Fruit machines are the bread and butter of all casinos, online and B&M establishments alike. These classic games have been around since the dawn of slot machines, offering entertaining and straightforward gameplay to players worldwide. Although the first one-armed bandits used different symbols, the core gameplay of fruit machines remained largely unchanged since the early 20th century. Want to learn more about classic fruit machines, their modern renditions and what makes these games so popular to this day? Let’s take a look at the history of fruit machines and check out some of the hottest fruit-themed slots on the market!
THE FIRST FRUIT MACHINES
All modern slot machines can trace their roots to 1891, when Sittman and Pitt built the first one-armed bandit. This gambling machine was a mechanical poker game with spinning drums and cards as symbols, typically installed in bars and saloons. Interested players dropped a coin into the machine and pulled a lever to spin the drums; landing on a poker hand would earn the player free drinks at the bar, a cigar or another non-monetary reward. Automated coin payouts were relatively unheard of; that is until Charles Fey tried his hand at the famous Liberty Bell slot machine, which featured a different design, new symbols and a mechanical coin dispenser that automatically dispensed a handful of coins on a winning spin.
The popularity of these first slot machines was unmistakable — they’ve spread across saloons and parlours of the United States like wildfire, eventually making their way to gambling houses and land-based casinos, like The Golden Gate Casino (formerly Hotel Nevada) in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for gambling enthusiasts, the rising popularity of gambling games and casinos drew in organised crime, which led to a nationwide crackdown on the industry. As the United States government collapsed on gambling establishments, multiple legal restrictions were issued in cities across the continent, at times banning slot machines entirely. These changes in the legislature are, as surprising as it may be, the reason why fruit symbols are so prominent in slot machines today.
When San Francisco banned all slot machines within the city in 1909, slot manufacturers had to think outside the box. The Industry Novelty Company, a prominent manufacturer of slot and pinball machines at the time, got creative and attempted to circumvent the newly imposed restrictions by rebranding their slot machines as chewing gum dispensers. Symbols associated with gambling, like cards and horseshoes, were replaced with various fruit symbols that indicated the flavour of the gum. The company actually installed authentic gum dispensers, which would award a pack of gum in place of a cash payout.
This ingenious idea passed with flying colours, and other companies followed suit soon after. The Mills Novelty Company, for example, included an additional symbol along with the fruit, a stylised logo of a famous chewing gum company — the BAR. Today, the BAR is usually represented by a bar of gold, leaving many players in the dark about this century-old remnant of the very first slot machines.ONLINE FRUIT SLOTS
The prohibition of gambling was virtually total by 1951, leaving only Nevada untouched (the state has legalised gambling in 1931 and continues to thrive and prosper off the industry to this day). The rest of the world held similar views on gambling; however, as WWII inflicted a massive blow to the world economy, governments saw the potential of generating tax revenue from slot machines — and who would pass on an opportunity like that during a global crisis? As casinos and gambling parlours bounced back and spread across the continents, slot machine manufacturers were eager to tread on new ground.
Experimentation with new concepts and designs led to the first electromechanical slot machines and video slots, like Money Honey. The first video slot went on trial at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and became a roaring success, with queues of casinogoers lining up to play the groundbreaking invention every day. The use of digital terminals and displays allowed game designers to revolutionise slot gameplay, offering a multitude of unique features and mechanics. By the turn of the century, video slots were ten a penny. These games offered a multitude of entertaining themes and included even more ways for players to get their hands on rewards through free spins, special symbols and jackpots.
The explosive boom of the internet ushered in a new era of slot gaming, allowing players all over the world to enjoy their favourite fruit machines in online casinos. Gone are the days of waiting for your favourite slot terminal to free up at a local casino, and in is the new age of secure, fast and reliable online casino gaming. Game developers and studios were no longer bound by technological limitations and could explore new horizons, offering players an immense variety of slot games to choose from.
Despite the abundance of new games, many players still enjoy classic casino gameplay with familiar fruity symbols. Whether you prefer playing old-school slot machines or modern hits, you can rest assured that you’ll find the perfect fruit-themed game to play. After all, most online casinos offer portfolios with thousands of online slots to choose from, hundreds of which can be classified as online fruit machines.
HOW DO FRUIT MACHINES WORK?
Fruit-themed slots come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from simple, classic games to complex and innovative hits. The core gameplay in all online slots is the same: players select their preferred wager and spin the reels in hopes of a win.
The symbols in fruit machines are exactly what the name suggests — fruit! Players will come across cherries, plums, lemons, oranges, grapes, watermelons and other juicy fruit. These slots may also include other classic symbols, like golden bells, lucky sevens and the BAR. The number of paylines will differ from one slot to another, and wins are granted for combinations of identical symbols that fall adjacently to one another, generally beginning from the leftmost reel.
