What's Special About Classic 3 Reels Slots: Best 5 + Full List

What's Special About Classic 3 Reels Slots: Best 5 + Full List

Reels are an intrinsic part of an online slot’s layout. If there were no reels, online slots would not even exist as paying symbols would not have any space to appear on.

As many of you already know, online slots might be very different in terms of how many reels they have. Nowadays, 5 reels layout is the most popular one, and it is basically dominating the online gambling industry. However, it was not always the case as 3 reels slots used to be the most prevailing ones for decades. That’s why many casino players call 3 reels slots classic slots.

With that being said, in this article we are going to discuss 3 reels slots, namely:

  • list the best paying (in terms of their RTP) 3 reels slots first

  • what makes them special

  • name 5 Best 3 reels slots ever (in my humble opinion) plus how to play

  • how 3 reels layout affect RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency

  • list 10 top software providers that have 3 reels slots in their portfolios

Best Paying (RTP) Online Slots with 3 Reels

(Players from United States are welcome)

Miami Bonus Wheel Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.7% (Great!)
Max win: x7,408
Reels: 3
Pentagram 5000 Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.5% (Great!)
Max win: x5,000
Reels: 3
Cherry Cherry Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.1% (Great!)
Max win: x500
Reels: 3
Fruitastic Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0% (Great!)
Max win: x200
Reels: 3
Hawaiian Dream Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0% (Great!)
Max win: x1,400
Reels: 3
Hawaiian Dream Xmas Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0% (Great!)
Max win: x2,316
Reels: 3
Flaming Fruit Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0% (Great!)
Max win: x64
Reels: 3
It's a Joker Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0% (Good)
Max win: x2,000
Reels: 3
Fortune Mouse Online Slot Logo
RTP: 97.0% (Good)
Max win: x1,000
Reels: 3
Powerspin Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.8% (Good)
Max win: x240
Reels: 3
Knockout Football Rush Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.8% (Good)
Max win: x14,400
Reels: 3
Fibonacci Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.8% (Good)
Max win: x12,500
Reels: 3
Wealth Inn Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.7% (Good)
Max win: x1,504
Reels: 3
Jelly Fish Flow Ultra Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.7% (Good)
Max win: x32,416
Reels: 3
Engeki Rising x50 Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.6% (Good)
Max win: x2,500
Reels: 3
Lucky Lucky Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.6% (Good)
Max win: x500
Reels: 3
Seven 7's Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.6% (Good)
Max win: x50,000
Reels: 3
Thor Infinity Reels Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.6% (Good)
Max win: x6,055
Reels: 3
Hypernova Infinity Reels Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.6% (Good)
Max win: x2,000
Reels: 3
Dreams of Gold Delight Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.6% (Good)
Max win: x4,500
Reels: 3
Arabian Spins Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.6% (Good)
Max win: x350
Reels: 3
Magic Journey Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.5% (Good)
Max win: x400
Reels: 3
El Dorado Infinity Reels Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.5% (Good)
Max win: x6,250
Reels: 3
Treasure Horse Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.5% (Good)
Max win: x6,000
Reels: 3
Million Tree Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.5% (Good)
Max win: x888
Reels: 3
Super Joker Megaways Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.5% (Good)
Max win: x2,592
Reels: 3
Shamrock Treasures Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.5% (Good)
Max win: x6,004
Reels: 3
Giza Infinity Reels Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.5% (Good)
Max win: x10,000
Reels: 3
Battle Dwarf Xmas Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.4% (Good)
Max win: x19,300
Reels: 3
Dreams of Gold Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.4% (Good)
Max win: x5,000
Reels: 3
Tree of Riches Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.4% (Good)
Max win: x2,880
Reels: 3
Joker Jackpots Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.4% (Good)
Max win: x10,000
Reels: 3
La Casa De Papel Clasico Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.4% (Good)
Max win: x10,000
Reels: 3
Golden Wheel Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.4% (Good)
Max win: x1,800
Reels: 3
Oiran Dream Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x2,500
Reels: 3
Raigeki Rising x30 Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x9,000
Reels: 3
High Roller Bonanza Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x500
Reels: 3
Dragon Sevens Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x5,700
Reels: 3
Sunset Delight Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x115
Reels: 3
Route 777 Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x1,600
Reels: 3
Avatar Gateway Guardians Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x2,525
Reels: 3
Lightning Joker Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x10,000
Reels: 3
Hit it Hard Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x2,500
Reels: 3
Red Hot Chili 7s Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x5,000
Reels: 3
Beauty Fruity Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x2,500
Reels: 3
Epic Riches Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.3% (Good)
Max win: x1,600
Reels: 3
Diamond Duke Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.2% (Good)
Max win: x8,000
Reels: 3
Jesters Joy Online Slot Logo
RTP: 96.2% (Good)
Max win: x273
Reels: 3

