Know the different types of slots in South African casinos

Know the different types of slots in South African casinos
REEL: As the lockdowns continue to impede on communal establishments online slots are fast becoming a norm. PICTURE BY David Harrison

Casinos offer many games and it is in their best interests to as they want to cater to as wide an audience as is possible.

Slots are a popular game for South African players. There are different types to choose from which offer different rewards and challenges.

There will be players who are only interested in blackjack, for instance. They’ve played the occasional organised games with their friends, say, and they’ve always enjoyed it and now want to play more regularly. Others are there for the thrill of roulette: the drama of chance increasing and decreasing and the vindication and ecstasy of betting right. 

Slots are a classic game which appeal to many players too. Both roulette and slots can be used as alternatives: they are games which can be played routinely to develop and use strategies to better grasp the intricacies of the game but they can also be used as quicker options that can be played once or twice before moving on to the next thing. 

There are variations of each of these games too. These variations are largely about technology, but are also about features and play-styles. South African players have more slots variations to choose from than poker or roulette.

Know the different types of slots in South African casinos
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3 Reel and 5 Reel


The first slot machine was a 3 reel, called the Liberty Bell Machine. As technology progressed, it quickly became a 5 reel, and this is the way things have stayed. 5-reel slots are far more popular than 3 reels. However, both are available for gamers.

3 reels tend to be far simpler. There tends to be only horizontal pay lines; however, some do offer diagonal ones. Most of the time, the gameplay is focussed on simply spinning, spinning, spinning. There are no extra features which can complicate proceedings and give the gamer more to think about. As such, there are a higher frequency of losses and wins, as is natural when you spin more.

5 reels are where the complexity comes in. There are multiple pay lines for gamers to track. Often, these slots are built differently and will have differently loaded games – low or high, depending on the pay out – which means that symbols mean different things and, again, it’s more information to consider. Bonuses are common, though, which can help keep bankrolls healthy.

The variety of slot machines is extensive. Players will often find their favourites quickly, either because they are shown or because it becomes habit. What is consistent across all, though, is bright lights and big dreams.

Online and Land-Based

One key difference is whether the gamers are playing at a land-based casino or online. It isn’t quite as drastic as, say, playing soccer on the commons and playing FIFA 21 on a PlayStation. However, the experience between the two is distinct. 

Land-based slots offer a communal atmosphere. Gamers will be playing in the vicinity of others, which enables that social aspect of casinos to shine – this is the case either at a casino or in the pub or bar where many slot machines are. Online doesn’t offer this. It is a much more isolated and personal experience, but this is something many gamers prefer. It is a way to focus on what you’re doing.

Convenience is key here too. Online slots are more easily accessible for any whereas many online casinos have apps or can just as easily be used through a web browser. Land-based slots require travel. 

Let’s not forget the money. Online slots enable gamers to choose how much they wager, whereas land-based ones are fixed. The same goes for rewards. Online gamers can play for less or more, but land-based players have don’t have the freedom of choice.

The variety of slots, though, which land-based and online have available for gamers are very similar. Casinos, as opposed to bars, have the infamous rows of machines. There will be groups among them which are different to others, though. Online slots will have the same thing. It’s logically easier to grasp the range which online casinos offer as they don’t have to worry about physical space, but land-based slots compete well with their online counterparts. 


The online casino offers a wide landscape for alternative payment methods, enabling the players themselves to feel more in control over their own sense of security and privacy when joining up with a new online casino. E-wallets, for instance, have proven incredibly popular for that reason. 

The strongest example of the e-wallet’s success within the online casino is Skrill. As a digital payment service available in South Africa, it represents the strongest rival to the long-standing giant PayPal due to its speed, convenience, and its ubiquity within some of the world’s leading online casinos – as well as being an official partner to a wide variety of household names, such as AC Milan and Vivaticket.  

Other options include Neteller, for instance, cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin), prepaid cards, and bank transfers. Cashless payments are available in the land-based casinos.

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