A Guide To Classic Slots: Why Three Reels Can Create Endless Amount Of Fun

Now, we know what you’re thinking: “what’s a classic online slot machine?” Since we can read minds (sort of), we’ve prepared some answers for you. In the following sections, we’re going to take you through the nuances of classic slots, show you some games to try and offer a few tips that could improve your potential returns. So, if you’re ready to take a spin through the classics, let’s get started…

The Basics: What Are Classic Online Slots?

In simple terms, classic online slots are descendants of the fruit machines you’d see in pubs and clubs across the UK. Now, if we’re going to give fruit machines their technical name, they should be referred to as AWPs or Amusement With Payouts. The reason for this is that they mimic arcade games. Indeed, if you visit any amusement arcade, you’ll see that virtually all of the gaming machines look similar. From the controls and blinking lights to the sound effects, all the fruit machines and computer games have a similar vibe. The one main difference is that the latter features prizes.

From these early offerings, the fruit machine dynamic has been digitised and turned into a subsection of the slots genre. Although we’ll give you a few practical examples in the next section, the following list contains the main features you’ll find when you take a spin on some online AWPs:

  • Reels: In general, classic slots will have three reels.
  • Paylines: Although every game can vary, the number of paylines is typically between one and five.
  • Styling: The look of classic online slots is often described as retro. This can mean the graphics may look intentionally pixelated, there may be lots of beeps and flashes or you be able to pull a handle (like a one-arm bandit).
  • Symbols: Again, each games is different. However, when you play classic slot machines, be prepared to see various types of fruit, bars and 7s.

The Best Classic Slots Online

OK, so we now know that classic slots are three-reel games that often have a retro style. To give you a better idea of how all this looks in practice, we’ve picked out some of leading titles at our partner casino sites, DunderCasumo and others.

Blazin’ Hot 7s Classic Slot Game

Blazin’ Hot 7s
Bonus rounds
Game Developer

Developed by Betdigital, this game is obviously big on 7s. With three reels and five paylines, Blazin’ Hot 7s follows the “classic” format but brings a few extras to the mix. As well as the Spin Streak and Cherry Win bonus rounds, there’s a ‘free’ spins feature. If that wasn’t enough, it’s possible to change to game’s RTP by wagering different amounts and removing certain low value symbols from the mix.

Route 777 Classic Slot Game

Route 777
Up to 4000x
Game Developer
Elk Studios

Coming out of Elk Studios and sporting an American theme, this three-reel classic actually has one of the largest jackpots in the genre. For starters, the RTP is 96.3% and there are 17 paylines. Having that many ways to win in a three-reel slot is fairly unique and one of the reasons Route 777 is considered something of a crossover game (i.e. 17 paylines is like a video slot). In addition to the plethora of paylines, it’s possible to win 4,000X your stake. When you combine this with wagers that run from £0.20 to £100, the top prize can hit a heady £400,000!

Break Da Bank Classic Slot Game

Break Da Bank
Up to 2400x
Game Developer

Considered a classic among the classics, Break Da Bank is one of Microgaming’s top titles. In terms of your potential win rate, the Break Da Bank RTP score is 95.75%. That’s on the slightly lower end of the spectrum. However, fear not because there are some slick features in this game. When you set the three reels and nine paylines in motion, you can make winning combinations in all directions. On top of this, the game logo symbol will quadruple your winnings. Finally, with a jackpot worth 2,400X your stake, there are plenty of reasons to try and break into this bank vault.

We could continue explaining the finer points of the top slots for an eternity but we have to move on. However, if you’re look for some additional games to try, we’d suggest visiting Dunder or Royal Panda Casino and spinning the following:

Classic Slots Payouts, Jackpots And More

Classic slots are known as straight win games. In other words, the only way to win a prize is to roll in at least two matching symbols from left-to-right on an active payline. However, in recent years the genre has evolved and developers such as Microgaming has taken inspiration from other areas of the industry. Basically, developers have enhanced the traditional format by including bonus rounds and progressive jackpots.

If you look back to our examples in the previous section, you’ll notice that Blazin’ Hot 7s featured three bonus features. In years gone by, this would have been unheard of. However, with video slots becoming the dominant casino game, software providershave borrowed their popular bonus options. On top of the bonus rounds, you’ll also found classic slots with wild symbols. Again, these were never an important part of the genre. However, thanks to games such as Break Da Bank use, they’re now popular and used to bring more depth to the action.

Finally, if you visit Royal Panda Casino, you’ll find the following three-reel progressive jackpot games:

  • Cash Splash Three Reels
  • WowPot
  • LotsALoot Three Reel

Like bonus rounds and wilds, classic slots didn’t always have progressive jackpots. In fact, the majority of games out there have fixed jackpots. Sure, some of these can be quite substantial (see our Route 777 example). However, with a progressive jackpot, there is always an add layer of uncertainty and excitement.

