At the turn of the 20th century, slot machines had a fairly straightforward system — land three identical symbols in a line and get a reward. However, over the last hundred years or so, slots have become much more sophisticated than those early clanky machines.
Today, you can play thousands of different video slots with their own trademark symbols, unlockable bonus games, and a wide variety of ways to win or land a jackpot.
So how can you categorize modern video slots and what do all those categories mean to a common player? Those are just some of the questions we will try to answer in this article. Keep reading to learn more.
Number of Reels
You can classify slots by the number of reels their main game includes. While you play online slot machine games on Mega Casino UK, you might notice that the most common number of reels these video slots contain is five. You will usually get a 5x3 or 5x4 layout on which you need to connect your symbols. Although these games have five reels, it often takes just three identical symbols in a payline to trigger a win.
Three-reel slots are somewhat outdated these days, but they still exist. They are also referred to as classic slots, meaning they are reminiscent of old slot machines that only used to have three reels.
Of course, video slots can have four, six, and sometimes up to seven reels. These are a little bit less common, but they do exist.
Number of Paylines
Payline is a line on which you need to land identical symbols to trigger a win. Depending on the game, you can have any number of paylines, from only one to several hundreds of them. Now, just because a slot has a greater number of paylines, that does not mean it offers a better chance of winning. The number of paylines only makes a difference in how the reward system works.
Most video slots pay from left to right, but some pay both ways. Some slots played on a 7x7 layout have the so-called cluster system, where there’s an almost infinite number of ways to win as long as identical symbols form a cluster by landing right next to each other.
Some games have fixed paylines, while others allow you to adjust the number of active paylines. The more paylines you play with, the higher your wager will be.
While playing ICE36 online slots in the casino, you might notice that there’s a separate section called Jackpots. While all video slots have some kind of a jackpot (the maximum number of coins you can win), we are talking about progressive jackpots here.
What’s the difference between a regular slot and a progressive one? The progressive jackpot continually grows as more players chip in to play. That way, a progressive slot can have the main prize worth millions of dollars.
Of course, this high reward comes with high risks as well. To trigger a progressive jackpot, you need to wager the maximum amount of coins and have all paylines active.
Free Spins and Bonus Rounds
Some players enjoy simple slots that have a good enough base game. However, more and more video slots these days tend to put in extra features like free spins and bonus rounds.
These additional features are triggered once you land a specific number of symbols in a spin and they reward you with a short bonus game in which you don’t wager anything but just collect your winnings.
Some slots are all about these bonus games as they represent the only way to win any significant money, which is why they are very popular among the players these days. For example, take a look at this review of the top four slots in the industry today — they all include some sort of bonus game.
Although graphics have never been the most important feature of any gambling game, video slot developers are constantly trying to improve their products by making them more graphically impressive.
People enjoy playing slots that are pleasing to the eye. That’s why you will often see casinos offering several 3D slots with incredible visuals.