Like many of you, my first experience with casino games was in my local pub. I had a few pints, saw the machine flashing, and decided to drop a solid pound coin into it. That day made me fall in love with slot machines forever. I won £46. I’ll never forget the sound of the coins clattering the tray below or the sheer feeling of elation I felt at winning.
These days, I rarely play fruit machines in the pubs I visit. Like most people, I play slots online at one of many excellent UK casino sites. However, recently, as I was playing a modern NetEnt video slot, I remembered my first big win and got nostalgic.
That’s when I came up with the idea for this post. This is a tribute to some of the best UK fruit machines ever made. While you can’t find them all easily, I have also provided a list of classic slots you can try if you fancy a touch of the old-school.
1 – Cash n’ Curry Slot Machine
Manufactured by JRM, Cash n’ Curry was launched in 2006 and is a towering red and black machine. It features trails, nudges, and holds in the pub machine version. The maximum jackpot is £250.
However, Microgaming made an online version of Cash n’ Curry. This has all of the original features plus free spins and a progressive jackpot. I must admit that I’ve never personally had any luck on this game, but if you like the Indian theme and fancy your chances, it is a very enjoyable game.
2 – Rainbow Riches Fruit Machine
This is a Barcrest classic which you can find in pubs and bars throughout the UK and Ireland. With a stereotypical Irish theme, you can win £70 for five cherries when you play in the pub. The game also has features such as cash pots, super shots, and Murphy’s Millionaire.
This slot was so popular that Barcrest has created an entire line of Barcrest slot machines online. You can win much bigger jackpots, and they have extra features, such as free spins, multipliers, and even a progressive jackpot in one version.
3 – Deal or No Deal
Yes, it’s one of the most popular game shows in the country, and it’s also one of the best pub fruit machines ever released. In fact, there are lots of different machines operating under this brand, and each one is unique in terms of features and payout potential.
You can also play Deal or No Deal slots online. Blueprint Gaming released the original one with 3×3 colossal symbols, free spins, a banker’s bonus feature, and a progressive jackpot.
4 – Star Wars Slot Machine
There have been a few Star Wars-themed fruit machines over the years. The one I remember best is A New Hope. It was a white machine with an epic bonus board above the reels. It came out in 2008, and I haven’t personally seen it in any pub for years. The features are the main reason to play as the jackpot is a mediocre £35.
I can’t say I’ve ever been able to find this exact version of the game online, but I recommend checking out IGT’s Star Wars slot. With free spins and a sizable jackpot, it’s worth a spin.
5 – Pub Fruity
Pub Fruity is the quintessential fruit machine. Symbols include watermelons, grapes, lemons, etc. You’ll also see a beautiful brunette barmaid at the side of the reels. In the pub version, this game has a jackpot of £500 and features free spins and nudges.
There’s also an online version of Pub Fruity. It has a 1,000-coin jackpot and a drink trail bonus feature. There’s also a digital dart game built into it. This is what fruit machines are supposed to be like!
Other Classic Slot Machines Available Online
All this talk about pub fruit machines has me taking a trip down memory lane. Suddenly, I’m thinking about all of the retro slots available at online casinos. Even in 2020, slots software companies are still making new slots with old designs and themes.
If you’re a fan of pub slots, there’s a good chance you’ll also enjoy these online slot games.
Fire Joker was created by Play’n GO. It’s a three-reel game with five paylines. Fast-paced and simple, this slot also has a couple of bonus features, including flamin’ respins, stacked symbols, and multipliers of up to 10x. The Fire Joker jackpot is 5,000x.
Made by the king of European slot machines, Novomatic, this slot is as “classic” as they come. All of the symbols are either fruits or bags of coins. This game also features a mini-slot within a slot, which begins playing as soon as the Reel King appears. Better yet, as soon as it appears, you’re guaranteed a win. The Reel King jackpot is 500x.
Fruit Zen is an online classic slot from Betsoft. It has a classic fruit theme with a Japanese twist. It’s a simple game without many features other than expanding wilds and free respins. This slot is tranquil and relaxing to play and has a jackpot of 250x.
Mystery Joker 6000
Mystery Joker 6000 is what you imagine when someone says the words “classic slot.” With a fruity theme, this three-reel game couldn’t be simpler. It has a Super Mega Meter which you can transfer wins onto for a chance to win 6,000x, free respins when you land joker symbols, and a Mystery Wheel which can also award massive 6,000x wins.
They don’t get any more old-school than this. For those of you who just can’t be bothered with bonus features and extras, but who simply like to spin and win, this slot is perfect. It doesn’t have a single bonus feature, and the symbols are basic fruit symbols. All you do is spin the reels in the hope of winning the 500x jackpot. They don’t come more vintage than this.
Tips for Winning Pub Fruit Machines
Playing pub fruit machines is a little different than playing modern video slots. The guts of the games are the same, but since there aren’t as many bonus features and extras, it’s not worth banking on those to pay you a big win. Therefore, to win fruit machines, it’s a good idea to take it back to basics.
Don’t look for loose slots. This is a myth which may have worked back in the early days, but doesn’t work now. Modern slot machines are powered by Random Number Generators (RNGs). Waiting until someone goes on a long losing streak, then playing in the hope that the slot is “due” does not work when dealing with electronic fruit machines.
Focus on the RTP. For those who don’t know, this means Return to Player. It’s the amount of money the slot machine will pay back to players. Since you don’t have all those extra features to help you win, you’ll want to play high RTP classic slots. For example, Reel King has an RTP of 94%, whereas Mystery Joker 6000 pays 96.97%. That might not seem like a big difference, but it adds up over hundreds of spins.
Look for bigger jackpots. I’ll sometimes pay a slot machine with a lower jackpot if it has some awesome bonus features with big multipliers. I know from experience that I have more chances of winning those than the big-money payouts. However, when playing fruit machines, I always look for the games with the biggest jackpots. Tip: That might not always be the biggest multiple. It also depends on how much you can bet per spin. For example, 500x £10 is bigger than 700x £3.
Play more aggressively after wins. This doesn’t count so much for online slot machines, but many experienced players will tell you that when a pub fruit machine pays, it’s time to up the ante. I usually double my bets, and if I win again, I triple them. I can’t prove that there’s a logical reason behind this, but I can tell you that in my experience, it works too often to be a coincidence.
Play low volatility slots first. This is a general principle which I follow for all slot machines, and it works well on pub slots, too. I play low volatility games which pay smaller wins more often to build my bankroll. Once I’ve doubled my original starting point, I switch to higher volatility slots which pay less frequently, but pay more explosive wins. If I lose what I won (back to square one), I try a few more spins then switch back to lower volatility machines if Lady Luck doesn’t seem to be nearby.
Now that you know which pub fruit machines are best, and how to increase your chances of winning them, pick a great UK slots site and try your luck!
Based out of London, I began freelance writing for the UK section of GamblingSites.org in October of 2019. Having worked in the gambling industry for over 10 years, I now have the pleasure of adding this site to my list of accomplishments as a casino writer. ...
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