Slot Reels Explained

With just one tap you can be spinning slot reels on desktop or mobile phones, with real money big win payouts.

Slot reels are in the vertical position on the slot grid. The slots reel determines the feel, look and how the online slots play. The slot reels are spun after placing a wager with different spinning symbols. Spinning reels are the foundation of slot games and can affect the win lines and gameplay.

Read our in-depth guide to find out all you need to know about slot reels.

Types of Slot Reels

As technology advances, there is a huge array of different slot reel types.

Online slot machines fall into the classic slots, video slots and modern slots with a different number of reels they possess.

Here are the most popular types of slots reels you’ll find online in 2024.

3 Reel Slots

The 3-reel slots games normally contain just one payline, but more recently 3-reel slots can have up to 10 paylines.

These paylines are horizontal, vertical or diagonal but before playing, we recommend that you research the paytables of the slots game to check how wins are formed.

The three-reel casino games generally come in the form of fruit machines and are traditional slots that began the concept of the slot machine game. Expect fruit, 7s and BAR symbols on these games, although they rarely come with bonus features, they often provide lots of wins and are easy for all players to enjoy.

3 Reel Casino Slot

Check out our latest in-depth guide to 3 reel slot games.

4 Reel Slots

The 4-reel slots games are nowhere near as common as 3-reels. However, a lot of these 4-reel slot games are optimised for mobile gaming. This means that whether you play on a mobile, tablet or desktop, your experience will be the same and you will have a great time, hopefully winning big.

These slots are a great in-between of 3 and 5 reel games, providing something different.


Find our list of the best four reel slot games.

5 Reel Slots

The 5-reel slots, as the five in the name suggests, add on an additional two reels to the standard 3-reel slots. With five reels, more rows are provided to the player, offering an even higher odds percentage of winning and allowing the player to hit even more additional paylines to win big.

Navigation of the slot machine can be enjoyed through the settings, where the menu enables players to pick paylines but it’s key to note the reels aren’t adjustable and all 5 remain active.

Many of the 5-reel slot games come with various bonus features including free spins, wilds and scatters.


Get more information from our complete guide to the best five-reel slots.

6 Reel Slots

As the 6 in the name indicates, 6-reel slots games are played with a much more unique six reels instead of the traditional three or five reels. They carry a standard 3×6 payout or 4×6 payout. In some cases, like WMS’s Reel Boost games, 6-reel slots can also offer feature staggered reels.


For more, check out some amazing 6 reel slots games.

7 Reel Slots

7-reels slots are video slot games that all have seven vertical reels that contain 20-50 symbols. Winning combinations can payout a great jackpot determined by the payline a player lands on. Wilds and Scatters also add to the standard slots game wins if they have a part in forming winnings.

We have a great guide on all of the best 7 reel slots.

8 Reel Slots

Our 8-reel slots games list includes all of the greatest 8-reel slots and each of these all come with their own unique benefits. They all have great bonus features including wild and scatter symbols, themes, jackpots and of course a free spins bonus. Many 8-reel slot games are optimised for mobile.

8 Reel Game Slot

Check out our page on the latest 8 reel slots games.

9 Reel Slots

We have an in-depth list of 9-reel slot games that includes demos, meaning the player can play whenever they wish. These slots don’t require any payments and you can take advantage of the in-game currency to bet. The principal is to spin the reel and hit the winning paylines to win big.

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We have a great guide for 9 reel slot games.

10 Reel Slots

If you believe that the standard 5-reel slots games aren’t satisfying you, why not double your enjoyment? 10-reel slots provide players with two sets of reels and a higher chance of winning big. These slot games provide an amazing gaming experience with a higher chance of winning.

10 Reel Game Casino Slot

Take a look at our best 10 reel slots games.

12 Reel Slots

We have a wide range of 12-reel slots games available. 12-reel slots are popular for their difficulty but they do also have a great reputation for big wins and big jackpots. This means that players feeling risky enough to try 12-reels could be in for a great number of winnings.

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Check out our list of 12 reel slot games.

