How to Win 5-Reel Slots

How to Win 5-Reel Slots

There are many types of slot machines; all of them differ in theme, mechanics, and paylines. However, the main difference between them lies in the scheme of the playing field: this is the number of reels and rows. The most popular slot machines are those with 5 reels. You have to consider the principle of operation, features, and how to win 5-reel slots in the USA. In this article, you will find out the best providers of such slot machines, their benefits and drawbacks.

Five-Reel Slots Brief History

The first slot machines appeared at the end of the 19th century. To spin the reels, players had to pull a lever located on the side of the slot machine. As soon as reels stopped, a combination of symbols was generated.

The first slot machine in history with an increased number of reels (from 3 to 5) was Sittman and Pitt’s; 50 playing cards were used as symbols. The slot quickly became popular, but winners had to withdraw funds in bars where the slot was located as there was no direct payout system.

However, some sources claim that the Big Irish Luck was the first 5-reel slot machine.

In 1964, electromechanical slot machines were invented; in 1976, video slots appeared. The active development of slots with 5 reels began in the 1990s when the first online casinos were launched. With more cells, the developers started adding more paylines, bigger payouts, and additional symbols and features. As a result, the demand for them among the customers has increased.

How Five-Reel Slots Work

The operation principle of classic and modern video slots is the same. To win, you have to collect a prize combination so that the same symbols follow each other along one of the active paylines. The scheme of the playing field includes 5 vertical sections; these are the reels that you launch by pressing the Spin or Start button. Each of them contains a certain number of characters, which can vary depending on the slot mechanics. For example, in slots with Megaways, a different number of symbols can land on each reel, due to which hundreds of combinations are possible.

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After loading the game, enter the bet amount per spin. First, set the coin denomination; often, it varies from $0.01 to $2. Next, choose how many coins you want to bet on the active line. If the slot has a non-fixed number of lines, then configure them as well. Example:

  • Bet value — 0.50
  • Coins — 3
  • Active lines — 10

In this case, the total bet per spin is $15. After completing the settings, press the Spin button to start the reels.

We recommend you always check out the combinations, lines and paytable, as well as test the slot in demo mode before placing real money bets.

Select the Autoplay option in order not to press the button to spin the reels every time manually. Some slot machines offer you to indicate a specific number of spins or to stop after a certain amount of losses or wins.

Graphics, Interface, Sound & Gameplay

If you have only played classic 3 × 3 slots, you will be pleasantly surprised by the graphics while your first playing 5-reel video slots. Providers pay great attention to visual and sound effects, and technologies continue to develop, which gives them the opportunity to take slots to a whole new level.

When you load some devices, there is a small video that acquaints you with its subject. After you hit a combination that brings you win at 5-reel slots, the symbols on the prize line become animated. During the gameplay, sound plays an important role immersing you in the atmosphere.

Slot machine control panel
Playing field with functional buttons, bet settings, and your bankroll

Despite the fact that more features are available in 5-reel slots, the interface remains as simple as in classic games. Even if you are a newbie, you will not get confused when you see the control panel:

  • Under the reels, there are buttons for setting the denomination of coins and their number on the playing field.
  • The total bet amount is available next to them.
  • In the middle, there is a large button for spinning the reels; the button for automatic spins is next to it.
  • The top or bottom corner shows the total bankroll after each spin.
  • At the bottom of the screen, there is a button for displaying help information with game rules and a paytable.

A risk game where you can double your prize may be available; to launch it, press the Gamble button that appears after each winning combination. However, it is not necessary to activate an additional round.

Odds, Payouts & Paytables

Since there are more paylines, the chances to win at 5-reel slots are higher. You can see all combinations and coefficients in the payout table. This information will help you understand how generous the slot machine is and what the maximum win you can get. The win size is affected by the amount of coins and the combinations multiplier.

