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When one looks at a slot game, they often think about watching the reels spin and high paying combinations forming on the paylines. But does anyone actually sit back and think how the reels function in slots? Granted, this topic does not receive a lot of attention when compared to others like house edge, RTP, paylines, betting strategies, etc. For this reason, we have prepared an article explaining what a reel is and how it performs its function in the world of online slot games. Additionally, you will also find a FAQ section at the bottom, detailing some often asked questions regarding the subject.

Slots Reels

Slots ReelsTo start with the basics, a reel in slot games are the vertical positions on the grid, which are spun after placing a wager and different symbols land on them every time. All slots games come with reels, which are arguably one of its most important aspects. After all, spinning the reels is the whole point of playing this type of game. When slots made their first appearance, they had three mechanical reels that would spin after the player pulled a lever. Being mechanical, these reels had fixed symbols and actually physically spun. Typically, each had 10 symbols on each reel and with three reels, this meant that there were 10,000 possible different combinations. Over time slots became slightly more complex and interesting, but still retained the mechanical aspect and decades would pass until the technology would improve to become what we now consider standard slots.

Nowadays, slot reels are still a vital component of the slots experience, but they are much different than what they used to be. For starters, video slots have no moving parts and the whole game is rendered by microprocessors. This allows for a lot of new possibilities and exponentially increases the potential of the genre.

The new way of doing things meant that the reels do not have any pre-assigned symbols on them as in the early days. Whereas before you could have only two of a given symbol appear on a reel, now you can have the whole reel covered with that symbol if your luck is good enough. This is done by the RNG (Random Number Generation) software implemented in modern slot games. Basically, this is programmed in the core of the given title and it determines the outcome of a spin on a random basis. This has more or less revolutionized the gambling industry and it opened to gates for software providers to develop much more interesting games.

Misconceptions about Online Slots Reels

Online Slots ReelsWith the rise of online casinos and video slots increasing in popularity, certain misconceptions have emerged and been perpetuated on the part of ignorant players who do not understand how the games work. On such is the idea of a near-miss, where the game stops the reels in a way that a symbol is just one position away from forming a winning combination. This gives players the feeling that they were only a fraction away from a large win and that if only the reel had moved for a half second longer, then that would have come to pass. A similar fallacy is observed when players have the option to stop the reels manually and the same scenario happens.

The reason this way of thinking is wrong is due to the fact that there are no actual reels spinning. What you are shown on screen is nothing more than a visualization, a computer graphic. What you see on screen is only there for the purposes of immersion and it does not actually affect your chances of winning. If you have the option of stopping the reels manually, all you are doing is stopping the animation. In fact, the outcome of the spin is determined the moment you press the ‘SPIN’ button and everything else is just a show. The RNG systems take a fraction of a moment to generate a result and since it is random, everything is based on your luck.

Frequently Asked Questions about Slots Reels

mobile slotsThe topic of reels is not the most discussed in the online gambling industry and not a lot of players seem to show interest in it. Still, we believe that the information we provided has been useful and it gives you some form of understanding of the online slots scene. That being said, there is always the possibility that you still have questions regarding the subject. For your convenience, we have prepared a list of the most commonly asked questions about slots reels along with their respective answers.

Does the number of slots reels matter?

Should I play games with more or fewer reels?

Can I change the number of active reels?

Are there other slots outside 3- and 5-reeled ones?