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David Newstead


The truth about fruit machines

26 Apr 2010

By David Newstead
Fruit machines or AWPs (Amusements With Prizes) have been around for decades, nestled in snug corners throughout British pubs and cafes. They were introduced to online casinos some years ago, but many casino regulars avoid them and opt for online slots instead. Maybe they'll always reside in the minds of players as off line games. It might be that slots just aren't available in the UK in pubs and, when given the choice, the British public prefer the simple slot. In the past fruit machine unpopularity online has been put down to 1. Bad marketing by casinos and 2. Online software manufacturers missing a trick, but is this really fair? I'd have to say no, it's not fair. Many of the big operators feature a range of good fruit machines that have payout percentages far superior to that of their offline counterparts. There are unique fruit machine bonuses, the games count towards wagering requirements and casino websites offer a range of landing pages detailing the games and how to play them. Furthermore, online variants offer far greater returns than the £50 specials in the local pub. So, on reflection, there really is a lot going for the online fruit machine and fruit machine players, so why do they represent just a small fraction of online game play? Why don't slot machine players venture across to fruit machines? I believe it's the off line fruit machines themselves. I think as the only offline gambling option in the UK outside of casinos and the jackpot payout limitations in the UK (without a gambling license) has resulted in all fruit machines being tarred with the same brush, even the online ones, where fruit machines are seen as entertainment more than gambling. When you visit a casino you want to gamble, not experience a novelty and, more importantly, you want to win big – something that just isn't possible offline with fruit machines... To a lesser extent I think there is a belief that bonuses/features in online fruit machines don't feel right when working on a RNG (Random Number Generator) rather than the cogs and reels mechanism of the off line models. Again, this is largely a fallacy as offline fruit machines have to operate at a set payout percentage to comply with UK law (normally based on the amount in the hopper). So, here it is, my advice: save the money you were going to spend on the "fruitie" in the pub – they're expensive, have shockingly bad payout percentages, a rigid bet level and a tiny, tiny jackpot -and deposit it in an internet casino and play online. The fruit machines you'll find there are still good fun, with the great combo of skill and luck, but you can win big, with many fruit machines capable of paying out £50k+ and have payout percentages in the 90s rather than the 80% area. Don't let your experience offline taint the fun you could have online with fruit machines.
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