3 Reel Vs 5 Reel Slots

We’ve all had that moment when we arrive at our online gambling site of choice, scan over the massive list of slot machines and be at a loss to figure out where to start. It’s okay. We’re here to help. While there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a game, a good way to whittle down your list of potential machines is to decide whether you’re looking for a 3 reel or 5 reel slot. But why take our word for it? Find out for yourself what you prefer – try out any and all of the below games:

The Best Places to Play 243 Payline Slots:

3 Reel Slots

Whether you prefer things to be a bit old school or you’re after an introduction to the world of slot machines, then look no further than 3 reel slots. Based on the original slot machines from land-based casinos, these games often feature just a single payline and 3 reels. While these games are traditionally more straightforward than their 5 reel counterparts, that doesn’t make them less exciting. Players can still hit some big paydays on these simpler slot games without sacrificing any of the thrills that come with an extra pair of reels, and what’s more – they are more likely to net you bigger wins than on 5 reel slots.

Advantages to 3 Reel Slots

  • The 3 reel slot machine’s simpler design makes it easier for new gamblers to understand, and is also an excellent throwback to the ‘good old days’ for long-time slot players.
  • Players are a bit limited when it comes to their betting options, meaning these games can be enjoyed as intended by players on a budget.
  • While players will usually win more often on 5 reel slots, 3 reel games tend to pay gamblers more when they do hit, will more often than not reward players with a big payout.

Popular 3 Reel Slots

Spin Magic SlotSpin Magic -A traditional 3 reel slot game with a nice twist, with Spin Magic’s 3 reel, 5 payline layout you could be lucky enough to win entry to its Bonus Wheel game, where you can spin the colourful bonus wheel for the chance to get multipliers as large at 8,000x your bet.


Magnificent 777Magnificent 777’s – From its Wild West theme to its single payline setup, Magnificent 777’s is as old skool as they come. A traditionalist’s dream, the game challenges you to connect various 7s and sheriff’s stars with a chance to hit some big jackpots.


Wheel of PlentyWheel of Plenty – Despite having 3 reels and just a single payline, Wheel of Plenty is loaded with unique features to jazz up your gameplay and bring a little excitement to the standard set of reels. The game is circus-themed and includes a bonus round as well as a few other unique bells and whistles.

5 Reel Slots

While the 3 reel slot machines can at times feel like relics from an earlier age, 5 reel slots have advanced beyond anything thought possible, and are now generally the most popular option among online gamblers. Because the board is larger, 5 reel slots can create more diverse chances to win, with many games featuring upwards of 25 paylines (and even, in some cases, a whopping 243 paylines) for players to gamble on.

Advantages to 5 Reel Slot Machines

  • 5 reel slot games feature more reels and also more paylines, creating more ways for players to win. Because of this, payouts are more regular on 5 reel slot machines.
  • These slots also generally feature more in the way of bonuses and extras, such as free spins, bonus rounds, wild and scatter symbols, and, in some cases, progressive jackpot mini-games, where millions of dollars might be paid out on a single play.
  • Because 5 reel slots are generally also video slots, the graphics and interface tend to be far more exciting. Some branded games even feature clips from the movies they’re based on, creating a sense of entertainment that the 3 reel slots may lack.


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Popular 5 Reel Video Slots Games

Mega MoolahMega Moolah – Probably the most popular and well known of 5 reel slot machines, Mega Moolah is a progressive slot machine created by Microgaming with a reputation for massive payouts that can reach over 10 million dollars. This slots game futures a great bonus round and other significant benefits. Definitely the game for players looking to swing for the fences.

AvalonAvalon II
– One of those 243 ways-to-win slots we mentioned earlier, Avalon II is Microgaming’s version of the classic tale of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. There are gorgeously designed graphics and some fantastic bonus features too – it’s one to see and experience, for those 243 ways-to-win alone.


Thunderstruck slotThunderstruck II – Microgaming did so well with its first Thunderstruck game. It was only a matter of time before they released an even more exciting version. Based on a cult hit from the early days of internet gambling, this game’s biggest appeal is that it features four different free spin rounds that players can unlock as they play.

Picking out the right slot machine for you doesn’t have to be a daunting task. While 5 reel machines feature more consistent payouts and a greater array of ways to win, the payouts you do hit on a 3 reel machine will often be bigger. The result will be about the same on your wallet, so it comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Free Reel Slots

If you can’t decide between three and five reel slots why not give them a try risk free? Most online casinos will offer a selection of their games to players in free or demo mode so you can try them out before you wager any of your hard earned cash.

Try these three reel games totally free:

  • 888 Gold
  • Mega Money Multiplier
  • Irish Charms

You can also find a selection of free five reel slots at most casinos, including:

  • Dead or Alive
  • Frozen Diamonds
  • Dragon Wins

Playing free slot games lets you decide for yourself which games are best for you and sample the latest and greatest slots on offer.

3 Reel or 5 Reel Slots: Which Is The Best For You?

It’s a tough one, but choosing whether you should play 3 reel or 5 reel slot games come down to a few important questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Are regular payouts or bigger wins more important to you?
  • Are exciting features or slow, steady playing more appealing?
  • Do you like games where you’re more in control of the outcome or ones where you never know what might happen?

If you’re after slow and steady playing, with more control and fewer features, go for 3 reel slots. Otherwise, 5 reel slots are for you.

In our opinion, both types of slots have their merits, and both should be experienced – so get playing 3 reel and 5 reel slots today – scroll up for some exciting game choices!

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