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Fruit Machines

Pokies are known by many names in different countries. One of the alternate names you may have heard for them is “fruit machines,” the moniker these games go by in the United Kingdom. If you play any poker machine in the UK, other players are likely to use that name, whether there are fruit symbols on the reels or not.

But fruit machines also refer to a particular style of game, one that is common in pokies found in British pubs. These games are very similar to the pokies and slot machines found all over the world, but have a few major differences that are worth noting if you plan on playing these games.

Where Did the Name “Fruit Machine” Come From?

If you’ve played older pokies, you’ll have no question as to why someone might call them fruit machines instead. Classic poker machines often featured fruits like cherries, oranges and lemons as their primary symbols. In fact, other than bars and sevens, these fruit symbols may be the most common symbols in the history of pokies.

What Makes Fruit Machines Different?

Fruit machines work on the same general concept as a standard three-reel poker machine. Typically, these games only have one payline, but that’s hardly a rare feature in pokies anywhere in the world. What sets fruit machines apart are the elements of decision making that add just a little bit of skill to normally luck-based pokies.

While playing a fruit machine, players will occasionally be awarded with nudges and holds. These allow players to manipulate the reels in order to improve their chances of winning, though they do so in different ways.

Using a hold allows a player to hold a reel in place for the next spin. This can be useful for keeping parts of a desired combination in place, especially if more than one hold can be used at a time.

Using a nudge allows the player to move a reel one symbols space down. The idea here is to use your nudges in order to complete a winning combination by moving a symbol that just barely missed into the payline (often called the “win line” on fruit machines) to score a win.

Fruit machines also often include a special feature that is known as a “bonus trail.” Typically, this features a ring of spots that are randomly activated, each of which has a special award attached to it. The machine might have you progress through bonuses to better ones, or you might be able to press a button to try and stop the feature on the bonus you want.

The bonuses that come from these bonus trails can vary significantly. Sometimes you’ll be able to get more nudges or holds, while others will allow you to take a flat prize or multiply the winnings you’ve earned on your last spin (or during the bonus game itself).

Many fruit machines will also include a “cash ladder” game. When this feature is activated, you’ll either work your way up the ladder and have the option to take your winnings (with some risk of losing them during a bonus round), or the ladder will flash, allowing you to try and stop it by hitting a button to collect the biggest prize possible.

Finally, gamble features are also common on fruit machines. These games—which can be found on plenty of standard pokies as well—allow you the chance to play a “double or nothing” game after a winning spin. Pick the right colour card, predict the flip of a coin or win some other 50/50 game, and you’ll see your winnings instantly doubled.

Why Play Fruit Machines?

Fruit machines are interesting, as they offer players the chance to exercise a little more skill than the typical pokie. Sure, spinning the reels is still all luck, but deciding on the best times to use your holds, nudges, and other features could impact how well you do on a machine. Sometimes these decisions are simple (using a nudge to score a jackpot), but other times they make test your knowledge of a game: should you nudge a low value symbol into place to score a small win, hold a jackpot symbol, or just save your special features for a better spot?.

Fruit machines may not be the most popular pokies at online casino sites, but there are certainly enough of them out there for players who want to seek this kind of game out. Games like Pub Fruity from Microgaming offer classic fruit machine play with all the conveniences that come with online gambling. If you’re longing for the kinds of games found in UK pubs, or just want to try something fresh rather than play the same old pokies, give a fruit machine a try today!

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