OK, so players have spun a reel or two in their time at the local pub, but now are looking to see what the online casino world has to offer. Players have surely heard that online fruit machines offer all the same, if not better, game play, but at this stage maybe they’re not quite sure where the best fruit machine sites are or how to get involved in the action. Well, if a player is a seasoned spinner or just someone that wants to experience the thrill of a fruit machine, online casinos and big money jackpots all in one, then you've come to the right place. Not only will you discover all you need to know about the best online fruit machines in Ireland, but you’ll also pick up some tips on how you can bank even more cash!
What are Fruit Machines?
In short, fruit machines are casino games where you place a bet and spin a set of reels in an attempt to line up three or more matching symbols. A cousin of the beefier slot machine, fruit machines typically have three reels with a single win line. Although online fruit machines have added some extra features to mix, the main difference between fruit machines and slot machines is the number of ways you can win. Fortunately, even though fruities (as they're typically known in bars across Ireland) have fewer reels and win lines, they just as entertaining as slots. Not only that, but thanks to more relaxed betting limits and win requirements, you can bank just as much cash when you play live or online fruit machines compared to slots.
Top Rated Online Fruit Machines 2020
Which online fruit machines standout from the crowd? In 2020, Irish players will have access to hundreds of high quality slots, but the following few options are the ones that have not only stood the test of time, but offer some of the best betting dynamics:
- Bar Bar Black Sheep 3 Reel
- Fruit Fiesta
- Fruit Madness
- Fruit Slots
- Fruit Salad
- Fruit Mania
Do Online Fruit Machines Offer Casino Bonuses?
If you count nudges and holds as bonuses, as some player might, the answer to the above question is yes. But, unlike slots, fruit machines don't tend to have in-game bonuses. What they do give you access to, however, is casino bonuses. While some might not class these as "fruit machine bonuses", the fact players can join a site, play a fruity and pick up an exclusive offer or promotion does make them bonus-style games.
Advantages to Playing Online Fruit Machines
The advantages of playing online fruit machines over land-based games are numerous. Although real life fruities are still a great way to have some fun and win a few quid, they simply can't compete with the best the Internet has to offer. In fact, when players break it down, the best online fruit machines really do stand head and shoulders above their live counterparts:
- Bigger Prizes: The most players will usually be able to win when playing a land-based fruit machine is €500. Because Ireland's gambling laws put a cap on the amount someone can win (based on the size of venue and type of licence it holds), there isn't much scope for winning a life changing amount in a local pub. In contrast, online fruit machines allow players to play for prizes worth thousands. Because the rules governing iGaming are slightly different, operators can offer much larger prizes.
- Faster Action: The process of finding some change, putting it in the machine and hitting the spin button until credits run out can take more time than you think when playing fruities in real life. Online, players don't have this problem. Because the credits are always available, all someone has to do is load a game, set a stake and spin.
- Easier Ways to Play: Most of the top online fruities will now offer an autoplay feature. After setting bets, punters can typically let the system run through as many as 100 spins without having to lift a finger.
- Bonus Options: Whether it's an in-game casino bonus or an external offer such as free spins, extra credits or cash back, online fruit machines give access to a host of added value. In contrast, the most a player might get when they are playing in a local pub is a free pint from someone while they're taking a spin.
- More Accessibility: Online fruit machines in 2020 are all available via your desktop, mobile or tablet which means you can ante-up anytime, anywhere.
- More Variety: Take a look at any of our recommended online casinos and players will find dozens if not hundreds of fruit machine sites. In your local pub or club players might find five different games if they're lucky. In contrast, the top online casino sites will have multiple options all offering different themes, betting limits and prizes.
What is the Hold Feature?
Although it's seldom found in the online casino world, the hold feature on a fruit machine is basically a bonus option that helps improve players’ chances of winning. Signaled by a flashing hold button (also often the nudge button), these holds are the best way to fix two matching symbols and improve the chances of a winning combination before a player hits the spin button.
What is the Nudge Feature?
A throwback to the days of land-based fruit machines, nudges allow you to bring down a reel(s) in an attempt to make a winning combination. Essentially an in-game bonus, nudges can range from one to five, but if players make a winning combination at any time the cash will be credited to their account and the main game will resume. To use the nudge feature, all players have to do is click a flashing button (usually noted as "nudge" and not "hold") once to bring the symbols on that reel down a single step, twice for two steps and so on.
Comparing Online Fruit Machines vs Online Slots
Although the underlying mechanics of online slots and fruit machines are the same, there are some important differences between the two. Beyond each game's prize potential, online slots and fruit machines differ in the following ways online:
|Reels||By far the most obvious difference between slots and fruit machines online is the number of reels. When you check out the top games, the former will always have five reels, while the latter will have three.|
|Win Lines||In general, when you compare fruit machines vs. slots, the number of win lines is one of the most obvious differences. Classic pub fruit machines started off with single win lines and, in 2020, that tradition can still be found online. Naturally, thanks to the evolution of the genre, you can now find online fruities with as many as five win lines, but even these games fall short of slots that typically offer as many as 50 win lines.|
|Symbols||More of an aesthetic difference than anything, but it is true that fruit machines tend to combine fruit symbols with some sort of theme, while slots often use card symbols in conjunction with themed images.|
|Wilds||Because online slots have multiple reels, symbols and win lines, it's often necessary to include wilds. Essentially symbols that can substitute for any other symbol, wilds help to improve a player's chances of making a combination in a setting where the odds are against them. In contrast, fruit machines don't tend to offer wilds as it's not necessary. The dynamics of three reels and just a few win lines means it's usually easier to roll in a winning combination on a fruity than it is on a slot machine.|
|Jackpots||Although some online fruit machines have progressive jackpots, these tend to be smaller in size than those offered by slots. As a general rule, online fruities will have a smaller number of fixed prizes as well as a smaller top prize.|
|Stakes||Although online fruit machines in 2020 now offer more betting options than ever, it's generally the case that the stakes in these games are less flexible than slots. Because players usually have one (at most five) win lines and three reels, fruit machines tend to have fixed bets.|
|Added Extras||In line with classic pub fruities, some online slots like Super Nudge 6000 will offer holds and nudges. Although the latter is more common, these extra features essentially give punters a better chance of making a winning combination either by holding two identical symbols or nudging down the reels. Online slots don't offer this feature; instead they have bonus rounds and free spins. By rolling in a combination of "bonus" icons, the best online slots will either transport you to a mini-game where players have to complete certain tasks to win prizes or they'll give them a certain number of free spins.|