Introduction to Classic Slots
I know it might sound like a surprise as I’m a qualified gambler who has played thousands of games, but in fact, playing classic 3 reel slots online is my all-time-favourite gambling activity. Even though classic slots can’t serve me a variety of advanced features or bonuses, they still give me the wins and the pleasant old-school vibes that bring me back to the good old times. Moreover, it’s a perfect option for the moments when I’m in no mood for “understanding” the game and all I want to do is to spin the reels and watch them bring me the money.
Classic slots are often underestimated by modern casino players, and today I want to fix it once and for all. In this guide, I’ll tell you why you need to play classic slots online, which games exactly are totally worth trying, and how to choose the right 3-reel games that will bring you not only fun but also real money.
Classic Slots vs Video Slots — What’s the Difference?
People who don’t know much about online gambling often mistake classic slots for basic 5-reel games which have a limited number of features or not-too-advanced graphics. But classic slots have several characteristics that are only inherent to this kind of games. I’ll tell a little bit more about each of them below, so you don’t mix classic slots with other gambling products.
3 reels only
The first thing to do to define which game is in front of you is to count how many reels it has. The rule is simple here: if there are 3 reels — it’s a classic slot, if there are 5 reels — it’s a video slot, if there are more than 5 reels — it’s still a video slot, but its developers have gone creative.
Old-school game symbols
While video slots providers can’t stop impressing us with all kinds of game symbols from movie characters to animals and flowers, you won’t see anything but a basic set of old-school symbols when you play free classic slots. In most cases, this set includes fruits (lemons, cherries, watermelons, etc), 7’s, diamonds, bells, and BARs.
Just like the very basic graphics and symbols, game features in classic slots are also fundamental. In some cases, you can come across a classic slot with a Scatter or a Multiplier, but mostly you’ll be just spinning the reels and hoping for good luck (and it’s not a bad thing, believe me).
Minimal number of paylines
If you tried playing video slots before, you know that the number of possible paylines can sometimes reach a thousand or even more, thanks to a variety of bonus features and symbols. As neither of them is existent in classic slots, the number of paylines is also quite limited — 1-5 is everything one can hope for.
How to Choose the Best Classic Slots
Now when you know what classic slots are, let’s talk about how to choose the right game for your needs, whether you want to play free 3 reel classic slots for fun or real games for real money.
Even though the steps are simple, making them still requires some time. If you are not into searching for games yourself, you can always pick a classic slot out of my games list and be sure it’s safe and lucrative — as only safe and lucrative slots can make it to this page.
Use a filter to find your favourite providers
Do you have a favourite casino games provider? I can bet it makes classic slots as well. Even though some companies like Microgaming or NetEnt are mostly focused on developing advanced video-slots, there are still some old-school games in their collection so you can experience a classic vibe combined with the renowned quality and reputation.
To find a classic slot made by a specific provider, please use a filter on the right side of this page and tick the respective boxes — slots, classic slots, and the name of the company.
Check the RTP rate of the game
It doesn’t matter which kind of gambling game you are going to play, checking the RTP rate in advance is vital for the future outcome. The only exception is when you play free classic slots and don’t expect to get any money.
Slots are considered to be the games with the highest RTP rates, and this rule accounts for classic slots as well — there are games with 99% RTP and even more. Make sure you know the RTP of the game, and it’s at least 94-95%. If this number is much lower or you can’t find any RTP information at all, I’d recommend looking for some other classic slot to be safe.
Look for a free demo first
The best thing about casino games is that they can bring you money. The second best thing about casino games is that you can also play them for free. Here on my website, you can find a collection of free classic slots available with no download and no registration.
But why do you need them? Free demos are great for two reasons. First of all, they give you a chance to try as many games as you want until you find the one you like the most, all without spending a single penny on the process. And, secondly, they allow you to cut open the game, understand all its features, refine your gambling strategy, and start real money play fully prepared.
Pick a proper casino for real money bets
While you need a good classic slot to get all the fun and money, you also need a safe and reliable online casino where you can play it. Make sure you check the license, possible deposit and withdrawal methods, security certificates, wagering requirements for the bonuses, and other aspects you believe to be important in an online casino.
Alternatively, you can use a list of the best casinos to play UK classic slots online already selected and checked by me. All the websites here are UKGC licensed, have positive reviews from players, and are regularly used by my friends and me.
