Slots Guide: The Grid (Reels) Configuration
In the old days, slot machines were mechanical devices that spin three or more cylinders. These cylinders are still called reels today, even though online slots machines are no longer powered by reels but by utilizing Random Number Generator (RNG). Therefore, when we slot players talk about the grid/reel setup, it refers to how many columns and rows exist on a particular slots game.
The most common type of this configuration is a 3×3 grid setup. This setup is so old that it barely exists anymore. Yes, some providers occasionally launch 3-reel games, but probably we only see them once every few months. To win, typically, players must get three identical symbols arranged according to one of the pay lines.
This is the industry standard of every slots player, especially the 5×3 grid setup. In fact, the top-ranked game in the past decade has been dominated by this configuration. Two more reels mean more winning possibility, thus more entertaining if combined with great graphics, sounds, and bonus rounds. To win, typically, players must get at least three identical symbols arranged according to one of the pay lines.
A puzzle is my term for slots with many grid numbers. Usually, it has a minimum of 5×5 grid set up. The combination doesn’t have to follow pay lines and doesn’t have to start on reel-1. To win, typically, players must get at least four adjacent identical symbols anywhere on the grid. This kind of setup has the most winning possibilities. Therefore, there will be more hits but dominated by insignificant ones.
Megaways is invented by Big Time Gaming. Hence, other providers using Megaways must get the license from them. The setup is similar to five or more reel configurations, but the rows vary on each spin. To win, typically, players must get at least three adjacent identical symbols starting from reel one. But, it doesn’t have to follow any pay line. Each spins, you will see some random number, “xxx megaways.” If the number is big, there will be lots of rows; conversely, there will be fewer rows if the number is low.