play, come with attractive bonus features, have a fun game play and the potential for massive payouts. Everyone can play 5 reel slots at the spin of a button, regardless if it’s for fun or for real money at any online casino.

What are 5 reel slots?

5 reel slots are simply slots which have a total of 5 reels on the screen. These games evolved from the older 3 reel slots, when the providers decided that an upgrade was needed on the current games offer. With the bigger number of reels’ providers could also experiment with a bigger number of pay lines and even a bigger number of rows. In the beginning most of the 5 reel slots came with 15 pay lines. Over time the number grew to the pretty much standard 25 found on most slots today, but by adding another row to the reels’ players could also enjoy in 40 pay line slots. Later on the Ways to Win feature was introduced making the 5 reel slots even more popular. So you see how adding one simple feature had a big impact on the games and the entire industry as a whole.

Features of 5 reel slots

What makes 5 reel slots so interesting and attractive are the bonus features which come with them. With the bigger number of reels and pay lines providers could now experiment by adding various bonus features to the games. The most common bonus round found on 5 reel slots is the free spins bonus, which comes with a x3 win multiplier. Later a doubling function was added to the Wild symbol, so all payouts with a Wild during the bonus feature would have a x6 multiplier attached. But the designers didn’t stop there. 5 reel slots gave them a lot of freedom in designing the bonus rounds. Soon you could see slots with a free spins bonus and a cash pick and win feature as well. After that the bonus features began to evolve with the adding of Sticky Wilds, Expanding Wilds, Nudge Feature, Stacked Wilds, Big Block Symbols and so on. Today you can find all sorts of bonus features on 5 reel slots. You just need to choose which slot has the most attractive features and give it a try at the casinos. With some luck you can hit a generous bonus round and walk away with a big payout.

Payout potential

The main reason why slots are so attractive to players is the fact that you can hit massive payouts with some luck on your side. Some slots have maximum promoted payouts of over 10,000 times the total bet. At some 5 reel slots the payout potential can be even more. So even while playing on the minimum bet you can still hit some very nice payouts. The main things to look out for when playing 5 reel slots is the symbols payout and the bonus features. When you combine the two you can easily see how much the game can pay in a single bonus round. In addition, if you take a look at the top 5-reel progressive jackpots in the industry Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune you will see that the top prize can be won while playing on a minimum bet. This happened to a player from the UK who won £13 million while playing on a £0.25 bet. As you can see the potential for massive payouts is there. All you need to do is persistent enough and to get a little help from lady luck in order to win big.

Worth playing?

Of course! Most experienced players will agree that 5 reel slots offer the best chances of winning from all other slots in the industry. If you compare the game play to 3 reel slots and slots with more than 5 reels you will see that the payouts are far less in between than the ones on 5 reel slots. If the game has a rich pay table and a good bonus round you can easily hit big payouts. 5 reel slots are also the best ones to play with a bonus. You can plan your game play among high variance and low variance 5 reel slots. The high variance ones are for hitting a big payout, while the low variance ones are for wagering the bonus amount. So with some research, some practice in fun play and some luck on your side, you can hit some great payouts on 5 reel slots and walk away as a rich man.

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Best paying slots

When you take a look at the casino games at an operator which is powered by a number of providers you can easily be amazed by the sheer volume of games on offer. This is why many players are taken aback and simply don’t know where to start. There’s always a great deal of confusion which slots are the best ones to play for real money and which ones are considered to be the best paying slots. In general, there are two ways to approach this question. The first is simply to take into consideration the slot RTP value and go from there. Higher RTP slots should produce better payouts than low RTP ones. The second approach is to see what the actual payout potential of the game is, in terms of times per bet payouts, with little or no regard for the actual RTP of the game. So let’s take a look at both options and clarify what each one is about in detail.

High RTP slots for better payouts

Let’s start with the basics. You may already know that each slot comes with a promoted Return to Player (RTP) value. This is the amount the game is promoted to return to the players in forms of wins over a period of time. Slots have different RTP values, depending on the game in question. You can come across a slot with an RTP value of 92%, which is considered to be low, while another game can have an RTP value of 99% which is considered to be high. So when faced with a dilemma among two games with these RTP values the natural response would be to go for the one with the higher RTP value. But this is not necessarily the case when it comes to real play.

