For most people, the word classic evokes associations with something old and outdated. Still, this should not necessarily be the case when online classic slots are concerned. It is true to say that the rapid advance in technologies has caused many gambling software developers to introduce more advanced and visually appealing video slots that boast superb graphics, exciting animations, and an impressive number of paylines. However, there are still many slot fans who prefer to place their bets on the good old classics.
The history of slots began at the end of the nineteenth century when Charles Fey, a young car mechanic from San Francisco, invented the Liberty Bell, which is the prototype of all slots, old and new ones. Several years later, the manufacturer Henry Mills made a few improvements on Fey’s invention and introduced to the public the first 3-reel slots as we have come to know them today. Instantly recognisable, they featured fruits like plums, lemons, and cherries as symbols and had a single payline, stretched horizontally across the reels.
Although many changes have been brought about to the look and feel of slots throughout the years, which resulted into the creation of lots of video and 3D slots, the appeal of the classic one-armed bandits is unlikely to wane anytime soon. As it seems, the simplicity of such games is what intrigues gambling enthusiasts most about slots that are equipped with just three reels.
In spite of the absence of sophistication, classic slots do not go without their peculiarities casino enthusiasts should get clued up about before they dive into their betting session.
Features of Classic Online Slots
Classic 3-reel slots have come a long way since the introduction of the Liberty Bell in 1895 and Mill’s fruit machines at the turn of the twentieth century. Today, 3-reel slots constitute an essential part of the portfolios of most established online casino operators in the industry, thus leaving players with plenty of options to pick and choose from while deciding where to gamble. What is more, the symbols are no longer restricted to fruits as players will find 3-reel online slots boasting a wide range of themes and symbols as well as many cool features.
What gambling enthusiasts might not know is that when slots hit the scene for the first time, players were not awarded monetary prizes when matching icons aligned on the reels. Instead, they were provided with tokens they could exchange for different goods.
It was not until the 1960s when slots began to get closer to the way they look and feel now, thanks to the implementation of the electro-mechanical designs. Because of them, gambling enthusiasts were given the opportunity to enjoy a truly Vegas-style experience with flashing lights and ringing sounds.
It is true to say that the fruit-themed classic slots are the prevailing ones, but gambling enthusiasts can now stumble upon a much greater profusion of characters and icons aside from the repetitive fruits, sevens, and bar symbols. Presently, casino enthusiasts can try their hand at slots that are inspired by animals, as well as such in which jewels and gems show up across the reels. This undoubtedly works to the advantage of players who enjoy classic slots but want to try something out of the tired genre.
Number of Reels and Paylines
If you have spent some time betting on slots over the Internet, you might know that classic slots consist only of three reels. The term “reels” stands for the number of the vertical sections that turn whenever the player presses the Spin button on the screen. Fewer reels are equal to fewer winning combinations or paylines. As a matter of fact, some 3-reel slots still have only one payline that appears across the middle of the screen.
However, the better part of the reputable software suppliers cater to the needs of traditionalists and offer 3-reel slots that include three, five, or more paylines that might run horizontally or vertically on the screen. Playtech, for example, has even released a 3-reel slot, called Chinese Kitchen, which features a total of eleven winning combinations across all the three reels as the crab symbol can be stand-alone or appear in a combination of 2 or 3.
Players who lack any previous experience in betting on slots should consider the fact that 3-reel titles typically offer a decidedly smaller number of betting options than their modern, multi-payline cousins. Much like with the other slot games available out there, while revelling in classic slots, players will get to choose from different coin values. Coin denominations typically range between £0.01 and £100, but it all depends on which 3-reel slot you have chosen. Typically, the maximum number of coins gambling aficionados are allowed to put on a stake is three, which is the case with Microgaming’s classic slot Couch Potato.
One common feature most 3-reel slots share is that they lack in detailed graphics and animations. On the contrary, the design of the games is typically rather clean and simplified which works to the advantage of inexperienced slot players.
