Having been around in UK pubs, kebab shops and pretty much anywhere else for many years, fruit machines are also online.
Littlewoods Casino, Intercasino and William Hill Casino were the pioneers of bringing these games online. Now they're in many more online casinos but your best bet of finding them is at the UK operators with large sports books such as bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill.
Fruit Machine Basics
- The aim of playing a fruit machine is to get three of the same symbols across the middle row.
- At 98%- 99% payout percentages are much higher online than the 75% - 80% you find on land based fruit machines.
- Many fruit machines include a features board which includes many prizes and forfeits on each square.
- The majority of online fruit machines include progressive jackpots - some are as big as £50,000
- Microgaming casinos are definitely the place to go if you want to play fruit machines online.
Fruit machines are similar to slots but differ because of nudges, holds and feature boards. Feature boards provide chances to move up cash ladders, guess higher or lower. Another key difference is that with fruit machine features you must collect your winnings before you lose them.
Playing Online Fruit Machines
The nature of fruit machines means that there are actually quite a few differences between playing fruit machines online and in land based casinos.
- The most important thing is that the payout percentages of online fruit machines are around 98%-99% compared to land based fruit machines which vary from 75% to 80%.
- There's no smashing of buttons, peering to see what's further up the reels and waiting for money to start 'dropping'. Not that much of that usually helps anyway.
Unfortunately, Microgaming appears to be the only software provider to take fruit machines seriously with their selection of ten. If you're hoping to play them at a non-Microgaming casino then they're commonly found in the games or arcade section of casino websites.
Recognising them shouldn't be hard as we all know what a traditional fruit machine looks like. There are generally three reels displaying symbols such as fruit (you'd never guess!), numbers, gold bars and lucky 7s.
Regardless of the symbols, the aim of the game is still to get three of a kind across the middle row - generally there is no multi line slots style feature. All symbols pay from left to right in consecutive order as they do in traditional slots.
From here, there are a number of automatic payouts and extra games that can be won or triggered.
- Fruit Machine Features
- Gamble features
- Cash ladders
- Features boards
It's this last feature that tends to lead to the big wins. Features boards are set out like a children's board game with prizes and forfeits on every square. You can start on these boards if you reveal three of the required symbols. Once there your steps along the board may give you an extra spin, double your money on the cash ladder or make you go back a few spaces.
The British Gambling Game
Fruit machines are only really played in the UK and in many ways, are deeply entrenched in British culture..
They first appeared in the 1960s in UK amusement arcades and have spread to local pubs and just about anywhere else where people may be inclined to gamble.
Although online casinos emerged in the 1990s, it wasn't until some time later that online fruit machines appeared. When they finally did in late November 2004 it was thanks to Cryptologic. As an Ireland-based casino software supplier, Cryptologic are in and around the heartland of fruit machines, so it made sense that they were the first providers to bring fruit machines online.
Since then, other online software providers have begun to develop their own forms of the game, while original fruit machine developers have transformed their games. Barcrest, JPM and Maygay have all adapted their fruit machines for the internet. As such, some of the biggest name games such as Rainbow Riches, Ca$hino and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire can all be played online.