The very first slot machine can be traced back to the late 1880's. They are predominantly identified by wheels or reels that spin when a button is pushed or, for older versions, when a lever is pulled. When the slot machine stops, the payoff would be based on the resulting symbols or patterns formed.
There are several types of slot machines available today. The most common ones, though, are 3 reel or 5 reel slots. The more traditional one is the 3 Reel slot which was invented by Charles Fey in 1887.
Payouts for this kind of slot machine is easy for players to find since the pay table is usually displayed right on the front of the machine, customarily above the reels. Moreover, payout lines are much simpler compared to 5 Reel slots.
Some variations of 3 Reel slot machines feature rare symbols which give you more chances of winning the jackpot. However, since they are quite rare, the odds of a player getting one are also rare. Usually, if you play a 3-reel slot machine, the payouts are fairly frequent though they are typically in smaller denominations.
The main advantage if you play this type of slot machine is that they are easy to play; you don't necessarily need to have significant slot machine experience to understand what you're doing.
The second type is the 5 Reel slot machine. This category has evolved using modern computer technologies, and is the most common type of slot machine especially in online casinos. 5 reel slot machines are said to be a lot better and more appealing mainly because they offer more paylines which translate to more chances of winning per spin.
The main advantage of 5 reel slots is that since they have more symbols or patterns, they also have more possible combinations. The drawback here is that, with more reels, it is even rarer to get the jackpot which usually needs a specific combination of symbols.
On most 5 slot machines, there are also some additional incentives like when a player gets a free spin, a free wild symbol, or when you get an extra bonus round. With more reels, developers are able to incorporate several features never before seen on 3 Reel slots. 5 Reel slots also have several different paylines which players can bet on to increase their chances of winning.