Slot Machine Reels

Slot Machine Reels

Slot games are popular among online gamblers in the USA. The brightly colored screens naturally attract players, tempting them to stop for a spin as soon as they step foot into the casino or log in to a site to play. The slot machine might be your favorite casino game, but you may find it challenging to follow the reels’ patterns. Read on to discover how to play slot machine reels in the USA, their different types, and their history.

What Are Slot Reels

The slot reels are the columns that make up the machine. They are mostly in an upright position, featuring slot symbols. The reels display the combinations of symbols as you play, and they come in different sizes and shapes. You may find a slot machine with three or five reels or more, especially in online casinos.

With the growth of the online casino industry and more demand for slot machine games by gamblers, developers are endlessly working to produce new slots, resulting in unique reels.

History of Reel Slots

The history of reel slots date back to the 19th century, during the time of Charles Fey. Before then, Sittman and Pitt invented a machine that had a complex payout system. Then Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell, which has the notable features we’ve all grown to appreciate. The Liberty Bell slot machine has three spinning reels, one pay line, and a fully automatic payout mechanism. In those days, spinning the reels involved players pulling the lever, which is usually found on the side of the machine.

Best Online Casinos
No deposit $40 bonus for the new players
Read ReviewShow More
150% up to $3,000 for the first deposit
Read ReviewShow More
280% bonus for the first deposit up to $14,000
Read ReviewShow More

The success of the Liberty Bell gave birth to the modern slots we have today. Slot machine producers came up with different designs, from the electromechanical machine to the video slot game. The 1990s saw a transition to online casinos, and the slots took on a more advanced shape, allowing players to spin the reels, even from their homes. Most casino game selections in the past consisted of slots with 3 reels. However, there are now tons of slots available. This is because slot developers realized early on that players have diverse needs. While some players prefer slots with straightforward gameplay, others prefer complex games. As a result, more and more slots are being made with extra reels.


While we can consider slots one of the easiest games to play, requiring little or no brain power, you still need to understand some key features. The RTP is one such example. It means “Return to Player,” also known as the payback percentage. It is the fraction of players’ bets returned after playing on the slot machine for some time.

A slot machine with a 95% RTP means players will receive $95 for every $100 wagered on the machine. The casino gets a cut of 5% as their profit, also known as the house edge.

Simply dividing the amount returned to players by the total amount wagered by the same set of players, then multiplying by 100, will give the RTP. However, this is only theoretical, as there are many factors affecting the RTP of a slot machine.

Game Payouts

The game payout is the percentage you get on your wager. It is the amount the casino pays you for winning your bets, which includes your original wager and gain. So, if you place a bet with $100, you could have a potential payout of $500, which is the sum of your initial stake, and a profit of $400.

Why Play Reel Slot Machines

Playing slot machine reels in the USA is undeniably a great experience. It’s easy to see why it’s popular with online gamblers. For one, playing the game is simple. You don’t need any special tricks or tactics. All you have to do is select a slot, place your wager, and then spin the reels. So, why should you play slot machines? First, there are lots of bonus offers to be won. They come in various forms, such as free spins or respins, making the game more enjoyable. Secondly, there are lots of different themes to enjoy. In addition, you can be sure that you’re enjoying fair play when spinning the reels at licensed casinos. Gaming authorities and regulatory bodies ensure casinos offer fair games by using the Random Number Generator.

Best Online Casino Sites to Play Reel Slot Machines

Online casinos offer their players a variety of slot machines to choose from, including classic slots, video slot variations, progressive slots, and multi-payline slots. Many online casino sites in the USA offer hundreds of great slots with the best graphics, over-the-top RTPs, and generous bonuses. Now, you have the option of choosing whichever one suits you best. If you think choosing the best from hundreds is a bit overwhelming, relax. Here are some of the best online casino sites to play reel slot machines.

Casino siteNumber of slots
Red Dog152
Café Casino126

Top Types of Slot Machines

Slot machines come in various themes but they are mostly classified based on the number of reels they have. You will find a selection of 3, 5, 7, 10, or cascade reels on casino sites, depending on what they offer.