Still, we do not want to leave you under the impression that classic slots are completely stripped down and they lack any special features. In fact, some classic slots yield wild symbols that will not only help players complete winning combinations, as sometimes, they can also double as win multipliers. Oftentimes, the role of the wild symbol is given to the joker as it can take the place of all other symbols.
A small group of classic online slots even include bonus game rounds, which undoubtedly adds up to their entertainment value. Not to mention the fact that such special features can help players walk off with a decent prize.
Most of the time, while availing themselves in classic slots, gambling enthusiasts might have the chance to trigger a bunch of bonus spins. Even if this is the case, gambling aficionados should not expect to see any overly complicated bonus features, which is the case with some video slots available out there.
In addition to this, some classic slots are equipped with heads-or-tails games or nudges. In fact, the nudge and hold feature can be found in many fruit-themed slots, and it can turn out to be exceptionally advantageous for players as it will help them adjust their results so that they could snatch a payout.
If the slot you are playing is equipped with the nudge bonus feature, you will have the opportunity to move the reels one position down in order to try to form a winning combination. This special feature can turn out to be exceptionally useful, especially if players already have two identical symbols and they need one icon to bag a payout.
It is important to note, however, that players will only have a limited time during which they will be permitted to make use of this special feature. Yet, it is fairly easy for avid casino fans to determine when to resort to it.
On most occasions, the games that go hand in hand with the nudge feature are equipped with the hold feature as well. In spite of the fact that the availability of this special feature is not the key to consistent wins, it is still hugely effective.
Most of the time, holds are awarded at random, and as it can be expected from the name when this special feature is in place, it will help players keep one of the reels motionless for the next spin.
Depending on the results players would like to enjoy, there are two ways in which the hold feature can be turned to good use. One of the ways in which gambling enthusiasts can capitalise on the hold feature is to activate it when they need one more symbol in order to form a winning combination.
Yet, it turns out that most gambling enthusiasts prefer to make use of the hold feature when a high-paying icon has landed on the reels. In spite of the fact that this will not necessarily mean that players will bag a payout, they will at least enhance their chances of bagging such.
Rules and Basics
Choosing Online Slots
Line Number and Multiplier
Classic Online Slots
It goes without saying that getting a heftier payout is a lot easier when you already have one of the needed symbols than hoping to get all the three together.
If classic slots are up to your alley, you might be pleased to hear that there are also games that can award constantly-increasing prizes. Most of the time, such prizes do not fall at random as instead, they are awarded after a rather uncommon combination of symbols shows up on the reels. However, in order to become eligible for the huge prize, players might be required to bet the maximum coin value, which is also the case with the majority of the modern slots.
There is a common misconception that old-school 3-reels do not have very high payouts. In fact, it is just the contrary because 3-reels might not pay as often as more advanced slots, but their payouts tend to be bigger, which comes to explain why they are so tremendously popular among players.
Yet, before you dive into your betting session, it will be best to inspect the paytable of the slot that has grabbed your attention so that you could figure out what payouts to expect depending on the characters that will land on the reels. Furthermore, it will help you figure out if the game boasts any special symbols or features.
It is important to note that not all classic slots work in the same manner when it comes to awarding payouts, which is one more detail that is worth going into.
Advantages of Classic Online Slots
One of the biggest advantages of classic online slots results from their very simplicity. Their design is pretty straightforward and easy to comprehend by less experienced players, which is why they are considered a great starting point for their betting adventures. In essence, betting on classic slots is in no way different from wagering on slots of other breeds as gambling enthusiasts just need to make up their minds about the amount they would like to put on a stake and set the reels in motion by hitting the Spin button.
Players will get a payoff if they notice that identical symbols have aligned across the reels when they have drawn to a hold. Something that is worth mentioning about classic slots is that the largest share of the games of this kind is not equipped with autoplay or reel-stop functionalities.
As it was already mentioned, the number of betting options is more limited since 3-reel slots usually feature between one and eight paylines. This renders them suitable for players who have a tighter budget at their disposal as they will not be expected to bet on that many paylines at the same time. Depending on the slot you have chosen to play, you might be prompted to decide if you would like to bet on all win lines or only on some of them, but the titles that provide this opportunity are scarce.