When it comes to online slots, the possibilities are truly endless. You’ll find that no two games are identical, and the number of special features and game mechanics you’ll run into is almost as great as the number of different slots out there. While some developers stick to the tried-and-tested model of classic fruit-themed gameplay, many go above and beyond to deliver new, jaw-dropping experiences inspired by the timeless theme. Wilds, Scatters, Megaways™, jackpots, respins and mini-games are just a handful of rewarding surprises you can expect to find in popular fruit slots.
If you want to see just how different these games can be, take a look at NetEnt’s Berryburst™ and BF Games’ Hot Sunrise™. These slots are excellent examples of how modern providers pay homage to classic fruit machines with cutting-edge graphics and avant-garde gameplay.
HOW DO YOU PLAY FRUIT SLOTS?
The best part about playing online fruit slots is how simple it is to get started. All you have to do is place a bet and spin! You can change the game settings at any time, and the game’s rules are easily accessible through the in-game user interface. Each online slot will also include a comprehensive paytable, which will outline how wins can be formed, the game’s symbols and their respective payout values. All spin outcomes are generated through RNG (Random Number Generator), and the payouts are calculated and credited automatically.FREE SPINS ON FRUIT SLOTS
Free spins are every player’s favourite reward! After all, what’s better than playing your favourite online slots for free? There are several ways to enjoy free spins on fruit machines; let’s have a look.
The easiest way to get your hands on free spins is to try your luck on slots with a Free Spins bonus feature, usually activated by landing a specific sequence of symbols (see the game’s rules before playing). Some of our favourite fruit-themed games with a Free Spins bonus feature are Fruit Spin™, Laser Fruit and Fruit Case™.
If you’re just starting out, playing fruit-themed slots through the free demo is an excellent way to practise games with a variety of themes and features. The demo is an alternative version of the game, where all wagers and winnings are virtual, and is often available to registered players in most online casinos. Some online casinos may also offer a Free Spins casino bonus, which awards a handful of free spins on select casino games when the player makes a deposit. Casino bonuses differ from one casino to another — it’s important to view the Terms and Conditions of the offer before claiming it.
POPULAR FRUIT SLOTS
Fruit slots are some of the most played slot games in all online casinos, and there are so many to choose from! If you’re looking for online fruit slots with classic gameplay, we recommend the following:
If you want to try your hand on fruit slots with features and themes that are a bit more unique and contemporary, check out these innovative chart-toppers:
- Laser Fruit™
- Hot Sunrise™
- Wild Hot Chilli Reels
- Mystery Reels
PLAY THE BEST ONLINE FRUIT SLOTS
Are you interested in playing the hottest online fruit machines and thousands of other blazing hot releases? LV BET has everything you need — and so much more! Check out our portfolio of the most extraordinary casino games from the world’s leading providers, and make sure to view the ‘Promotions’ page to see if you’re eligible to claim any of our rewarding bonuses.
Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, we highly recommend trying out our casino games in the free-to-play demo before you wager any real cash. Demos are an excellent way to familiarise yourself with the game’s rules and features, all without putting your balance on the line. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be asked to register before access to free demos can be granted. In cases where registration is not necessary, you may be able to play as a visitor.
✅ WHEN WAS THE FIRST FRUIT SLOT CREATED?
The first fruit slots were rebranded gambling terminals, like the original poker machines and the Liberty Bell, refurbished by manufacturers like Industry Novelty Company and the Mills Novelty Company in the early 20th century. These slots were converted into gum dispensers, which is precisely why slot machines featured fruit symbols — they represented gum flavours.
✅ HOW DO YOU PLAY FRUIT SLOTS?
Playing fruit slots is no different from playing any other slot machine. Players adjust the bet settings to place their preferred wager and spin the reels in hopes of a win. Winning combinations usually begin from the leftmost reel and must include adjacently lying symbols that are identical (or include a Wild, which can substitute for other symbols). Regardless of which game you choose to play, beloved classics or modern hits, you should take a moment to read through the game’s rules and familiarise yourself with its features, symbols and payouts.
✅ HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A FRUIT SLOT?
If you’re new to casino gaming, we recommend starting with simple fruit-themed games like Fire Joker Freeze or Stunning Hot™. Try playing through the free demo to see if you enjoy the fruity theme and common features. To help you pick some of the fruitiest slots, you can filter our portfolio by selecting ‘Fruit Machines’ in the ‘Category’ menu.
✅ IS IT POSSIBLE TO WIN ON FRUIT SLOTS?
No strategy or method guarantees a win when playing fruit slots or any other casino game — they are all games of chance, and the casino always holds the edge. While it’s possible to win, losing is always on the table. The amount you can win depends on the wager placed, the symbols’ value in a winning combination and the presence of any additional features that may impact the payout, like multipliers.
✅ HOW DO YOU USE FREE SPINS?
If the free spins were obtained by triggering the game’s Free Spins bonus feature, then they will be used automatically or when you press the ‘Spin’ button after activating the feature. These free spins are only valid on the game in which they were won and cannot be transferred to another slot. A Free Spins casino bonus, on the other hand, can apply to one or several games at once; make sure to read through the T&Cs of the bonus before claiming.