5 reel vs. 3 reel slot machines: Take your pick.

Published: July 13, 2013

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Slot machines come mainly in two versions: 3 reel and 5 reel. Both versions have different features and variable pros and cons that every online casino gambler should know about. Why? Well, if you want to profit at online casino games it is crucial that you understand the odds you are facing so you can work with them; or, if you just enjoy the games for fun you might also enjoy understanding its peculiarities.

The first aspect of slot machines we are going to explain today is the odds of you hitting the jackpot, considering the number of reels. In the past, slot machines would payout based on the number of reels: the higher the number of reels, the harder it was to get money out of the slot machine. However, online slots and a lot of land-based slot machines are controlled by a random number generator (RNG), which is often programmed to payout 95% of the time. This means that the whether a slot machine has 3 reels or 5 reels, it is likely that you are facing the same odds in both of them. You can actually check the payout stats with your casino, since they should list it in order to be approved by some gambling authorities.

Now, when you bet you will find that in a five reel slot you can choose to play more than one credit per payline. You will usually find between 5 and 20 paylines, so it is favourable to bet on all the lines. However, you may not want to bet the maximum amount because you usually end up betting too much money, and getting too little in return;even when the maximum bet is only a few cents, you will probably ending up losing much more than you win when you do the math. Slot machines with three reels often do not allow you to bet more than one credit per payline, which decreases your chances of making money. (Extra tip: make sure you read the payout scheme of a slot machine if you plan on betting big money on it, sometimes the payout requirements are more specific than you think.)

Finally, a five reel slot machine will usually have more winning combinations than a 3 reel slot machine. The winning combinations on 5 reel slot machines can consist of three and even two symbols, so you have a higher chance of hitting smaller payouts and you don't have to wait around empty-handed for the jackpot.


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