What is a Fruit Machine?
A fruit machine is a British term for a slot machine. A fruit machine refers to a land-based object, although modern day video slots are the descendants of such machines. Traditionally found in British casinos, amusement arcades and pubs, fruit machines, or ‘fruities’ as they are fondly termed, have been popular for many years. They are the same as the US-named ‘Slot Machines’. In Australia they are widely referred to as ‘Pokies’.
Fruit Machine Explained
Fruit machines can be found in British casinos, pubs and amusement arcades. The first ever fruit machines were created in the US in the late 19th century where they were, and still are called slot machines. The term ‘fruit’ however, comes from the use of fruit as the symbols that appear on the reels. The reason for using fruit as the symbols came from the fact some early machines gave out fruit chews or chewing gum as prizes. The use of sweets as prizes was to circumnavigate gambling laws in certain states. Even when the prizes changed to cash and the machines made their way to the UK, the iconic fruit symbols remained in place.
The most common ‘fruits’ seen on these machines include cherries, watermelon, apples, lemons and plums, although all sorts of fruits have appeared over the years. In traditional fruit machines, fruits often represent the middle wins, bars regularly represent the lowest wins, and symbols such as lucky sevens or bells often denote higher wins. Players generally need two or more fruits on a payline for a win and certain fruits are worth more than others. Early fruit machines used a lever to set the reels which worked mechanically. From the 1960s onwards, they were powered electronically and players could use buttons to start rather than levers, as well as to hold or nudge.
Fruit machines still exist in British casinos, amusement arcades and in many pubs. However, when they are played online, even in UK casinos, they are routinely referred to as ‘Slots’.
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