Fruit machines and slot machines: What’s the difference?

In the UK, the terms ‘fruit machines’ and ‘slot machines’ are often used interchangeably. But there are some differences between the two.

Here are some of the main ways fruit machines and slot machines are different from each other, and why their names can also be misleading at times.

Slot machines

First of all, let’s think about slot machines. By definition, these are coin-operated machines and the name comes from the slot into which coins are dropped to buy a game.

By this definition, slot machines don’t just include fruit machines and quiz machines, but also everything from snack vending machines to coin-op kiddie rides outside your local supermarket.

It’s also worth noting that modern slot machines might not have a slot at all, as an increasing number have a note feeder for paper/polymer banknotes or a contactless card reader for cashless payments.

Fruit machines

Fruit machines are a particular subcategory of slot machines and include the familiar pub fruit machines most people have seen many times before.

The defining characteristic here is the system of symbols used on a pub fruit machine’s reels, which usually includes cherries, oranges, watermelons and plums, plus a few non-fruit images like bells and lucky 7s.

But it’s not necessary for any fruit to be used. You might see slot machines with cartoon characters, cops and robbers or even your favourite soap stars’ faces in place of the plums and cherries.

Slot machines vs. fruit machines

A more detailed definition that highlights the difference between slot machines and fruit machines is as follows:

  • Slot machines are usually very simple and may have a single push-button operation, similar to that of early one-man bandits.
  • Fruit machines are usually more complicated, with extra options like hold, nudge, gamble and feature boards.

This is a rule of thumb, and there are plenty of exceptions. But it’s useful to keep it in mind when trying to tell the difference between slot machines and fruit machines.

Legal definition of slot machines and fruit machines

In terms of UK law, there’s little difference between ‘slot machines’ and ‘fruit machines’. The Gambling Commission uses both terms to refer to Category A Gaming Machines:

“Most gaming machines are of the reel-based type, also known as fruit, slot, or jackpot machines.”

If you’re thinking of installing pub fruit machines or other slot machines on your premises and you’d like to know more about the rules that apply to different types of slot machines, contact Manco today on 0161 870 7777 and we’ll be happy to help.

Get ready for the New Year with Manco Automatics

This year has been probably the most difficult ever for many businesses in the hospitality sector, but the New Year holds the promise of a brighter future as the COVID-19 vaccines reach an ever-increasing proportion of the UK and global population.

As we look ahead to 2021, it’s time to be both optimistic and realistic, and to prepare to make the most of new opportunities that emerge over the coming 12 months.

It’s still hard to know exactly what will happen, but in a year’s time the hospitality sector should be in a much stronger position – so let’s all do the groundwork now to help make sure that happens.

Stay safe and clean

The pandemic has heightened customer awareness of cleanliness and hygiene, so make these a hallmark of your operations for the future.

You can carry out simple tasks like cleaning quiz machine screens and giving pub fruit machines a wipe down regularly – even during opening hours so punters can see your staff doing it.

Most coin-op machines are built of materials that are easy to clean, especially if you do so regularly, so this can become a real selling point for the foreseeable future.

Add more entertainment

For a lot of people, the overriding emotion of 2020 has been boredom. Extraverts have faced being furloughed from work and banned from seeing family and friends.

Once restrictions are lifted, we’re likely to see a lot more people taking advantage of local amenities and looking for ways to stay entertained while they’re out for the evening.

Add as many options as possible to your premises. Pub fruit machines, quiz machines and pool tables are the obvious, but take a look at our instant-win pull tab machines too.

Put your jukebox to work

A modern digital pub jukebox does a lot, lot more than just play music – it can be the heart of your weekly entertainment schedule.

Download the latest chart releases, complete with music videos, and link to speakers and screens around your premises so punters can enjoy their chosen songs no matter where they are sat.

Your jukebox and screens can also display adverts for any upcoming sports fixtures – another thing many people have missed during lockdown – to draw in more of a crowd for live events.

Finally, a digital pub jukebox can play automated pub quizzes and bingo, so you can schedule even more entertainment throughout the week.

Let’s make 2021 count

We’ve all got a lot of living to do, to catch up on missed opportunities during this difficult year, so let’s make 2021 the best it can be, whatever happens.

Until then, we all at Manco Automatics would like to wish our customers a very merry Christmas, health and prosperity for the New Year.

Add a pool table to your holiday home or cottage

Many people would love to have a pool table at home, but it’s not always possible to devote the space to a proper pub pool table in your own home.

But putting a pool table in a holiday home or cottage makes a lot of sense, whether for your own enjoyment or for the entertainment of paying guests.

A pub pool table can be the centrepiece of a games room and makes a real selling point when taking bookings from families and groups like stag parties.

Reasons to put a pool table in a holiday home

There are lots of different reasons to put a pool table in a holiday home:

  • Attract families and larger group bookings
  • Create on-site entertainment in remote locations
  • Use a holiday cottage as an employee perk

It’s a list that goes on and on, but already you can see the broad appeal that comes with having a pool table right there in your holiday home.

