A distinctive feature of vintage Las Vegas is the unmistakeable sound of spinning slot machine reels and clanging jackpot bells. Winnings aren't paid in buckets of quarters anymore, but you can still find classic slots at the casino.
On these mechanical three-reel machines, players would win by lining up 7s, fruit symbols, or BAR symbols on horizontal or diagonal paylines. Though more complex video slots now dominate casino floors, these old-school reel slots still have a strong following.
The versions you see today are almost completely electronic. They might still have motorized reels and a lever to pull, but only for novelty and not for the game to function.
Online, casinos use video game technology to offer classic slots on their websites.
New Slot Rules for Classic Games
Slots are the easiest way to gamble and classic slots are as simple as it gets. Just line up three symbols and you win! It's much easier to calculate the expected return of these machines since they don't have bonus rounds and the paylines are straightforward.
In the old days, you could manually stop some of the mechanical slots at just the right time in order to hit a winning line. However, this strategy became obsolete with electronic and microchipped games.
Whether you're playing on a casino floor or online, the results of every spin of a classic slot game are predetermined, even before the reels start spinning. Everything else is just for show, including the mechanical lever to pull.
In terms of slots payouts, pay attention to their published payout percentage. This is the amount of money that you can expect the machine to return over its lifetime. Generally, classic slots will have better payback percentages than the more complicated video slots.
With video slots, the payback percentage is usually below average for the base game. This encourages players to keep betting until they get to the bonus round where they can recoup their losses.
Since classic slots don't have bonus rounds, casinos have to keep payback percentages more competitive for the base game. This way, players don't lose their money too quickly and abandon the game.
Variations of Classic Slots
Classic slots are the best choice if you don't care for bonus rounds and prefer to see consistent wins instead of playing for large jackpots. Of course, the online versions have no mechanical or electronic restrictions, so some really interesting hybrids have been created that are worth exploring.
One example is “scratch card slots” games. These play like a traditional three-reel game, except the playfield is initially hidden. You choose spots to scratch and try to match three symbols.
Another example of a hybrid style can be seen in the popular Blazing Sevens games. These have the basic setup of a classic reel slot, including levers you can pull (in the versions on casino floors). However, the symbols you can win on are determined by how many coins you play:
- Play two coins to enable wins on 7s
- Bet the maximum amount of coins to double the win on regular 7s
- Also, the maximum bet enables the highest win for Blazing 7s
- Blazing 7s pay out far more than any other winning pay line
You'll also see three-reel slots that look like classic games, but have up to 25 pay lines like video slots. Bally's Beat the Heat is an example of such a game.
You don't have to go far to experience vintage Vegas nostalgia. For favorable odds and endless fun, spin your favorite classic slot reels online!