Reels In Slot Games?

Every slot game has reels. Some of those games might have different ways to produce prizes, such as the cluster pays slot games from NetEnt. These require groups of matching symbols to appear, rather than getting a line-up on consecutive reels.

However, is there an upper limit to the reel set you could play on? We decided to check out the options.

Three-reel options

Three-reel slots are the origins of the slot game. You cannot have fewer than three reels, otherwise you don’t get the depth you want in a game. This number of reels gives you a nice single-payline slot. You might also see other payline quantities in some games – three or five lines, for example. These games are ideal for those on smaller budgets who don’t want to bet on lots of lines.

Type
3-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
5
Symbols
Triple Green Seven, Free Games, Red Seven, Jackpot, Triple BAR, Single BAR, Double BAR, Blue Seven, Cherries
Bonus round
Progressive Jackpot, Free Games with Multiplier Feature
Max Bet
$5
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
bonus, video, 3-reel
Paylines
5
Symbols
Blue Seven, Green Seven, Triple BAR, Single BAR, Double BAR, Bonus, Red Seven
Bonus round
Free Games Feature, Transferring Symbols Feature
Max Bet
$25
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
3-reel, classic
Paylines
1
Symbols
Bars, Sevens
Max Bet
$15
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
3-reel, bonus, video
Paylines
27
Symbols
Actinia, Pearl Clam, Seaweed, Fishes, Shark, Starfish, Treasure Chest
Bonus round
Respin Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
3-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
All pay
Symbols
Candle, Mushroom, Magic Book, Fairie, Lute, Spool
Bonus round
Respins Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming

Five-reel options

This must surely be the most popular (or at least the most common) number of reels around today. Lots of slot games are released each month that feature five reels. It’s enough to provide lots of options and bonus features if the developer wants to include them. Paylines and ways to win can be fitted into these five reels. It’s the ideal scenario in many ways.

Type
5-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
20
Max Bet
$200
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
5-reel
Paylines
25
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
5-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
50
Symbols
Owl, Cauldron, Voodoo Doll, Candlestick, Book of Spells, Winni the Witch, Witch's Hat, Ram's Skull, Wanda the Witch, Potion, Magic Wand, Ghost, Black Cat, Rat, Bat
Bonus round
Wilder Witches Feature, Ultra Bewitched Feature, Greater Ghosts Feature, Win-Win Feature
Max Bet
$12.5
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
bonus, progressive, video, 5-reel
Paylines
25
Symbols
A, Bastet, Q, K, J, 9, 10, Eye of Horus, Ankh, Pyramid, Cleopatra, Scarab
Bonus round
Free Games Feature
Max Bet
$5
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
5-reel, bonus, video
Paylines
25
Symbols
Turtle, Octopus, Shark, Jellyfish, Fishes
Bonus round
Free Spins Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming

Six or more reels – too many or not enough?

There comes a point when adding more reels to a game makes it more complex than it needs to be. Cluster pays games can get away with more reels because they pay in a different way. Mind you, those games tend to use a grid – maybe 7x7 or 8x8 for example – rather than using proper reels.

We’ve played a few six-reel games that have worked well. Some have had a separate sixth reel that behaves in a different way to the rest. Others use six standard reels, with a chance to win more if you get up to six identical symbols on a line. That is one advantage of more reels.

We’ve only ever discovered a couple seven-reel slots, and they have left something to be desired. They didn’t feature bonus elements, so they were largely disappointing. They were older games too. Perhaps the game developers tried them and decided they were too big?

Type
bonus, video, 6-reel
Paylines
4096
Symbols
Yarn Ball, Hamster, Lovable Pets Logo, Bone, Clubs, Rainbow W, Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, Cat, Fish, Dog
Bonus round
Guaranteed Re-Spin Win with Multiplier Feature, Free Game with Multiplier Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
6-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
20
Symbols
Planets, Sun, Asteroid
Bonus round
Cascading Wins Feature, Neutron Stars Feature
Max Bet
$20
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
bonus, video, 6-reel
Paylines
729
Symbols
Dragon, Fan, Super 6 Logo, Scroll, Red Envelope, Koi Fishes, Scatter, Lantern, Firecrackers
Bonus round
Super 6 Bonus, Free Spins Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
bonus, video, 6-reel
Paylines
10
Symbols
Y, C, U, Green Shoes, Horse Shoe, Well, L, 6, 4-Leaf Clover, K, Mushrooms, Ring, Leprechaun, Pot of Gold, Rabbit
Bonus round
Free Spins Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming

Whatever you think of slot games, there comes a point where too many reels will become problematic during play. What is your ideal number and why?