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Classic Slots

A. Antonova (editor) |

Classic Slots 101: An Overview of Classic Slot Games

Classic SlotsSome reel fans consider classic slots a thing of the past because of their simplicity and limited number of betting options. The waning popularity of classic slots can easily be attributed to the recent advent of technologies which enabled key casino software suppliers to develop more graphically advanced slot titles, with multiple paylines and a plethora of extra features.

And indeed, classic slots are not a match for advanced titles with their three-dimensional animations and superior graphics. However, this subcategory of slots still has its loyal following among experienced slot players and makes for an essential part of the gaming collections of all well-known gambling providers in the industry. What is more, classic slots are often deemed the most suitable option for novices as their interface and payout tables are much easier to understand. If you are, indeed, new to slots or simply curious about the roots of modern slot games, feel free to continue reading. Our article offers a comprehensive overview of the peculiarities of classic slots, their paytables, and the extra mechanics some of them come with.

Interface and Gameplay in Classic Slots

Classic 3 Reel SlotThe phrase “classic slots” is usually used to refer to traditional, simpler games which feature only three reels or three vertical sections that are set in motion, whenever the player hits the Spin button or pulls the slot’s lever in land-based gambling establishments. In most cases, plums, cherries, oranges, lemons, bells, bars and lucky sevens are utilized as symbols on the reels. However, if you register an account at an established online casino, you are more than likely to find a greater diversity of themes when it comes to classic slots.

Unlike advanced video slots with their multiple paylines, classic slots typically incorporate a single payline which stretches across the middle of the reels. Nevertheless, it is possible to find titles where the number of paylines ranges between one and five. These can run both diagonally and horizontally across the three reels. On rare occasions, players may come across 3-reel slots which feature ten or even eleven paylines.

Classic slots often lack in terms of graphics and special features as the visuals and sound effects are often far from impressive. However, traditionalists would hardly consider this a disadvantage. Classic slots are deemed a suitable option for those, who lack previous experience since the games’ interface is rather simplified and easy to understand.

The buttons are located at bottom of the screen, below the reels, or at least in most cases. Players are typically required to adjust their coin denomination only as classic slots not always involve any bet multipliers. This is to say one can rarely bet more than a single coin per spin, which renders this subtype of slots suitable for players with a limited budget. Nevertheless, players who engage in classic slots online will certainly be able to find games where betting more than one coin per spin is an option. In such instances, one is required to click on the button that reads Bet One to adjust the number of coins per round. The coin denominations one can choose from usually range between 0.01 and 100.00, but minimum and maximum bet amounts are game-specific and vary from one classic slot to another.

Classic 3-Reel Slot - Aztec Treasure

Screenshot of Classic 3-Reel Slot – Aztec Treasure

Once you have selected how much you want to bet per spin, you are good to go. More often than not, there is a Max Bet button for brave players who are not afraid to stake the maximum amount, allowed in the game. Some classic slots you can find online also have an additional Auto Play feature, which allows slot enthusiasts to automatically play through a specific number of spins. Occasionally, it is possible to set win and loss limits for the Auto Play round of spins. Once you reach your win/loss limit, Auto Play would automatically get deactivated.

The payouts on winning combinations are either listed on the screen or can be found in the game’s paytable. Once you set the three reels in motion, you simply wait for them to come to rest to see the outcome. If luck is on your side and you land three matching symbols on a payline, the winnings will be displayed below the reels and the amount will be credited to your casino account’s balance right away.

The limited number of paylines equals a limited number of winning opportunities, which is why players tend to hit winning combinations less frequently, but the payouts are usually larger and well-worth it.

Understanding the Paytables of Classic Slots

Understanding the Paytables of Classic SlotsThe good news is players will hardly experience any issues understanding the payouts and paytables of classic slots, even if this is their first time spinning the reels. If video slots are what you are used to, you will immediately notice the paytables on their 3-reel cousins are different. Nevertheless, they contain vital information and checking them in advance is definitely worth your time.

The symbols are usually listed in the paytable in descending order, starting with the highest-paying combinations. With slots where only one coin can be wagered per spin, there is only one set of payouts, listed in the paytable. When players land three matching symbols on the paylines, they collect the number of coins listed next to the respective symbols.

Some classic slots allow for two or three coins to be wagered per round, so their paytables are a bit different. Let us assume the highest-paying symbol in your classic slot of choice is the orange. If you land three oranges on the payline with a one-coin bet, you collect 500 coins. Provided that you have wagered two coins and win, the payout for three oranges is double the amount of that for one-coin bets, or 1,000 coins.

