Different types of slots

Types of Slot MachinesIf you think of a slot machine game, what do you think about? Whether it is pulling the arm of a bandit, the spinning reels, the free spins and wild symbols, the big progressive jackpots, or fruit symbols, you are correct. They are all aspects of free slots or real money slots. But not all slots have all of those features. On the contrary, slots come in many shapes and sizes. In fact, there are just as many different types of slots as there are other casino games. In this article, we will try and take a look at the many major types of slots, so you can identify just which type of slot machine game is best suited to your needs.

The number of reels

They are many different ways you can classify slots. One way (and the most common way, as it happens) to do so is to break slots into genres based on how many reels they contain. Slots with 3 reels are known as classic slots, because they resemble the original Liberty Bell machine.

The other major type of slot is the 5-reel slot, known as the video slot. It gets its name from the fact that they were originally played on TV-style screens, and they contained a second screen bonus round. Although they are the two main types of slot machine games, you can also find 4-reel, 6-reel, even 7-reel slots on occasion. These are considered oddities, though, and quite rare.

Progressive or non-progressive

Slots can also be broken down further, depending on which type of jackpot they carry. The two main types are progressive, or non-progressive. A progressive jackpot does not have a cap, meaning that whenever a player stakes a bet, it gets bigger. This will continue to happen until it is won. When it is won, it will return to a default minimum level, before rising once more. By contrast, a non-progressive slot always has a fixed jackpot.

It is possible for slots to have multiple progressive jackpots. Progressive jackpots can be won by at random (with no specific event triggering it), via a bonus round, or by lining up specific symbols on an active payline. With non-progressive slots, jackpots are almost always won by the latter. Some progressive jackpots are particularly difficult to win, since they require players to line up specific symbols on a specific payline.

3D, 2D, or mobile

Slots on MobileSlots can also be broken down into groups based on their graphics, or their platform. Most online slots are considered to be 2D slots, although we never call them by this name. They are often simply referred to as slots. There is a difference between them and 3D slots, though. Obviously, the difference referred to is the level of graphics present.

Another way to look at the many types of slot is by their platform. For instance, most slot machine games have been designed for the online casino world, including mobile slots. By and large, that means laptop and desktop computers. However, land-based slots were the originators in the industry, and they are still popular. They appear as standalone machines, and can include the one-armed bandits we referred to earlier. You know the type – you’ll find them in Vegas, and other arcade, bookies, gambling hall, and casino venues.

Fruit machines and Pokies

Pokies and fruit machines are two additional slot genres. Pokies aren’t actually that different than your run of the mill slot machine. In fact, they are identical. A pokie is just the Australian slang name for slot. It’s easy to remember. If you hear pokie, just think slot.

As for fruit machines, these are kind of slot classic slots, but not quite. Classic slots (one-armed bandits) generally have very few paylines, few reels, and stereotypical symbols. Fruit machines are guaranteed to feature fruit symbols, and pub fruit machines will even feature nudges, and a primitive mini game. They are very reminiscent to the pub machines you used to gamble on, which had their heyday in the 80s and 90s.

Slot features

Most slot machine games are video slots, which means they contain relatively the same features. These features often include a wild symbol (which can substitute for many other symbols), a scatter icon (which counts no matter where it appears on the reels), and/or bonus icons (which trigger bonus games). It is not uncommon for scatter symbols to trigger bonuses, too.

In most cases, these bonuses include free spin rounds (spin the reels for free for a set number of games), click and win bonuses (click and object to win cash prizes), money wheels (spin a wheel to win prizes), or other mini games, the objectives of which vary from game to game.


The number of paylines in a slot may also vary. Classic slots contain no more than 5, but most actually feature just a single line. Video slots can contain anything from 5 paylines upwards. Generally speaking, slots tend not to extend beyond 1,024 paylines. Between 25 and 243 is far more common for a video slot.


The many different types of slots can also be grouped together by theme. Slots sometimes go with popular themes, such as Ancient Egypt, (Cleopatra and Tutankhamen in particular), rich lifestyles, money, Irish Luck and the like. Slots can also feature themes such as sports, tourism, Halloween, candy, space, shopping, history etc.

The most popular slots tend to be branded slots. These are slots based on popular brands and franchises, such as movies, TV shows, celebrities, and so on. Due to their theme, they have instant appeal.

A few original themed slots are also in existence, and these can prove themselves to be winners. The truth of the matter is, though, if you have an original themed slot and it turns out to be a success, it will only be a matter of time before other similarly themed slots appear as developers try and cash in on other provider’s successes.

An example for 2016 is NetEnt, where they introduces NetEnt Rocks. This included branded rock slots such as the Guns n’ Roses slot released in January 2016, followed by the Jimi Hendrix and Motörhead slots. We will surely wee more similar games, both from NetEnt and other game providers.

Which slot is for you?

You have now seen just how many different major types of slots there out there on the net. Remember, these are just the major types. There’s countless more ways you can divide up slots, and break them down. By looking at the genres above, though, you should be able to come up with a check-list, and find the type of slot you want to play, based on what you would like it to have.

One thing is guaranteed: with so many different types of slots out there in the online casino gaming world, and in real land-based casinos, there really is something for everybody.