Many experienced players refer to the RTP value simply as a guideline that the slot can pay more frequently in a long session. But other factors like the slots variance and the Random Number Generator (RNG) affect the outcomes on the reels. So a high RTP slot can eat away a huge chunk of your balance just as easily as a low RTP slot would. High RTP slots are mostly used by experienced players when it comes to wagering a huge bonus amount. In this case the player has a bigger chance to clear a big part of the wager, without his balance taking a big hit. This is due to the high RTP value which usually produces frequent, but smaller payouts.

High Variance slots for massive wins

Now the second way to approach the question on what the best payout slots are is simply to consider the payout potential the game has. As we mentioned earlier, slots are games of chance so you never know what’s coming in the next spin. Even high RTP slots can slowly eat away your balance one spin at a time, until you hit 0. This is why many experienced players turn to high variance slots, with a great bonus round and the potential for massive payouts, without even considering the RTP value of the game. So, how does this work?

Well it’s quite simple actually. The game variance determines the frequency of payouts on the reels. Low variance slots with a high RTP value are known to produce frequent payouts which are small in size, making them perfect for wagering bonuses. High variance slots on the other hand can pay once in a blue moon, but once that win comes it can make up for all the money you’ve ever lost at online casinos. This is why pretty much all experienced players have a few favorite high variance slots which they play on a regular basis. Now you might ask yourself why play a game which is known for paying out rarely and risk losing your balance? Well, in simple terms it all comes down to luck. You can hit a few spins on a high variance slot, trigger the bonus round and walk away with a payout of 10,000 times the total bet. Slots are games of chance and luck and you never know what the next spin will bring.

Best payout slots for you

In reality you can’t decide on a single category of slots and give them the title of best paying slots. It all comes down to what your ambitions are when you play at the casino, the size of your deposit and the bets you want to place. The best advice we can give you is to try the games in fun play first before you make a real money deposit. See what each slot has to offer and the payouts it produces. This way you can plan your game play when you make a real money deposit later on and increase your chances in making a hefty withdrawal at the casinos.

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Jackpot Slots

Pretty much every player has played a jackpot slot at least once in his life. And how can you not? Jackpot slots offer you the chance to hit massive payouts which can bring you a small fortune or even change your life forever. There are a lot of jackpot slots which you can try online where the top prize ranges in the millions of dollars. Imagine hitting that payout from small deposit. Your life can change in one lucky spin and you may never have to worry about money again. This is why many players try their luck on jackpot slots, hoping to hit the mega payout.

Different types of Jackpot slots

When we talk about jackpots there are basically two categories of games we refer to. They are:

Standalone Jackpots

Progressive Jackpots

So what’s the difference among the two? Well, standalone jackpots are games where the top prize is filled up from a single game. As you play the game the jackpot meter will rise, but if no one is playing the game no more bets will go towards the jackpot. These games usually have smaller jackpot prizes, as it takes a long time to fill up the jackpot.

Now progressive jackpots on the other hand are the real deal. These are pooled jackpots where the top prize is pooled over a network of games or a network of casinos. When you open this game you can see the jackpot meter filling up pretty much every second, even when you’re not playing the game. This is so because every bet placed on the game across every casino which offers it is pooled to the top jackpot prize. This is why progressive jackpots can reach a top prize of millions of dollars. At the same time, they are the more popular jackpots across online casinos, since they can award the biggest prizes.

Most popular online jackpots

This is not an easy question to answer, simply because it depends on which slots you prefer to play, based on the provider. When it comes to Microgaming jackpots the most popular title there is Mega Moolah. In the Net Entertainment collection, the most popular jackpot slot is Mega Fortune. Across Playtech casinos the most popular jackpot title is Gladiator Jackpot and the Age of the Gods collection. So you see, pretty much every software provider has their own progressive jackpots which vary in popularity. But if we take into consideration the top prizes which can be awarded and the number of players which try the game on a daily basis then the Mega titles from NetEnt and Microgaming take the lead. At these slots the Mega jackpot can go over $15 million and can be won while playing on minimum bet. This is why many players try these slots, even with a small balance, hoping that the Mega jackpot will light up their screen.