15 Reel Slots

15-reel slots offer 15 lines. The choice of bonus features is very different for each slot game, but this means that you can find the perfect slots game for you with all of the features you are looking for, including themes, symbols, jackpots and more. These games are optimised for mobile gaming.

15 Reel Game Casino Slot

Find out more through our list of the latest 15 reel slots.

16 Reel Slots

16-reel slots games aren’t considered very popular when it comes to slots games, but we have a list of some great choices that offer 16-reels. They all contain their own fun features and can provide a unique amount of paylines and jackpots to assist you in getting some big wins.

16 Reel Game Casino Slot

For more information check out our best 16 reel slots games.

Popular Questions

Does the number of slots reels matter?

The number of reels matters because the higher the quantity of reels gives the more payline winning combinations. The slots reels matter from a design view also as gives more symbols to line up on the payline winning reels.

Can I change the number of active reels?

The way of choosing the number of active reels is choosing the slot game to have the desired amount you want. If you want 3 reels then play a three reeled slot game or if you want to play 10 reels then play a ten reeled slot game.

Trying to change the number of active reels on an existing slot reel design is not allowed as they are set to be a 4 reel slot or 5 reel slots.

How many reels does a slot machine have?

Slot machines can have anything from 3-16 reels. The 3 reel slots are the minimum number of reels to play and the maximum number of slot reels is 16 reeled slot games.

Do slot machine reels wiggle?

Slot machine reels only wiggle when it’s part of a bonus feature or game. Despite internet rumours, the reels will not wiggle as part of a tell or pre-determined outcome. There are games such as The Goonies Slot that do have reels that rumble and unlock a bonus re-spin.

Does the number of slots reels matter?

The number of reels can change a slot game and its gameplay, it can have an effect on the experience, the bonus games and the paylines. It doesn’t directly change the payout percentage, but the type of reels can change online slots gameplay.

There’s a number of different reel slots, the key is to find one that suits your preference.

What are Reels in Slots?

Slot reels are vertical on the slot grid and traditionally slot machines came with 3-reels. Since then, we’ve seen video slots use the conventional 5-reel design but you can enjoy anything up to 16 reels with modern slot games.

All slot games come with reels and they’re an integral aspect of slots and play the most important role, spin the reels to discover if you can match symbols and land winning combinations.

How Slot Reels Started?

Gambling machine slots began in 1891 and were invented in New York. The pull lever traditional slot machines to spin mechanical reels are turning into a thing of the past with technology advancements.

A simplified fruit machine game was invented by Charles Fey from California with only 3 reels and five different slot game symbols. The Fruit symbol icons were placed on slot reels to represent the flavours of the bubble gum, hence where the name fruit machine was formed.

This was the start of the classic 3 reel slot machine as so many casino players have become to love.

What are Multi Reel Slots?

Multi-reel slot machines vary from 3 reel slots to 16 reels. All games offer a multi-reel, they start from 3 reels. These reels are an important part of all slot machines and contribute to all slot features. You can also find reel slots with multi-paylines.

The multi-reel slots are the most popular games played in online casinos as they’re the only type of slot games. More reels can add to the overall slots experience but this comes down to preference, check out the reels, bonus features and more.

The more reels on a multi-reel slot game give greater odds and offer bigger winning opportunities.

Many casino players are demanding more reels to be invented in the multi-reel slots industry. Before picking out the best multi-reel slot games be sure to check they’re in line with the UK Gambling Commission.


3-reel slots and 5-reel slots games are of course the most popular, however, the slots games offering their own unique amount of reels are definitely worth considering.

There are fewer games offering these reels but this doesn’t mean these games aren’t as good. They offer a great experience for players wanting a different experience and can be perfect for players that want more of a challenge.

All Types of Reel Slots

Here are all various reel slots features.

James has almost a decade of experience in the iGaming Industry. Winning several awards including "UK Casino Affiliate of the Year" he uses his experience to research the UK market to source the best bingo welcome bonuses, highest casino slots real money payouts and free spins sign up offers.