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The History of Slots & Fruit Machines

The History of Slots & Fruit Machines

Let’s make this perfectly clear, without fruit machines there would be online gaming industry as we know it! Back in the day, these sorts of games were played out in the real world, found mostly within pubs/clubhouses, now you can play anywhere and at any time thanks to significant advancements in technology and changes in market trends. 

If you’ve ever stopped to wonder why free slots are as big as they are, then boy have you stumbled across the right article! We have spent years playing and perfecting this iconic game, which in turn has only educated us on one of the most played variations of games on the entire planet! Let’s begin with why fruit slots are so viable compared to other slots out right now! 

Juicy and Accessible Slot Games

One of, if not the most significant thing about fruit slot machines is just how simple they are to pick up and play. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or veteran, the simplicity in fruit machines is universal at this point — it doesn’t matter where you are, or who you are, the only thing that matters is that you’re willing to spin and win! 

Some fruit slots out there play across three reels maximum, and that’s it! All you would need to do at that point is to place your bets and hit spin. Outside of cluster slots like Aloha Cluster Pays, every slot follows a similar code in how they're set out, something that fruit slots pioneered back in the day! 

Practically every fruit machine you come across will allow you to play for free too! If you were to Google “free fruit machines” you’ll find plenty of games to play from the jump. Some of our favourite fruit machines are those that have multiple modes, allowing you to play for free to practice, but still earn money too! 

We’re going to be covering the rules of standard fruit slots later, but for now, know that practically anyone can pick up a fruit slot, it's just that simple! In terms of what you should check out first, know that there are plenty of fruit slots out there, and what you ultimately choose will come down to personal preference. 

Low-Risk Gambling Gameplay

Think about it, in fruit machines, there is not a lot of room for failure if you are playing constant enough to make money. Depending on the fruit machine you’re playing, you could seriously be increasing the amount of money you’re earning by looking at the return to player percentage of said fruit machines. Ideally, you should be playing slots that have well over 90%, this will almost guarantee you’ll make a profit. 

To win in a fruit machine, all you have to do is line up three symbols in the same row — sometimes the number of symbols needed to trigger a win will increase, but three tends to be the most common. Every symbol you see will pay out a little differently depending on the symbol outright — the more lavish the symbol, the more money you’ll make. If you should spin and none of the symbols match, then this will not trigger a win, but we didn’t need to tell you that! 

Every icon featured in a fruit slot is incredibly simple to point out too, lemons, melons, lucky 7s and many more icons can be found across the reels of some of your favourite slot machines. Some developers like adding new symbols to the board here, but we tend to prefer the classic icons over some new additions for nostalgia sake as veteran players ourselves. 

You’ll find that most fruit machines have a very small pay window, allowing punters to play within set parameters so that you don’t go overspending! Some of these fruit machines will enable you to play from as little as 1p up to around £5 — this amount might not seem like a lot, but when you consider how easy it is to over-play because of how easy it is to keep going. 

Even from an odds perspective, in fruit machines, you are always in a really great position — especially in games that have so few reels. The margin for error here will always be slim, thus allowing punters to step in and play hot streaks if they happen to be feeling lucky enough. You often hear stories from players who are always coming through with massive wins for this reason and this reason alone. 

Varying Features 

Some fruit machines come with a mixed bag of different features for one to take advantage of, features that include but are not limited by, wilds, scatters and free spins. Each feature impacts gameplay/the score received by the player in a myriad of different ways. For example, wilds will cause certain symbols on the reels to be substituted, thus giving the player multiple opportunities to get themselves out of a rut on unsuccessful spins. 

Scatters work as their name implies, these symbols will cause the reels to jolt around a little bit, reshuffling your current deck so that you might be in with a better chance of coming out on top. Normally when players match scatter symbols successfully, they are then rewarded with free spins in return. Free spins provide multipliers in some cases, thus allowing players to gain massive jumps to scores/payouts. 

Most fruit machines come with an autoplay feature, one that literally passes the controls to the CPU who will play for you for as long as you desire. It’s worth noting that this is a feature that can be stopped and or started at any moment — so if you’re someone who’s looking to make a fair bit of money at work without having to do an awful lot, then this is an option for you and a very fortuitous one at that! 

