The mother of all pokie machines, three reel pokies are the roots from where all pokie games originated. Developed in 1895 by an American man named Charles Fey, the very first pokie machine (known as the Liberty Bell) had three spinning reels, with each reel having five symbols. The machine was designed to have an automatic payout mechanism, whereby if you managed to score three of the same symbols across a horizontal line, you would win the biggest payout. Naturally, the machine was a big success and thus, pokies were born, with 3-reel games paving the way for the 5-reel pokies we love today.
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Most three-reel slot machines will show you what the winning combination of symbols are, with the winning combos displayed on the front of the machine or the game screen alongside the reels. If you score any of these winning symbol combinations, the machine will offer you a payout.
Early three reel pokie machines featured a lever which the player pulled to spin the reels, hence earning the machines the name ‘one-armed bandit’. Nowadays, three reel machines operate on video slots with variable numbers of symbols per reel, resulting in a large amount of combinations and the chance to win bigger jackpots.
The way it works is simple; pulling on the lever or pressing a button causes the reels to spin, and all you need to do is hope the reels will stop spinning when three of the same symbols are lined up in a winning combination. It’s a game of chance in its truest form.
Naturally, three reel games are the most simple and straightforward out of all pokie games, and these games continue to appeal to older players and those who prefer a stripped down, simplified form of gaming. Today, the game has evolved in to many different manifestations with more reels, more symbols and more pay-lines, but three reel poker machines remain at the heart of all modern games.
Popular 3 reel pokies games
When playing at an online casinos, you can’t ignore the fact that a majority of online pokies are five-reel games. However, many people still prefer the traditional nature of three-reel slots, so there are still many games available to play. Three reel pokies can often be found under the “Classic Slots” category within an online casino. Here are some examples of the more popular 3 reel pokies for you to start with.
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Fire Joker – it’s not often that new three-reel pokies are released, but this 2016 release from Play’n Go reminded us all that there’s still some good value to be found in the older style slot games. While following the traditional three reel layout, Fire Joker contains a couple of added bonus features like the Re-spin of Fire and the Wheel of Multipliers which can earn you 800X your active bet. A classic game for modern players.
Fantastic 7s – An older online 3 reel pokie game developed by Microgaming. The aim of the game is basically to hit as many combinations possible with the number 7 and win along the way. It is a basic 3 reel game and perfect for beginners who are just starting out in the world of pokies, wanting to learn more. Fantastic 7 features the common pokies symbols of cherries and bars and is a highly recommended starting point for traditional pokies.
Fruit Fiesta – Not only is Fruit Fiesta one of the most popular classic pokies titles on the Internet, it also comes with a five-reel version for a little variety. The popularity of this old style fruit machine lies in the fact it’s a progressive jackpot game, and although the jackpot doesn’t soar to such dizzying heights as video pokies like Mega Moolah or Mega Fortune, Fruit Fiesta still offers some tasty treats for the taking.
Gladiator’s Gold – An old-school 3 reels pokies game featuring the gladiators of ancient Rome as its theme. Symbols are limited to the traditional bars and sevens. Game-play in Gladiator’s Gold is very straightforward – you won’t see any wild symbols or bonus rounds here! Gladiator’s Gold is also a great introduction to 3 reel pokies while incorporating an entertaining theme to keep things interesting.
Cash Splash – This is another classic Microgaming slot that offers both a three-reel and five-reel version, with a healthy progressive jackpot up for grabs. Symbols are minimal, sticking to the traditional cherries, sevens and bar symbols, along with the Cash Splash logo symbol, which is wild and substitutes all other symbols to form a winning combination.
This is just a tiny sample of the three-reel pokies you’ll find online. Other classic slot titles you’ll find at our recommended casinos include:
- Xmas Joker
- Lotsaloot 3 Reel
- Cash Clams
- Jingle Bells
- Fruit Slots
- Jackpot Jester Wild Nudge
- 7th Heaven
- Lucky 7
- Treasure Nile
- Major Moolah
Where to play classic pokies for real money bets
While it’s virtually impossible to find the old One Armed Bandit style fruit machines in a land based casino, playing online gives you immediate access to a bunch of entertaining three-reel pokies. If you’re used to playing 5-reel video slots, prepare to be quite underwhelmed, as these classic games don’t include the same bonus features and rich animation we’ve come to expect from modernised games, but if you’re looking for a traditional slot game without the bells and whistles you’ll be very satisfied.
Three-reel pokies can be found at all of the leading online casinos recommended in our table above. We highly recommend Royal Vegas Casino if you’re looking for a selection of Microgaming’s three-reel pokies, and Slots Million if you’re after classic games from a range of software developers, including Rival, Play’n Go, NextGen Gaming and Saucify.
There are numerous welcome packages available to Australian online casino players, including no deposit bonuses, pokies free spins and matched deposit bonus offers.
With the soaring popularity of online gambling, you can now play three reel and five reel pokies for real money on your computer, phone, tablet or other compatible mobile device, from the comfort of your own home.