Slot machines and pubs have been a winning combination for much longer than you might think. Yet, they’re not the easiest to understand and many pubs don’t exactly hand out instruction manuals!
Back in the day of the Sittman and Pitt Flip Poker Machine – the first kind of gambling machine – it was relatively simple. Of course, things have changed quite a bit since with modern fruit machines becoming more colourful, entertaining, and… confusing.
So, if you’ve ever wandered into your local pub and wondered how that fruit machine works, we have the answers.
How to Play Pub Slot Machines?
Let’s start with the classic 3-reel slots. Available in most British pubs across Manchester and the country, these are known alternatively as one-armed bandits. The games have 3 reels (or columns) and the aim is simple: get three of the same symbol to appear to win a prize.
The basics of playing a 3-reel slot are simple: you drop your coin/token, pull a lever (or press a button) and wait to see how the reels stop.
British pub slots work by keeping the average pay-out somewhere between 70-98% of the money gambled on them, usually. However, it’s crucial to understand that this is an average number and should NOT be expected every single session. You may win nothing one day and a jackpot the other – it all depends on your luck.
Once you are comfortable with the classics, you might want to give 4 reel slots a go. These often give a larger payout on average and sometimes come with enhanced bonuses. However, they’re a bit more complicated than just pulling a lever or pressing a button. Here are a few things to think about:
- Do you understand the paytable? – You can obviously start with whatever money you fancy but many slots offer different betting totals too. Certain symbols are more valuable than others – so you’ll want to know exactly which ones to look out for before running off celebrating down Deansgate!
- Understand the buttons – Pub fruit machines come with several buttons and features which require a bit of practise. The “Hold” button, for example, gives you the opportunity to pause the reels to try and make a winning combination. Similarly, the “Cancel” button – also known as “wedging” – slows the reels down to try and produce a similar outcome.
- Move past the myths – There are many misconceptions about fruit machines, especially relating to payouts. You’ll frequently hear about a slot’s jackpot being won, so “it’s best to stay away”. Alternatively, if one hasn’t paid out in a while then it’s “bound to drop soon”. In reality, modern-day fruit machines are not built like that and each spin’s result is randomly determined.
Thanks to advanced technology, games with 5, 7 or 9 reels have also entered pubs and are no longer exclusive to Manchester’s finest casinos. These come with multiple paylines, buttons, and features – so you’ll definitely need a few spins to understand all of it.
DON’T Try These Fruit Machines Cheats
When it comes to money, people always find a way to cheat.
While pub slot machines are randomised, human ingenuity has played its part of over the years with several underhanded tricks. Here are some of the most common ones* – although we don’t recommend giving them a try unless you’re okay with being unceremoniously kicked out of your local Mancunian boozer!
*NOTE – in all seriousness, cheating on a slot machine is illegal and has led to criminal prosecution. This is purely informational only – we really do not advocate their use in real play.
The Oldest and the Simplest
The classic coin-on-a-string is one of the oldest slot machine tricks in the book and was used successfully for a long time.
The player would drill a small hole into a coin and thread it with string. Once the coin is dropped in and the playing credits have been awarded, they’d pull it right out and repeat this trick over and over again.
Of course, manufacturers soon caught wind of this. So unless you’re playing an antique game, this won’t be possible.
There are several versions of this cheat, but the basic premise is to insert a wire or a stick inside to trip the payout mechanism.
Tommy Glenn Carmichael invented many of these, with materials ranging from guitar string to a long wire and metal rod. Eventually, he was caught and ended up in prison.
He changed his ways once out of jail and began to turn his talents towards catching cheats using his knowledge.
The High-tech Cheat
The current lot of slots work with RNGs (Random Number Generator), which is a digitally computed number that determines a spin’s result.
A few years ago, a sophisticated Russian gang managed to crack the algorithm to predict the next payout. Of course, they eventually got caught and are now warming their jail cells.
Pub Slot Machines Online
Like everything else, pub fruit machines have transitioned to the virtual world – and these online versions have proved to be just as popular as their physical versions!
Online game developers have done a great job of recreating the fun atmosphere while keeping the games interactive and engaging. One such game that really brings the local spirit is Down the Pub by Playson.
Set against the backdrop of an Irish pub, the design team has gone to great lengths with the graphics and the soundtrack to make it authentic. The reels are filled with traditional grub and pints of beer, and you will be cheered on by a bearded drinking buddy.
The paylines are interesting, and the game has lots of interesting features to keep players engaged. They even have a fun bonus game to keep the momentum going.
At Casino Professor, you can claim over 200 free spins to try out online slots with a no deposit bonus.
Do you have slots tips or secrets to share?