3 Reel Casino Slots Versus 5 reel SlotsBy: Shirley Spicer, Thursday May 7th 2009
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Online casinos classify their slot games as Classic or 3 reel slots and Video or 5 reel slots. The separation is more than that of the number of reels displayed. It is that of a mind set.
When the land based slot machine was invented over a hundred years ago it had 3 reels. There is a generation that has spent their youth playing on the 3 reel slots in casinos, in shopping mall and in pubs. That generation regards the days of its youth as the good old days and desires to preserve those times to the extent possible. Therefore this older generation opts to play on the 3 reel slots. The 5 reel slots are a product of computer technology and Internet casinos. They are the choice of a younger generation that is attuned to wanting more.
The additional two reels result in a phenomenally large number of possible combinations. This allows for more paylines, more winning combinations, larger payouts and more symbols on the reels. In the 3 reel slots the trend was more for the one size to fit all requirements. There was little variety in the finer mechanics of the game. Because of the factors listed earlier 5 reel slots offer a greater number of permutations and combinations and thus can be designed to suit different playing temperaments. For example on the one hand there are slots in which the relative numbers of each symbol have been so designed as to give a particular combination only one in a million chance of occurring. This allows for the rare million dollar payouts. On the other hand 5 reel slots can be designed to give smaller but considerably more frequent payouts. Also the larger number of possible combinations in 5 reel slots allow for the introduction on interactive bonus rounds. Because of these the 5 reel slots are becoming more popular and online casinos are slowly phasing out the 3 reel slots.
Whether 3 reel or 5 reel, whether online or offline, slots have evolved more than any other online casino game. The evolution of slots is if anything on the rise. Today the evolution is taking place on two fronts. One is that of sensory experience. This is being done through better graphics design and the incorporation of music and other audio features into the slots. Above all it is being done by animating the symbols on the reels. The second evolution is taking place through the features involved in the slot games. Wild symbols have become an integral part of slots. But today the wild symbols are evolving. For example there are stacked wilds in which all the symbols in the reels containing the initial wild symbols become wild symbols. The bonus games are also evolving. Instead of being simply "pick an object" type of games they are incorporating some player skill and multi level features.
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