One thing you will soon notice concerning slot games is the number of reels they present you with. Some will have three reels while others have more. Many of the most popular slots have five reels, although you will occasionally see those with four or six in action.
But why are the five-reel games consistently ranking among the most popular ones to play? We thought we’d find out.
More reels mean more paylines or way wins
The biggest quantity of lines you can hope for in a three-reel slot is usually five, maybe nine, and rarely around 27 if a 3 x 3 format is used. Playing a five-reel game means you will get the chance to play over 10 lines at least, and oftentimes many more. It is not unusual to find anything from 20 to 100 lines in action. If way wins are chosen, it means you can expect 243 ways on a 5 x 3 slot and more than that if more positions are included on each reel.
There is also a chance of seeing cluster wins in five-reel slots. For these to be possible, the game should have more positions on each reel to count. You would expect a 5 x 5 formation at least to be able to accommodate such wins. As you can see, there is more variety in these games than you might expect.
Five reels provide room for a scatter symbol to be brought into play
A scatter lives up to its name by delivering scatter wins whenever an appropriate quantity appears on the reels. Most games will grant players scatter prizes whenever they find three or more of them anywhere in one spin. If you are fortunate, you might spot a few games offering prizes for just two scatters in a single spin.
The scatter is also often used as a triggering symbol for other features. The most common example is to win some free games if you find three or more of whichever symbol is used as the scatter. Even if they are restricted to certain reels (most commonly the three middle reels or the three odd-numbered ones), they can appear anywhere on those reels to count as a qualifying trigger. Other games might use the scatters to trigger a special bonus.
Five-reel slots are often more exciting and engaging to play
Let’s be honest, there isn’t much you can do with a three-reel slot that hasn’t been seen before. Add in two more reels and lots of paylines, however, and you get the chance to play a slot game that has the potential for giving you a bigger, better story. It’s not just about matching symbols to get wins. It is about enjoying a storyline and a chance to appreciate more in-depth features.
There is more chance of finding one or more progressive jackpots in play
Progressive jackpots are always exciting to see in slot games. While some games have just the one in play, others may include several. If you do find more than one in play, you will usually see them increase in value from one to the next. It’s true that some three-reel games occasionally include these jackpots, but they are far rarer than five-reel games that have them in play.
We know there is little chance we will win these progressive jackpots, but it doesn’t stop us from hoping it might happen. Some people win, and we regularly hear stories of the latest big jackpot to be won by a lucky player. It adds to the excitement, that’s for sure.
Five-reel slots are the domain of the 3D slot
3D graphics were a game changer in the world of slot games. There is no doubt that 3D graphics make any slot game look far more appealing than it would otherwise. Software developers tend to make the most of these games by creating cut scenes to play revolving around different icons when they are involved in a winning combination. You might also see cut scenes before the game begins and used as part of various bonus features.
Only a few years ago, we viewed 3D slots as the next biggest thing. Since the very first one that was released, we have gone on to see hundreds of them hitting the internet. If you have a good computer or mobile device, the 3D slots look amazing and bring you a far more immersive and entertaining experience.
You stand more chance of winning some free games
How often do you win free games when you play a three-reel slot? Not often, we bet. That’s because very few of them even offer the chance to win some. It is rare we encounter these games on our travels, and when we do, we make sure to highlight them.
In five-reel slots, however, free games are often available to be won. There are some variations on this popular bonus too. For example, you might win a standard quantity of free spins for three scatters or more. However, you might be able to win more freebies if you manage to collect more scatters. For instance, three might secure 10 free games, but four or five might bring you 20 or 30 games instead. Some games even invite you to choose a scatter to reveal how many games you’ve won.
But that’s not all. Software developers have consistently been trying to beef up their free game features. Some allow you to choose from different numbers of free games. The more you want, the lower the winning multiplier will be. This gives you lots of choice to go on, and the chance to pick a different option should you trigger it a second time.
Other games offer progressive free spin rounds, so each time you trigger them, you play a slightly different version. Can you think of any other examples where free spins have received a different boost in five-reel games?
There is more chance of playing one or more bonus features too
You might be surprised how many slot games give you the chance to play several bonuses. The bigger reel set in play and greater scope offered by five-reel slots gives creators far more room to provide players with more features to be entertained by.
For example, Betsoft has released many slots that are packed with special elements. Barbary Coast is a great example of how this might work. We are treated to a 3D cut scene to kick things off – again, that is something you often see in these games.
But it is the paytable that reveals the depth of the game. Barbary Coast delivers a pirate-themed slot complete with lots of appropriate symbols. Yet it also delivers some entertaining features. The parrot is the trigger for some free games. The cannon appearing on reel three delivers an explosive wild reel feature. Ben Sawyer, a pirate, must appear three times to unlock a Click Me Feature producing instant wins. And even that does not describe all that is on offer. We get a Grog Challenge too, along with a Fight Bonus. This is just one example of how much gameplay we can enjoy in a five-reel slot.
Why would you play a five-reel game?
There is a good chance it will be for more than one reason. No doubt you have your favorites too. There are lots of great games to choose from and you can certainly enjoy some time playing these if you want something more immersive, more entertaining, and with some real appeal and longevity to look forward to.