Full list of 3 reels slots (filtered by RTP)

What's Special About 3 Reels Slots?

None

  • Always pay both ways by its nature. 3 reels mean that there are only 3 paying symbols are possible, and this is the bare minimum to form a winning combination. That’s why it is fair to say that 3 reels slots basically pay both ways.

  • Historically older products. As I have mentioned briefly, 3 reels slots had been the most popular (and basically the only ones) for decades. So when you see a 3 reels slot, it almost certainly was made at least a few years ago.

  • Very limited number of paylines (usually 3-9 paylines). 3 reels slots have 3 rows at maximum (sometimes even just 1 row). As a result, there is simply no way to have more than 9 active paylines, and the majority of them come with 3 paylines which coincide with row direction.

  • Very few classic features such as Free spins, Bonus game, Wilds, Scatters, Multipliers are implemented. This is especially true for older products. However, newer 3 reels slots that use this classic layout just as a style do implement these awesome features. Though do not expect to have them all at once as there are some limits to how many of them a classic slot can implement.

  • Basically no products with modern features (Buy bonus game, Cascading reels, Megaways, etc.). I guess this is the case, because software providers try to preserve old-school vibes that way.

  • Maximum 3 rows are involved (some slots come with just 1 row). Having more than 3 rows would look a bit ridiculous for me so I have never come across 3 reels slots with more than 3 rows.

  • Double-up feature used to be quite common in 3 reels slots as there was not too much room for making gaming more fun. However, in the modern 3 reels slot it can be found not too often.

  • Despite simplicity in general, some 3 reels slots go with a progressive jackpot. And this is definitely a nice thing to have since progressive jackpots bring so much more fun to the table.

Best 5 Online slots with 3 reels of all time

Mega Joker (Netent)

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Play Mega Joker for real money

Mega Joker is a Netent product, and it stands out among others in terms of its RTP, which equals unbelievable 99%. Also it is worth mentioning that local progressive jackpot has been added to the game’s features. On top of that, the game has got the Bonus game implemented, and it is not what you normally can get from classic slots. Summing up, Mega Joker is definitely a go-to slot if you would like to play the best 3 reels slot.

Paylines: 5 RTP: 99% Volatility: High Free spins: No Multiplier: No

Maximum possible win: x2,000 (of your stake)

Fruit Bingo (Microgaming)

None

Play Fruit Bingo for real money

This Microgaming slot is a good choice for those who would like to play old-fashioned 1 payline slot. It has quite decent RTP of 96.7% (which is usually much lower in old slots) and a separate Bonus game to make the gameplay a bit more diverse.

Paylines: 1 RTP: 96.7% Volatility: Medium-low Free spins: No Multiplier: No

Maximum possible win: x500 (of your stake)

Super Nudge 6000 (Netent)

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Play Super Nudge 6000 for real money

This is another Netent product of Netent in the rating. The slot looks quite modern given that it has such an old-school layout. The most exciting part is that the game allows you to win up to x6,000 of your total bet which is quite a lot for a classic slot. Also the slot has the second paytable when you are given the second chance to win in case you have managed to hit any win per line before.

