The advantages of electronic pool tables

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.

1. Reliability

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.

3. Multibuy

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.

How pubs and clubs bring people together for the holiday season

This holiday season, many of us will be spending time with friends and family, whether at home or going out to a local venue to escape the chaos back at the house.

It’s a time when homes are full to the rafters with guests, gifts and gourmet foods, and with the usual household chores put firmly on the back burner until January, it’s important to get some time out of the house here and there.

Pubs and clubs are the perfect place to do this. The UK’s pub culture is unique in the world, offering a home from home and a place to catch up with friends, neighbours, and visiting family.

Members’ clubs even more so are a place to see the same familiar faces and celebrate the season with a group of friends who share your interests, whether that’s a particular sport, hobby or just geographical location.

Both pubs and clubs can cater for the larger groups of the festive season by installing some modern entertainment in the form of quiz machines, jukeboxes and pub pool tables.

Go beyond fruit machines for festive success

Fruit machines are the default entertainment option for many licensed premises. They have a small physical footprint, good revenues and they only need one player.

But if you want to attract larger groups, especially at Christmas when your customers are likely to be a mix of different ages and interests, there are a few good ways to do this:

  • Pub pool tables can be enjoyed by players of all ages, four (or even more) people can play in pairs and small groups, and customers nearby can watch the game too.
  • Quiz machines can be enjoyed by individuals and by groups, with customers 2-3 deep around the screen all offering what they think is the correct answer.
  • Jukeboxes have little to no floor footprint as they’re wall-mounted, they keep your music varied with no manual intervention from staff, and they can support other entertainment features like pub quizzes and bingo.

Any one of these is a great addition to pub and club premises but together, two or more of them alongside fruit machines give you a great variety and wide appeal to customers of all ages – even young patrons can play pool with parental supervision.

We’re moving rapidly into the new year, but all of the above holds true all year round, allowing you to accommodate different groups of guests whether it’s Christmas lights or summer sun shining down on them.

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