What Are The Reels In Slots Games?

By Arisu, Posted 08 Nov 2021

Slot reels are what make a slot. Take out the reels, and there is nothing to spin, play, or win. Besides, spinning the reels is what makes a slot a slot. This article will discuss the history of slot reels and the importance of reels in slot games.

Reels In Slots


Slot Reels Explained

In simple terms, reels are the horizontal, usually metal, pipes where all the symbols are lined. Pulling the handle of the slot causes these reels to rotate and spin the symbols.

At first, slots came with three of these reels, each with ten symbols, allowing for a total of 10,000 possible combinations. In time, complex variations emerged, but they still maintained the mechanical structure that required pulling a lever.

But, with the rise of the internet, algorithms have taken the place of mechanical parts in the development of slot machine reels. Developers even started to use random number generators to keep the most important side of slot games intact, which is the fact that they are entirely luck-based.

Types of Slot Reels

The number of reels is one of the biggest aspects that shape the gameplay experience. For instance, a UK gambler who favors simplicity might prefer the 3-reel slot, while others who want something more will try the five-reel ones.

So, you should consider the number of possible winning combinations when playing slot games. 3-reel slots are quite limited compared to slots with more reels. Either way, their gameplay is similar and each one offers gamblers different winning options and betting bonuses.

3-reel slots

Three-reel slots are the classic fruit machines you'll find in both land-based and online casinos. Being the most basic reel type, it is easy to understand, and it serves the best as an introduction to online casino slot games. But many experienced players consider this slot type unappealing due to its limitations and dull combinations.

Yet, what many fail to see is that to compensate for its limited symbols, these slots have higher payouts on their paylines. Players can benefit from multipliers and wilds, which could boost their chances of winning.

5-reel slots

Five-reel slots add two more columns to the standard three-reel slots. In other words, it gives players better winning chances with more available paylines. Five-reel slots are the most common ones you'll find when playing slot games online, and they feature better graphics, interesting themes, and multiple bonus options.

6-reel slots

The gameplay remains basically the same in six-reel slots. The only difference is that they have better winning opportunities due to the extra reel. They come with either the regular 3x6 or 4x6 payout.

These slots also have several wild and scatter symbols that could boost your wins. Furthermore, players can benefit from its winning lines, which may sometimes include 243 ways to win with a good number of paylines of up to 4,096. These slots are ideal for players who prefer a more complicated game structure, meaning beginners might find it a little difficult to grasp.

7-reel slots

7-reel slots don't bring anything new to the table. They are simply 6-reels slots with one additional reel attached on the side. That's why they weren't a huge hit when they first entered the market.

By the time 7-reel slot games dropped in the market, people had already got bored with the idea of adding extra reels instead of coming up with new, innovative features to spice things up. Even the increased paylines couldn't save 7-reel slots as the poor mobile support had already put the final nail in the coffin.

What are the best reels to play?

So, which slot type is the best for you? Well, deciding that is up to you. However, for a punter still learning the basics of slots, the 3-reeled ones would be a viable option. More experienced players who want something different could opt for 6 or 7 reels. Though, regardless of your choice, it's best to read some slot reviews to see whether the one you're rooting for is actually worth your time.


So, slots come in many types but the number of reels shouldn't be the only thing you factor in while picking one. It would be wise to check out how favorable the features are as well. We've scratched the surface of slot features in this article for that.

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