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
video, bonus, 3-reel
Paylines
Pays Any
Symbols
Gift, Diamond, Firecrackers, Bell, Mistletoe
Bonus round
Fireworks Feature, Free Games Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
3-reel, bonus, video
Paylines
5
Symbols
Blue Seven, Bonus Wheel, Double BAR, Green Seven, Purple Seven, Single BAR, Triple BAR, Wild
Bonus round
Bonus Wheel Feature
Max Bet
$25
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
3-reel, bonus, video
Paylines
5
Symbols
Bananas, Sevens
Bonus round
Free Games Win Multiplier Feature, Transferring Symbols Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
bonus, video, 3-reel
Paylines
All pay
Symbols
K, Green Gem, Red Gem, Purple Gem, Orange Gem, Q, J, A, Moon, Star
Bonus round
Free Games Feature, Lucky Feature, Hyperwin Bonus, Hyper Prize Feature
Max Bet
$5
Software
Real Time Gaming
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

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
bonus, progressive, video, 5-reel
Paylines
243
Symbols
10, J, A, K, Q, Coins, Dragon, Panda, Rooster, Fox, Frog
Bonus round
Free Games Feature, Mystical Zone Feature, Gatekeeper Portal Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
5-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
15
Symbols
Goddess, Potion, Warrior, Temple, Moon, Tree, Red Lantern, Cookies, Star Fruit, White Rabbit
Bonus round
Wild Re-Spin Feature, Free Games Feature, Random Jackpot
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
5-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
25
Max Bet
$250
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
5-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
9
Max Bet
$250
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
5-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
10
Symbols
A, K, Q, J, 10, Candles, Wagon, Tarot Cards, Book of Spells, Owl, Tarot Destiny Logo
Bonus round
Hold and Spin Feature, Free Games Feature
Max Bet
$250
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
6-reel, video, bonus
Paylines
Pays Any
Symbols
Yellow Shell, Green Shell, Purple Shell, Red Shell, Pearl Clam, Skull, Crown, Hook, Fish Bones, Anchor, Blowfish
Bonus round
Cascading Wins Feature, Buy Feature, Bonus Bet Feature, Free Games with Multiplier Symbol Feature
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
6-reel, bonus, video
Paylines
4096
Symbols
10, 9, A, Buffalo, Elephant, J, K, Lion, Monkey, Paw Print, Q, Zebra
Bonus round
Free Games With Multiplier Feature, Guaranteed Re-Spin Win With Multiplier Feature
Max Bet
$100
Software
Real Time Gaming
Type
6-reel, bonus, video
Paylines
All pay
Symbols
Candies, Sweet 16 Logo, Sweets, Gummy Bear
Bonus round
Buy Feature, Bonus Bet Feature, Cascading Wins Feature, Free Games with Multiplier Symbol Feature
Max Bet
$5
Software
Real Time Gaming
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

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?