Now, at this point it’s important to draw a distinction between five-reel jackpot slots and their three-reel counterparts. Because the latter have fewer symbols and ways to win, the progressive prizes are often smaller than the former’s. In practice, you can still win five and, sometimes, six-figure sums. However, it would be rare to see a classic progressive slot with a £1 million jackpot.

Setting a classic jackpot…

In terms of how the progressive jackpots are controlled, there are two ways. When you play the three games we’ve listed above, the prizepools are all internal. This basically means that money collected from the game at Royal Panda will build the pot.

The other way to turn classic slots into progressive games is to tap into a wide area network such as MegaJackpots. What happens here is that MegaJackpots creates a single prizepool which casino sites then connect multiple games to. This means that two players could be playing different slots but each contributing to the same prizepool.

Naturally, this means the prizes grow extremely quickly. However, what’s neat about wide area network progressive is that they can be added to any games. Therefore, if an operator wants to make one of their classics more appealing, they could link it to the MegaJackpots network and offer an improved payout structure.

Finding The Best Classic Online Slot Machines

What makes a classic slot popular? Well, in practice, it’s all a matter of personal taste. However, in general, you should look for the following features when you’re sizing up classic slots at our partner casino sites:

Aesthetics: Part of a classic slot’s appeal is its looks. In our opinion, the more retro or kitsch the game looks, the better. When you play a video slot, you expect slick graphics and animations. In contrast, when you play a class slot, you want something a little quirkier. For this reason, make sure the game has some old school features like fruit symbols or an annoying theme tune.

Practice Options: It goes without saying, but free classic slots should always be your go-to games. The ability to “try before you buy” is a standard and not a luxury in today’s iGaming world. Fortunately, when you go to a site like The Grand Ivy Casino, you’ll be able to take a spin on Super Hot Fruits without spending a penny of your own money. Being able to practice a game before you play is important and something you should always look for when you’re selecting a slot.

Added Extras: As we’ve said, many modern classics now feature bonus rounds, ‘free’ spins, wilds and progressive jackpots. If you’re someone that likes a little more action and potential payouts, check out the games with these extra features.

A Reputable Casino: If the place where you’re playing isn’t reliable, secure or well structured, it can ruin your gaming experience. Indeed, you won’t find many players flocking to the classic slots lobby of a third-rate casino. For the best experience, use our partner sites. Our team of experts has reviewed each one of them to ensure they provide the best service possible.

Gaming On The Go: Classic Mobile Slots

Before we leave you with a few tips on how to play classic slots, we need to tell you about gaming on the go. If you’re an Android or iOS user, you have two ways to play classic slots. The first way is to go down the traditional route and download an app or visit a mobile casino site.

For example, if you go to Royal Panda mobile, you’ll be able to Route 777, Fire 88, Diamond Empire and more. Similarly, if you download the Paddy Power Casino app and take a turn on Crazy 7. The benefit of playing these mobile slots games via your smartphone is that you get access to a more tactile experience. As well as swiping to spin the reels, there’s also the option to shake your device and undo certain actions or start a game.

If you fancy going a different route, you can download free play slots. Developed by social gaming brands such as Big Fish Games, these slots are don’t cost anything to download or play, which means they’re perfect for beginners. The only downside is that you can’t win real money. However, if you’re looking for some fun or a way to hone your skills, these are a great alternative to traditional casino slots.

How To Play Classic Slots: Three-Reel Slots Strategy And Tips

So now you know what classics slots are, what makes them great and what the big brands are, it’s time to leave you with some tips on how to play. Although there aren’t any ways to turn the reels in your favour, you can do certain things to ensure you get the maximum value from your time online.

Don’t Bet to Much: Only spending what you can afford should be the cornerstone of any casino player’s strategy. As a general rule, you should take no more than 5% of your total bankroll into any game.

Don’t Let the Swings Get to You: When you play slots, you will lose. In fact, you may go on an extended run where you don’t win anything at all. This is just the nature of slots and something you have to learn to live with. But, if you can trust that the wins will come and, in turn, give you’re bankroll boost, you’ll enjoy the experience a lot more.

Bet for Bonuses: In games with bonuses and/or jackpots, the best prizes are often more readily available when you bet the maximum number of coins. This doesn’t mean you have to bet the max, it simply means you have to crank up the number of coins for your bet amount. For example, if a game allows you to bet between one and five coins, go for five. Even if it’s five coins valued at £0.01 each, that’s still only £0.05 per spin.


That, in essence, is all you need to know. The only thing left of you to do is get out there and play. If you’re still unclear about anything we’ve said, go back through this guide and make sure you understand everything before you ante-up. Then, when you’re ready roll, take a trip to our recommended online slots sites, navigate to their classic slots lobbies and see how much fun you can have with three reels!