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 been 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. While the basic premise of both games is the same, the experience can be dramatically different between the two. Unsure which type is right for you? Let us break it down for you to help you make up your mind.

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3 Reel Slots

Those coming from the old school or looking for an introduction to the world of slot machines need to look no further than 3 reel slots. Based on the original slot machines from the days before digital screens, these games often feature just a single payline stretching across three spinning reels. While these games are traditionally more simple than their 5 reel counterparts, that doesn’t make them necessarily less exciting. Players can still hit some big paydays on 3 reel slots without sacrificing any of the thrills that come with an extra pair of reels.

Advantages to 3 Reel Slots

  • The 3 reel slot machines’ simpler design makes it easier for new gamblers to understand, and is also a nice throwback for long-time slot players.
  • Players are generally limited in their betting options, meaning these games can be enjoyed as intended by players on a budget.
  • While players will generally win more often on 5 reel slots, 3 reel slots tend to pay gamblers more when they do hit, giving players the hope to get on a quick run and get a big payout.

Popular 3 Reel Slots

Spin Magic SlotSpin Magic – A traditional 3 reel slot game with a nice twist. Spin Magic’s 3 reel, 5 payline layout includes the chance to enter its bonus Wheel game, where players can spin a colorful bonus wheel for the chance to get multipliers as large at 8,000x their bet.


Magnificent 777Magnificent 777’s – From its Wild West theme to its single payline setup, Magnificent 777’s is as old school as they come. A traditionalist’s dream, the game challenges players 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 special features to jazz up the 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 new frontier status 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 for players to gamble on.

Advantages to 5 Reel Slot Machines

  • 5 reel slot games feature more reels (duh!) 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, 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 games, like The Dark Knight, are even highlighted by clips from the movies they’re based on, creating a sense of entertainment that the 3 reel slots may lack.

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 great benefits  Definitely the game for players looking to swing for the fences.

The Dark Knight SlotThe Dark Knight
– Based on the popular Hollywood blockbuster, this game features some of the sharpest graphics around. The game has a fairly unique board and also has a progressive jackpot that’s linked to other Marvel Comics-based games to create some massive paydays.


Thunderstruck slotThunderstruck II – Microgaming did so well with its initial Thunderstruck game, it was only a matter of time before an updated product hit the web. 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.

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 end result will generally be about the same on your wallet, so it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.