Play Now!
Home Online Slots Free Slots Bonus Slots Slots Info Promotions Casino Reviews
Fruit Machines Pro Players Arcade Aid Myths Fruit Strategy Player Guides Webmaster
How UK fruit machines work and why they are so much different to slot machines

The first major difference between a fruit machine and a slot machine is that the latter is entirely random and the player has no control over the outcome. Fruit machines will offer the player the opportunity to alter the outcome of the next credit with certain features like holds, superholds (where the reels step up and down), let 'em spins and bonuses on the trail.

Fruit machines almost always involve a trail which the player must complete to reach a feature board. In many cases the player must make several decisions about how to proceed around the board and this may involve being challenged to continue, such as guessing the correct way to gamble on the hi-lo reel or hitting a pseudo-skill challenge. Psuedo-skill is where the outcome is already pre-determined but the player believes that the time he hits a button will determine the outcome. Invariably when a machine is offering these kind of challenges it is not at its most willing to pay out.

The Fairplay Campaign (a site probably set up by someone who has lost a fortune) also claims this about winning on hi-lo gambles. Their claim is that the outcome is always fixed, so if you go higher than a 5 the number will be 4 or less, and if you decided to go lower then the number would be 6 or more (on a standard hi-lo reel with numbers 1 -12). However they have a rather biased view because similarly if the machine wants to pay out then you will win regardless of the way you gamble. They don't complain about a machine having an "invincible mode", a situation where the player can just keep moving around the feature board in the knowledge he cannot lose. Now on some machines this is true and can be shown using fruit machine emulators, but this is not the case on all machines.

There is also a great difference between how manufacturers produce fruit machines, some do offer truly random spins. The writers at the Fairplay site are probably very inexperienced players. It is widely accepted that machines in the UK play like this. The key to success is to be a better player than the person playing before. A poor player can leave a machine in a "happy" state which a good player can take advantage of. On US slot machines this is not possible because the outcome is always completely random.

What to look for when playing a UK fruit machine

The first thing to look for is if it 'backing', this means the coins are falling down into the cashbox and not into the hopper or tubes where the money is paid from. A machine that is 'backing' has taken back any money it has paid out so you are much more likely to be closer to the point of another big payout. For this reason many sites will refill machines so that players are under the impression the machine has not paid out. The more experienced player will then have to rely on his/her judgment of how well the machine is playing before deciding to carry on. Hence good knowledge of the machine before you play is essential.

Many players believe that by leaving money in the win bank the machine will continue to play better because 'it hasn't paid it out yet'. Wrong! If this were the case the machine would keep on paying into the bank until you collected. In actual fact the software thinks it has been paid. Its like taking money out of your account and putting it in your wallet. Then take it out of your wallet and put it in your pocket. While it is in your wallet the bank knows you have withdrawn it and will not pay you any more!!

Almost all fruit machines have skillstops on them. There are two kinds. True Skill means that what you actually hit is what you get. Psuedo skill means that the machine will stop on its own choice and not what you hit. You might see a player trying to judge what to hit when the lights are flickering all over a feature board but it is always predecided what the final result will be. Psuedo skill is very common when the machine offers nudges. Just when you need only 2 nudges for a win you 'always' seem to get 1 which is useless! Most fruit machines have a hi-lo reel also. This is used to progress around a feature game or to gamble for bigger wins. The hi-lo gamble chance is in no way related to how good the number is. Your chances of winning depend entirely on whether the machine has decided it can afford to pay you the better win. Many fruit machines will regularly lose on a 2 or 11 because they are designed to make you continue playing to chase your money back.

JPM fruit machines are notorious for losing on good numbers when you get close to the jackpot. Maygay fruit machines will nearly always win on 1,2,3, 10, 11 and 12 when gambling wins but usually lose on the feature game. The reason being you are often given a good number as the machine will want you to win the gamble, but on the feature board it may have to spin a 2 or 11 to get to the hi-lo square it has decided to kill you on. Hence on many machines you will repeatedly lose when going higher than a 2 or lower than an 11, and it should be pretty obvious these numbers are not random! Many machines these days use the cancel button (or a button with the manufacturers name on it) as an added feature. When it lights up you can use it to slow down skillstops and random selections. Almost every player knows how to use it nowadays so it is pretty useless as an advantage!

The main advantage a good player has over a bad one is knowing which features to take for a jackpot and a repeat chance. He will also know when to carry on playing a machine or whether to walk away and cut his losses. He will also know how much can be expected from a streak and won't walk away leaving a couple of jackpots for the next player. Usually a feature will pay an amount depending on how difficult it is to get, unless the machine is in an invincible mode where almost anything the player does will get him the jackpot. Invincible modes can be spotted by a logo changing colour or flashing. But the greatest advantage a good player has is KNOWING WHEN NOT TO PLAY.

