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Stepper slots are three-reel slots, and they’re one of the easiest for learning how to play slots. The term comes from the old-school mechanics of a mechanical stepper slot, but it’s remained to easily find the classic setup. Most players enjoy stepper slots for being simple and straightforward while others have had better luck on a three-reel slot compared to other slot reel arrays and want to stick with what works. But whatever the reason, steppers have remained an incredibly popular real money slot. Play them for free today in demo mode, and play for real with the online casino bonuses below.

Free Stepper Slot Demos

Double Diamond Slot

Double Diamond Slot

The Double Diamond slot is arguably the number one most popular stepper slot available online.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond

Black Diamond is one of the most popular online stepper slots. It’s produced by Everi and features 3 reels and 9 paylines.

Triple Red Hot 7 Free Games

Triple Red Hot 7 Free Games

This exciting example of a stepper slot adds features above and beyond many other options, such as multipliers. It features 3 reels and 5 paylines.

Triple Diamond Slot

Triple Diamond Slot

Triple Diamond is the follow-up to Double Diamond, another one of the most well-known IGT slots.

What is a Stepper Slot?

Triple Red Hot 7 Free Games Slot
Triple Red Hot 7 Free Games, a popular example of a stepper slot. Demo available at the bottom of the page.

A stepper slot is simply a three-reel mechanical slot machine. If you’re in a brick-and-mortar casino, a slot labeled a stepper is a mechanical slot rather than a digital slot. However, “stepper slot” at an online casino is a digital slot that’s made to spin like it’s a mechanical slot.

A stepper slot usually has one payline across the three reels. Lining up three symbols that correspond with the paytable activates a prize. That means you can often see symbols above or below the payline that do not activate a prize. This is due to the odds of the game and not a way to tease a potential win, which is a common misconception. We’ll discuss this more in a later section about “blanks”.

Because of the near-constant innovations in the slots industry, steppers will often have multiple paylines, bonus games, and other special features. If you’d like to see an example of a stepper slot that features more modern innovations, you can play the demo for Triple Red Hot 7 Free Games at the bottom of this page.

Where Do the “Steps” Come In?

New players at the casino often misunderstand the term “stepper” to mean a slot with multiple steps to get to a prize. Those slots exist, but those are not stepper slots.

A three-reel mechanical slot is called a stepper because it uses a stepper motor, which spins the individual reels in increments (or “steps”). This differentiates stepper slots from video slots as it utilizes a mechanical spin rather than a virtual spin on a screen. Of course, online, both types of slots utilize virtual spins, but the idea behind the classic mechanics of steppers remains.

What Are Blank Stops?

Unlike video slots, stepper slots have a chance to land on a “blank” — in other words, there’s no symbol at all on the payline. These near misses serve to create an illusion that you were close to a win, when in reality every spin is completely random. While this is one of the more unique and lesser-known features of stepper slots, it’s one that should be remembered when playing to make sure you’re gambling responsibly.

Are Virtual Stepper Slots as Good as the Real Deal?

Yes, virtual stepper slots offer the exact same odds as a mechanical stepper slot. The benefit of a mechanical version is the novelty of reels actually spinning rather than an algorithm coming to a random result. Retail casinos will often offer a pull bar on the side of the slot machines, even if the slot is digital. The reason is because it’s more cinematic than tapping a button. There’s nothing more to it than that.

What Are Some of the Best Steppers at Online Casinos?

Steppers at online casinos usually encompass all classic three-reel slots. That means you have a wide range of options to choose from. To find the best, you have to decide if you’d prefer the best odds or the highest win potential. Both are valid approaches to a slot machine as long as you’re practicing Responsible Gaming.

Once you’ve decided, you can choose from some of these options at Golden Nugget Casino to get started.

Most steppers have a 96% return to player (RTP), also known as payback percentage. But “All That Cash: Power Bet” has a 96.5% RTP, which edges out all other options at Golden Nugget.

For the maximum payout, here are six of the best options:

  • $600,000 on Triple Red Hot 7 Free Games (94.91% RTP)
  • $525,525 on Golden Nugget Stepper (96% RTP)
  • $525,525 on Red Alert (96% RTP)
  • $508,400 on Double Jackpot Bullseye (96% RTP)
  • $506,500 on Wild Wild Gems (96% RTP)

As you can see, the stepper slot with the highest maximum payout also has the worst RTP. Typically speaking, the worse the odds on a casino game, the more likely it is to become one of the biggest online slot wins.

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About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani

Casino Content Manager
Mike Epifani is a gambling expert and professional writer with more than a decade of industry experience. His current role is Brand Content Manager at, part of the Catena Media network. Mike has written hundreds of guides on online casinos, casino gaming, sports betting, sweepstakes sites, and lottery play.
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