3 Reel Slots – A Complete Guide at LeoVegas


The 3-reel slots was originally invented in the late 19th Century by Charles Fey and it's become popular amongst casinos and pubs ever since. This guide will delve into the history, mechanics and types of 3-reel slots together with game recommendations available on LeoVegas New Zealand.

There's a variety of 3-reel slots, including classic ones with legacy symbols, fruit machines with added features, and Vegas-style slots with modern themes and extra features.

The basics of 3-reel slots involve symbols and paylines, traditionally featuring fruits and classic symbols like the lucky seven. The paytable outlines symbol values, and players can customize their bets before spinning.

Advantages of 3-reel slots include simplicity and easy symbol valuation, but they lack the features of contemporary 5-reel games. LeoVegas recommends top 3-reel slots like Jackpot 6000, offering Super Meter Mode and free-to-play options, Blazin' Hot 7s with High-Voltage multipliers and a Cardboard Box bonus, and Vegas Diamonds, featuring a Fortune Wheel. The list also includes 20p Slot, Joker 10000 Deluxe, and Rainbow 3x3, each offering unique themes and features for players seeking diverse experiences in 3-reel slots.

Table of Contents

LeoVegas Guide to 3 Reel Slots

Welcome to the ultimate LeoVegas guide to 3 reel slots. After explaining how they work and the different types available, we’ll recommend a few that you can play right here at LeoVegas.

Brief History of 3 Reel Slots

The first ever slot machine was invented way back in the late 19th Century by an American inventor named Charles Fey. He came up with the Liberty Bell, a hand-operated game with three reels. Players simply had to spin the reels and match symbols in the middle.

This concept quickly caught on and spread like wildfire across the Western world. Three reel slots became a mainstay in pubs, bars, and casinos in the USA and the UK. They were the most dominant form of slots until the online casino industry blew up and 5 reel slots started to boom in popularity.

These days, 3 reel slots offer players the game in a simpler format and offer a resembelance for the time before internet gambling.

Understanding the Basics of 3 Reel Slots

It doesn’t take too long to get the hang of 3 reel slots as they require little input from players. In this section, we’ll talk you through the basics of these games so you have an idea about what to do before you start playing.

Symbols and Paylines

For many years, 3 reel slot games were associated with fruits and playing cards, along with the classics like the lucky seven and the bar symbol. Over time, developers introduced other symbols like diamonds and gems. Traditionally, the symbols in these games are simple and easy for players to follow in terms of the value hierarchy.

On the earliest versions of the games, the pay line was horizontal across the middle, as only one row would spin into view. This expanded so that players could see three rows, but the win line still remained on the central one of these. Some games stick to this one-win line format, while others consider the other two rows and the diagonals. Therefore, sometimes these games can have up to five win lines.


Each game comes with its own paytable, denoting the different symbols within the game and how much the payouts for each of them are worth. There’s generally a special symbol that delivers the jackpot, and up to around nine other symbols that offer varying winnings when they match on a win line.

Betting Options

Before spinning the reels, players can set the stake that they want to gamble per spin. If there are multiple win lines, they can wager a certain amount per win line and then see their total bet before they spin the reels. Stakes start relatively low, but most games offer higher options for high rollers.

Types of 3 Reel Slots

You’ll come across loads of different types of 3 reel slots online, and the game type is still going strong in the modern age. It’s good to know what styles are on offer so you can zone in on the one you prefer.

Classic 3 Reel Slots

Classic 3 reel slots are the more traditional games that hark back to the early machines. These usually come with one win line and have legacy symbols on the reels like fruits.

Fruit Machines

Fruit machines are the names given to the slots that spread throughout pubs and bars in the 1980s and 1990s. These used to come with a range of features that gave players some control over the outcome.

It was at this point that game themes became widespread, with Bullseye and Deal or No Deal considered classics in the genre. Online fruit machines are more like classic slots but may come with additional win lines. They also sometimes have side games.

Vegas-style Slots

Vegas-style 3 reel slots are more in line with modern internet games and come with a range of themes. They tend to have a glitzy and glamorous feel with diamonds being a common feature. Sometimes they have extra win lines and bonus features such as free spins.

Advantages and Disadvantages of 3 Reel Slot Games

There are various advantages to playing 3 reel slots. They are simple and easy to follow, as there are only three reels to monitor. It’s also straightforward to figure out the values of the different symbols.

The main disadvantage is that these games don’t come packed with as many features as the contemporary 5 reel games. Some players will prefer 3 reel titles while others will opt for the 5 reel titles.

Top 3 Reel Slot Games to Play at LeoVegas NZ

If you’re interested in playing some 3 reel slots today, why not try some of the top offerings here at LeoVegas. Here are six games that we highly recommend checking out.

Jackpot 6000

Jackpot 6000 is a classic slot game from esteemed developer NetEnt. Despite being inspired by machines from before the internet, this one does have a few features up its sleeve. For instance, there’s the Super Meter Mode and the Heads or Tails Feature. It even has a free-to-play mode so you can get the hang of it before investing any of your own cash.

Blazin’ Hot 7s

Blazin’ Hot 7s is a classic slot that also has plenty of modern aspects. The Bet Digital game has five win lines and features iconic imagery such as the lucky 7 symbol. The twist is that this has a scorching set of features that can result in some fiery jackpots. There are High-Voltage multipliers that trigger as a result of consecutive wins andthere’s also the Cardboard Box bonus that gives you 10 free spins. These come with an Infinity Spin that stays in place until you hit a set of matching symbols.

Vegas Diamonds

For players in search of 3 reel slots with a glitzy and glamorous theme, Vegas Diamonds is the one to go for. Along with dazzling diamonds on the reels, it has a Fortune Wheel feature. All you have to do to land that stunning mini-game is land three bonus symbols on the reels.

20p Slot

If you want to feel as if you’ve been transported to a classic arcade, the 20p Slot is an excellent choice. This features all the famous fruits on the reels, along with a Fortune Bet button to add a bit of spice to the proceedings. If you press that, you turn the top-pay symbol wild. It also comes with a gamble feature – another mainstay of the slots of yesteryear.

Joker 10000 Deluxe

Joker 10000 Deluxe has all the hallmarks of a classic slot machine, along with some nifty features for internet players. It has legendary symbols like melons, bars, and cherries. These are accompanied by joker symbols that can generate wins of up to 10000x your stake.

Rainbow 3x3

For players who remember pub fruit machines and want to see them in an online format, Rainbow 3x3 is one of the best options to choose from. It has a 'luck of the Irish' theme with pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is a bit more intense than other slots, however, as it has nine reel windows operating at the same time. That means you could potentially win nine times with one spin.

3 Reel Slots FAQ

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to 3 reel slots and are ready to start playing today! If you still have some queries on your mind, check out the frequently asked questions below to see if we’ve answered them for you. You could always contact our helpful customer service team as well.

What is the difference between 3 reel slots and 5 reel slots?

On a basic level, 3 reel slots and 5 reel slots differ in the number of reels they offer. However, there are repercussions to having more reels. For instance, 5 reel slots have a greater number of win lines. Three reel slots are simpler, and better for players who don’t want to overcomplicate things.

Can I play 3 reel slots for free?

Sometimes, there are free spins deals that can be used with 3 reel slots. Keep an eye out for our weekly and monthly promotions to see if you can benefit. Also, sometimes you’ll have the chance to practice play on the games before you stake your own money.

Are 3 reel slots better?

There’s no right or wrong answer to whether 3 reel slots are better or not. It’s all a matter of opinion. We recommend playing a few 3 reel slots and a few 5 reel slots to see which ones you prefer.

Check out various online pokies in our lists: