Fruit machines are iconic. From seaside arcades to busy pubs, the bright lights and loud sounds of fruit machines are a staple of the gambling world. For many, fruit machines are mysterious things, hard to play and impossible to win — but they don’t need to be!
Here we delve into the secrets of the slot fruit machines to show you how to play (and win!) at these slot machine classics.
What are fruit machines?
Fruit machines are coin-operated devices with three or more spinning reels. These reels have various pictures on them, usually fruit (including the iconic cherries).
The aim of the game is to spin the reels and create combinations of these symbols, with prize money won according to the combination created.
Fruit machines are popular because of their relatively high payout rate when compared with other forms of game machines. When fruit machines payout, they typically return between 70-98% of money gambled.
How to play fruit machines
Many fruit machines have a ‘hold’ button. This lets you pause certain reels during play, increasing the chances of winning. For example, if you had two lemons in a row, you could hit ‘hold’ and continue spinning the remaining reel in the hope of getting another lemon.
Some fruit machines also have a ‘cancel’ button. Hitting this button during play slows the reels down, helping you spot patterns and making it easier to find the pictures you need to win. This process is known as ‘wedging’.
How do you win fruit machines?
Most fruit machines have three reels, while more advanced machines have five. The aim is to get a full line of the same picture, whether it’s horizontally, diagonally, vertically, in a ‘V’ shape, and so on.
Every fruit machine should have a winnings chart accompanying it. These show what combinations offer what payout. While five-reel fruit machines give you more chances to win, the payouts aren’t always as high as fruit machines with three reels.
There are those who hope to cheat at gambling, whether it’s online casinos or arcade slot machines. Fruit machines are no exception to this.
It’s important to remember that fruit machines are random number generators. As such, the strategies outlined below are not guaranteed to work every time. However, it is possible to increase the odds in your favour.
To start with, try and find out when the fruit machine last paid out a jackpot. All fruit machines stick to a payout pattern. In general, most fruit machines payout every 3-5 days, although other machines have longer periods between payouts.
When you know when a fruit machine last paid out, you can guess with greater accuracy when it will payout next.
How to spot when a fruit machine might payout
The most common sign that a fruit machine is likely to payout is when one or more players have repeatedly put money into it, but had no major payouts. This is a sign that it is likely (but not definitely) about to payout, and you’ll often find pub fruit machines being played in this way.
Another sign that a fruit machine is likely to payout is known as ‘backing’. When a coin is inserted into a machine, it falls into a coin hopper near the front — you can usually hear it clink in.
But when the hopper is full, the coin drops down the back of the machine instead. When you hear the coin fall down the back, rather than the front, of a slot machine, there’s usually a higher chance that it might payout soon.
Fruit machines tips and advice
It’s easy to get lost in a fruit machine, playing on in the hopes of hitting a big payout or winning your money back.
It’s therefore worth setting yourself a 15-minute time limit per game. Combine this with a set budget, and do not try to win your money back once you’ve reached this limit. Chasing your losses is the easiest way to lose more money.
How to win online fruit machines
While many of the tips and tricks outlined here only work with offline fruit machines found in pubs, clubs, and other arcades, some online fruit machines do let you identify when they are likely to pay out.
Some online slot machines such as the ones produced by 32Red offer Jackpot Thermometers. These are meters that indicate how likely a slot machine is to pay out based on past payouts. The higher the meters, the more likely you are to win.
While these meters are not a 100% foolproof way of determining a win, they do serve as a useful guide when you are choosing a fruit machine to play online.
Fruit machines are a popular form of gambling that you’ll find almost everywhere, from your local pub to amusement arcades. While winning while playing fruit machines isn’t guaranteed, it is sometimes possible to stack the odds in your favour. Don’t go in expecting a win, and set yourself strict time and budget limits, and you’ll enjoy fruit machines safely and responsibly.