Video Slots vs. Fruit Machines – What is the difference
The History of the Slot Machine
Invented as a purely mechanical contraption in the late 19th century, the first ever slot machine was made up of just poker cards symbols and prizes were cashed in at the bar or tavern you were playing in. The prize back then? Not big cash prizes or even casino chips, but cigars and drinks.
These days the slot machine has evolved into something way more complex but probably even more easy to play and is also available in online casinos. Even compared to the fruit machine which shortly followed the original slot machine, the modern online video slot game is a wonderfully simple and vibrant spectacle.
But for the sake of history and comparison, we thought we’d put the Fruit Slot Machines vs New Video slots, touching non both the online casino formats of each and the old school methods of land based slot games. Which one is better? Which is more popular and which one should you be putting your coins into the most?
What is a fruit slot machine?
Simply put, a fruit slot machine is a format of gambling, commonly found in pubs, clubs, chip shops, bars and online casinos, in which players must spin reels and hope to land winning combinations of the symbols shown upon them.
In fruit slot machines, these symbols are almost exclusively made up of pieces of fruit. Ranging from the traditional fruit like lemons, oranges and grapes, to more recent editions like kiwis, strawberries and more, fruit machines tend to be colourful and vibrant thanks to their fruity theme.
The fruit machines first came about when gambling was outlawed in the United States of America. Faced with a massive issue, the company Liberty Bell who are now legendary in the gambling industry, changed the prizes of their slot machines to candies and chewing gum. This meant that as no money was exchanged, the slot machine was no longer gambling and the prizes would correspond to what fruit you landed.
For example, landing lemons would win you a lemon flavoured candy or landing a row of grapes would land you a grape flavoured chewing gum. The fruit machine was so popular that by the time gambling was legal again, the format was able to thrive as a monetary game, too. By the 1960s, electromechanical fruit machines were all the rage and lined casino floors.
So popular were these land based fruit machines, that those who spent all day playing them in hope of a cash win, were dubbed One Arm Bandits in the media. This was due to the mechanism on the side, a lever, used to spin the reels.
What is a video slot machine?
A video slot machine is the naturally evolved version of the fruit machine, as technology evolved to no longer require just mechanic reels. The result was a new dawn for the online casino slot game and new themes of slot games were able to be created and configured using video technology.
Aligned with the invention of video games in the 1970s, the video slot grew and grew, getting new admirers for it’s more detailed gameplay. Eventually, as our old friend the internet emerged and became accessible in households worldwide, the online slot game arrived.
At first, it would be incorrect to even call the first online slot games that were released video slots, for they were very simple, heavily pixelated affairs that lack the kind of video technology we now readily see online. But skip forward to present day, and the video slot is an all action adventure that can involve elaborate themes and rather spectacular graphics.
Some of the most slot games in the world are video slot machines, such as the iconic series Rainbow Riches or the wealth of titles made by the likes of Microgaming, NetEnt and Yggdrasil.
Do you get fruit machines online or just video slots?
Fruit machines still exist and operate by the hundreds online. There is a unique market for retro style games that use all of the modern technology that we have become used to.
Although for ambitious themes like zombie apocalypses, Ancient Egypt, underwater adventures and whatever else you must look elsewhere, online fruit machines offer a charm of their own. Famed for their retro looks and nostalgic gameplay, online slot games like Jackpot 6000 provide fruit as the symbols with the added fun of bonuses and great animations.
Titles like this and Fruitoids, the space-aged fruit machine with cyber fruit, prove that there is still life in the fruit machine yet.
What are the advantages of a new video slot?
For all the old school charm of a simple 3 reel fruit machine, it is hard to beat the variation and excitement of a more modern, online casino video slot game.
One advantage of the new video slot is the potential for more bonus features. Essentially, bonus features are aspects of a slot game away from the basic gameplay, that usually offer more ways to win and chances to win even more money.
Fruit machines, not always but in general, tend to lack the numbers of bonus features that new video slot games do. This is due to the way they are made, with better coding, more advanced graphics and more farfetched themes allowing developers to build more of a narrative and thus more bonus features with a video slot, compared to a fruit machine.
Last thoughts on this Casino Game
You can still of course play classic land based fruit machines and in fact, many of them have evolved into touch screen, video slot machine experiences. On one machine, players can now choose from various slot machines, some of which are playable online as well.
However, one thing that a land based slot game can not do is fit in your pocket. The rise of the smartphone has changed the gambling industry forever, with the best video slots always available on your mobile device. For ease of play and quality of graphics, you can’t beat an online video slot machine.