Sometimes referred to as called “straight slots” or “spinning reel games,” classic slots are the oldest and still among the most popular games found on casino floors. They closely resemble Charles Fey’s 1898 prototype, featuring side-by-side reels that spin independent of one another. On their faces are symbols that line up in the “window” of the machine.
A horizontal line running across the middle the window is known as the “payline.” When certain combinations of symbols align there, a “payout” is made. The amount of the payout is predetermined, a fixed amount based upon the number of credits bet and the combination of symbols obtained.
On classic slots, the reels are set in motion by pulling down a lever, also called the “handle” or “arm,” which is traditionally mounted on the right side of the machine. More modern versions are activated by pressing a “spin” or “play” button on the slot machine’s face. It is this arm that spurred the nickname “one-armed bandits.” For those who appreciate hassle-free simplicity accompanied by low risk, classic slots are the perfect choice.
More Options Added
For almost a hundred years, classic slots were limited to three reels. That’s because the diameter of the physical reels dictated the minimum size of the machines. With the introduction of electronics and video screens, such restrictions became obsolete. Initially, the new machines still looked very much like originals, The familiarity helped ease the transition, as did sound effects of clinking coins when coinless payment mechanism were introduced.
One innovation that was welcomed with open arms by the slot-playing pubic was the addition of multiple paylines to classic machines. A second horizontal payline was placed above the central one and a third line below. To access these, a second and third coin had to be played. Payout tables were revised accordingly so that the biggest jackpot remained on the center line, but now there were two more ways to win big. Over time, fourth and fifth payline patterns were added, too.
It did not take long for slot manufacturers to begin introducing five-reel formats with even more payline options. These five-reel games allow much larger payouts for the top jackpot, because matching five symbols is considerably more difficult than matching just three. The five-reelers brought more variety to the slot floor, and they soon began to take over prime space that their predecessors had always reserved.
The Classics of Today
Standard three-reel single payline machines are still found in casinos, including the ever-popular Red, White & Blue and 777, which remain the mainstays of many slot tournaments. Right alongside them are the multiple payline versions, offering more ways to land a winning combination. These are certainly the easiest games to learn and play. They make a great starting point for those new to slots and can be expected to survive even as newer, more complex high-tech slots are introduced. They also provide a steady and secure source of income for casinos.
Joining the basic classics are intriguing variations, such as Wildcard Slots featuring a special symbol that substitutes for any other symbol. This gives players more opportunities to win. Some versions even allow the Wild symbol to count when it is just above or below the payline, and three Wilds on a payline delivers a jackpot—sometimes even the top prize.
Another classic variation is the Multiplier Slot. It has symbols that multiply the value of a winning combination by 2X, 3X, 5X or even 10X. Some of these incorporate the wildcard feature as well, and they are known as Bonus Multipliers. And multiple payline classic slots are no longer limited to one, three or five paylines. Versions are available with nine, fifteen, twenty five, and even sixty ways to line up winning combinations.