Another advantage of opting for the classics is that when 3-reels do pay, their payouts tend to be bigger, or at least most of the time.
On the downside, the entertainment value classic online slots offer is generally smaller than that of more advanced video slots. Not to mention the fact that most of the time, classic slots are void of bonus features or symbols, which is exactly what turns most gambling enthusiasts off.
The design is simplified which many players deem a disadvantage. You are unlikely to find any realistic, 3D graphics, let alone animations, which gives video slots a decided advantage over their classic cousins.
In fact, many avid casino fans think that video slots will supersede their classic counterparts because of the enhanced gameplay they offer, better-quality graphics and animations, and above all, the broader array of special features more advanced slots tend to provide. Yet, classic slots have a loyal customer base, which is the reason why they are unlikely to go out of fashion.
Popular Classic Slots You Can Play Online
Despite the fact that modern 3D slots overshadow their classic cousins in terms of visual appeal and features, 3-reel slots still enjoy a great popularity among experienced slot players. The number of 3-reel titles available online is quite impressive, which leaves players with a vast range of options to select from. To assist slot novices in making their choice, we have compiled a list of five classic online slots that boast some of the highest Return to Player percentages and recreate the appeal of old-school one-armed bandits with great accuracy.
Break Da Bank
Courtesy of the industry frontrunner Microgaming, Break Da Bank is a classic, 3-reel slot, which has a total of five paylines. The reels on this game feature symbols like gold coins, vaults, bars, and dollar signs. The wagers players can place range between £5 and £125, meaning that the game is not that suitable for players with tighter budgets.
To initiate the game, the players simply need to click on the Spin button, while the Bet Max functionality sets the reels in motion at the highest wager possible, or £125. The Break Da Bank symbol functions as a wild multiplier. It will not only help you complete winning combinations, but will multiply your winnings by 4x when you score a win. The maximum payout on this game amounts to 2,400 coins. The RTP of Microgaming’s classic slot Break Da Bank stands at 95.75%.
Double Wammy is yet another classic slot, which was introduced by the creators of gaming content from Microgaming. Obviously, the design of the game is inspired by the traditional, old-school slot machines in Las Vegas casinos as various classic symbols like cherries, lucky sevens, and bars are employed into the gameplay. Double Wammy is the epitome of a classic, 3-reel slot as it has only a single payline, and allows for a maximum wager amount of three coins. On that note, it is worth mentioning that bets range between £0.25 and £5, which renders it suitable for more risk-averse players.
The maximum amount you can win is set at 2,500 coins, and to do, you are required to get three Double Wammy symbols on the three reels. The Double Wammy symbols function as wild multipliers here. The second biggest prize can be won whenever players get three lucky sevens on the three reels. Finally, the RTP of Double Wammy is estimated to be 96.23%.
Couch Potato ranks among the most popular classic slot games, released by software developer Microgaming. The game features a sprouting spud lying on a couch and offers a single payline, positioned in the centre of the three reels. The slot utilises classic symbols such as cherries, single, double and triple bars, and lucky sevens. Yet, it is the Couch Potato symbol that all fans of traditional slots covet as it functions as a wild multiplier.
The Couch Potato helps complete a winning combination and multiplies players’ winning up to five times. Players, who are lucky enough to get two Couch potato symbols on the reels, will have their winnings multiplied 25 times. Three Couch Potato symbols can potentially reward players with the biggest win in the game of up to 15,000 coins. Classic slot fans can opt for playing with up to three coins per spin, with betting limits ranging between £0.25 and £15.00.
The game has become somewhat of a classic and is even available in a mobile format, for those, who wish to enjoy it while on the move. Couch Potato is a favourite among slot fans because it offers an RTP of 97.43%.
Courtesy of another leading software supplier in the industry, Playtech, Goblin’s Cave is a slot inspired by the popular creatures from European folklore that are infamous for their reputation to hoard gold and jewellery. The game features three reels, and is equipped with three paylines, which makes it a perfect example of classic slots.
