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Fruit Machine Hold Feature

Fruit machines occupy an interesting place in the worldwide gaming culture. While the term is generally the one used for slots in the United Kingdom, it also refers to a very specific kind of game, one that is similar to a standard slot, but which has a few unique features and stylistic points that set them apart.

These fruit machines have unique, board game like bonus rounds, and often allow players to “nudge” a reel over a space in order to turn a near miss into a win. But one of their most famous features is the “hold,” a precious resource that allows players to hold on to promising reels while respinning the others.

How It Works

The hold feature is one of the mainstays of fruit machine play, and is one of a couple of ways in which a modicum of skill is introduced into these games. While you are playing one of these games, you can be randomly granted a number of holds at any time. How exactly these rewards will work varies depending on what game you are playing. It’s possible that you’ll have a number of holds that must be used on the next spin, while other machines could give you a few that you may choose to use over the course of your next several plays.

When you choose to hold a reel, that one will not move the next time you activate a spin. In almost all cases, you will have the ability to hold multiple reels if you have enough holds left. In some cases, this means that you can lock in a guaranteed win just by keeping enough of the same symbols on the winning payline!

Even in games that allow you to hoard your holds for a while, they will typically eventually expire, and it may not be immediately obvious when this is going to happen. However, this feature also tends to be awarded frequently and generously, so even if you miss out on using one or two extra at some point, you should soon gain a feel for when they have to be utilized.

Players Can Use Strategy to Take Full Advantage

One of the biggest advantages of fruit machines is that they do give players a little bit of freedom to flex their strategic muscles while playing. Okay, this isn’t exactly high stakes poker, or even a deep game like blackjack or video poker. But effectively using your holds, as well as your other bonuses, such as nudges, is a good way to improve your odds while playing.

The most obvious time to start holding reels is when you can lock in a guaranteed win. Remember that most fruit machines only have a single payline, so there’s only one place to score prizes. If you have three to spare, and you’ve just made a big win, it is obviously worthwhile to use up your holds in order to lock in that win for a second time. In a situation where, for instance, you have two cherries, and you are playing a game where that is enough to lock in a small win, it is similarly reasonable to hold those two knowing you will definitely win (and could score a bigger win if you find the third and final cherry).

Things get more complex when you have to decide whether or not to hold symbols that won’t lock in a prize. For instance, you might be tempted to hold onto two (or even one!) jackpot symbol, since that should raise your odds of making that winning combination on the next spin. This is certainly true to some extent: there’s no guarantee you’d hit that symbol again on those reels, so you have made a big prize somewhat more likely. But it’s still not exactly likely, which means you might instead want to save them for mid-value symbols that have a better chance to come in on your next spin.

These decisions make up a big part of the attraction for players who love fruit machines. And when you combine the holds with the nudge feature, you can start to appreciate the surprising amount of depth that these games offer to players.

A Part of Every Game

We don’t even need to point out which machines offer holds to their players, because without this feature, you wouldn’t even classify a game as a fruit machine! They are as ubiquitous to the genre as coins and symbols are for regular slot machines. While the implementation might vary slightly in each title you try, the general idea is always there, and knowing that this option is available to you is critical if you want to get the most out of each play.

Today, most online casinos offer at least a few of these games, and some – particularly those that operate in the UK market – have a wide selection of fruit machines. Even if you’ve never played one of these fun games at a pub or club, they offer a nice new spin on the same old slots play you’ve become accustomed to, and the hold feature is a big part of what makes them so enjoyable.

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