When it comes to playing pokies online, one of the most important concepts that players need to get acquainted with are the reels. And while a player can play pokies, have fun and even win some money without having the slightest idea what reels are, knowing a little bit about them can help players make the most of their pokies experience.
In principle, the number of reels is the main distinction between the two most basic pokies categories – classic and video pokies. As a rule, classic pokies have three reels, whereas video pokies feature five of them. In some cases, there are also video pokies with seven and even nine reels, albeit they are somewhat less common and harder to find.
So, when we put aside the graphics, sounds and themes which as a rule also distinguish video from classic pokies, it all boils down to the number of reels. Having only three of them means having a limited number of paylines (and in some cases only one), whereas 5-reel pokies feature multiple paylines, sometimes even reaching as much as 50. As you can imagine, playing a 50-payline game is quite different from playing a single-payline game. Betting on more paylines means having more chances to win from a single spin, which is one of the reasons why players often look for a bigger number of reels (and paylines, respectively) in pokies.
3 reel or 5 reel pokies?
Once upon a time (or, rather, what now feels like “once upon a time”), 3 reel pokies were the standard. Nowadays, however, players are presented with the opportunity to choose between classic and video pokies, or between three and five reels. It is also important to note that while once the reels where mechanical, now both classic and video pokies feature visual reels which basically are present only for entertainment purposes, whereas the outcome of the game is determined by a random number generator.
As already noted, having more payline options means having more potential chances to win from a single spin. So, why do some people still prefer the classic three-reeled pokies with fewer paylines? First, there is the matter or price. In pokies, activating each payline costs the player something, meaning that depending on the coin denomination of the game, betting on more paylines might increase the cost of the bet. So, it is no wonder that some players would rather stick to the three-reeled pokies which still may have special features and bonus games to make the pokies experience more varied and entertaining.
Another reason why some players prefer only three reels is that it is much easier to keep track of paylines and bets. Some players are not so much into visual entertainment and cool graphics, but rather get excited because of the possibility to either win or lose.
Then, there are those players who do not care so much about winning or losing, but enjoy the various game themes and high-quality graphics and sounds. Those players should go for the five reels since it is video slots that offer the best visual entertainment as far as pokies games go.