Who pays the jackpot?

When playing jackpot slots a lot of players are worried how the casino will actually do the payment if the top prize is won. It’s a bit unusual to expect a casino to pay out millions of dollars when they have a small weekly withdrawal limit. But have no fear, as you will receive the payment in full and in a single transaction. You see, the mega jackpots are paid out by the software provider and not the casino itself. So if you with the mega jackpot on Mega Moolah the payment will come from Microgaming themselves. This is done in order to ensure that the player will be paid in full and on time and the provider will keep their reputation across the industry.

How to win the jackpot?

There’s no real strategy on how to win the jackpot on any jackpot slot. Jackpots are awarded randomly, so you never know when it’s going to hit. Progressive jackpots can be played by thousands of players at the same time across the entire network, so you never know who’s going to win in. The best way to chase a jackpot is on standalone games where the top prize must be won after a certain amount is reached. Even this is not foolproof as the game can award the jackpot later on after you stop playing it. In the end it all comes down to luck whether you will win the jackpot or not.

Are jackpot slots worth playing?

Of course! Jackpots are known to be high variance games so base play wins can be small and far in between. But the top prize is reason enough to try the game, at least for a few spins. Jackpot slots are random so you never know which spin can be the lucky one. All you need to do is be persistent and get a little help from lady luck to be the next jackpot winner.

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When the first slot machines appeared they were pretty dull to play, according to today's standards. The first classic slot machines would pay out a win once 3 symbols lined up on a winning pay line. No Wild symbols, no bonus features, nothing. But today the situation with slots is very much different. Pretty much every video slot today has one or more bonus features, a series of mini games and features in the bonus round itself. This makes the games interesting to play and gives them the potential for big payouts. So let’s take a look at the features which can be found on slots today and what they’re all about.

Both ways Pay

In most slots today the payouts occur when a number of matching symbols lands on a pay line from left to right. But in Both Ways Pay slots wins are formed starting from the first and starting from the last reel. This concept was most known from Starburst, which is one of the most popular NetEnt slots.

243 ways to win

The 243 ways to win feature removes all pay lines from the reels. This mode is used on slots featuring 5 reels and 3 rows, making up for a total of 243 ways to win. The idea here is that you only need to land matching symbols on the first 3 reels in order to win, regardless of their position on the reel.

1024 ways to win

The 1024 ways to win concept is basically the same as the 243 ways to win. But here the only difference is that instead of 3 rows the game has a total of 4. This way the game can produce payouts which can be calculated in up to 1,024 ways to win.

4096 ways to win

The slots designers didn’t stop with 1,024 ways to win and wanted more. So this led to the creation of slots with 6 reels and 4 rows, with a total of 4,096 ways to win. These games were a novelty on the market and were quickly embraced by players because of their potential to pay big.

Mega Ways feature

The Mega Ways feature was first introduced and licensed by Big Time Gaming. Afterwards they formed partnerships with many other providers, so today you can find a big number of Mega Ways slots. The idea here is to add more reels and rows in the game, with the addition of symbols which can take up more than one space on the reel. The end result is a slot with a massive payout potential and an enormous number of ways to win.

Reel Nudge

Reel Nudge is a pretty common feature at a big number of slots in the industry today. The concept behind this feature is that the reel can nudge up or down one or more positions in order to form a winning combination with the rest of the symbols on the screen.

Reel Hold

This feature was first used on Microgaming slots and spread to other providers from there. With this feature the player has the option to hold one or more reels in place, while the other reels’ re-spin. The trick here is to get matching symbols on the reels which re-spin in order to get bigger payouts.

Pick and Win Bonus

The Pick and Win bonus feature is common with slots which have several bonus rounds to offer. The concept behind this feature is that the player will need to make picks on the screen from a number of items and each one will reveal a different cash prize or trigger another feature.

