Understanding Types of Online Slots and Why it Matters

Gambling Money Matters: Exploring all the different types of slot machines online.

There are many more types of online slot machines than you may realize. For instance, did you know that 5 reel slots and video slots are not the same thing? I didn’t know this for years, until I came to understand what sets them apart. It’s not just about graphics and back stories, but the amount of money you can expect one to pay out versus another.

Gambling Money Matters: Exploring the Different Types of Slot Machines Online

Today we’ll be exploring the four main groups of slots found online. Your choice of game type will effect the two most important aspects of your gambling experience – entertainment value and profit potential. If your gambling money matters, this is one lesson you need to learn.

Different Types of Slot Machines

The four basic types of slot machines include:

  • Classic 3-reel slot machines
  • Modern 5-reel slot machines
  • Progressive jackpot slot machines
  • Video slot machines

Let’s take a closer look…

Classic 3 Reel Slots

Classic 3 Reel Slot Machine

The obvious distinguished in these games is the presence of 3 reels, as opposed to the more common 5-reel variety found today. In the early- to mid-1900s, 3 reel slots were all the rage. They were extremely easy to understand, and their reels took up little space, allowing manufacturers to easily import a clear pay table directly on the main screen.

This was supremely important in those days since multi-screen technology wasn’t nearly so advanced as it is today. Simplicity was the key to driving player participation, and it worked like a charm! Even today, 3 reel slots rely on simplicity, they have fewer symbols, and with a maximum of 9 pay lines, they are cheaper to play. For nostalgic players on a budget, you can’t beat a good 3-reel slots game.

Modern 5 Reel Slots

5 Reel Slot Machines

It didn’t take long for slots manufacturers and casinos to realize they could make a lot more money off 5-reel slot machines. More pay lines meant more coins going in. Even with the same average return to player (RTP) as 3-reel games, higher bets produce higher yield for the casinos, so it’s no wonder 98% of all modern games depict 5 spinning reels.

Having so many symbols, they come in a much wider variety of themes. Some depict traditional fruits with bells, bars and 7s. Others may revolve around popular activities like sports, tropical vacations, or high society material goods, like jewelry, cars and yachts. Either way, the payouts on these machines are pretty decent compared to our next two categories.

Video Slots

Game of Thrones Video Slot

If you think 5-reel slots and video slots are the same thing, think again. It’s a common misconception brought on by the frequent use of the term “5 reel video slot”, so I’m going to set the record straight for you now. A video slot is a game that relies on an analogous mixture of HD graphics, cinematic cut-scenes and powerful music/sound effects to draw players in. Most of these immersive games are built around a theme that’s highly popular in the outside world, such as hit television shows, major motion pictures, musical bands, etc.

Integrating theatrical footage into a game has been one of the most successful marketing tactics for manufacturers. Think about it. Anyone casino goer who loves Ellen DeGeneres is going to have a hard time strolling past an Ellen DeGeneres slot machine without playing it. And who doesn’t love Ellen? She’s awesome. Her slot machine is awesome. And the casinos/manufacturers are all the richer for it. Not just because these games get so much attention, but because they know they can set the RTPs lower, and players will still pay to enjoy the games for the higher entertainment value.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

Mega Fortune Dreams Progressive Jackpot Slots

Last but most certainly not least are slot machines that carry a progressive jackpot. We all dream of winning a life-changing amount of money one day. We know it happens to other people all the time. Why can’t it be us? And for that reason, we play these games, injecting coin after coin in hopes that our ship will finally come in.

Once again, these are big money makers for casinos and slot manufacturers. They set the RTPs low on these games, not just because they know players will pay for them, but because they have to make up all that cash somewhere. If a game pays out $1,000,000+, you can rest assured it’s past players that are footing the bill. Your odds of being struck by lightning twice are far better than your odds of winning a progressive jackpot.

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