Offline Slots Games Facts – the Inner Workings of the Fruit Machine!

Fruit machines have been a part of UK culture for more than a century. Many slot fans in the new generation have only had the chance to encounter online games, but offline slots machines remain extremely popular to this day. Learn more about them in our guide.
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Last Updated on 28 Nov 2022 by Chief Editor Keira Miller

The Mechanics of a Fruit Machine – the Classic Version

We’ve already talked in length about fruit machines in our article about the history of slot symbols, where we explained how they came to be. They are classic slots, but the early models didn’t give out coin payments and bore the distinct fruity symbols on their reels. The classic free offline slots had 3 spinning reels, a coin slot where you could insert your wager, and a lever that started the game. Later on, when winning money on those was legalised, other components were added – mainly a hopper, which held the coins available for payouts.

A Land-Based Slot Machine

To play slots offline was pretty straightforward. Of course, the regulations were still lax, so proprietors didn’t have to publish the odds of winning – but slot fans tried to track them anyways by dissecting old models and studying the number of symbols on the reels. Combined with the payouts for different combinations – the only publicised information – this allowed them to track the payback percentage of the different models of offline slots machines. However, those days are long gone now – modern-day fruit machines are a much different beast.

The beauty of the online fruit machines is just how different and diverse they can be. The slots offline are no different and this has led to some of them enjoying a broader appeal compared to the rest. No surprises here, as it is completely normal for some games to be favourited more compare to others. Check out the following list, where we have listed the most popular offline slots based on punters’ preferences.

Worthy Online Slot Alternatives

While you may be considering the offline slots to be your jam, do not disregard the world of digital reel machines. There are thousands of digital games for you to choose from, which are nicely dispersed across dozens of types and genres. It’s impossible for you not to find something to your liking, especially when we talk about UK free slots. So before we proceed with the topic at hand, have a glimpse at some worthy online slot machines that you can take a swing at from the comfort of your home.

How Do Free Offline Slots Work Today – A Look into the RNG

The inventor of slot machines would hardly recognise the modern-day free offline slots you can play in casinos and pubs. The classic mechanical models have gotten quite hard to find, while increased government regulation and the public’s thirst for better visuals and bigger prizes slowly made fruit machines more and more complex. Virtual screens have long replaced the traditional reels, and the outcome of each spin is determined by RNG engines.

This fact still surprises many players, because it means that free offline slots games are much closer to their online counterparts than you would think. The sophisticated machinery inside is now used mainly to power up the visual effects, while most machines handle even the payments online. Real coin slots are quite scarce, so if you want to see a genuine river of coins falling down, you might have to search for a while.

The RNG Engine in Land-Based Slots

Reel Stops – the True Meaning of RNG

Much like online reel machines, offline slots are controlled by the Random Number Generator – the infamous RNG. The RNG module actually replaced the old mechanical reels. Modern slots do have virtual reels with a set number of symbols, but the true odds of landing a certain combination do not depend on the actual number of symbols.

Instead, the RNG modules are programmed with a specific number of ‘reel stops’. For instance, a reel could have a total of 25 symbols, but 100 possible reel stops, each of them corresponding to one of the symbols. You can see a simplified example in the figure below, which shows how modern programming can make two identical slots to behave differently. Keep in mind that the exact same principle can be applied to online slots.

An Explanation about Land Based Slot RNG

In the example above, we study the first reels of two land-based slots, whit the symbols ordered from highest-paying to lowest paying one. As you can see, both have an identical composition in terms of symbols, with the single Bell symbol being the highest-paying one. If this were a classic slot, you would have a 1 in 10 chance of landing the bell symbols. However, with reel stops things get more complex – when you press the spin button, the RNG module determines which symbol you will hit by issuing a random number.

If you look at the total of the numbers, you can see that in Slot A, you have a 1/44 chance to hit the Bell, since it has a single corresponding number from 44. In contrast, in Slot B there is a 1/20 chance – the RNG module issues 2 numbers for the Bell symbol out of a total of 40. Furthermore, in Slot A there is a 6/11 chance to land one of the lowest-paying lemon symbols, while in Slot B this chance is only 1 to 2.

Reel stops allow the slot producers to fine-tune the odds of landing specific combinations. Don’t get the wrong idea – this is not cheating, since most modern slot games (at least the online versions) publish their RTP rates – this is another name for payback percentages. Neither the casino nor the game-producers can fiddle with the RNG after the probability for hitting different combinations has been programmed, and the RTP has been formalised. In fact, the larger number of reel stops allows slots to have higher maximum prizes. The lowest the odds of landing a certain combination, the higher payout that can be attached to it.

