The only way to understand the differences between 5 reel slots and 3 reel slots is to look at what makes up a traditional, classic slot and what makes up a video slot.
Most iPhone slots that use three reels are known as classic slots because they are designed to emulate early land-based slot machines. These games typically featured only one payline, though some had three or five. The action is slow and steady in these games since winning spins don’t come as often. However, you typically aren’t betting as many coins per spin, so there is a trade-off there.
On the other hand, slots with five reels are almost always video slots. These games are a departure from the normal classic slot format as they often feature several paylines and extensive bonus games. The bonus games in three reel slots are rather limited because they have to stick within the classic slot structure. With video slots, however, you can get a lot of special bonus games that use free spins, a pick-a-box structure or other custom structures. Video slots also tend to have scatter symbols, special symbols that can win without having to be placed on a specific payline.
When it comes to deciding which type of slot is best, it’s really just a matter of taste. The payout percentages tend to be about the same for each of the two types of slots, so what really matters is what kind of pace you want to sit with your game. If you would like to place medium-sized bets on a single payline, then three reel slots are probably going to be your best bet. However, if you would like to make small bets on 20 or more paylines on each and every spin, then you’re going to be better off with video slots.
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To learn more about an alternative type of casino game, check out this guide on Jacks or Better Poker strategy.