Bar Bar Black Sheep which version should I play?

Since its launch in the mid 2000's Bar Bar Black Sheep has been one of Microgaming's most popular classic slots. It's no wonder then that the software giant has elected to re-make this classic into a new 5x3 reel version of the game offering some brand new features.

The original game is a 3 reel, single payline game with a generous jackpot up for grabs when three black sheep line up across the reels. The new game is a 5 reel, 15 payline game that offers more features, humorous antics amongst the livestock, an on-screen bonus of awarding you up to 999 times your line-bet, as well as free spins with 3x multipliers.

Of course we've all rushed to play the new version of the game - or will do at least once, but if you're wondering which the better option over the long term is, the answer will lie in what type of player you are, your budget and the expectations you have from a gaming session.

Here we'll take a look at the pros and cons of 3 vs 5 reel slots games so that you can decide which one will be right for you.

Design, Features and Paylines

3 reel slots like the classic Bar Bar Black sheep game generally have a simple design which makes them easy to understand and play. These games usually have no bells and whistles in terms of features but can still offer some generous jackpots for the amounts you bet depending on the machine you play. The probability of winning the jackpot on these machines is also higher.

Five reel slots obviously have more reels and are generally of the video slots genre which means that they offer superior graphics, often with animation. More reels, mean greater possible combinations also offer far more in the way of features like free spins, bonus games, wilds and scatter symbols, all of which not only add to the excitement of the game but also create more ways for the player to win.

In terms of probability higher numbers of payout combinations often offer players more chances to win small prizes regularly.


Volatility refers to the swings that you will have to endure between wins and losses. Games with high volatility involved high risk and periods between wins can be drawn out and the swings you have to endure quite dramatic. This obviously takes a toll on your bankroll, which has to be large enough to endure these swings.

Five Reel slots generally have a high volatility while 3 reel slots have a considerably lower volatility which makes them a better choice for players with smaller budgets and want solid game play for their money and while the jackpots are lower, the chances of winning them are better.

Jackpots and Payouts

When it comes to payout rates 3 and 5 reel slots generally offer between 86% to 98% depending on where you play. The classic Bar Bar Black Sheep slot generally averages around 95.03%.

In terms of jackpots, 3 reel slot offer smaller jackpots, but at mentioned above, because of the lower volatility and lower risk, there is a greater chance of winning these. The classic Bar Bar Black Sheep game awards a jackpot of up to 1600 coins on the maximum bet, while the 5x3 reel version offers winnings of up to 95,000 coins. That's quite a difference, but then again so are the odds of winning.

As you can see from the above, the choice of whether to play Bar Bar Black Sheep Classic, or the new 5x3 reel slot will depend on how much excitement you need from a game as well as your budget and whether or not you're willing to trade longer game play sessions with the chance of solid rewards, for shorter ones with greater winning potential.