What's Special About Classic 3 Reels Slots: Best 5 + Full List
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
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)
What's Special About 3 Reels Slots?
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.
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)
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.
Maximum possible win: x2,000 (of your stake)
Fruit Bingo (Microgaming)
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)
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)
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)
Magic Journey (Pragmatic)
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)
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)
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.
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