This not only increases your chances of taking bookings if you rent out your holiday cottage, but also potentially allows you to raise your rent.

Promote your pool table

If you decide to install a pool table in your holiday home, make sure you mention it in your listing on booking sites.

Leading booking sites like Holiday Cottage Compare even allow users to filter their search to only show properties with a games room or pool table – so having one in place will help you to make the cut.

With the option of fixed monthly rental fees when you hire a pool table from Manco Automatics, you know exactly what your expenses will be and can set the pool table to free vend if you wish, rather than asking guests to pay per game.

Remember the consumables

Once your holiday home pool table is in place, make sure you check on the consumables, including the condition of the cues and tips, and how much chalk you have left.

At Manco Automatics we include many of the consumable items at no additional cost, so if you’d like to know more about how we can keep your holiday cottage pool table fully stocked with everything you need, just ask.

Pool tables are a great option in all kinds of entertainment spaces, from holiday homes to staff rooms and university common rooms – if you have any of these or a similar location to fit out, give Manco a call on 0161 870 7777 and we’ll be happy to help.

Enhance your dining experience with a game of pool

If there’s one table you shouldn’t neglect in your pub or restaurant, it’s your pool table, which gives diners a great way to add some extra fun to their eating-out experience.

A pub pool table brings some variety to your venue, and is especially good to set a more informal mood in relaxed dining rooms.

Here are five reasons why a pool table is an excellent addition to any eatery, whether it’s a pub, restaurant or even a student union, common room or refectory.

1. Instant aesthetics

Installing a pool table immediately brightens up any room, with the coloured fabric helping to set the scene.

Pool table fabric doesn’t have to be green – it’s available in a whole rainbow of different colours – so whatever your interior design scheme might be, there’s a pool table to match.

The table itself, including the cushions and the legs, can also be several different styles, from traditional wood to modern laminates – it’s up to you.

2. Pool before pud

A frame of pool is the perfect length to let a main course settle before ordering dessert, to increase total food sales (and reduce the risk of indigestion).

Or if your punters don’t want pudding, a game of pool can keep them engaged and on your premises for after-dinner drinks, whether that’s coffee or something stronger.

3. Clear the table

If you rely on diners leaving their table so you can seat more paying customers, a pool table gives them somewhere else to go while staying on your premises.

This can add up to better customer retention, as well as the ability to seat more covers over the course of an evening – which all adds up to greater earnings over time.

4. Extra revenue stream

A pool table is a revenue stream in itself – so as well as selling more food and drink to customers who stay for longer, you’ll benefit from the direct pool table receipts too.

We can supply pool tables on a profit-share arrangement, so you only pay us a percentage of your takings, or you can pay us a fixed monthly fee and keep 100% of your pool table’s proceeds.

5. No fuss necessary

Manco Automatics make it as easy as possible for you to install a pool table in your restaurant, hotel dining room, pub or student union.

We even supply all the consumables, such as chalk, at no extra cost. So, there’s no need to ever run out of the essentials to keep your punters playing for as long as they like. For a dining expereince unlike any other call us on 0161 870 7777 or send us an email to

Quiz Machine Maintenance

Quiz machine maintenance doesn’t have to place huge demands on your time, especially if you adopt a ‘little and often’ approach to avoid any major problems developing.

Some quiz machine maintenance you can take care of yourself as part of your daily or weekly tasks, while other aspects are best left to the professionals – so call in a Manco engineer if you’re not sure on 0161 870 7777 and we’ll be on the scene ready to help.

Here are some common quiz machine maintenance tasks to put on your schedule, to keep your pub quiz machines running at their best for as long as possible.

1. Clean the case and screen

Give the exterior casing a quick clean regularly – either as part of your daily closing time routine, or at least once a week.

Take care when cleaning the screen, so as not to damage the touchscreen functionality, but it’s important to remove any dirt and greasy finger marks so it continues working well.

2. Check the coin slot

Make sure the coin slot is working correctly for all denominations, as well as the bank note feeder if your quiz machine has one.

If your quiz machine is a few years old, make sure it has been updated or upgraded to accept the 12-sided £1 coin and polymer banknotes, so you’re not rejecting potential revenues.

3. Update the games

Quiz machines need a network connection in order to update the games and the question packs – which can prevent players from learning the answers by heart!

If possible, give your quiz machine a permanent network connection, and regularly check that it is correctly installing any available updates to offer the latest games and new questions.

4. Have a go!

The best way to check if a quiz machine is working is to try playing the games. Look for any parts of the touchscreen that aren’t responding, visible glitches on the screen, sound problems or games that don’t load correctly.

Having a go yourself gives you a first-person taste of the player experience, so make it part of your regular quiz machine maintenance and you’ll be able to tell if anything isn’t quite right with your machine before it becomes noticeable to your customers.

5. Planned and responsive maintenance

Finally, speak to your Manco engineer about a planned maintenance schedule and keep our number handy in case you need to book an emergency callout.

We can fix many minor problems on-site and can supply temporary and permanent replacement quiz machines if yours suffers a major malfunction – so whatever goes wrong, we’re your best call in a crisis.