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Classic Slots Games
The original slots were three-reel games that used mechanical reels to give players a randomized chance of lining up different sets of symbols. These eventually evolved into what are known as video slots with virtual reels that play out on a screen. However, classic slots still have a huge following because of the unique type of experience they offer.
What we want to do for you here is break down how classic slot machines are seen in today's environment, what makes them so special and how to choose a game that will fit what you're looking for in particular.
Format and Paylines
The main thing that makes a classic slot stand out is the fact that it has three reels. If a game has four or more, then that almost always makes it a video slot in today's industry as far as how the genre is broken up into subgenres. The number of rows also comes into question, and there are two main formats.
Games with a single payline typically only have one row because that's all that's needed, but they'll usually let you see symbols that have barely missed the main payline. This is done with "one-half" spots where a symbol can make it halfway onto the activated payline without actually counting. This is a key part of the experience, and if you want to know if games have this sometimes-irritating feature, then you can test out free classic slots first so that you know what you're getting yourself into.
Because of the need to be more competitive with video slots, which often have more than 20 different ways to win (or even hundreds) on each spin, many of the most popular classic slot machines today use three rows of symbols. This allows for three or five paylines, and that increases the action enough to be competitive with the other types of slots.
Choosing a Game
Format is the first thing to consider when choosing a game, but because virtually everyone wants to play with five paylines these days, it's not much of a decision. Instead, you want to look at how the pay table is structured and how the bonus features are laid out. The overall volatility is determined by these factors, and that's the key thing you'll want to know when choosing bet sizes as well.
The easiest way to check up on a pay table and hit-rate is to check out the free classic slots no download versions and click over to see what the payouts look like. Then you can play for a few minutes to get a feel for how often you're going to hit in this game before you actually play for real money. This is probably the single-most important thing you can do when picking out a game because it gives you a taste of the experience before you wager anything of real value.
Bonus Feature Types
Another aspect of the game selection process is knowing the types of features that are available. Wild symbols and scatters have made their way into today's free classic slots as certain aspects of video slots have been used to make high-quality three-reel games. These wilds frequently have multipliers tied to them that will give you a ton of value by giving you bigger wins from what would have normally been small ones.
Free spins and pick a box style features are also pretty popular in three-reel slots these days, and if you prefer one over the other, then that's a good way to discriminate the games you'll probably like over the ones you probably won't. However, it's also reasonable not to want either type of bonus feature and to have all of your value come from the regular pay table and normal gameplay. This is common among fans of classic slots, so don't feel like you're atypical if this is the case for you.
The Actual Experience
If you want to get started in the actual experience as quickly as possible, then it's best to just jump right in. Find some free classic slots no download versions that appeal to you and start up the game. Check out how all of the different controls work including the selections for paylines, bet sizes and other options. One key that you'll want to see is how the betting options affect your potential payouts, and this is especially true in classic slot machines since playing with the maximum number of coins typically gives you a better payout rate overall.
From here, pick a bet size that feels good to you and start playing through some spins. Get familiar with how wins are awarded (and which types of combinations do not award payouts). Some games pay left-to-right only, and some pay both, so make sure you pay attention to this. While it only affects two-of-a-kind wins, which doesn't apply to some games that only have three-of-a-kind payouts, it's something to be aware of.
Atypical Gameplay Examples
Because the process of playing free classic slots before you play for real is always a good idea, some online casinos have tied this into how they present games to players. For example, some sites have included exclusive parts of their games or special features that are only activated during real money play. This gives the player something new to look forward to if they make the jump to playing for real, and that's something players should be aware of.
You should also be aware of the fact that not all games have the same type of gameplay. This is especially true when you look at the difference between high-volatility and low-volatility titles. A low-volatility game won't have a lot of swings in terms of how the highs and lows of the game go. However, a high-volatility game will have a lot of big swings, and you'll need to adjust your bet size to be a bit smaller to compensate.
If you don't use this type of more conservative bankroll management strategy when you play with high-volatility titles, then you're be at a much higher risk to run through your entire account balance off of one swing of bad luck, and that's something that no one wants to see. This is why you should check the volatility of games by trying them out before you play for real money.