Goblin’s Cave is more advanced in terms of graphics and sound effects when compared to some other classic slots. As soon as the game loads, players will see an old goblin with a droopy face, worn-out slippers and a pair of reading glasses that is anything but scary. It is this creature that “spins” the reels manually, so to speak. The game features symbols such as different jewelled rings, ruby jewels, crowns, lanterns, goblin coins, and teapots.
As a matter of fact, apart from the enhanced graphics, Goblin’s Cave is a game, which offers an interesting twist that comes in the face of intriguing features like multipliers and the Red Ruby wild symbol. Players can increase their chances of winning by using the Hold feature to lock up symbols on the reels for the next spin.
When this feature is activated and players click on the Spin button, they will notice that only the lowest horizontal reel is spun. If they hit a winning combination there, they get to spin the reels again to try to fill the remaining two paylines with the same winning combination. If the first spin has not resulted in a winning combination, players can select to hold some of the symbols on the lowest reel to improve their chances of winning on their second spin.
The least and maximum coin values in this game range between £0.01 and £5. The maximum amount you can bet per spin is set at £75. Those, who are lucky enough to get three red rubies, will win the highest prize in the game. Whenever three lantern symbols land on the reels, on the other hand, they will unlock a bonus game. The RTP of the Goblin’s Cave slot stands at 99.32%.
Developed by the software provider NetEnt, Mega Joker is a traditional fruit-themed, classic slot with three reels and five paylines. The game utilises classic symbols such as lucky sevens, cherries, plums, oranges, lemons, and watermelons that are repeating in the bulk of the classic slots available over the Internet. Players will get to choose to bet one to ten coins per spin, with coin values ranging between £0.10 and £1.00.
Whenever players win a spin in the base mode at the maximum bet of ten coins on all five paylines, they are given the chance to either collect their winnings or play in Supermeter mode. This feature allows players to place bigger bets of 20, 40, 100, or even 200 coins per spin. The maximum amount they can win in the Supermeter mode stands at 2,000 coins.
In addition, Mega Joker has a progressive jackpot attached to it, which translates into a wider range of opportunities to win more lucrative prizes. As 3% of each bet goes towards the progressive jackpot, the prize tends to escalate rather quickly. This slot is adapted for play across mobile devices as well and boasts an RTP of 99.00%.
How to Improve Your Classic Slots Experience
Although classic slots do not come with so many bonus features and do not impress with their flashiness, there is no denying that they have a charm that intrigues many avid casino fans.
Something gambling aficionados should bear in mind if they are total novices in playing slots is that there is no strategy that can help them enhance their chances of winning or guarantee that they will win on every spin of the reels. Still, there is a set of tricks that can help players extend their betting session and even help them enjoy a more fruitful experience.
Opt for the Lowest Bet Amount
In spite of the fact that this is a rather obvious piece of advice, if gambling enthusiasts want to extend their betting session, one of the best ways to attain this is to go for the lowest bet amount.
This approach might not work well while playing slots that are tied with a progressive jackpot in which settling on the highest bet amount possible is a must if gambling enthusiasts want to qualify for the biggest prize. Fortunately, this is not the case with classic slots as players will have the freedom to stake the amount they are most comfortable with at all times.
Make Sure You Are Self-disciplined
Sometimes, placing the smallest possible bets might not guarantee that your betting session will go off without a hitch and you will not end up with a drained bankroll. Oftentimes, gambling enthusiasts get caught up in the moment while betting on slots, thus forgetting about proper bankroll management or the goals they have initially set.
If you get easily carried away while wagering on slots, it will be a good idea to set a budget for your current betting session. Creating a weekly or monthly bankroll is also a good idea, especially if you wager on slots more frequently. Of course, slot mavens should not simply decide on the amount they will make use of during the preferred period of time as they will only make good if they bet within these limits.
Try the Games in Free-to-play Mode
Trying the games in a fun mode first is certainly a good idea as in this way, players will be able to determine if the chosen classic slot is cut out for them or not without risking any of their funds.
In addition to this, the practice mode will allow players to inspect the special features of the slot that has commanded their attention without being apprehensive about the cost that is attached to the rounds that are needed so as to put the bonus feature through its paces.