Fruit Machines are a type of slot machines which are especially popular in the United Kingdom. So much so, that I recently read that “fruit machines are just as much a part of British pub cloture as football and fish ‘n’ chips”. However, Fruit Machines’ popularity throughout the globe is on the raise. The classic mechanical fruit machines would typically have three reels, with numbers, and pictures of various fruits—cherries, plums, oranges, lemons, and watermelons— printed on them. They would pay out depending on how many identical fruits would align on the payline (the middle of three horizontal lines of symbols on the screen), when all reels stop rotating, and the different value of each symbol.
The Basics of Playing Fruit Machines
Playing today’s computerized video Fruit Machines is much more complex and interesting. Many Fruit Machines today feature five reels and up to 20 possible paylines. Every Fruit Machine has a “Bonus Trail” feature (also known as “Bonus Board”). Additional features that are characteristic of a fruit machine include “Hold”, “Nudge”, “Gamble Feature” and “Cash Ladder”. We will cover some of these features blow, and the rest will be part of a future series of articles dedicated to Fruit Machines.
Perhaps the most substantial difference between Fruit Machines and regular slot machines is that playing them involves some degree of skill. Regular slots are completely random, and players have no control over the results of the game. However, Fruit Machines include features which allow the player the opportunity to influence the outcome. The most common of these are the “Hold” feature, which allows the player to “lock” a reel (or more than one reel) in place while spinning just the others; and “Nudge” feature, which makes it possible to give the wheels a slight nudge in order to try and achieving a better combination.
New age fruit machines also feature the “Bonus Trail”. This feature is usually activated at random. A “trail” or “board” of squares with different numbers and symbols printed on them, appears on the screen. Each square triggers a different action. Depending on the square they land on, players can double, triple or multiply their winnings by 10, win cash rewards, be sent to the “Cash Ladder”, etc. The player has several ways to choose a square, some of which also involve a certain degree of skill. For instance, the player can choose to try and press on the desired square on the screen at the precise moment when it flashes with light.
Like all modern slot machines, fruit machines are programed to pay out over the long run a certain percentage of money put into them (usually 75-80%).
Most Popular Land-Based Fruit Machine Themes
The most popular fruit games in land-based casinos is probably “Deal or no deal” which was created in homage to the successful U.K TV show of the same name. There are several versions of “Deal or no Deal” fruit machines, some feature four reels, others only three. On “Deal or no Deal what’s in your box” players may activate up to five paylines, on “Deal or no Deal factory” a “Heart trail” enables gaining extra lives.
Other popular fruit machine themes are “Bullys star prize”, “Ant & decs Saturday night take away jiggy bank”, “Pots of gold” and “show time”, each with its own unique fun charactaristics.