Available in all shapes and sizes, slots cater to a wide variety of people with unique tastes and preferences. New generation slot players look for innovative technology to enhance gameplay, while purists stick with traditional games that are a digital replica of the original fruit machines. These are just two ways to look at categorizing slots; there are plenty more ways to divide them up than simply traditional or innovative. This online slots guide looks into five different types of slots to help you determine how to pick the perfect slot when all you want to do is deposit and play now.


Number of Reels

Most online slots for real money have three or five reels. The 3-reel variants offer fewer paylines and a more basic game experience, whereas the 5-reel games tend to have more intricate gameplay and more paylines. If you prefer simplicity, or are just learning how to play online slots, opt for games with three reels. But if you prefer games with bonus rounds and elaborate game features, opt for games with five reels.

Looking for even more complexity in your slot session? A select few slots go beyond the standard format and offer more reels for more fun. For example, Space Traders has nine reels that operate on a 3X3 grid. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, you’ll appreciate how exciting the novel format is. Egypt’s Book of Mystery, meanwhile, has six reels plus a bonus seventh reel, which combine for 32,400 paylines. Good thing you don’t have to bet per individual line in this game! The best place to look for interesting new formats is in the “New Games” section.

Progressive Jackpots

Regardless of the number of reels included, slots can also be categorized as progressive or not progressive; this refers to the jackpot displayed on the game card. A progressive jackpot is a pot of money that grows with every incoming bet and pays out periodically. They can be won randomly, or by landing the top line. Some games even use it as a payout through a second-screen bonus round. Always read the paytable to determine whether or not there are eligibility requirements for winning the jackpot, such as a max bet. Typically, random progressive jackpots don’t have requirements, while standard ones do.


Paylines are the invisible lines on the reels that matching symbols must follow in order to be considered a win. The more paylines a game has, the more wins you can trigger per spin. However, as you go up in lines, you go up in cost because when you bet on a slot, you’re betting on each payline. If you want to bet $0.25 per line, a spin will cost you $0.25 on a 1-line slot and $12.50 on a 50-line slot. As a general rule: Games with more lines result in shorter more exciting gambling sessions, while games with fewer lines result in more steady drawn-out sessions.

Most games come with the following number of paylines:

1 payline

3 paylines

9 paylines

20 paylines

25 paylines

50 paylines

No Paylines

You can toss out the paylines altogether by choosing all-ways-pay slots. Instead of restricting wins to paylines, matching icons must simply land on consecutive reels, starting with the first reel and progressing to the right. There are technically 243 ways you can win with each spin with this format, which is why these games are advertised as 243-ways-pay slots. 

With no paylines, you choose a total bet per spin as opposed to betting on paylines, and as a result the payouts listed on the paytable are shown in dollar amounts and update automatically to reflect your bet size.


If you find yourself gravitating toward more complex gameplay, you've got to check out iSlots. These 5-reel games offer interactive bonus rounds and evolve as you progress through the levels included. With a video game vibe, they're perfect for players looking for more engagement than what’s possible with the simple spin-and-win games.

Ready to play but need somewhere to start? Below, we provide examples of games that fall into each of the five aforementioned categories.


Three-Reel Slot

5X Wins

When people look for 3-reel slots, they’re typically after a more traditional slot machine experience, and 5X Wins is the epitome of the traditional slot machine. Cherries, BAR symbols, Sevens and the “5X” logo spin along the reels of this straightforward 3-payline slot game. As a bonus, the game logo acts as a wild that multiplies payouts by 5X. Be sure to stake three coins per line in order to be eligible for the game’s progressive jackpot.  

Five-Reel Slot

A Night With Cleo

A Night With Cleo pushes the boundaries of scintillating slot experiences. In the introductory video, a note is sent to you by the beautiful Egyptian pharaoh, inviting you to her chamber. For alone time with Cleo, you need to play the Double or Nothing game after winning a payout. Click the “Double Up” button, and Cleopatra will hold two lotus flowers in her hands, asking you to pick one. If you pick the flower with gold coins, your payout is doubled, and Cleopatra celebrates. 

Random Progressive Jackpot

Caesar's Empire

Don’t tell Caesar about Cleopatra’s invitation. With a random progressive jackpot available in Caesar’s Empire, you need to get on the Roman emperor’s good side. Caesar’s Empire may be an older slot, but it’s a classic and it still gets a lot of action from slot players. What keeps this slot at the top of so many players’ lists? It has a wild that triples payouts, a generous free spins mode, and a scatter symbol that pays when two or more land anywhere on the reels. The payouts are good, and the gameplay is simple. 

Progressive Jackpot Slot

Food Fight!

If you prefer to earn a progressive jackpot by chasing the game’s top line, Food Fight is a good option. Sling your lunch across a raucous cafeteria as you spin the reels, hoping to land five Pudding icons—the key to the game’s progressive jackpot. This game requires a max bet to be eligible, so be sure to stake five coins on each line. 

Slot with Few Paylines

Costume Party

Activate one, two or three lines when you play a session of Costume Party. This fun-filled slot game has a character represent each line, so matches need to line up for the character’s bottom, mid-section and top to earn a payout—when it happens, the character has a complete costume that they’ll show off on the party stage.

Slot with Many Paylines

8 Lucky Charms

This 5-reel, 50-line slot game is loaded with luck. See how lucky you are by spinning through Lucky Cat free spins, Dragon wilds, Yin Yang bonuses, Coins, Turtles and more. The most exciting symbol is the Yin Yang, which triggers a simple but satisfying bonus round. A board of Yin Yang symbols will be presented to you; select symbols, and watch them reveal a color. Once you have three matching colors, your prize is added up.

Slot with No Paylines

Hockey Enforcers

Many of our sports-themed slots are payline-free, including Hockey Enforcers. Three or more matching icons must land on consecutive reels, starting with the first one, in order to win a payout. The only exception is with scatters, which can land anywhere on the reels and still trigger 15, 20 or 25 spins depending on how many you get. This game includes Microgaming’s signature Rolling Reels feature during the base game and free spins mode, plus the Multiplier Trail that’s exclusive to the free spins mode.


Fixer Upper

When it comes to real estate, the best way to earn a payout is to renovate an outdated home in a nice neighbourhood, and that’s exactly what you get to do while spinning the reels of Fixer Upper—an iSlot with three unique progression levels. At first, you’ll be spinning through the Plumbing level, where three Wrench icons send you to the first bonus round. A set of leaking pipes in the basement need your attention; you must remove the rusty pipe and replace it with new pipe to increase the home value, while also padding your bankroll with bonus cash. Two more bonus rounds await after the first one: a Painting level and a Landscaping level. 

Choosing the right slot will ensure that you have a great casino experience right off the bat. While these eight games give you a good idea of what to expect in each category, the themes really branch off from there, providing innumerable storylines that can have you spinning into a unique adventure every day of the year. Go ahead and spin the reels of the game that appeals most to you, and we hope to see you in our winners’ circle soon.