The last column in the paytable contains information on the payouts for three-coin bets. To proceed with our example, you will collect a total of 1,500 coins for three matching orange symbols. The bottom line is when three identical symbols on the payline match some of the identical symbols on the paytable, you collect the respective payout.

Key Features of Classic Slots

Classic Slots Hold and NudgeSome players steer clear from betting on classic slots since the latter lack in special features and action. However, this is not always the case as some slots available online come with some extra features like wild and scatter symbols. These are rare and far in between, but not impossible to find.

Some software suppliers have even opted for incorporating more simplified bonus rounds in their 3-reel titles, which enables players to earn some extra profits. Occasionally, the bonus round may be the key to unlocking the colossal progressive jackpots attached to the slot. Do keep in mind that in order to qualify for the massive prize, players are usually required to use the maximum coin value per spin.

Two of the most notable features of classic slots are the nudges and the hold functionality. Nudges used to be the standard with classic slots back in the day and are still to be found, depending on the game you play. Nudges are indeed a key feature because they can potentially spear you the frustration whenever near-misses occur.

If you have ever been shockingly close to landing a gargantuan payout only to see the last symbol you need on the reel is a single position off, you probably know what we are talking about. If the nudge indicator of the slot is on, this would enable you to move one position down the reel and help you complete your winning combination. Bear in mind this, by no means, is a guarantee you will bag the huge payout you were hoping for. Nevertheless, the nudge feature can significantly boost your chances of doing so.

The Hold feature can also work to the advantage of players and is to be found on many classic slots. It is usually triggered at random and is not available on all spins. As its name suggests, this functionality enables players to hold one of the reels in the same position while the others are set in motion. In some cases, whenever the hold feature is activated, players are granted a free spin on the two rotating reels, but not necessarily always. If you think about it, the Hold functionality resembles to a certain extent the sticky wild feature, available in many advanced video slots.

Depending on their classic slot of choice, players may be even allowed to hold more than a single reel in position and do so for several spins. Typically, the best option for players is to keep higher-value symbols in place – if they land the same symbols on the other two reels, the payout would be more substantial.

Classic Slots: Timeless Thrills in the Casino World

Do you ever feel like taking a trip down memory lane and spinning the reels of one-armed bandits that remind you of the good old days? Classic slots are like a time machine that takes you back to simpler times in gambling history. Below, we’ve handpicked five timeless releases that continue to shine bright on the online casino horizon. Whether you’re new to the slot scene or a seasoned reel spinner, these classic slots are guaranteed to deliver a straightforward gaming experience, with their familiar bells, fruits, and lucky sevens. What is more, some of them offer surprisingly generous return percentages.  

1. Mega Joker Slot

Wallow in nostalgia with NetEnt’s Mega Joker slot, where the cherries are ripe, and the jokers are wild. This high volatility classic takes you back to the roots of slot gaming while packing a powerful punch with one of the industry’s highest RTPs. Below you’ll find a detailed review of this retro release that contains concise information on everything from paylines to the jackpot triggering criteria. After you finish reading this, you will know exactly what to expect when you take Mega Joker’s three reels for a spin.

Mega Joker Slot

Screenshot of Mega Joker Slot

Mega Joker in a Nutshell:

Min. Bet$1
Max. Bet$10
Release Date2011
  • Sky-High RTP: The return in this classic slot reaches a whopping 99%.
  • Wild Jackpots: Land those jokers for a shot at the progressive jackpot.
  • Supermeter Mode: Earn more with larger bets during this special feature.
  • Wild Symbol Wins: Wilds can seriously amp up your winning chances.
  • Classic Vibe: Perfect for a trip down memory lane with its retro feel.
  • Lacks Bonus Features: If you prefer slots with loads of modern features, this might not be the best option for you.
  • A Bit of a Learning Curve: The game requires some time to get used to.
  • Mobile Experience: The original release wasn’t built for mobile, and it shows, even if the ‘touch’ version has smoothed things out.

