Despite video slots’ ever-evolving new features, bigger wins, jackpots, graphics, and sound effects that are 21st-century worthy, the classic slots are still going strong. These simple and straightforward slots are still popular among players, perhaps just because they are so simple. There’s not much you have to know or figure out about the game before you can start playing, making it perfect for those who prefer easy entertainment without too many complicating factors.
We’re often asked what defines a classic slot, especially now when casino lobbies are dominated by video slots. A classic slot usually has three reels, each of which displays three symbols. This allows for up to five paylines, three that go horizontally over the reels and two that go diagonally.
Usually, you’ll be able to choose how many of the pay lines you want to bet on for each spin. Betting on only one line can make the bet per spin cheap, but it will, of course, also mean that you’ll only get a win when the winning combination is on this line. You’ll usually need to have three of the same symbol filling a whole pay line on the classic online slot machine to get a win.
The symbols used in the true classic slots are bells, coins, bars, 7s, and fruits, but what we would call the “modern” classic slots, the new versions of slots that resemble the classics, can have all kinds of different symbols. Each symbol will have a different value, so you’ll win the most from the high-value symbols that don’t appear that often, while you might get frequent wins from the low-value symbols. It’s also perfectly possible to get wins from different symbols on the same spin if you choose to activate all the paylines in the slot.
With three reels showing three symbols each, the pay lines in a classic slot usually run horizontally and diagonally. To win, you need to have three of the same symbol in a line. In classic slots, having a wild symbol is relatively uncommon, although you’ll see this in more modern versions.
Quite a few classic online slots also let you choose the number of pay lines you want to bet on. The standard number of pay lines is five, but you can choose to bet on one, two, three, or four lines, depending on the settings on the slot. On modern versions of classic slots, it’s normal to have nine pay lines or more since the slots usually have five reels.
Classic slots are, first and foremost, popular among players who have played on physical versions of these games in the real world. Many of the exact same games can now be found online, complete with the same pay tables, symbols, and features. These three games are among the most popular classic slots at online casinos:
NetEnt has brought new life to the old-time slot Jackpot 6000. In this game, you’ll find a typical classic slot with both a gamble feature and a supermeter. The maximum win is 6000 coins, and you can get this by either lining up three jokers or by triggering a random win by getting two jokers in the supermeter.
NetEnt is also the game provider behind the online version of Super Nudge 6000. In this slot, the supermeter has the most to offer, and it’s here that real gamblers have the best chances of winning. In the super meter, you choose if you want to bet 2x, 4x, or 6x your initial bet, and you’ll get 1, 2, or 3 nudges. By nudging the reels after they stop, you can change an almost win to a win.
There are lots of jokers spinning around the reels in Mega Joker from NetEnt, and these symbols don’t have a fixed prize. Every win from a line filled with jokers will trigger a random win, and you can bring the winnings with you to the supermeter. You can choose to wager 2x, 4x, 10x, or 20x your initial bet in this bonus feature, depending on the size of win you're after. And that’s not all; Mega Joker also features a progressive jackpot!
Even though classic slots are usually quite simple, there are some bonus features to be found in most of them. Free spins and pick & click, which are a big part of most video slots, are not common. Instead, you’ll find simpler versions such as the gamble feature and perhaps a supermeter. These are in-game features where you can choose if you want to collect the win from a pay line as it is or gamble with it for the chance of winning more. However, you might also end up losing what you initially won.
The gamble feature is easy: you can take your winnings and bet on a 50/50 or a 25/75 game by picking a card colour or card suit, and if you pick correctly you double or quadruple your winnings. In the supermeter, on the other hand, you’ll be gambling by spinning the reels. In this feature, you’ll bet more per spin, but you might also get the chance to win more from bigger wins from the bet lines or from special symbols, like the jokers. Nudging wheels or getting mystery wins is also possible in quite some of these slots.
Luckily, most online casinos are separating their slots into several categories, which means you’ll normally find all the classics in one place. This should make it fairly easy to scroll through the selection you have to choose from. Just note: not all the games found in the category are always the true classics. There might also be modern slots that have taken inspiration from the classics but implemented more modern features. Some of these can, in fact, be a video slot, but the main game resembles a classic one by only having three reels and not many paylines.
If the casino you’re playing at has a filtering option for sorting slots, you’ll most likely find the option to filter for classic slots, but it’s not guaranteed. If so, you’ll most likely be able to filter by paylines and bonus features. If you choose the lowest amount of lines and the least amount of bonus features, then chances are that you’ll end up with a selection that at least includes a lot of the classic slots.
You should also read through some of the slot reviews we here at GoodLuckMate have made for you, so you can find the classic slot that has the features you’re after.
Just like other casino games, there are free classic slots online. These are real-money reel machines that support demo play. While you don't play with actual cash in this mode, you also don't win real money prizes. Remember, playing free 3 reel classic slots is different than playing with a no deposit bonus. In the second case, you can actually win some real money prizes.
As for all other casino games at UK casinos, you’ll only be able to play classic slots for free in demo mode once you’re logged into the casino. You won’t have to make a deposit or anything like that, you simply have to register your account. This is to ensure that no one under the age of 18 plays slots, either for free or for real money.