What’s the difference between a fruit machine and online Slots?

Fruit machines traditionally feature classic symbols like cherries and bells, while slots offer a wider variety of themes and characters. Additionally, fruit machines might have nudge and hold features, offering more player interaction than a typical online slot.

slot machines

Slot games come in a few different forms, having evolved a long way from the first prototypes seen in the late 1800s. You can still find plenty of physical slot machine cabinets in land-based casinos, as well as the massive range of options now available online.

Traditional fruit machines and online Slots have more in common than not, as they’re still the same game at heart. But there are some differences you might notice between the two versions if you go to play online Slots at Virgin Bet. So, let’s take a look at them.

The key features of a fruit machine

The classic fruit machine is the old-school format of the slot machine. As you might guess, their name comes from the fact that they generally use fruit symbols on their reels.

Cherries, lemons, watermelons and bar symbols are all common sights on a fruit machine. In the early days of slot games, these fruits all referred to the potential flavours of gum that the game might pay out.

Typically, a fruit machine will feature a fairly streamlined gaming experience compared to some of the more modern Slots designs. There is usually only a single, horizontal payline in play and most commonly just three or five reels.

There aren’t many extra bells and whistles involved with a fruit machine, as they tend to lean towards the more retro feel.

Physical reels have largely been phased out of usage across the board, thanks to the potential for external factors to influence the outcome of a spin. But, you can find some fruit machines that are still mechanical or electromechanical in nature.

The key features of online Slots

Online Slots are far more varied in design and game elements than the classic fruit machine, taking full advantage of their digital format. You can find any number of different themes in online slot games, from ancient civilisations and mythology to popular TV shows and film properties.

The most obvious feature that defines online Slots is their digital presentation, which sets them apart from the physical game cabinets found in land-based casinos. Being entirely digital means that players can access a game of online Slots from any supported device with a stable internet connection, whether that’s their mobile, tablet or laptop.

Another factor that differentiates online slot games is their more complex gameplay mechanics. Without the restrictions of a physical cabinet or reels, these games can utilise more experimental features and mechanics to shake up the classic formula.

You can find games that feature hundreds of potential paylines, far more than any fruit machine. Some online Slots do away with the traditional concept of paylines entirely, instead using cluster and cascade mechanics that change up the way reels work.

If you’re looking for variety or innovation then online slot games are the place to look, with developers having experimented and pushed the classic Slots gameplay to new places.


For players looking for a more streamlined, classic Slots experience then a fruit machine is a good choice. On the other hand, online slot games offer much more variety in terms of theming, gameplay mechanics and visuals.

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