History of Fruit Machines 

Fruit machines have been around since 1891 — and although these machines looked nothing like they do today, they still bear a similar structure. The original machines contained five drums holding a maximum of 50 cards faces and were originally inspired by the popular card game, poker. It didn’t take long before every bar within the country was outfitted with one of these machines. Players would simply insert a nickel into a slot and then pull a lever to get the machine to work. 

Although this machine would prove to be incredibly popular, it was still flawed as it was virtually impossible to payout on every successful card combination. At some point between 1887 and 1895, one Charles Fey of San Fransisco, California derived a much simpler mechanism, one that would operate using three spinning reels and five distinct symbols total; he did not realise it yet, but his design would be the foundation for what we have today. 

Fast forward to 1976, and the dawn of the video slot machine developed once again in California by the Vegas-based Fortune Coin Co. This game was played on a 19_inch Sony monitor, one that was mounted on a cabinet and installed within a Hilton Hotel shortly after. The goal was to create a machine that would make it virtually impossible for cheats to take advantage of as they had done so in the past with the aforementioned models. 

It’s always interesting to learn about where the industry came from so that we can enjoy it in its current form, of course, this is just our opinion, but hey, who knows, a question regarding the history of fruit machines might come up in a pub quiz, and you might just find yourself earning a bit of money off the back of that! 

Advancements in Technology 

Everything within the gaming industry goes through changes as time goes on, this is completely natural, given how fast technology moves nowadays. It didn’t take long for the online slot industry to take notice of improved graphics and gameplay — it was around the early ’00s when developers started adding features and other quirks to fruit machines in an attempt to separate them from other games. 

Look at some fruit slots nowadays, and you’ll notice that gameplay is fast and ferocious, with very little pixelation despite there being quite a lot of action on the screen at some points. Game engines run incredibly smooth nowadays — some built by the very developers who put that particular fruity out, to begin with! New engines are being worked on even now, so you can imagine the quality of future fruit machines coming out in the not-so-distant future! 

Satisfaction Rate 

If you look at the numbers, you’ll find that around 90% of players come away having enjoyed themselves in some way. The consensus is that fruit machines are the kind that you can play on a lazy afternoon without having to focus too much on anything else. If you ask any avid fruit machine enthusiast why they play, you’ll find that their answer hits a very similar beat.

There are some of you out there that will get frustrated by certain slot games, but with fruit machines, you are guaranteed a great time, each time as long as you are playing sensibly and aren’t going too crazy. Of course, there are always going to be those that take the game too far, which is why most sites you see have a gamble awareness section that tells you everything you need to know and more! 

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile 

Hopefully, by this point, you should have a pretty good idea on why fruit machines are so popular, although there is still one glaring reason as to why they are going through a boom right now, and that is mobile gaming. Studies have shown that 1 in 5 people play mobile games, as many as 70% of those people will actually play daily, thus making it an incredibly popular pastime. 

Games such as Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja was the spark that ignited the mobile gaming craze, it was only a matter of time before fruit machines would make the transition to handheld platforms! It was only going to be a matter of time before fruit machines were playable on mobile, now if you look on the App Store, there is a full section dedicated to it within the ‘arcade games’ tab. 

The mobile slot games you see are just as good as their desktop counterpart — in many ways, it’s like they were made for this, they were simply born in the wrong generation. Some of the best online fruit slots you’ll find do come with a mobile version, slots that are more than likely coming from the NetEnt, Microgaming, Blueprint Gaming or Yggdrasil Gaming camp.  

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What Fruit Machines Should I play? 

We’ve just mentioned a few names in that last section that have a pretty big reputation when it comes to putting out top quality fruit machines for you to play, we’d recommend you take a deep dive into their catalogue to see what stands out! 7s To Burn is a personal favourite of ours, a slot that does contain a few unique features that is worth the price of admission in our opinion. 

Outside of a select few, what you get in a fruit machine is almost identical to every other fruit machine online, the differences come in what it looks like and sounds like. Some fruit slots allow you to play with a  little bit more money, but those are quite easy to spot once you’ve played a couple.