Overview of 3D Slots

A friend asked me what exactly a 3D slot machine was the other day. I had a hard time explaining it. So I thought he might not be the only person that was wondering.

Here’s what I told him.

3D slot machines are video slots designed to provide graphics that look like the screen is in 3D. You don’t wear special glasses like when you go to the movies to see a 3D film.

But the game designers hope for something that rivals that experience.

The goal is to make the on screen action appear as real as possible. The characters and other objects seem like you can reach out and touch them. The more life-like the designers can make the game feel, the better.

Are 3D and Video Slots the Same?

You run into an issue when trying to define proper names for slot machine technology:

The same words mean different things to different people.

3D Slots

3D Slots Screenshot

All 3D Slots are video slots.

Video Slots

Video Slots Screenshot

But not all video slots are 3D games.

You might find people who don’t agree with this definition.

Video graphics are a requirement for the advanced graphics that present things with a 3D look. This backs up my belief that all 3D slot machines are video slots.

But is there anything to back up my statement that all video slot machines aren’t 3D games?

The first great invention in the slot machine industry after classic slots was the introduction of video slot machines. The earliest video slot machines were a tremendous advancement over classic three reel and five reel machines.

But they’re primitive compared to today’s graphic intensive options.

Compare one of the 3D slot machines found today with one of the early video slots games.

There’s no comparison.

It’s clear that they’re two completely different systems. You’ll never confuse one of the earliest video slot machines with the current 3D graphics slot machine games.

3D Slots Story Lines

Most 3D slots have a story of some sort built into the game. You progress through the story while you play. You accomplish various in-game goals in order to advance.

Getting players invested in a story line is one of the smartest things casinos have done with their slot machines. Most stories require you to reach certain goals to advance to the next level.

How they work

I recently played a 3D slot machine based on a murder mystery. You had to unlock three different levels to proceed to the next round of the game.

I ran out of money before unlocking the third level. But my assumption is that there were additional rounds after the first.

That’s how story based slots work. You often have to invest hours and hours of game play and plenty of money to complete all of the levels.

The game I played is based loosely on the concept of the Clue board game. Every five minutes of game-play lets you spin to find clues. One level required you to find clues to find out which weapon was used. Another level was used to find out where the murder took place. The third level was used to identify the killer.

The spins you could take in each of these special areas were earned at random on spins during the regular game. One time I only had one spin and another I had seven.

I didn’t play enough to get a real average.

But my guess is that you get three or four spins on average every five minutes.

It took me about three special sections to solve each set of clues.


The game also has special bonus rounds that trigger free spins. When the bonus round is triggered you choose between the suspects. Each suspect gives additional bonuses on the free spins.

The game is cleverly designed so that you want to keep playing to hit the next bonus round and not give up until you unlock all of the levels. All of this tries to take advantage of your psychological needs and desires so you play longer.

The longer you play a slot machine the more money the casino will win from you on average. Like every other game in the casino, slot machines have an expected return for the casino per dollar wagered.

This type of design is profitable.

That’s why most 3D slot machines are built around story lines of some sort. But a slot machine doesn’t have to have a story line to be considered a 3D slot machine.

Our Recommendation:

You should try all kinds of different slot machines and casino games to find the ones you enjoy the most.

3D Slot Machine Downsides

Potential Visual Problems

One issue with any type of graphic that attempts to offer a 3D picture is the possibility of creating problems for some of the viewers. Some people have problems with 3D slot machine graphics (just like some people have problems with 3D movies).

They can create blurry vision and / or headaches for some people. Of course they can just stop playing and these symptoms go away.

But if you’re sensitive to 3D movies you should be aware that you may also be sensitive to 3D slots.

I don’t know if people who are susceptible to epileptic seizures are in danger while playing 3D slots.

But if you have epilepsy, research it further if you are concerned before playing.

Potentially Highly Addictive

You also need to be aware of how addictive some of the slot machines revolving around story lines can be. They’re fun to play.

But the casinos want you to get hooked on playing them so you wager more and more money.

StarSet specific loss limits and stick with them.Star

Your specific financial situation will dictate what your loss limits should be. Without loss limits you may find that you have spent too much trying to get to the next level of the story.

Make sure you don’t exceed your limits, even by a few dollars.

I handle my loss limits by only loading my daily budget into the casino or machine. If I’m unlucky enough to run out of money for the day, I stop playing.

Or I switch to play money mode until the next time I have scheduled to play.

Slot machines are notorious for slowly draining your bankroll most days with a large win thrown in from time to time. The large wins are what keep you coming back for more. Your body and mind crave the rush of a big win and wants more of them.

Here’s the problem:

There are too few big wins and too many losses between them. It doesn’t matter if you win $1,000 in a session if you lost $200 per session for the last 10 sessions.

I’m not trying to tell you how to spend your money or preaching about playing slot machines. I like slot machines too. Just make sure you don’t get sucked into playing for more money than you planned to at the beginning.

The happiest slots players I know are the ones with a strict entertainment budget. They choose to use their entertainment budget playing slot machines and try to have as much fun as possible. They don’t stress about wins or losses because they are playing for fun. When they do hit a nice win it’s even better.

Not getting upset about the losses is the key to their staying happy.

Where Can You Play 3D Slot Machines?

The Internet is filled with advertisements for the latest and greatest 3D slot machines. Most of the popular online casinos and software providers have started offering 3D slots. The ones who don’t are likely in the process of developing ones they can offer soon.

Take a look at the casino reviews offered on this site to find the safest places to enjoy 3D slot machine games.

3D Slots Alternatives

If you enjoy the story based slots but don’t want to play 3D slot machines, you’re out of luck.

There aren’t many other options in the casino that offer the same type of game play. Other video slots games offer great graphics and sounds as well as exciting bonus rounds and progressive jackpots. These can offer fun alternatives to 3D slots play.

You may also enjoy one of the non-slots related video games. The most popular video games other than slots in the casino are video poker machines.

But you can also find other games like video roulette, video keno, and video versions of popular table games in some casinos.

One of the biggest issues with slot machines in general is they tend to pay back lower percentages of total wagered dollars than many of the other casino games. The pay back percentages vary from machine to machine, casino to casino, and state to state.

But slot machines can offer the house an edge of 5%, 10% or more.

Compare this to some video poker machines and blackjack that cut the house edge to a half percent or less with proper strategy. Of course, playing slots is pretty straightforward and lets you play without thinking too much.


It’s perfectly acceptable to play slots in order to let your mind rest and escape the stress of daily life for a few minutes.

But if you want to get the lowest house edge or have the highest chances of winning, you should think about this:

Video based games like Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better video poker offer great odds.

If you enjoy cards you can play blackjack or Texas Hold ‘em poker. If you play smart, you’ll get great odds there, too.

Baccarat is another good alternative to playing 3D slots. It’s a simple game to play.

And the house edge is only about 1%.

All you have to do is bet on the banker or the player. The dealer takes care of everything else.

Of course there are no fancy graphics or cool computer generated sounds.

But what’s more lifelike than real life?

And isn’t that what the 3D slot machine manufacturers are shooting for?

Don’t they want to make you feel like their games are real?

They haven’t reached the point where they are as real as real life.

But they’re progressing that way.


3D slot machines offer cutting edge graphics, sounds, and game-play. They’re the latest and best the casinos have to offer and show just how far we have come from the old three reel fruit machines.

Players have flocked to 3D slot machines just like they did when video slots were introduced. The will continue to be popular until the next biggest thing in slots technology is introduced. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that next advancement will be.