Mega Joker’s Symbols and Theme: A Retro Revival

The charm of Mega Joker lies not just in its features but in its faithful homage to the classic slot machines that once lined the floors of brick-and-mortar casinos. The symbols are a colorful array of fruits, including cherries, lemons, and watermelons, alongside higher-paying icons like the golden treasure chests, lucky sevens, and, of course, the joker himself. The wild jokers are the stars of the show as they are capable of replacing all other symbols in the game, resulting in more winning combinations. The theme is unapologetically retro, complete with a backdrop that evokes the atmosphere on the old-school casino floors, complete with potted plants and classic one-armed bandits. It’s this nostalgic allure, combined with the game’s straightforward yet hypnotizing gameplay, that has cemented Mega Joker’s place in the hearts of online slot enthusiasts.

Mega Joker Features: A Closer Look

Diving deeper into Mega Joker, the game’s standout feature is the Supermeter Mode, a clever twist that elevates the gameplay to new heights. Once you snag a win on the lower set of reels, you’re given the choice to either pocket your winnings or to take a gamble on the upper reels for bigger rewards. It’s here that the real magic happens, with the potential for higher payouts and the thrill of chasing the progressive jackpot. 

Keep in mind, however, that Supermeter Mode requires placing larger bets. The absence of free spins or scatter symbols might seem like a miss at first glance, but the Supermeter mode more than makes up for it, offering a gameplay experience that’s both unique and engaging. It’s a nod to the classic fruit machines of the good old days, but with a modern twist that keeps things interesting.

Playing Mega Joker is like traveling back in time, only here you have the opportunity to snag some serious payouts. Give the three reels a whirl, and who knows? You might land the coveted jackpot. 

2. Break da Bank Slot

Break da Bank by Microgaming is a throwback to the golden era of slots, delivering the simplicity all fans of classic slots are craving. With its 3 reels and 5 fixed paylines, Break da Bank offers a straightforward, no-frills gaming experience, perfect for those who appreciate the simplicity of traditional slot machines. Despite lacking a particularly high RTP and the bonus features commonly available in modern games, this Microgaming release has its own charm and potential for rewarding tasty payouts.

Break da Bank Slot

Screenshot of Break da Bank Slot

Key Details of Break da Bank:

Paylines5 (fixed)
Min. Bet$5
Max. Bet$250
Release Date2008 (re-released in 2014)
  • Classic Appeal: Boasts the charm of traditional slots.
  • Mobile-Friendly: Smooth gameplay on mobile devices.
  • Quick Action: Ideal for fans of fast-paced reel spinning.
  • Simplified Experience: Easy to understand and play.
  • Lack of Bonus Features: Lacks free spins, bonus games, and scatters.
  • Hardly Any Special Symbols: Offers only wilds with multipliers. 
  • Higher Minimum Limits: The minimum bet of $5 might deter small-scale players.

Symbols and Theme:

Break da Bank sets its reels against a backdrop that resembles a sturdy vault. The game’s symbols stick to the theme of wealth and bank heists, featuring an array of Bars, Dollar Signs, and the game’s logo, which acts as the wild symbol. This classic slot-machine aesthetic, combined with the possibility of landing huge wins, offers players a nostalgic yet exciting gaming experience. The visuals, though basic, are clean and crisp, ensuring that players can easily distinguish the symbols and spot winning combinations. This adds to the game’s overall user-friendly appeal.


In terms of features, Break da Bank keeps it simple, yet engaging. The game’s standout feature is undoubtedly its wild symbol, the Break da Bank logo. Not only does it substitute for other symbols to complete more winning combinations, but it also acts as a multiplier. A single wild in a winning combo doubles the payout, while two wilds quadruple it. Although the slot doesn’t have free spins, bonus rounds, or a progressive jackpot, the wild multiplier spices up the gameplay and gives players something to look forward to. This straightforward approach to slot gaming is guaranteed to appeal to purists and those looking for quick, uncomplicated gaming sessions.

3. Desert Treasure Slot

Desert Treasure, developed by Playtech, takes players on a journey across scorching sands with the promise of uncovering hidden treasures. Despite its somewhat dated appearance and simpler mechanics compared to newer slots, Desert Treasure has managed to retain a certain charm thanks to its generous RTP of 97.05% and intriguing bonus features. This slot might not dazzle with modern graphics or complex storylines, but its straightforward gameplay and potential for solid wins keep players coming back for more. Let’s dive into the symbols, theme, and special features that make Desert Treasure a game worth exploring.

