3-Reel Slots VS 5-Reel Slots

Updated: Tue, Oct, 22nd, 2019 by LuckyMobileSlots

Are you thinking of playing fruit machines and wondering whether you shall start with 3 reel slots or 5 reel slots? We give you the answers right here, and it might not be what you expect.

3 Reel Slots vs 5 Reel Slots
3 Reel Slots vs 5 Reel Slots

One of the most popular casino games on the internet, without question, is online slots.

There are more casino slots out there than anything else, so if you are beginner, one of your first choices will be – what slot game should you play?

One of the main differences between some slot games is the fact that some have three reels, whereas some have five. It seems so simple but both types of slots have something different to offer players.

What are the real differences and where do you start? Here are our top tips.

3-Reel Slots

These slots have a simplistic design, which is often favoured by beginners, when compared to many other bigger and more complicated games.

In these classic slot games, there are fewer symbols to follow, which in turn means fewer options involved – as they are usually only 1-5 paylines.

NetEnt Joker 6000 Slot Machine
NetEnt Joker 6000 Slot Machine

By having a lower number of paylines, this brings a level of simplicity and transparency to the game and an easy to understand paytable.

When playing 3-reel slots, the main aspect of the game is just to spin the wheel and determine your wins. They are much better suited to players who are looking to play for longer, but don’t mind if not a lot happens on screen. If you want the traditional slot machine appearance with classic features – 3-reel slots would be perfect for you.

Best 3 reel slots for beginners:

If you don’t know how slot variance affects a game, we would recommend you follow the link and quickly read up on it.

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In short, low variance means less risk as you get more small wins more frequently, whilst high variance means big risk as you get less wins overall but if you do win it tends to be bigger.

As a beginner, we would always recommend you start with a low variance game and then move up on the scale. That way you get used to how slot games work before moving on to more dangerous spins.

There’s a whole load more we could put on this list, but it’s a good place to start.

You might like to read: A complete beginners guide to online slots

5-Reel Slots

When compared to 3-reel slots, 5-reel slots have many more slot features for you to enjoy, which also generally makes them more complicated. Not always, but they range from just an extended version of a 3 reel slot to a game so different it’s difficult to even call it a fruit machine.

Play'n GO Star Joker Slot Machine
Play'n GO Star Joker Slot Machine

Most of these games are video slots which means they have advanced animation and graphics, with additional bonus aspects including wild symbols,
scatter symbols, multipliers, free spins, and bonus rounds.

These bonus options provide players with an excellent source of entertainment, with complex themes and storylines with the sound effects to match. Some 5-reel slots are based on popular films and TV shows, this makes these movie themed slots perfect choice for fans of popular pop culture.

One very popular aspect of 5-reel slots are progressive jackpots, where every time a bet is placed, a percentage of that amount contributes directly to the jackpot. This is demonstrated in games like Mega Moolah, where the jackpot is always rising, frequently entering the millions of pounds.

Aside from progressive slot machines, 5-reel slots have anywhere from 5 paylines to 117,649 ways to win, so there is a very large number of possible winning combinations.

5-reel slots are a good choice if you are looking for more than just the win, and want to be distracted by features and looking for larger wins than you can get in 3 reel slot machines.

Best 5 reel slots for beginners:

If you’ve never in your life played a slot game and want to jump straight into the flashier, prettier video slots, then do us a favour – go for the low variance recommendation below.

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It’s a game with a HUGE top win, but has instructions on each step on how to bet on multi-line 5 reel online slots and gives you the best basics.

We’ve purposely picked simple enough games that anyone can pick up and start playing, with a variety of slots with bonus games and features to start getting your head around.

However, if you are looking to upgrade your gameplay then we suggest you start reading our how to play Megaways slots blog post.


Both 3-reel and 5-reel slots have their own advantages and disadvantages, so the decision on which to play really does come down to personal preference.

They are both highly entertaining and exciting games that anyone can play, but it just depends on the type of online gambling experience you would like to enjoy.

We’ve given you some options on where to start, and really you start with one of the two low variance games and then move on to more complicated fares.

At Lucky Mobile Slots, we are avid online casino fans and love to review tablet, iPhone, iPad and Android slots.

Across our website, we have a number of different helpful tips and insights which can help you on your gambling journey. No matter whether you are looking for new slot machines to play, tips on how to play slots, or the latest mobile casino bonus offers – we will be able to help you, including you find one of our best mobile casinos around, like the one below.

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