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The moment you sign up at an online casino website, the first thing or rather decision you’ll have to make will involve the game you wish to play. Literally, there are hundreds if not thousands of online video slot to choose from, but first, you’ll have to decide whether you want to play the classic 3-reel or 5-reel video slots.

3-reel or the 5-reel games? You might be scratching your head again! What is the difference between these two? Isn’t it just the difference of two? Yes, no?

To anyone, the only difference could be the mathematical variance, but if you understand the game properly, you’ll know that there are a whole lot of differences which could break or make your gameplay online.

If you are starting to play online or you are just a casual player who frequents casinos for the thrill, it’s about time you paid attention to some of the following things. Understand them, and you’ll realize they are what makes the difference between winning the jackpot and winning a mere €10.


To some, it’s a given fact that the 5-reeled video slots have a bigger jackpot than their 3-reeled counterparts. This, however, isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, it’s a fact that most of the 5-reeled video slots are linked across different portals worldwide, meaning more than a few hundred thousand people are playing this jackpot game at the same time. This is why you’ll see the tiny casinos having massive jackpots.

However, the classic 3-reeled video slot also has this same potential of awarding you with larger than life jackpots, evidenced by the player who won $2.4 playing Lion’s Share slot machine at the MGM Grand Casino.

According to the Nevada Law, a machine that has an unpaid jackpot cannot be removed from the floor until it pays out as it was with the Lion’s Share video slot.

The moral of the story is, yes, the 5-reel games have larger jackpots, but so do the classic 3-reel games. If you could just choose your game right, you could as well be on the way to greater riches.

Bonuses and In-game Features – Which One Wins?

This is usually a major difference when it comes to these two types of games, and it arises because of the difference in the two reels. The games with 3-reels tend to have a classic format of play – fruits, bars and 7’s. Therefore, there are few bonuses – if any – during the game play.

On the other hand, those with 5 reels tend to have more rewarding and exciting in-game features. For instance, due to the difference in the number of reels, they can accommodate extra symbols such as the Scatters, Wilds and Bonus symbols, which increase your chances of winnings plus in the event of a win, they also increase your winnings through multipliers and free spins games.

Our verdict when it comes to the in-game and bonus features, it’s clear the  5-reel video slots win again! Is there anything that the 3-reel video slot will win? Maybe. Maybe not! Continue reading to discover.

Number of Paylines

This is another sector that these two types of games differ greatly. Traditionally, the 3 reel slot machine games featured a single payline. With the evolution of technology and demand for more exciting features, the single lines in the traditional 3-reel machine were increased to include a number of paylines, which however hasn’t exceeded 5.

On the other hand, the 5-reel video slot can have an absurd number of paylines. Yes, absurd because in some instances, the games can have up to 100 paylines at a go. Yes! Games such as Epic Monopoly and Cashapilar slot all have 100 paylines.

Ways to Win vs. Nudge & Hold Feature

The number of paylines shouldn’t be confused with the different ways to win. These are both two different things when you refer to slot games. 5-reel video slots come with various or different ways to win so that each spin can lead to 400, 700, or 2040 different ways to win. This is possible thanks to the magic of the wilds, scatters, reel configuration as well as substitutes.

This feature makes playing the video slots more rewarding and exciting to play.

But what about the 3-reeled games? Why do they still exist despite being outdated? What’s so special about these games?

There’s, of course, the classic feel, which makes everyone want to play and have a feel of what it was like playing the fruit machines. As for the experts and professions, they’ll tell you that playing a traditional 3-reel game is much more interesting and exciting since you can in a way determine the outcome of the game.

How? Using the Nudge and Stop feature, you can easily stop the reels after spinning them and hope for a positive outcome.

Theme and Animation

The classic 3-reel slot machines are great to play, but for the better part of playing them, you shall be looking at the same same symbols throughout all the machines. Gold coins, cherries, bars, grapes and the 777 symbol are some of the images that you’ll come across in most of these machines.

When you compare this to the 5-reel slot machine, you’ll not fail to realize that there’s a very big difference. Unlike the 3-reeled games, the 5-reeled ones are more often themed after some of the cool things from yesteryears or popular culture.

For example, there are celebrity, comic and marvel slots all of which are based on some of the latest trends.

If you’ve played 3-reeled video slot, you’ll admit that watching the reels spin can be a little boring. For the better part of it, you shall be watching these reels spin and stop. No more extras! This isn’t the case for the 5-reeled ones. They have so much going on on the screen. They tend to have fun graphics and great animation complimented with cinematic sound effects, which make playing the games much fun!

So what’s the best video slot for you? The 3-reeled or 5-reeled one? Why not try them for free and see which best suits your interest? You’ll be shocked to discover that you’ll actually prefer playing the classic game instead of the modern 5-reeled slot or the opposite!

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