6 Reel Slots
For many years, 5-reel slots completely dominated the online gaming industry. 6-reel online slots, meanwhile, were more of a rarity. Times have changed greatly in this regard, though, with 6 reels becoming much more popular. Developers have found unique ways to incorporate an extra reel while, simultaneously, increasing the entertainment factor. Below, you can find out more on 6-reel online slots and why they've become more prevalent.
How Do 6 Reel Slots Work?
If you've played 5-reel online slots before, then you won't have much trouble adjusting to the 6-reel variety. The latter simply include one extra column (reel) at the end of the grid.
A 6-reel online slot can come with a variety of rows. Most commonly, though, these games feature four rows (6x4 grid). As we'll cover later, the number of rows can increase with certain slots engines (e.g. Megaways).
The additional column allows more symbols to fall onto the grid. If a 5x4 slot (20 positions total) suddenly gains an extra reel, then it would offer 24 positions. These additional positions allow for more winning possibilities.
6 Reel Megaways Slots
Megaways and 6 reels have grown together over the past few years. Big Time Gaming (BTG) introduced their famed Megaways format through Dragon Born in 2015. From there, the Megaways concept steadily grew in popularity, before exploding with the release of BTG's Bonanza.
Most Megaways slots feature 6 reels. Their 6-reel setup provides variable reels, where each reel holds between 2 and 7 symbols. If all reels hold the maximum 7 symbols, then the grid offers 117,649 ways (7x7x7x7x7x7). Pragmatic Play's Dog House Megaways is a good example of this setup.
Of course, there are exceptions to the norm. Some of these games can feature maximum reels with 5 or 6 positions. In these cases, the 6-reel slots could offer up to 15,625 ways (5x5x5x5x5x5) or 46,656 ways (6x6x6x6x6x6). Fantasma's Heroes Hunt Megaways is an example of a 46,656-ways game.
6 Reel Slots with Added Rows
These 6 reelers work similar to the Megaways games covered above. Rather than having variable reels, however, they give you extra rows throughout the course of play.
ELK Studios' Tahiti Gold provides a good example of this format. It delivers extra rows as you rack up cascading wins. The starting grid offers 6 reels and 4 rows with 4,096 ways (4x4x4x4x4x4). Tahiti Gold's grid can grow all the way to eight rows (6x8), at which point it offers 262,144 ways to win.
Simple 6 Reel Slots
Not every 6-reel slot has to offer a fancy engine. Instead, some of these games are just simple online slots with an extra reel. Developed by Real Time Gaming (RTG), Super 6 shows that basic games can be fun too. Super 6 has a 6x3 grid and 729 ways to win. If you're confused by the bigger Megaways and added-rows games, then Super 6 is a nice introduction to the 6-reel genre.
You can even find games with 6 reels that don't have ways. Instead, they may just offer somewhere between 25 and 50 paylines. Nothing is easier to play in the online gaming world than a payline slot.
5 Reel Slots with an Additional Reel
Certain games begin with 5 reels, but they grow to 6 reels through features. Quickspin's Titan Thunder, for instance, sees you active a sixth reel in the bonus round. The transition from 5 to 6 reels gives you more opportunities to win.
Online slots that grow an extra reel aren't as common as other slot machines discussed on this list. That said, they're special when you do find them.
4,096 Ways Games
At one time, 4,096-ways online slots were really unique. With the advent of Megaways and other engines, though, this format isn't quite so extraordinary. Nevertheless, you can still enjoy some good games that fall into this category.
A 4,096-ways slot features 6 reels and 4 rows. Unlike some of the engines covered before, these games don't see the reels or rows increase in size. Examples of 4,096-ways slots include WMS' Raging Rhino and RTG's IC Wins.
Why Do Players Like 6 Reel Online Slots So Much?
The days when every slots player was satisfied with basic 5-reel, 20-payline games are long gone. Today's players demand more from developers. 6-reel online slots largely provide the "more" that gamblers are seeking.
The extra reel allows for more symbols, bigger wins, and unique formats. You need only look at games with Megaways, added rows, or an unlockable reel to see this. In summary, you can expect to see plenty more 6-reel slots at online casinos in the future.