6 Reel Slots
6-reel slots have become more and more popular at online casinos. They're now almost as prominent as 5-reel slots, which previously dominated the internet gaming industry. If you're interested in playing the highly popular 6-reel online slots, you should check out the following guide. It covers how to play these games, types of 6-reel slots, and why they're so popular.
How to Play 6 Reel Online Slots
From a basic standpoint, 6-reel slot machines don't play any differently than 5-reel games. They see you choose your stake size and push spin just like any other slot. Instead, the key difference comes in how they're set up.
For comparison sake, a 6-reel game has one more reel (a.k.a. column) than a 5-reel slot. Therefore, it provides more space for symbols and, thus, more possibilities to win. You may need to look at the pay table a little longer to figure out the paylines or ways to win. Regardless, you shouldn't have any trouble adapting to these games if you're already well versed with slot machines.
Types of 6 Reel Slots
The fact that 6-reel games include an extra reel means that they offer more potential for new formats/engines. 6-reel online slots can come in any of the following formats.
Standard Payline Games
The simplest 6-reel slot is one that features paylines, with wins forming when matching symbols land in an active line. These games typically have between 20 and 50 paylines. Assuming you've played 3- or 5-reel payline slots before, then you'll have no trouble adjusting to the 6-reel variety. The latter merely adds a sixth reel to the equation.
4,096 Ways Slots
The next step up from basic payline games is 4,096 ways. These slots feature a 6x4 grid and offer payouts when matching symbols appear in adjacent reels. By multiplying the symbols in every reel by each other (4x4x4x4x4x4), you arrive at 4,096 ways to win. A large number of 6-reel online slots have this format.
6 Reels with Megaways
Developed by Big Time Gaming, Megaways slots have become mainstays in the online gaming industry over the past several years. They feature random amounts of symbols in each reel from round to round. The most-common Megaways format offers 6 reels and 2-7 symbols in each reel. When all reels are maxed out, you'll have 117,649 ways to win. Some of these games, however, provide up to five or six symbols per reel. In these cases, you can unlock up to 15,625 or 46,656 ways.
6 Reels with Added Rows
These games are very similar to Megaways online slots. However, the key difference is that they add entire rows to the grid, rather than random variable positions in each reel. Pragmatic Play's Cash Bonanza provides an example of this setup. It offers 6 reels and a 6x4 grid (4,096 ways) by default. However, you can add extra rows, up to a maximum of eight, through the Ways Respins feature. At best, you could enjoy eight rows (6x8 grid) and 262,144 ways.
5 Reels with an Unlockable 6th Reel
Some 6-reel slots actually begin with five reels. In order to unlock the 6th reel, you'll need to get a certain feature or even trigger the bonus. Nolimit City's Punk Rocker, for example, begins with 5 reels and between 243 and 3,125 ways to win. If you land three bonus symbols, however, you'll unlock a sixth reel and up to 46,656 ways.
Where Can You Play 6 Reel Online Slots?
Many online casinos now offer 6-reel slots. That said, you won't have much trouble finding these games at the average casino. The main thing to consider is what software providers supply each casino site. Some developers that feature 6-reel slots include Big Time Gaming, ELK Studios, Pragmatic Play, and Real Time Gaming. Of course, other slots provides also feature these games, but this list should be enough to get you started.
The Advantages of 6 Reel Slots
5-reel online slots are a step up from the classic 3-reel slots that were exclusively available in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 5 reels offer more payout possibilities and give developers more to work with regarding features. 6 reels take things to an even bigger level because just one extra reel opens up even more opportunities. As seen with Megaways slots, for example, an extra reel can produce thousands of extra ways. Many players appreciate more ways to win and additional features. That said, 6-reel slots figure to be popular in online casinos for a long time.