Paytable with description of each combination
To open it, you need to press the help button

The paytable lists Scatter and Wild symbols, the conditions for activating free spins, and other bonus options, if there are any. Then there is information about the multipliers or the number of coins that you will get for 3, 4, and 5 symbols in a row (in rare cases, there is a prize for 2 identical pictures that form a combination). Payout lists often start with the highest paying symbols. Basically, these are characters, mysterious objects, and logos; the images of playing cards are less valuable.

Why It Is Worth Playing 5-Reel Slots

The demand for these slot machines is greater than for 3-reel ones due to additional features and special symbols that can bring you more prize combinations. There are more active lines, so the winning probability is higher. 5-reel slot machines will suit both newbies and experienced players. They have everything: a variety of mechanics, advanced graphics and animation, dozens or hundreds of options for forming prize sequences, and additional bonus rounds.

RTP, Volatility & Random Number Generator

When choosing a slot, it is important to rely on several criteria that affect your winning chances, their frequency, and size.

RTP (Return to Player)It shows what percentage of the total amount of bets the slot machine returns to casino customers. If the RTP is 95%, then the casino returns $95 out of the $100 wagered by the players in the long run. This criterion is fulfilled after millions of rotations. Usually the return percentage is available in the rules of modern slots.
VolatilityIt is also known as dispersion and affects the frequency and size of winnings. There are low, medium, and high volatility. In slots with low volatility, prize money drops out often, but the sizes of winnings are small. If you win at 5-reel slots for US players with high volatility, the size of your win will be huge; however, you have to make a lot of spins. Finding information about volatility is difficult, but you can estimate it from the payout ratios.
Random Number GeneratorThe results of the rotations depend on the RNG. This is an algorithm that generates long sequences of numbers; this guarantees the absolute randomness of the spins. No one can influence their results, the RNG is laid at the development stage.

Previously, RTP was rarely indicated in devices; in some modern slots, the provider reports not only the return percentage, but also the volatility.

Specifying volatility and RTP in slot rules
Popular developers indicate useful information in the slot machine description

Free of Restrictions, No Download & No Registration

To play for real money in slots with 5 reels, you do not need to download and install them on your device. The developers create them using the HTML5 technology, due to which they automatically adapt to desktop or mobile devices when you launch them through a browser.

To play in demo mode, it is not necessary to sign up to the online casino site and make a deposit. Before placing real money bets, you can test slot machines for virtual chips, without financial risks.

Multiplier Symbols

When they appear on the playing field, they multiply the winnings or bets on active lines by several times. It can be x2, x3, or x4; there are also slots with x100 multipliers or more.

In most cases, multipliers are available in the bonus game, during free spins, and, less often, in the main game. In games of some providers, you have the opportunity to independently choose specific coefficients during free spins.

Wild Symbols

They replace other symbols, helping you to form a winning combination. The only exceptions are other special symbols: Scatter, bonus symbols, and multipliers; the Wild symbol does not replace them.

Wild symbol on the reel
The Wild symbol replaces the missing picture to create a winning combination

Wild symbols appear randomly on the reels; their availability increases the winning chances when one or more symbols are missing to create a combination.

There are several types of wild symbols: sticky, expanding, stacked, and walking.

Scatter Symbols

Basically, they activate the free spins round if 2 or more of them land on the reels; however, they can appear on any line to start the bonus game. But the rules may differ depending on the slot machine, so we recommend you re-read the conditions before starting the spins.

5-Reel Slot Game Types

Having the same number of reels, the slot machines differ in paylines. Below are the main 10 types of 5-reel slots to win.

Number of LinesExamples of Slot Machines
5Christmas Jackpot Bells, Burning Hot
9Shopping Spree 2, Slots of Bingo
15Rise of Ra, Drive Multiplayer Mayhem
20Age of the Gods, Ghostbusters Plus
30Blue Wizard, Mistress of Egypt
40Lucky Lady, Dragon Lady
50Fat Rabbit, Story of Hercules
100Book of Ra Deluxe 10, 100 Super Hot
243Terminator 2, Burning Desire
1,024Crown of Egypt, Arctic Fortune

Best Software Providers of 5-Reel Slots to Play & Win

Nowadays, hundreds of providers develop slot machines. However, only several of them create the top 5-reel slots for American online casinos.