Paylines: 5 RTP: 96.8% Volatility: High Free spins: No Multiplier: No

Maximum possible win: x6,000 (of your stake)

Lightning Joker (Yggdrasil)

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Play Lightning Joker for real money

This Yggdrasil slot is quite modern by classic slots standards. First of all, it has Wild symbols which is not what you can normally expect. Moreover, the game introduces Multipliers mechanics that can result in enormous win, x10,000 of your total bet. So to speak, it is a lot of fun to play. The only disadvantage is a bit lower RTP (96.3%) than on average.

Paylines: 5 RTP: 96.3% Volatility: High Free spins: No Multiplier: Yes

Maximum possible win: x10,000 (of your stake)

full review

Magic Journey (Pragmatic)

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Play Magic Journey for real money

Magic Journey is a 3 reels Pragmatic slot that introduces a very specific gameplay. Namely, it has two separate pay tables where the reels are spinning first, and only after appeared symbols reiterate on the main reels. The game has a separate Bonus round. I would highly suggest trying this slot out. It looks very modern and a lot of fun to play.

Paylines: 8 RTP: 96.54% Volatility: High Free spins: No Multiplier: No

Maximum possible win: x400 (of your stake)

full review

How to play 3 reels slots

The gameplay of 3 reels slots is very simple and straightforward. The only thing you have to adjust is your total bet size. Then press the play button and that’s it.

This type of slots stands out in terms of simplicity, because:

  • there are usually no sophisticated bonus features involved in the gameplay

  • layout itself is very primitive as you need to keep eye only on 3 reels and 3 maximum rows (match 9 symbols in total)

3 reels layout’s impact on RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency

Every online casino player knows that RTP is the most important parameter to look at. Volatility and Winning hit frequency also impact gaming experience in a big way so they are quite crucial as well. Let’s figure out how 3 reels layout affect these guys.

3 reels layout’s impact on RTP

There is the whole spectrum of RTP you can find 3 reels slots with. So to say, it can be miserable (93% or even lower in older games), medium (95-96%) or even high (97%). As there is no correlation between 3 reels layout and RTP, you should check RTP in each slot separately, because, as I said, some of them are not that great at all in terms of RTP.

3 reels layout’s impact on Volatility

Some casino players mistakenly assume that 3 reels layout necessarily means low volatility, because of low maximum wins. This is not the case at all. Some 3 reels slots do in fact have low volatility, don’t get me wrong, but a decent portion of them go with high (or even extremely high) volatility. It becomes possible as even only 3 symbols (if you can hit them very rarely) can result in a huge win.

3 reels layout’s impact on Winning hit frequency

There is neither correlation nor causation between those two as well. Winning hit frequency highly depends on Volatility, and, as we have learnt, 3 reels layout does not directly affect Volatility.

Top 10 software providers that produce 3 reels slots

  • Microgaming (Atlantis, Bundle in the Jungle, Break da Bank)

  • Netent (Beetle Frenzy, Mega Joker, Safari Madness)

  • Yggdrasil (Lighting Joker, Avatar Gateway Guardians, Giza Infinity)

  • IGT (Black Pearl, Double Diamond Deluxe, Cigar S2000)

  • Thunderkick (Sunset Delight)

  • Elk Studios (Route 777, Hit it Hard, Vegas Diamonds)

  • Pragmatic (Magic Journey, Treasure Horse, Tree of Riches)

  • Playtech (Chinese Kitchen, Perfect Planet, Tres Amigos)

  • Playngo (Bell of Fortune, Sticky Joker)

  • Habanero (Knockout Football, Wealth Inn, Lucky Lucky)

Conclusion

Pros of 3 reels layout:

  • simple, not overcomplicated gameplay

  • there are progressive slots among them

  • enough products from the leaders of the market (reliable slot developers)

  • newer games come with features (Bonus game, Free spins, Wilds, Scatters, Multipliers)

Cons of 3 reels layout:

  • some of them look outdated

  • poor graphics in older products

  • some players may find them too boring

I guess, the main reason people still are playing 3 reels slots is that they want to dip a little in the past. And 3 reels do definitely provide such sort of experience.