There are many different terms used to describe types of slot games, but in reality, there is very little difference between them all. The elements are the same and they all work on similar principles. The major differences lie in the symbols and the actual reel formats. Older games usually utilize 3-reels whilst newer games can have up to 6-reels – click now.
Some terms you may have encountered are fruit machines, arcade machines and one-armed bandits. Then there are games that are just referred to as slots. The most important thing here is not to confuse arcade games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders with arcade slot games.
Fruit machines is an old school term for retro slots games that used to be found in arcades and casinos. These games have actually been given an upgrade and use digital technology but still have the look and gameplay of a traditional fruit machine arcade slot. These newer versions can still be found at land-based arcades and the odd bricks and mortar casino as well.
The term fruit machine actually dates back to when slots were first invented in the 19th century. The development of slots back then was highly influenced by outright gambling bans that were introduced in society. For slots to survive lengthy gambling bans they took on the guise of vending machines and playing card symbols were swapped for fruits.
This was done so that these machines could no longer be associated with gambling. However, when the gambling bans were lifted, traditional gambling symbols returned to the reels, but fruit symbols also remained in place and were then amalgamated with gambling symbols.
Modern Fruit Machines
Traditional fruit machines had three reels only and were very basic. Modern fruit machines come loaded with extras such as wilds and bonus rounds and each spin are activated by a button at land-based arcades or a computer key online. The lever activated slots or one-armed bandits, are now a rarity. They have been known to make appearances in arcades from visiting fun fairs from time to time though and are mostly played for their nostalgic values.
So, the main difference here is that fruit machine slots are associated more with arcades, pubs and fairs, rather than casinos. There are also holding features where you can decide to hold the symbols on one reel whilst letting the others spin. Nudges are also part of traditional arcade slots and with this feature you can make single movements on reels to bring symbols down one space at a time.
Modern slot games are actually found at gambling arcades and they come loaded with modern features such as free spins bonus rounds, sticky wilds, stacked wilds and expanding wilds. They also carry random features that can be triggered during the base game. They also mostly operate on five reels and are also known as video slots. For the best choice in these slots, it is best to visit a land-based casino or the hundreds of online casinos.