Free Spins Bonus

The free spins bonus is the most common feature when it comes to slots. The feature is usually triggered by landing 3 or more Scatters on the reels and the player is awarded with a number of free spins, free of charge. The free spins bonus usually comes with extra features, which can produce big payouts.

Free Spins Re-Trigger

The free spins re-trigger is something that players want to see the most when they trigger the free spins bonus. This feature awards you the same number of free spins or even more, allowing you to hit bigger payouts.

Wild Symbol

The Wild symbol is often referred to as the Joker by many older players. This symbol will replace all other symbols in the games and can come with extra features attached. In many slots the entire bonus feature revolves around the Wild and that’s the symbol you want to see the most on the reels.

Scatter Symbol

The Scatter symbol is responsible for triggering the free spins bonus in most slots. Usually 3 or more Scatters will instantly trigger the bonus round, while another 3 during the feature will award a re-trigger. In some slots landing 5 Scatters comes with a hefty payout of 500 times the total stake.

Bonus Symbol

The bonus symbol in most slots triggers either the free spins bonus, if no Scatters are installed, or the cash pick and win bonus. It all depends on the game in question and what feature is awarded to the bonus symbol.

Win Multiplier

The Win Multiplier feature is pretty much self-explanatory. In most cases this feature is awarded to the Wild symbol, so all payouts with a Wild involved come with a x2, x3 or even a higher win multiplier.

Cascading Reels

This feature can be found under many names, including Rolling Reels and Tumbling Reels. The concept is pretty much the same. The winning symbols on the reels will disappear and new ones will land on top to fill in the empty spaces. This way more winning combinations can occur for the price of a single spin.

Sticky Wild

The Sticky Wild feature is common in many slots. With this feature the Wild will remain in the position it landed in for the duration of the bonus or for a predetermined number of spins.

Expanding Wild

The Expanding Wild feature is pretty straightforward. When the Wild lands on a reel it will expand to cover the entire reel.

Sticky Expanding Wild

This feature is basically a combination of the two features above. When the Wild lands on a reel it will expand, covering the entire reel, and will remain in position for the duration of the feature.

Stacked Wild

The Stacked Wild is basically a Wild which can come as a single or as a combination of several symbols on a single reel.

Transforming Wilds

The Transforming Wilds feature is used in some slots where a certain symbol can be transformed to a Wild symbol.

Transferring Wilds

The Transferring Wild is usually used in mode complex slots. Some games use this feature for example when the Wilds covers an entire reel. When this happens the Wilds are transferred to another position on the screen.

Random Wilds

The Random Wilds feature is pretty common during many bonus features on slots. On each spin a random number of Wilds is awarded on random positions on the reels.

Extra Wilds

The Extra Wilds feature is basically the same as the Random Wilds. But the only difference is that in most slots the number of Extra Wilds awarded is smaller than the number of Random Wilds.

Walking Wilds

The Walking Wilds feature is also popular, especially in newer slots. The concept here is that when the Wild lands on the reels it will walk one position to the left or right with every spin. This way you can land a big number of Walking Wilds at the same time and hit bigger payouts.

Split Symbols

The split symbols feature is also used in a big number of slots. This feature allows for certain symbols to split, basically creating bigger winning combinations. In some slots the Split symbols feature allows for 6 of a kind wins to be formed.

Double Symbols

The Double symbols feature allows for a single symbol on the reels to count as two symbols in the winning combination. This way the payouts from double symbols can be much bigger, because of the higher number of symbols which contribute to the win.

Progressive jackpot

The progressive jackpot feature is common to many jackpot slots. The concept behind this idea is that the top prize in the game is pooled across the entire network of casinos. So every bet made by every player at every casino which has this progressive jackpot goes towards the top prize.

Auto Play

The Auto Play feature is one of the best inventions when it comes to playing slots. This feature allows you to set the number of spins you want to play, sit back and relax. This is a great feature to use in long spinning session when you want to give your hand a rest.

Gamble Feature

The gamble feature has been around on slots from pretty much the start. This feature allows the player to gamble their winnings, instead of collecting them. With this feature the player can substantially increase their wins, with some luck on their side.

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