Slots Reels & Grids – What Makes Up a Slot Game
What Slot Reels Are
The reels of any given slot game are virtually the basis of it. If you picture a slot as a house, the reels are the foundation upon which the game’s layout, setup and features are built. And surprisingly, as vital as this component is, it doesn’t get the attention is deserves.
Usually players are more concerned with the RTP, number of paylines and bonuses. But few ask themselves how the reels work and what their true significance is in the game.
The reels are the vertical columns in the slot’s layout, each containing a certain number of symbols on it. When you make a spin, you are essentially spinning the reels, which allows the symbols on the screen to change and potentially form winning combinations when the reels stop spinning.
The number of reels in a game, as well as their height, will determine how many symbols there are on the screen, how many paylines you can benefit from and hence the potential winning possibilities. And as you will see, there is a whole world of different options when it comes to the number of quality of reels in a given slot.
Standard Slot Reels – What You Are Most Likely To See at the Casino
There is a handful of standard reel sets that you will see most often at both land-based and online casinos. These start off at the bare minimum of 3 reels and build up from there. And, as a rule, the more reels you see in a video slot, the more special features there will be. Alternatively, the features will simply be more varied and possibly even unique to the specific title or its developer.
And just as with any other type of slot game, you can expect slots with standard reel counts to come in an abundance of themes, genres and styles.
More Advanced Slot Reels – Dialing it Up a Notch
If you thought 6 reels were the limit in slot games, think again. As you will see below, there is actually no limit. Software providers have gotten so incredibly inventive in this realm that there is little they cannot do with their games. And all the while, gameplay still remains as exciting as ever, and wins can still be pouring in.
Of course, it is far less common to stumble upon slot games with 7, 10 or more reels than it is with the much more numerous 3-reel and 5-reel slots titles. But for the curious, they are well worth seeking out.
No Reels? No Worries! There are Grid Slots
Not all slot games have reels. In fact, one of the ways that developers have found they can innovate gameplay is by altering the concept or reels and in some places – doing away with it completely. What this means is that you may sometimes come across an offering that doesn’t have traditional reels.
Instead, it may be a grid, say 8×8 or 7×7. And instead of paylines, players need to land clusters of matching symbols in order to win. Then there are also very daring providers who have even bypassed the concept of grids and simply let symbols float about in space, with the only requirement for a win being the presence of a certain number of identical symbols.
Let the Bonus Features Work Their Reel Magic
Variations on the traditional layout may not necessarily be as obvious and offered to you directly as you load the slot game. Wait, there’s no rush. Perhaps the magic is hidden in the bonus games?
It’s relatively common to see different special features alter the layout or even the rules of the game because of it. Not to mention that it’s quite fun to watch, too. Sometimes the bonus round will give you extra reels, at other times it may change their size. And in some cases certain reels may, for example, be held in place while the others spin. There are endless options.
Expanding Reels are an exciting feature that makes for great added winning potential in a game. The name is quite descriptive and is exactly what it sounds like. When triggered, the feature will see the reels on the screen grow one or multiple positions, meaning that more symbols will be added to them during spins.
Reel Modifiers are small enhancements that can be triggered in the base game as a sort of mini-bonus. And there are numerous types, but what they all tend to have in common is that they typically last for only one spin. Variations include multipliers added to a reel, mystery symbols, extra Scatters, etc.
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