Think of the bankroll management before you start
This is not a thing you can frequently read on gambling-related websites, but managing your bankroll before starting a game is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a safe and satisfying gambling experience. Make sure you have a financial limit set for your current gambling session, as well for the week/month, and never exceed it, even if it seems like the winning streak is about to hit. Think of the bets you are about to make — would you prefer smaller bets to ensure a longer game stretch or are you okay with placing a larger bet but risking to lose it at the very beginning?
And only when you have your bankroll managed and your bets planned, you can launch a classic slot of your choice and immerse yourself in the wonderful atmosphere of old-school casinos and their unique vibe.
Top 10 Classic Slots That I Recommend
Judging by everything I said before, you might now be thinking that all the classic slots are the same, and it doesn’t matter which one to choose, as long as you play it in a safe and reliable casino. Well, yes and no. Even though most of the classic slots look and work more or less similar, there are games that stand out of the crowd — either by their gameplay, graphics, or just higher quality. Here is my top-list of the classic slots made by renowned gambling games providers. Check them out if you are looking for a good classic game.
- Grand Spinn by NetEnt. While NetEnt is mostly known for its video-slots, the company is quite good at making classic ones as well. Grand Spinn is a 3-reel 1-payline game with classic design and decent RTP of 96.21%. Despite having only one payline, the slot also offers Multiplier Wilds and the Nudge features that make it rather lucrative.
- Irish Gold by PlaynGo. This bright and cartoonish classic slot features a popular Irish theme so get ready to meet leprechauns and try to win their treasures. The number of paylines is slightly higher here — 5 — and the RTP rate is 95.42%.
- Couch Potato by Microgaming. Even though it’s a super-classic slot with basic symbols and only one payline, Microgaming managed to make it entertaining enough to keep you playing for hours.
- Mega Joker by NetEnt. While playing Mega Joker by NetEnt, you can imagine yourself in a real land-based casino as the game looks exactly like a classic one-armed bandit. It’s one of the most lucrative classic slots out there as its RTP reaches 99%.
- Alchemists Lab by Playtech. Try to brew a potion that will make you rich by playing this 3-reel 1-payline classic slot made by Playtech. Success is inevitable as the game offers more than 96% RTP and unique graphics.
- Bermuda Triangle by Playtech. Don’t expect any cherries and 7’s here, Bermuda Triangle slot will take you to a mysterious place full of missing planes, ships, and water creatures. This place also offers 5 paylines and 96.73% RTP, so I believe it’s worth visiting.
- Jackpot Jester 50,000 by Nextgen Gaming. There are only two things to know about Jackpot Jester for you to check it immediately: it has 99.9% RTP and a very unusual layout of the reels, even though it’s still a classic slot.
- Wacky Panda by Microgaming. As always, Microgaming is on top of the world when it comes to great graphics and unusual game symbols. Here, sweet and cute pandas will challenge you in a battle for real money. Will you be able to win?
- Ocean Princess by Playtech. This sea-themed classic slot might not be the best when it comes to graphics, but it offers 99.07% RTP and 5 possible paylines so give it a try.
- Wild Melon by PlaynGo. I’m ending this list with a classic fruit machine. There is nothing super-unusual here, but it’s a high-quality product created by PlaynGo that never lets the players down.
History of Slot Games
Have you ever thought about where it all started? The game that is now being played by millions of people every day was invented back in 1891 by Sittman and Pitt, a New-York-based company. The first “slot-machine” used cards instead of the game symbols we know now and cost only 1 nickel to play. While this machine only gave out prizes like cigars or free drinks, the next one invented by Charles Augustus Fey in 1895 started to payout the real money.
Since then, more advanced slot machines were developed regularly by different manufacturers. They were becoming more and more reliable, new features were introduced, and the popularity of slots has quickly gone up.
1996 was the year when the first video slot with a bonus round was created. This is also the time when slots became the most popular casino game and started to constitute up to 70% of all the floor space.
And finally, the era of online gambling started at the end of the ‘90s. From classic fruit machines to state-of-the-art video slots — the industry has gone a long way to make it possible for us to play beautiful and entertaining games while making money at the same time.
I know it might seem weird to play simple classic slots when there are so many more advanced games. but I urge you to try them at least once. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced gambler, you’ll love the simplicity of classic slots, which allows you to just relax and play the game without concentrating too much or trying to understand how complicated features work.
As always, a selection of the best classic slots is available here to play for fun. Once you are done with free games, just hit a “play for money” button and get redirected to one of the safe and fair casinos where you can start winning money.