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What are 3-reel slots?

What are 3-reel slots?

A breakdown of the infamous 3-reel slots

Based on the classic traditional fruit machine slots found in the land-based arcades, casinos and even pubs across the world, 3-reel slots are perhaps the easiest form of online slots to pick up. As the name suggests, they are only played on 3-reels and often feature minimal features to keep the gameplay straightforward.

The first-ever slot machine was built in California in 1984 and features a simplistic 3-reel slot with only a single payline. Within the last few years, many developers have experimented with 3-reel slots to make them more modernised with features.

Red Tiger Gaming's 3-reel slot Forever 7s keeping it simple with no bonus features

For most 3-reel slots, you match up between 2 to 3 symbols of a kind on a payline to generate a win. Traditionally, these were often on one payline but they’ve expanded to up to 10 with wins lining up horizontally, vertically or even diagonally. Despite the various forms of 3-reel slots, they remained popular even today.

Traditional 3-reel slots

A stereotypical 3-reel slot would just consist of the basics which include the 3-reels, less than 10 paylines and no bonus features. Whilst the world of online slots may be growing in terms of features and gameplay, there are a select number of players who prefer straightforward gameplay that focuses on the basics.

These slots are perfect for newcomers to online slots who want to get to grips with spinning and understand what’s going on. That’s the beauty of 3-reel slots, they can appeal to everyone. If you want traditional 3-reel slots, then we recommend trying:

Free Reelin’ Joker

Name:
Free Reelin' Joker
Developer:
Play'n GO
RTP:
96.17%
Max payout:
1,000x stake
Volatility:
Medium
Reels:
3
Win lines:
1
Theme:
Fruit Machine
Released:
17th Jun 2021

This Play’n GO slot literally takes it back to the basics with 3-reels and only 1 payline. This medium volatility slot has minimal features with only wilds and a potential reel expansion. Free Reelin’ Joker is entirely straightforward and ideal for fresh players who want to try out online slots.

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Forever 7s

Forever 7's Online Slot by Red Tiger Gaming
Name:
Forever 7's
Developer:
Red Tiger Gaming
RTP:
95.67%
Max payout:
1,500x stake
Volatility:
High
Reels:
3
Win lines:
1
Theme:
Fruit Machine, Luxury
Released:
28th Sep 2021

If you are wanting an online slot that has even fewer features, then Red Tiger Gaming’s Forever 7s is the one for you. This slot even has a beautiful art deco design, so you can play something that not only entertains but looks amazing.

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Modernised 3-reel slots

In addition to the traditional 3-reel slots, you’ll find online slots that have tried to incorporate the uncomplicated gameplay of 3-reels and combined it with modern features. Here are some of our favourite modernised 3-reel slots:

Charlie Chance in Hell to Pay

Charlie Chance In Hell To Pay Online Slot by-Play'n'Go Screenshot 1
Name:
Charlie Chance in Hell to Pay
Developer:
Play'n GO
RTP:
96.23%
Max payout:
6,666x stake
Volatility:
Medium
Reels:
3
Win lines:
5
Theme:
Retro, WTF
Released:
17th May 2020

Designed to look like a vintage 1920s cartoon, Charlie Chance in Hell to Pay keeps the reels simple with just 3 but revitalises the slot by having a variety of features. With free spins, various respins and multipliers, this slot shows exactly how you can make a 3-reel slot appeal to more contemporary players.

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Fire Joker Freeze

Fire Joker Freeze Online Slot by Playn GO Screenshot 1
Name:
Fire Joker Freeze
Developer:
Play'n GO
RTP:
96.18%
Max payout:
1,000x stake
Volatility:
Medium
Reels:
3
Win lines:
5
Theme:
Fruit Machine, Vegas
Released:
21st Apr 2021

Fire Joker Freeze takes all that is brilliant about 3-reel slots and fruit machines to create something original. Despite having multiple respins and wheels, this slot is easy to pick up and perfect for players who want a slot with a decent amount of features.

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