Video Vs. Reel Slot Machines

The debate about whether video or reel slots are the best tends to polarize opinion. It is very difficult to convince someone who has an entrenched opinion that the other side may have some fair points. This article aims to take the middle-ground, looking at the features of each type of game, assessing the pros and cons of each and only then coming to a conclusion at the end of the page.

First up, I have defined and described these types of game – so that we are clear on exactly what constitutes each type of slot. After that the debate proper can begin, with some pros and cons of each type of game. Finally, you’ll find a summary with my personal opinion on which type of slot is the best.

Definitions: Reel Slots and Video Slots

Reel Slots: These games are the electronic versions of the original slot games. They hail back to a time when the games were mechanical, and not controlled by microchips as they are today. The general setup is 3 reels, and a single win-line. Your objective is to land 3 matching symbols on this win-line, preferably the top paying sevens or jackpot symbols.

You can choose to play between 1 and 3 coins on reel slots, and the 3rd coin sees the biggest jump in payouts relative to your stake. This means that the house has a higher edge if you spin for 1 or 2 coins. Reel slots are sometimes attached to big jackpots. These can include multi-million dollar progressives which are shared between different casinos, as well as many smaller pools.

Video Slots: Most of the new titles now fall into this category. These games are based on 5 reels and have multiple pay lines, usually between 9 and 30, which you’ll be able to select from before you spin. Video slots include special ‘Wild’ symbols, which can substitute for any of the other symbols on the reels – potentially creating multiple wins over different lines in a single spin. You’ll also find scatter symbols, which pay when 3 or more land anywhere on the reels.

It is the bonus features which attract players to this type of slot. These vary widely, ranging from a free-spins round, through to mini-games which break out of the main reels to a new screen. Video slots are commonly based on TV or movie characters and many have entertaining themes. At the moment this type of slot is becoming ever more complex, with in-reel behavior (for example cascading wins or expanding wilds) as well as multiple bonus round features.

Pros and Cons of each Game

This is a little more complex that just the benefit of one slot type being the drawback of the other. In fact, many of the benefits are shared – the chance to win a big progressive jackpot being the main example.

The main benefits of the reel slots is that they are easy to play. You know where your win-line is, what you need to achieve to get a big payout and exactly what every aspect of the slot does. It is just a matter of choosing your coins and sitting back to relax while you wait for the big wins to come in. You will not have constant interruptions or the distraction of video clips with these games.

Video slots have become more and more entertaining. The main benefit of these games is that you get a lot of fun for your money. Compared to just waiting for symbols to line up you could be playing interactive feature rounds or stacking up wins in some complex in-reels bonus. There are jackpots available, however even when you do not get a chance to win it in a particular session – you’ll feel like you had plenty of value for your money.

The cons of reel slots is that they can get repetitive and rather dull very quickly. There is only so many times you can watch the same symbols land on the same win-line. It is the opposite with video slots, the intensity can become irritating – with a constant need to interact with the screen stopping players from having a relaxing slots session.

Summing Up – Reel Slots Vs Video Slots

Which type of game you choose depends more on your personal preferences than any inherent characteristic in the slot games themselves. The reason that there are so many choices in the world of online slot games is that we all have our own favorites. Some people like the relaxation of a reel slot (even on auto-play), while some people crave the intensity and entertainment value of the latest video slot games. If you are new to online slots, I recommend you find a casino with a great range of both types of game and test several of them out for yourself.

Associate Writer: Simon loves to bet on sports as well as play online slots, and he has a keen eye for sorting out the honest sites from the not so honest.