Fruit machines are the British equivalent to slot machines with one major difference – players can use their skills with the aid of special features to advance in the game and increase their winnings. In other words, unlike slots, fruit machines are not dependent on luck alone. There are many different kinds of fruit machines, each with their own rules and features. Traditional fruit machine symbols are numbers, gold bars and fruits, although it is not uncommon to see themed fruit machines these days. However, the basic premise of the game remains the same throughout.
Players need to get three symbols of the same kind across the middle row, with symbols being paid from left to right in consecutive order. They can improve their winnings using a variety of features.
One of the best features of fruit machines is the feature board – a board that is set out very similar to a child’s play board with players needing to advance along squares, each with its own unique prizes and forfeits. Feature boards can be triggered in a variety of ways, depending on the game. Popular square descriptions include ‘x2’ which multiplies the player’s cash ladder win by two; ‘5’ which adds $5 to the player’s cash box; ‘Add Feature’ which moves the player one rung up the cash ladder and ‘extra life’ which gives players an extra life in the game.
Fruit machines also feature nudge and hold buttons. Up to four nudge buttons are awarded to a player after a particularly good spin. Nudges can be used to make a winning line by moving the reels slightly. If the player gets a winning combination with the nudge button, all other credit nudges are lost. The hold button allows the player to hold one or two reels while the others are spinning. Players are thus able to hold any symbols they want in place and also up their chances of winning three in a row.