3-reel slots were the choice for mechanical boxes throughout the late 19th century. The Liberty Bell machine of 1884 (the first slot to have an automatic payout system) was a 3-reel game that offered a maximum prize of 50 cents for matching the Liberty Bell symbols and a minimum of 5 cents for 2 horseshoes. Although it’s worth noting that an earlier poker machine, from 1887, actually had 5 reels.
It’s hard to say whether that first poker game influenced the development of 5-reel slots or not, but there’s no denying that five reel slots have become the most popular choice among the online casino games now.
This is just the beginning and there is a lot to know. So, let’s dig into the mechanics of 5-reel slots and discuss about some of our favorite slot machines from this exciting sub-genre.
5-Reel Slots Explained
At first glance, the additional two reels in five reel slots can appear to be a simple development over 3-reel ones, offering a larger playing area and, therefore, a much greater number of symbols. But the major upside of a five reel game is multiple and adjustable slots paylines and the number of bonus features hidden under the hood, such as free spins, respins and several rewards for the players. In many ways, 5-reel games work more like video games as compared to the classic fruit machines.
In the current scenario, you’re not going to find a software provider that doesn’t have a collection of 5-reel slots on their books. If you’ve ever played Starburst from NetEnt, you would already be aware of how 5-reel games operate.
Why Play 5-Reel Slots?
With all the bonus rounds, free spins, engaging themes and 3 D graphics that are bestowed upon them by modern technology, 5-reel slots can be much more exciting to play on mobile devices than their 3-reel counterparts.
Five reel slots are also loaded with scatters, wilds and sometimes other kinds of bonus symbols. The wild symbol in slot machines is further classified in to expanding wilds and stacked wilds. These features usually work in conjunction with each other to provide an amazing gameplay experience to the players.
When matching symbols land on adjacent reels, they create a winning combination. The wild symbol can substitute for almost all other symbols, except the scatter symbol, giving more ways to win. While collecting scatters serves as the key to accessing more bonus rounds.
The functionality of five reel slot machines is similar to 3-reel slots, with the usual spin button to start the game and interaction between level of volatility and RTP (Return to Player) values, which dictates how often and how much a slot pays.
In general, 5-reel slots are among the highest RTP slots, suggesting that they are less likely to eat into bankrolls than 3-reel slot machines. Still, caution is advised when working out how much you can afford to spend.
Defining Casino Terms - RTP and Volatility
Before we continue, it’s important to get the hang of RTP and volatility so that you can understand how these slots work.
What is RTP in slots? It is the amount of money a player can expect to have returned from their bet over several million plays. That's why you should never calculate RTP at face value. The average percentage is calculated over a vast number of plays. For example, a 98.0% RTP slot will not pay $98 instantly if you placed a bet of $100. Players consider RTP a useful indicator of the slot's typical pay back over time.
Slots volatility, also sometimes known as variance, describes how likely a slot is to pay out.
How do they work together? Low volatility slots tend to have high RTP, as they pay out little and often, while high volatility games tend to favor rare but huge prizes, and have lower RTP percentages as a consequence. Another way of looking at the relationship between RTP and volatility is as the balance between potential risk and rewards.
Additional reading alert!
In some slot games, you can also optimize your playstyle using the online slots strategy.
Types of 5-Reel Slots
While playing slots at the online casinos or land based casinos, you’ll come across the following types of five reel slot games:
All 3D slots are the video slots that have some sort of story built into the game. These storylines keep the players engaged in the game as they require them to achieve certain goals to reach to the next level. The best 5- reel 3D free casino games are Jungle Jim El Dorado, Flaming Fox and Cazino Cosmos.
Progressive slots such as Mega Moolah represent one of the most significant upheavals in the way both players and casinos treat this type of slot game. They tend to have very high volatility (high risk, high reward) that’s suitable for high-rollers or those with resilient bankrolls.
Penny slot machines attract players because they provide flexibility to play on a low bankroll for a long time. Gonzo's Quest, Da Vinci Diamonds are among the best penny slots online.
Branded slots borrow imagery from pop culture (Batman, Rick & Morty, The Matrix, Game of Thrones, and so on) to attract people that are interested in those particular franchises but may never have played casino games before. Branded slots are a tactic to crack different generations, something that hasn’t always been an easy task for online operators or their land-based alternatives.
Slots with sticky wilds have wild symbols that stick around for respins, instead of disappearing, as soon as the player sets the reels going again.
5-Reel Slots Paytables
A paytable should be your first stop when you play a 5-reel slot. Think of it as a guide or instruction manual to the features that the game offers. Most paytables will include important information such as:
- Paylines, their number and the possible directions they can run in
- Symbol meanings, especially the purpose of wild symbols and scatter symbols
- The minimum bet and maximum bet allowed
- Prizes and jackpots
- RTP values
Best Software Providers of 5-Reel Slots
Quickspin - Big Bad Wolf, Goldilocks Wild Bears and The Wild Chase are some of their best slots that you should give a try.
WMS - Williams Interactive or WMS has been producing cutting edge games with modern features for so many years. Their gaming library include titles such as, Epic Monopoly II, Enchanted Kingdom, Bier Haus and many others that players love.
Best Sites to Play Five-Reel Slots
Transparency and authenticity are two of the most important traits that we look in a casino operator, so we ensure that all the online slot sites we redirect you to are licensed in the United States and completely safe to play at. We also review casinos based on points like low response time in customer service, website security, high payout speeds, low wagering requirements in deposit bonuses, and quick access to resources that assist with gambling problems.
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How to Choose an Online casino to Play 5-reel Slots
When you play online, you can determine the quality of an online casino by finding out how often (and how well) it rewards players.
Try not to get blindsided by impressive-sounding welcome packages, as they can create problems later down the road. For instance, huge wagering requirements in welcome bonus can mean that free cash is effectively useless as far as withdrawing any immediate winnings is concerned. However, a complete lack of promotions can also effect your bankroll.
Last but not the least, play responsibly and never hesitate to ask for help.
Five-reel slots are in trend due to their gameplay innovation in a variety of themes. From video slots to progressive jackpots, these slot games are suitable for all kinds of people and bankrolls. However, as with any entertainment niche, the quality of operators, developers, and games can vary so expert opinion on casino gaming can serve as an aid for the slots players.
Some of the the 5 reel slots that you can try for their amazing features are: