A Closer Look at Classic 3-Reel Slots

As online casinos have grown in popularity, they've continued to make improvements to their game libraries - with slots being the games most affected. Online casinos now offer players hundreds and hundreds of different slots to play. Players can now play 5-reel slots with beautifully designed symbols and immersive themes. They can win huge with added bonus rounds and free spin features. They can play cascading slots with more chances to win on just one spin. Megaways slots give players thousands of ways to win on any given spin. Progressive jackpots entice players with the chance to win life changing money by being the lucky player to nab the jackpot when it cashes in.

All of those slot games are exciting and thrilling and have done wonders to enhance a player's experience. It's why online casinos and online slots have become so popular. But none of those slot games would be possible without the classic 3-reel slot. These slots started it all and today we're going take a closer look at these classics and what they have to offer. So let's dive in!

What are classic 3-reel slots

These slots are called classic slots for a reason. They are designed to resemble the 'one armed bandits' that used to dominate the Las Vegas casinos. We've all seen them. They come with a lever on the side that players pull down. These types of slots were the first slots to be used and they offered players a simple, easy game.

As the name hints at, 3-reel slots have exactly that - 3 reels. They will have only one payline that runs horizontally across the center of each of the reels. With the capabilities of online slots, there are some classic 3-reel slots that offer more than one payline - typically 3 or 5 - but the majority stay true to the one payline classics.

These classic slots will feature the symbols we've all come to associate with slot machines. Players will see symbols like cherries, lemons, oranges, bars, lucky sevens, bells, diamonds and in some case, wilds. Combinations of two and three symbols landing on the center payline is how players win. Triples of the same symbols are how players can expect to win big on classic 3-reel slots.

Advantages of classic 3-reel slots

If you're new to gambling - and slot play in particular - then the simplified play of a classic 3-reel slot is the perfect slot for you. There's no having to decipher complicated paylines or getting distracted by flashy graphics or animations. Classic 3-reel slots keep things simple and easy with the focus on the gambling. All you have to do is spin.

These slots are also perfect for players that have a smaller bankroll to work with. 5-reel slots allow players to change bet sizes and coin values to match the number of paylines they're playing - that can get pricey fast or, after some bad luck, lead to your bankroll getting depleted. Classic 3-reel slots usually only offer two or three coin values so players with smaller bankrolls can feel comfortable knowing they can get the most out of their money. The lower bet sizes also allow players to sustain a longer session as they're not burning through large bet sizes on each spin.

Another advantage is that classic 3-reel slots give players a sense of nostalgia when playing. There have been a lot of changes to the look and feel of slots - online slots in particular - that some players just want to play the type of slot they grew up on. They don't want all the extra sights and sounds. Classic 3-reel slots are designed to look exactly like the classic 'one armed bandits' that players remember. They can feel a sense of comfort and ease when playing them.

Disadvantages of classic 3-reel slots

For all the positives that classic 3-reel slots have they do have some negatives players should take note of. If you're hoping to land a big payout then classic slots aren't the game for you. The one payline reduces the amount of chances players have to win, and in general, classic 3-reel slots typically payout less in general. Sure, there's always the chance you land a triple diamond or triple bars, but if you're hoping for huge wins you're most likely going to be disappointed.

And to add to that, classic 3-reel slots lack the types of bonuses that are now common with online slots. Sure, some of them will offer their version of a bonus or free spins, but when compared to other online slots these bonuses aren't as lucrative.

Playing a classic 3-reel slot can - let's face it - get a little boring. Spinning 3 reels with only one payline can get repetitive, and with the lack of graphics, themes and bonus features, some players would rather take their session elsewhere.


We wouldn't have the slots we know and love today if it weren't for the classic 3-reel slots. While they offer players a simple, easy and authentic slot experience based on the nostalgia of slots past, their relatively low payouts and lack of exciting graphics and bonus features can be seen as a negative.

But if you're going to sit down for a slot session, there's nothing wrong with giving a classic 3-reel slot a few spins. Who knows, you could hear that bell ring when you spin into triple diamonds!