Some Common Slot Superstitions – That (Usually) Don’t Work

You can’t consider yourself a true offline slots casino player without having a chat about ‘sure-fire’ ways to win from time to time. Slot strategies have always been a part of the banter, though you should be warned that most of them go into myth territory. Here are a few of the main beliefs of punters that play slots offline – and the sad truth about them.

You Can Actually Play Offline Slots Games Online – Here’s How

Online fruit machines might be all the rage in today’s day and age, but they aren’t all that different from the free offline slots games you can play at Las Vegas. When the first digital reel machines appeared back in 1994 (read more about slot history here), they marked the beginning of a booming industry. However, there are many software studios that specialise in remastering already existing offline slots and offering you the chance to play them from your PC or mobile.

The leading brand here is IGT, one of the most recognisable slot manufacturers internationally. The company introduced the first video slots in casinos across the world during the 80s and quickly became a global leader in terms of production. Many of the most popular Las Vegas slots are IGT productions, and the company was quick to grasp the opportunity and transfer its products to the online scene. If you are interested in finding out more, you can see a list of our top online casinos featuring IGT land-based slots below.

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IGT slots can be somewhat lacking if you compare them to online slots from leading software developers such as NetEnt. Due to the company’s unique position as a strong offline slots manufacturer though, the products of IGT are the best means for fans of online gambling to feel as if they are touring the bustling halls of Las Vegas and other famous resorts.

Slots Are Now the Most Popular Casino Game Worldwide

Most gambling fans are well aware that, for good or bad, slots are the undisputed winner of any casino game popularity contest. However, you might be surprised to hear that this wasn’t always so. The ability to play slots offline started to appear towards the end of the 19th century and even though they gathered a dedicated following rather quickly, they were considered sub-par to poker, roulette and blackjack until the 1980s. Back then, technological advancements allowed for the first video slots to appear, and they quickly stole the show with their superior graphics and bigger win potential. According to the statistics of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, slots are by far the dominant gaming machines in the gambling industry, and their numbers continue to grow steadily.

Online vs Offline Slots – The Main Dilemma

There is little competition between online reel machines and slots offline. The two types of games are actually extremely similar, considering that they work quite the same. However, playing an offline and online game feels totally different. While digital games are much more accessible for the average player, real fruit machines will remain in use and prosper. Much like online casinos will never take the place of brick-and-mortar ones, online slots and fruit machines also aren’t in direct competition.

Land-Based Slot Machines vs. Online Slot Games
Land-Based Online
Harder to Find the Payback Percentage RTP Is Usually Listed
A Social Atmosphere Can Be Played in Solitarity
Spectacular Designs More Visual Effects
Can be Hard to Find Can Be Played Long-Distance

In the end, whether you prefer digital ot free offline slots is entirely a question of personal taste. Many people enjoy the bustling casino environment and the more chances for interaction, but others prefer to spin the reels from the comfort of their homes and consider gambling as an indoors activity. If you meet someone who claims that offline slots machines are superior to online ones – or vice-versa – then he is definitely pulling your leg. There are good and bad offline slots, just as there are good and bad online titles.

Do You Want to Know About Online Slots?

If you want to play slots offline, that’s great, but for most gambling fans the top online slot games is the better alternative. Even though the mechanical games will always hold a certain nostalgia, in our busy modern lives we turn towards online play more and more often. If you are serious about mastering slots, then you should definitely turn your attention towards their internet versions. Lucky for you, we are all online slot experts here – or more like experienced fans – so we have gathered everything there is to know in one easy-to-find place. For example, our page on internet slot machines, where you can learn more them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we send you off on your next offline slots adventure, we decided to add one final section containing the most frequently asked questions that pop into people’s heads when they start thinking about all things free offline slots games. Give it a quick read and see if you’ll notice something you missed out the first time around.

🏆 Which are the best offline slots to play?

Deciding on which is your favourite reel machine to play is a personal decision and depends on what you like. However, there are a number of amazing offline slots that have enjoyed mass appeal and love from the gambling community. We are certain you might like them, too.

📑 Are there any offline slot strategies to help me win?

If you are to look something up, you will certainly stumble upon information regarding possible offline slots strategies that could yield winnings. However, we urge you to read carefully before you go ahead with anything you read because they may very well end up being pure superstitions.

🙋 How is the outcome of the offline slots determined?

The outcome of every casino game - slots offline included - is determined by an RNG engine or Random Number Generator. They are checked and programmed to randomly assign the outcomes of each spin in a fair and just manner. These are guaranteed by auditing companies that determine the programmed RNG and approve or reject its fairness accordingly.

🎰 Can I play offline slots at online casino operators?

If you like to play slots offline and have particular favourites, there is a chance that these reel machines are available online as well. Many software studios have remastered their original versions to bring their magic to the online operators for punters to enjoy. Make sure to check your preferred digital venue to see if any of them are listed there.

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