3 Reels

Three-Reel slots have three vertical rows and paylines reaching up to five. They are sometimes called the “classic slots,” as they paved the way for modern slot machines. Slots with 3 reels are easy to play and have a better winning potential than more complicated games. In addition, you will come across several traditional symbols which can transport you to an earlier era of gaming.

5 Reels

Slots with 5 reels are more advanced than their three-reel counterparts. They have five vertical rows, all containing symbols, which the player aims to match to get the winning combination. They have more features, allowing players more gameplay. The paylines can reach several hundred, but most slot titles offer 10-50, and players may select any they wish to wager on. Paylines are often fixed, and players won’t have the luxury of choosing whichever one they want.

5 Reel slots have five vertical rows with several paylines
5 reel slots

7 Reels

Slots with 7 reels operate the same way as any other slot, though they are not as common. They are distinguished by seven columns and rows filled with symbols. They also offer several paylines, a bigger payout, and more chances of winning than the 3 or 5 slot machine reels. More reels often equal better graphics, and the 7 Reel slots are no exception. However, interested players have to search far and wide for them as they are rare to find on online casino sites.

10 Reels

While less is more than enough for some when it comes to slot machine reels, others find it more enjoyable when there are more symbols to play with.

Slots with 10 reels are fantastic, but it can be challenging to keep up with the game and its paylines.

The number of paylines and winning combinations on the 10-reel slots are enormous; you can hardly wrap your head around them.

Cascade Reels

Instead of the reels spinning and stopping in front of the player, cascading reel slots feature a game mechanic where symbols drop onto the reels. Matching symbols on the reels creates more space for subsequent symbols to enter the reels, resulting in a re-spin.

Play Slot Reels for Free & Real Money Gambling

The best casinos in the USA offer users the option of playing demo games as well as playing for real money. You will be glad to know that slot reels for USA users are not solely for gamblers playing to win alone but also for those spinning the wheels for fun. This way, you can choose to sample different slot titles without spending a dime or go all out by playing and earning money for real.

You can practise with free slot games
Free or Real Money Slots

While playing slot machines for free can keep your bankroll safe, the thrill of real money gambling is missing. As you will find below, they each have specific features.

Free Slot Reels:

  • There’s no risk of losing your money at the slots.
  • There is no need to sign up to play.
  • Free slot games do not come with bonus offers.
  • The “Know-Your-Customer” procedure is unnecessary to play free games.

Real Money Slots:

  • There is the chance to win lots of money and huge jackpots.
  • They come with various bonus offers for players.
  • Payouts may take time.
  • There is the possibility of losing all your money at the game.

Slot Reel Features & Myths

Some misconceptions need to be clarified about how slots work. One such myth is that you can change the results you get on a slot machine reel if you stop spinning at a particular time. Game developers will call this an “illusion of skill.” It makes you think that if you had stopped the reels just a moment earlier or later, the symbols that came up might be a winning combination.

There is also the gambler’s fallacy that a slot machine can either be cold or hot, and hot machines have a high probability of paying more. In reality, the game’s outcome was predetermined the moment you pressed the start button or pulled the lever. Behind the scenes, a generator comes up with random numbers (whether or not the slot machine is in use). So, the most recent numbers generated by the random number generator (RNG) determine the position of the reels. This effectively renders the “hot or cold” fallacy a myth.


Slot reels use the Random Number Generator to generate numbers. This determines the outcome of each spin and makes rigging the game impossible.

No, it does not. The RTP is independent of the reels.

If you prefer it simple, then it is advised to play the 3-reel slots. More reel numbers might mean more complexity. You can easily follow the gameplay when there are fewer symbols.

Winning the slot machine mostly depends on luck since it uses the RNG system. However, putting your bonuses to good use can improve your chances of leaving the reels with a huge payout.

Yes. You can play slots and earn real money when you sign up on a casino site and fund your account.

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.
No comments yet.
Be the first to leave a review and get an exclusive bonus on your email.
Add a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Compare Casinos