Desert Treasure

Screenshot of Desert Treasure Slot

Desert Treasure Details:

Paylines20 (adjustable)
Min. Bet$0.20
Max. Bet$20
Release DateNovember 2005
  • High RTP: Attracts players with its above-average return-to-player rate.
  • Frequent Bonus Features: The extra features keep the gameplay exciting.
  • Free Spins Multiplier: Enhances the game’s win potential significantly.
  • Dated Graphics: Falls short in terms of visual appeal.
  • Mobile Play: Not the best fit for touchscreen devices.
  • Modest Click-Me Bonus Wins: Often yields lower payouts.

Symbols and Theme:

Set against the vast expanse of the desert, Desert Treasure invites players to spin the reels amidst dunes and oases. The game’s aesthetic, while nothing special, sets a clear thematic direction, drawing heavily on elements of the adventure and mystique associated with desert caravans. The symbols, including the high-value Arab prince, camel, and oasis, along with the golden cobra wild, are key to unlocking the game’s treasures. Though the graphics can hardly compete with those in modern slots, they still evoke nostalgic feelings that some players might appreciate. 

Features of Desert Treasure Slot:

Desert Treasure’s main drawing attraction are its bonus features, which, despite the slot’s simpler design, enhance player engagement and provide additional opportunities for wins. The click-me bonus game and the free spins round stand out as the game’s highlights. The click-me bonus is triggered by landing three or more compass symbols and gives players the chance to pocket instant cash prizes, albeit modest ones. The free spins feature, activated by three symbols containing an exotic woman, ups the ante with 10 free rounds with 3x multipliers on the wins. This is where the game’s true potential for substantial wins comes into play. 

In essence, Desert Treasure may not break new ground in terms of features, but its enduring appeal and massive winning potential make it a slot worth spinning for those who favor classic gameplay over flashy graphics.

4. Burning Hot Slot

A result of the craftsmanship of Amusnet Interactive, Burning Hot is the perfect fit for players looking for traditional slots with a modern twist. This title, a cornerstone of the “hot” series, melds the simplicity of classic fruit machines with the sophistication of contemporary video slots. With its five reels and three rows set ablaze, the game pays homage to the timeless appeal of iconic fruit symbols like oranges, plums, lemons, and cherries, all while incorporating modern elements like wild and scatter symbols. The developers have thrown a four-level progressive jackpot into the mix, further increasing the game’s appeal. Let’s delve into the symbols, theme, and unique features that make Burning Hot a sizzling choice for slot enthusiasts.

Burning Hot Slot

Screenshot of Burning Hot Slot

Burning Hot Details:

Paylines5 (fixed)
Min. Bet5 credits
Max. Bet100 credits
SoftwareAmusnet Interactive (formerly EGT Interactive)
Release Date2014
  • Progressive Jackpot Game: Offers a chance at significant wins.
  • Engaging Base Game Features: Keeps the gameplay interesting with wilds, scatters, and a randomly triggered jackpot game.
  • Classic Slot Appeal: Delivers a retro gaming experience.
  • Lacks a Strong Theme: Might not appeal to those seeking a narrative-driven slot.
  • Lower Maximum Win: High rollers might seek bigger thrills elsewhere.

Symbols and Theme:

Burning Hot perfectly captures the essence of classic slot gaming. The RTP stands at a satisfactory 96.45%, paired with low volatility to deliver frequent, though smaller wins. The game’s visuals are a feast for the eyes, with vibrant fruit symbols that evoke nostalgia yet shine on modern screens. The lucky sevens have the highest winning potential, while the two scatter symbols and the wild clover add layers of excitement. Despite its straightforward presentation, the slot’s theme is executed with enough flair to keep the gameplay engaging, especially for those with a penchant for retro aesthetics.

Features of Burning Hot Slot:

The array of special features considerably improves the gaming experience in Burning Hot. While free spins might be absent, the slot compensates with a jackpot bonus game that can trigger randomly, offering players a shot at one of four progressive jackpots. The feature triggers randomly and players must pick 4 out of 12 playing cards. If three of their selections are of the same suit, one of the four jackpots is awarded accordingly. 

A gamble feature is also incorporated into the gameplay, allowing players to double their winnings in a heartbeat or lose them just as quickly. This blend of features ensures that Burning Hot keeps the flames of excitement burning brightly with every spin.

In essence, Burning Hot is a slot that bridges the gap between the past and present, offering a gameplay experience that’s both familiar and freshly exciting. Its blend of classic symbols, progressive jackpots, and special symbols ensures that this slot remains a hot favorite among players looking for a taste of slot tradition with the potential for massive rewards.