In the UK there are two main types of fruit machine. The first is AWP (amusement with prizes) which is the type you find in pubs. These can have a jackpot up to £25. They usually have 3 reels and usually a repeat chance on the jackpot. The other type of machine is the 4 reeler. These are called club machines and have jackpots from £75 to £250 (£1,000 in casinos). The stake is usually 25p a go, compared to AWP's which for some incredibly silly reason now have a 30p stake in many pubs, though some have a multi stake option. The law in this country is rediculous to point of patronising the punter. Your gran can win £250 down the Legion on a Sunday afternoon but your mate can only win £25 on the bandit while he's in the bookies doing a hundred on every dog race. Pub machines have only recently gone from £10 to £15 to £25 jackpot and although this increase is good it's still far too small. Most punters would like to see jackpots of £50 or £100 in pubs. Something that is worth winning. Sixty Six percent of players in my own personal survey said they played machines to win money and not for entertainment purposes. So if a punter wants to gamble big there needs to be more deregulation. Why should we have to go to the Legion with gran or join a casino just so we can win something worth having when a sixteen year old could win 20 million on the lottery?

There is one other kind of fruit machine that has been introduced, and that is the casino machine. At the moment these machines are £1000 jackpot and are clones of some popular £250 machines, but there are also many that resemble American slot machines and there is not skill required to play them.

The basics of fruit machine playing - Club machines
There are some very simple guidelines you should follow when playing club fruit machines. Firstly you should have a good idea of whether a machine is ready to pay or not. This is a lot easier than it sounds. Once you have got the jackpot / cashpot once all you need to know is how many days before you should return to that club again. This is trial and error and varies from about 3 days to 10 days depending on how busy the club is. British Legion clubs for example are usually very busy at the weekends so a trip on a Friday night and Monday morning might work ok. Most clubs I would leave 10 days just to be absolutely sure. Players in Legions and CIU clubs tend to be a lot less aggressive than players in Snooker Clubs or Casinos. For this reason you can leave a machine a bit longer without the worry of someone else getting it. Once you are in the club you need to know it is worth playing. If the machine has tubes you can often see if they are full by looking through the reels. On most machines the money should be above the 'clip' on all the tubes. Hoppers are not so easy to tell so the best thing I find is to put £20 in and see if the machine is backing. If not then it is best to leave it and try to get what you can, unless the machine is showing signs it is playing very well. Once you have decided it is worth playing you must make sure you have enough time to play it to get the jackpot/cashpot and you have enough money/pound coins to acheive this. I would always carry a £200 float of pound coins in my car in case the club ran out. Check the machine pays out -- £1 coins sometimes stick in the tubes causing the machine to pay short -- this can be very frustrating on a ferry for example. Always make sure you are either a member of the club or you are correctly affiliated and signed in. As long as you abide by any committee rules there is very little they can do to stop you playing other than turn the fruit machines off when you arrive, which does happen! And lastly when you have won the jackpot - don't forget to get the barman a drink. Amazing how far this can get you. Never succumb to buying members drinks if you win, they wouldn't buy you one if you lost would they?

Final thought:
For every fruit machine you play you must have an objective. This may be to climb up to the cashpot, gamble to the jackpot or just collect a good feature. It is not good enough to fill it up and hope it rolls the jackpot in -- this hardly ever happens. Most fruitmachines have a cashpot and these are usually the ones with the best value. Many people do not realise that in most cases the machine is totally unaffected by paying the cashpot. This is because the cashpot has been paid for over a long period of time. With most machines the method of play is the same. First you must make the machine 'happy' by refusing all wins offered to you. This will force the cashpot out - then you win back most of your stake. In reality every fruit machine player strives to achieve the same goal, and that is to understand and hopefully master the machine so he or she can finish playing with PROFIT. About 80 percent of players play to win money, the remaining 20 percent play for amusement. The problem is, just when you feel confident going up the pub or club to win yourself some beer money, the machine has changed! And you have to start all over, spending loads of money working out how the new machine operates. This cycle repeats itself again and again, with manufacturers creating new machines all the time to attract players. Now just imagine if you have up-to-date players guides when new machines are released, you could make a fair bit of profit over the following 3 months while the machine is sited in your local pub or club.

Club fruit machines tend to have a very long lifespan so you can be certain clubs in your area will have older machines abd you can also be certain that you make a bundle of money from them using the club machine guides.

Back to
fruit machines