Aristocrat Gaming

The company was founded in 1953, and they released the first slot machine 3 years later. The best 5-reel slots from the Australian provider are Gladiators, Wild Panda, Fruit Cocktail, Buffalo, and 5 Dragons.


This is one of the oldest brands on the gambling market which has been existing since 1975. The distinctive features of their slot machines are the availability of jackpots, unique bonuses, and a wide variety of themes. The top 5-reel slots are Burning Hot, Wolf Run, Cleopatra, and Kitty Glitter.


This is the leader of the industry who has brought many innovative gambling ideas since its founding in 1994. If you want to win at 5-reel slots from Microgaming, pay attention to Game of Thrones, Mega Moolah, Immortal Romance, and Jurassic Park.

Top Bonuses for Slot Machine Games at Online Casino Sites

To attract customers, gambling sites offer them with cash bonuses and free spins for slot machines. There are many offers, but some of them are especially popular.

Welcome Offers

This is an offer for newbies; they receive it for one or more first deposits. This is a percentage of the deposit amount; in addition, you can get free spins. The welcome bonus has a limit on the maximum deposit amount.

You can only use free spins in one or a few slot machines.

No Deposit Rewards

To activate them, you do not need to make a deposit; they are often issued if you have just registered, but are also available if you are a regular customer; you can use promo codes as part of temporary promotions or increase your status in the VIP loyalty program. To get a no deposit bonus, some casinos require you to confirm your email and phone number; sometimes you need to pass verification. You can get a fixed amount of money or free spins as a no deposit bonus.

Free Spins & Bonus Games to Practice

When playing slots, you can count on casino bonuses and on additional options provided by the games. Among them there are:

  • Free spins. They are activated when certain symbols appear on the playing field, for example, Scatters. It can be 5, 10, 15, or more free spins; the casino pays for them. Payouts are based on the last bet you placed before the bonus round was activated. Free spins are good because prize combinations fall out more often during them; multipliers, sticky Wild symbols, etc. also come across more frequently.
  • Bonus round. This is a mini-game that consists of several stages. Specific tasks depend on the slot theme. It’s more like an arcade game where you have to open boxes, pull ropes, and shoot objects. If you pass all the stages, you multiply your winnings or receive free spins.
  • Jackpots. There are slots where the main cash prize is at stake. It can be fixed or progressive, which accumulates with a percentage of players’ bets.

If you don’t know how to win 5-reel slots, first test them in demo mode. This is not a bonus, but it gives you the opportunity to learn the game mechanics and rules without investment. The only drawback is that winnings in the demo version are not available for withdrawal.

How to Choose 5-Reel Slots to Win

If you have never played modern video slots before, look at the paytable before making real money bets; this way, you will understand the gameplay better. To learn the rules, paylines, and combinations, press the “i” icon at the bottom of the screen. If this is a modern slot machine, it is most likely that RTP is available in the description.

Also check if there are special Wild and Scatter symbols, free spins round, or other bonus options. Some 5-reel slots do not pay out on lines. For example, slots with Megaways mechanics have 243 or more payout methods, because the amount of symbols on the reels changes from spin to spin.

The playing field of the slot with the Megaways mechanics
The reels have a different number of symbols, resulting in hundreds of payout options

The more lines there are, the higher the bet you can make per spin; even a small multiplier for a less valuable combination can bring you a big win.

Choose a licensed online casino; these sites have original software. You can check the availability of a license in the footer of any page by finding the clickable validator.

Software from official providers works on RNG and does not have scripts. The gambling site cannot make changes to the slot settings and lower the RTP, which guarantees fair game conditions. If some slot machines caught your attention, then you should do the following:

  1. View the minimum and maximum betting limits.
  2. Check for special symbols and bonus rounds.
  3. Read reviews from other players and expert reviews on thematic websites.