5. Mystery Joker Slot

Crafted by the renowned Play’n GO, Mystery Joker is a nod to the classic fruit machines that once dominated landbased casinos, bringing a sense of nostalgia straight to your screen. This slot combines the simplicity of classic one-armed bandits with a sprinkle of modernity, offering an engaging scatter symbol and a generous round of free spins. For those who revel in the charm of vintage slots but still crave contemporary features, Mystery Joker promises a delightful blend of both worlds. Let’s take a closer look at the symbols that populate the three reels of this vibrant slot and the features that set it apart.

Mystery Joker Slot

Screenshot of Mystery Joker Slot

Mystery Joker Details:

Paylines5 (fixed)
Min. Bet$0.50
Max. Bet$100
SoftwarePlay’n GO
RTP93.99% – 96.98%
Release DateSeptember 2014
  • Engaging Free Spins: The possibility of triggering up to 50 free spins adds to the excitement.
  • Big Prize Potential: Mystery wins during free spins award payouts of up to 100x the total bet.
  • User-Friendly: A great slot for beginners and seasoned players alike.
  • Lacks Bonus Rounds: Some players may miss the depth of additional bonus games.
  • Simplicity: Might not cater to those seeking complex gameplay.
  • No Wild Symbol: The absence of a wild symbol takes away from the winning potential of the game.

Symbols and Theme:

Upon launching Mystery Joker, players are greeted with a straightforward reel setup that evokes associations with classic fruit machines. The design is uncluttered, focusing on timeless symbols like cherries, lemons, bells, and stars. The standout, however, is the game’s scatter – a whimsical jester hat that not only adds a dash of color but also holds the key to triggering free spins with mystery wins. The retro theme is complemented by classic sound effects, enhancing the traditional gaming experience without overwhelming the senses.

Features of Mystery Joker Slot:

Mystery Joker is all about keeping things simple while still offering players the chance to hit it big. The star of the show is undoubtedly the Free Spins feature, triggered by landing three jester hat scatters. This not only awards 10 free spins but also opens the door to re-triggering the feature up to a total of 50 free spins. 

During these bonus rounds, landing two scatters along with another symbol can unveil mystery wins of up to 100x your initial bet, turning a simple spin into a potentially lucrative affair. While the release may not boast a complex array of bonus games or a wild symbol, its straightforward mechanics and the thrill of chasing those free spins and mystery wins keep the gameplay both exciting.

In essence, Mystery Joker is a celebration of vintage slot machines, wrapped in a package that’s both easy to dive into and potentially rewarding. While it may keep things simple, the charm of this classic-themed slot, combined with the anticipation of hitting those free spins and mystery wins, ensures a timeless appeal that resonates with a wide range of players.


Classic slots captivate many players with their straightforward gameplay and nostalgic appeal. Their simplicity makes them perfect for beginners or those seeking a break from more complex video slots. Plus, their straightforward paytables and potential for significant payouts on fewer paylines appeal to both new and seasoned players.

Absolutely! While they may not boast 3D animations or intricate bonus rounds, classic slots hold their ground with their straightforward mechanics, potentially lucrative payouts, and uncluttered design. Their enduring charm lies in their simplicity, making them timeless favorites in the gaming community.

Classic slots typically feature fewer paylines, often just a single central line, though some offer up to five. This simplicity in design translates to fewer betting options, usually limiting players to one coin per line. However, some classic slots allow for multi-coin bets, offering a bit more flexibility.

Yes, some classic slots include special features like wild and scatter symbols, and even simplified bonus rounds. Features like the reel hold and the nudge give players a sense of greater control over the outcomes. These added features can enhance the gameplay without overcomplicating it.

Nudges allow players to move a reel down by one position, potentially completing a winning combination. The reel hold enables players to fix one or more reels in position for the next spin. Both features add a layer of strategy to classic slots but are incapable of actually improving the winning chances of players.

Classic slots often have higher RTPs and lower volatility compared to many modern video slots. This means that while payouts may come more frequently, they might not be as large as those found in high volatility video slots. The higher RTP offers players better long-term potential returns, making classic slots appealing for those looking to preserve their bankrolls for a longer time.

Firstly, start by examining the paytable to understand the potential payouts and features. Consider choosing slots with higher RTPs for better returns. Play at a slower pace to extend your gameplay for as long as possible. And most importantly, manage your bankroll wisely and enjoy your gaming experience to the fullest.