A Slots Guide to Grid (Reels) Configuration

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88 Fortunes online slot reel grid.
BetMGM Jun 19, 2024, 3:47 PM

Ever stepped into a casino or clicked your way into an online slot game and wondered how those slot machine reels work? It’s not just about pushing a button and hoping for the best. The secret sauce lies in the slot grid configuration — and there are many different types available. While you probably factor in things like theme, bonus games, and return to player (RTP) percentage when choosing your next online slot game, you might be surprised to discover that slot machine reels matter, too.

Read on for a breakdown regarding the basics of slot grids and to explore how these various setups can impact your odds of winning.

Understanding Slot Machine Lines and Grids

Picture a slot machine as a vast grid, where every square in that grid represents a symbol. These symbols are the building blocks of your slot adventure, and your goal is to align them strategically to unlock wins and — if you’re playing a jackpot slot — a coveted jackpot.

Now, while the most common slot grid configuration is the 5×3 setup — five columns and three rows of symbols — the world of slot gaming is extremely diverse, offering various configurations to spice up your gameplay. Here are a few other grid configurations to watch out for.

Classic 3×3 Grids

A 3×3 grid is like the backbone of slot machines, a throwback to the early days of mechanical slots. In this setup, you’re working with three columns and three rows, creating a compact and easily digestible gaming experience. The limited space means fewer symbols are in play, making it easier to track winning combinations. It’s like the comfort food of slot gaming — familiar, simple, and oh-so-satisfying.

5×4 and 5×5 grids

Looking for a bit more flair? Move over to the 5×4 or 5×5 configurations and you’ll instantly have more room to maneuver. With additional columns and rows, the possibilities expand, creating a canvas for more intricate and exciting gameplay. The larger grid introduces an element of suspense as you wait for those extra symbols to cascade into place

Megaways Madness

Hold onto your seat for the Megaways extravaganza. Megaways slots take the concept of a static grid and toss it completely out of the window. With each spin, the number of symbols on each reel varies. The dynamic nature of Megaways slots keeps players on their toes, offering a fresh and unpredictable experience every time you hit that spin button.

Impact on Winning Odds

It’s true — the size of the slot grid and the number of slot lines directly influence your chances of striking gold when spinning those reels. In the land of slot gaming, more symbols often mean more ways to win. That said, don’t discount the charm of smaller setups. While they may offer fewer winning combinations, they provide a more straightforward and focused gaming experience. It’s all about finding the sweet spot that aligns with your personal gaming style.

Tips for Choosing a New Online Slot Game to Play

As most players know, choosing the right slot machine involves more than analyzing the slot machine reels. Here’s a helpful guide to other aspects you should consider.

Theme and Graphics

  • Look for a theme that resonates with your interests or preferences — there are hundreds to choose from. The theme will impact the look and feel of the game’s background, audio, and symbols — there’s so much more to slots than just bars and bells these days.
  • High-quality graphics and animations enhance the overall gaming experience.


  • Check the number of paylines the slot offers. More paylines mean more ways to win.
  • Some slots have fixed paylines, while others allow you to choose how many to activate.


  • Understand the volatility of the slot — low volatility for frequent, smaller wins, high volatility for larger, less frequent wins, and medium volatility for a balance of both.
  • Choose based on your risk tolerance and desired level of excitement.

Return to Player

  • Always check the RTP percentage. A higher RTP indicates a better long-term return for players. Note that the online slot average is 96%.

Bonus Features

  • Look for engaging bonus features such as free spins, multipliers, and interactive bonus rounds. They’re fun, and they can also enhance a slot’s winning potential.

Progressive Jackpots

  • Consider whether the slot offers a progressive jackpot, where the prize pool accumulates over time. Progressive jackpots can lead to massive payouts but are often associated with higher volatility.

Bet Limits

  • Check the minimum and maximum bet limits. Ensure they align with your budget and preferred wagering range.
  • Understand that bet limits help manage your bankroll effectively.

Mobile Compatibility

  • Confirm if the slot is compatible with mobile devices if you prefer playing on smartphones or tablets.
  • Mobile compatibility allows for flexibility in when and where you play.

Game Developer

  • Research the reputation of the game developer. Established developers often produce high-quality, fair, and entertaining slots.
  • Popular developers include NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, and Playtech.

Soundtrack and Sound Effects

  • Consider the audio elements. A captivating soundtrack and immersive sound effects can enhance the overall gaming atmosphere.
  • Some slots allow you to adjust the volume or mute the sound if desired.

Autoplay Feature

  • Check if the slot offers an autoplay feature, allowing you to set a certain number of spins to play automatically.
  • Autoplay is convenient for those who prefer a hands-free approach.

Reviews and Ratings

  • Read reviews by reputable online casinos and from other players to gain insights into their experiences with the slot.
  • Ratings and feedback provide valuable information about a slot’s overall popularity and performance.

By considering these factors, in addition to slot machine lines, slot machine symbols, and grid configuration, you can make informed choices when selecting a new slot machine to play.

Play Online Slots at BetMGM

Now that you know how to compare different types of slots, it’s time to explore the variety on offer. Consider joining BetMGM’s thriving gambling community to access hundreds of classic slots, jackpot slots, and exciting new releases. The platform also specializes in other online casino games, such as casino table games, variety games, and live dealer casino games.

Register when you’re ready to try your luck.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.