This way, you will find out all aspects of the game even before you register and make a deposit. In general, we always recommend testing slots in demo mode before real betting.

Tips on How to Play & Win 5-Reel Slots

There are many recommendations and tips on the Internet that probably allow you to beat the slot machines. However, you should not trust articles that promise you a 100% winning chance; this is all a hoax. In slots, everything depends on the random number generator and no one can influence it. However, some tips will help you save your bankroll and slightly increase your winning chances.

Responsible Gaming & Money Management

Make a separate bankroll for gambling; do not use money that you allocated for household and other important expenses. In this case, the bankroll size should be small enough so you are not afraid to lose it.

Slot machines offer a wide range of bets; from several cents to tens of dollars per spin. You are dealing with pure luck, and in order not to drain your bankroll quickly, allocate money wisely. Divide the entire amount so that you have enough for about 100 spins. On such a number of spins, you will surely win at 5-reel slots several times.

Manage your bankroll and invest according to it. We suggest setting limits on the maximum bet, the amounts of loss and winning, after which it is worth leaving.

Maximum Bets & Jackpot Sizes

By betting at the upper limits, you run the risk of spending all your money quickly; although, if you are lucky, the multiplier will bring you a big win. Remember that the RNG does not care how much you bet and how long you play, because the results are determined randomly and regardless of any factors.

The same goes for jackpots. They can reach millions of dollars, and be won not by the one who spent $1,000, but by the player who deposited only $1. Remember that playing slots is blind luck.

Hot & Cold Slots

In gambling, there are “Hot” slot machines. These are slots that have not paid winnings for a long time and their return at the moment is higher than stated. “Cold” slots have recently brought big winnings, and now the RTP is lower than the one indicated by the provider.

On the websites of some casinos there is a separate category where “Hot” slots are added. Many players believe that they have a much higher chance of winning. This is a common misconception that is not based on any fundamental logic; modern slots do not have payout schedules, because everything is determined by a random algorithm.

Use of Strategies

No gambling techniques will increase your winning chances. All betting strategies in slots come down to minimizing financial losses and staying in the game longer. To do this, you need to properly distribute your bankroll. The longer you play, the more winning combinations you will get. Choose 5-reel slots to win with bonus options and special symbols that will give you extra spins and bet multipliers so that you can earn more.

Features of Mobile Gambling

Modern slot machines are developed using HTML5 technology. Thanks to it, providers do not need to create them separately for desktop and mobile devices; they are cross-platform and automatically adjust to the device you use.

They have an identical and simplified interface, adapted to touchscreens and vertical displays. The main buttons of the control panel are enlarged in size, and all unnecessary elements are hidden in the opening menu so as not to interfere with the gameplay. Thanks to the small screen sizes, the graphics of the slots look even brighter than on a PC. The gameplay itself is no different.

5-Reel Slots at Land-Based Casinos

In brick-and-mortar gambling venues, the choice of slots is not as large as on virtual gambling sites. To accommodate even several hundred slot machines, huge areas are required, which is unprofitable for casinos. But there are enough 5-reel slot machines in them, because this is the most popular type.

The principle of their work is the same as those in online casinos. They have a built-in chip with a program that runs a random number generator, so you won’t be able to beat land-based slots either. They have the same betting and active payout settings, jackpots, bonus rounds, and other features.

Pros & Cons of 5-Reel Slots

Compared to 3-reel slots, chances to win at 5-reel slots are higher due to the larger number of symbols and linesLess suitable for newbies due to the availability of special symbols, bonus games, and other additional features
More bonus features than in classic slotsIf the lines are fixed and there are 20 or more of them, the minimum bets can be high
Some mechanics give you 243, 1,024, or more ways to win

All of them have different RTP and volatility; you can check the payout frequency by playing in demo mode.

They have more bonuses and special symbols such as Wild and Scatter. High volatility options are also available.

No. There are also options with 6, 7, and even 9 reels.

No. The return is the same for real money bets and virtual chips.

No. 3-reel slots with a minimum set of functions are better if you are a newbie.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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