A pub pool table is a great way to get customers to spend more time and money on your premises, but not all coin-operated pool tables work in the same way.
The older style of a coin-op pool table is mechanical in nature. Put the right denominations into the metal slots, push it in and the balls dispense.
Coin push pool tables are still very common, but they do have some drawbacks, and it’s worth considering electronic pool tables as the modern alternative.
Here are just some of the main reasons why electronic pool tables have the edge over manual pool tables in the battle of the coin-ops.
A good quality coin push pool table shouldn’t need too much maintenance, but the mechanism inevitably needs care and attention from time to time.
Whether due to wear and tear, or unscrupulous customers trying to use other items to trigger the dispenser and get a free game, there are several reasons why you might face downtime with a manual dispense pool table.
Electronic pool tables have fewer heavy moving parts and a coin slot that’s harder to con, so they tend to go for longer without unplanned maintenance.
2. Mixed money
A mechanical pool table usually requires specific coins to dispense – for example, two 20p’s and one 10p for a 50p game.
With an electronic pool table, you can accept a wider range of denominations, so if a customer has a pocketful of change, they can put it all into your coin-op pool table and still get a game.
The more versatile coin slot on electronic pool tables also allows you to offer multibuy options, whereas on a mechanical pool table the price per game is fixed.
For example, you could offer pool at £1 a game or £2 for three games, making it much more likely that players will choose the higher priced option due to the better perceived value.
4. Happy hour
Electronic pool tables come with a freeplay switch, so if you want to offer completely free pool during happy hour or for any kind of events, you have that option.
5. Future proof
Mechanical coin slots rely on the correct size and denomination of coin still being in circulation.
In the 1990s several lower denomination coins were made smaller, and in 2013 both 5p and 10p coins were made more than a tenth thicker when they were first minted from nickel-plated steel instead of the old cupro-nickel.
Most recently, the introduction of the 12-sided £1 coin caused major headaches for all kinds of coin-operated equipment as it required coin slots to be updated to accommodate the new shape.
Electronic pool tables are much better equipped to deal with any further changes in the future, as their coin slots often just need a software update, rather than a hardware change to account for changes in size, thickness or shape of the coins used to pay to play.