One of the characteristic elements of the slot machine is the number of reels: these are horizontal lines on which there are a series of symbols chosen according to the theme of the same slot. One of the characteristics of these games is the ability to completely immerse oneself in the selected scenario, contributing to the realization of a realistic gaming experience.
The basic number of reels in a slot machine is three, although as many could be added. Despite this, the number of reels can usually vary from three to five, although it is worth noting that there are slots with up to 10 reels (which is why they are called Big Bertha).
It is important to distinguish the concept of a reel from that of a payline, a word that identifies the sequence of reels that can be read from left to right. It follows that the higher the number of paylines, the higher the chance of winning. Similarly, the payout is the percentage of winnings that a slot machine provides to players in a given period of time.
The operation of the slot machine’s reels begins when the player initiates play through the spin, which triggers the movement of the reels: when the reels stop moving, the symbols that appear are automatically compared to each game’s paytable, thus determining whether or not they win (payout).
Difference between three and five reel slots
Contrary to what you might think, there is no specific reason to choose a three or five reel slot game; the criteria that lead players to make a play are different, the main one being the payout. In any case, it can be said that as the number of reels increases, so do the possible winning combinations (as well as the odds of winning) and consequently the paylines.
Let’s see in detail the differences between 3 and 5 reel slots:
Slots with 3 reels: they offer the possibility of making a combination of three different symbols; they are, therefore, the simplest slots (so much so that the first mechanical slot was of this type). Although, with the progress of technology, modern 3-reel slots allow you to play on multiple playlines and those who select this mode of play prefers the classic form.
5-reel slots: This is the most popular type of slot because, in addition to giving the possibility to play with five different symbols, the player has up to 50 playlines available. Unlike those with 3 reels, this type is only available in electronic mode due to the complexity of the game and the calculation of the payout.
In conclusion, it can be said that the choice of playing a three or five reel slot machine can be traced to personal taste. Therefore, if you prefer the “classic model”, you should prefer the three-reel one: the first slot machine – called Liberty Bell and invented in 1887 – was structured in this way.