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Fruit Machines: Can You Beat Them?

Fruit machines are a popular choice at the casino. Requiring no betting strategy or skill from the player, they are a fun, low pressure way to bet. But this comes at a price: without room for the player to strategise, there is no way to reduce the House Edge on a machine. In other words, you will almost always lose money on slots if you play them long enough.

This begs the question: is it even possible to make profit playing slots? Can you beat the fruit machine?

The answer to the question is yes – possibly. But the odds are not in your favour, especially if you are to play slots often. This is gambling after all. 

But don’t let that put you off the fruit machine. While you may have no control over the House Edge, you can still make better choices that will improve your odds. A jackpot might be lurking behind the corner after all – you'll never know until you give it a spin.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand pros and cons of bonus features
  • Choose slot machines with the best odds
  • Minimise monetary loss over time

bonus

Bonus Features

The first thing you need to do before anything else is consider why you want to play slots in the first place. More specifically, do you want a game with good odds or good entertainment?

Fruit machines and other slot games are just that – games. They are designed primarily for entertainment purposes. It is for this reason that the increased use of online casinos has led to more complex games, with a host of different add-ons to attract and amuse.

Such add-ons have their pros and cons. On the one hand, bonus rounds and free spins can be a real advantage to you if you want to enjoy the occasional game with substantial reward promises. If this is the case, research which games offer the best bonus features. Look out for skills-based bonus rounds that might tip the odds in your favour, or even membership-only bonuses available on sign up. 

But while bonus features seem alluring, they are often just a tactic used to persuade you to choose a higher risk machine. If you are serious about increasing your odds overall, then you will need to opt for a more simplistic three-reel fruit machine.

Understanding RTP

The return to player (RTP) percentage of a slot game or machine shows how much of the money you put into it will return to you over time. In other words, it is what is left over after the percentage of the House Edge is taken off.

For most slot machines the RTP tends to be anywhere between 80% and 98%.  Once again, when choosing a slot based on its RTP, you are going to have to make a decision based on what kind of playing experience you want to have.

If you want to play games with the allure of high jackpots and generous bonus features, it is likely that these will not have very high RTP’s. This is because if someone were to get lucky and bag that huge jackpot, the casino has to take that money from somewhere. Unfortunately, that place is the pockets of the game's players. Such slots are therefore unsustainable to the bankroll if you are planning on playing them regularly.

If you are looking to play slots at lower risk for greater long-term pay-outs, you must choose low RTP slots. Get your researcher’s cap on and search the web for the slots and fruit machines with the highest RTP percentages.

rtp percentage

Understanding Volatility

As well as RTP, it’s important to understand the role of volatility in slot machines and why it matters.

There is a bit of contention amongst experts surrounding slot volatility and how to measure it. Put simply, it is the combination of reward size and success rate that determines how ‘risky’ it is to place a bet on the machine.

  • A slot machine with smaller rewards but a frequent win rate has low volatility.
  • A machine with much larger rewards but infrequent win rate has high volatility.

You will be able to quickly determine the volatility of your machine or game with a few plays

There is also disagreement surrounding which you are better off playing in the long run. While volatile games are harder to win, they are by nature unpredictable. While the House can determine its advantage on a low volatility game with relative certainty, a volatile slot’s huge pay out makes this advantage questionable.

Some experts will tell you to take advantage of this and sacrifice the lower win rate for the chance of a big pay-out. However, the odds on winning anything from a volatile slot are low. They really are an ‘all or nothing’ bet. So if you’re looking to reduce your overall losses and gain frequent rewards, a low volatility slot is a better option for you.

 

So now you have an understanding of the basics of fruit machines. How you play them is up to you. If you aren’t afraid of higher risk bets in the hopes of a high reward, then you want to look for more volatile slots. Additionally, if you’re in it for the entertainment value, you might want to do a bit of research to find out the best bonus features that are out there.

And finally, if frequent small cash prizes are more your style, then you want to try a more predictable game. Whatever your style, make sure your game of choice has the highest percentage RTP. That is, if you’re planning on playing any slot game for an extended period of time.