Do you remember looking through the glass of a fruit machine to see how full it was? With the newer front opening fruit machines thatís all stopped as instead of tubes manufacturers are using hoppers as the payout mechanism, preventing you from seeing how full the machine is. Thatís where a refill key comes in!
is a Refill Key used for?
Refill Key is designed to allow an machine operator (owner) to refill the machine with
cash/tokens without having to physically open the whole fruit machine.
However Refill Keys can also be used to the players advantage, as
depending on the fruit machine, Refill Keys can be used to display the hopper balance, the last win,
the last bank, and even allow you to adjust the volume.
Where does it go?
The idea of using a Refill Key is that most modern machines use hoppers, these hold £125 when full (some machines with note changers may have 2 hoppers). When a fruit machine is full it normally means that a lot of money has been lost in it and that it is, or soon will be, gagging to pay out. Of course there are some exceptions to this, such as refills (which are described in detail below).
Some operators refill their fruit machines. This is either for security or because someone is emptying the machines. However this does mean that a full machine can play very badly and you can lose a lot of money!
There are indicators to this like the refill counter, which is normally located next to the coin slot. This displays the number of units (each unit is normally 10p, therefore 10 units for every pound) that have been refilled with a refill key. A fruit machine is normally refilled in this way when it owes money to the player (IOU).
Operators can also open the fruit machine and refill the hopper. They then press the hopper float button on the machine to set the hopper level to full, unfortunately there is no way to tell when this has been done. Generally if a full machine is playing badly it has probably been refilled. Betting shops are the worst for this as they normally remove all money from the machine every night and refill it in the morning, pubs generally only refill once per week. A lot of pubs donít actually refill the hopper, but just empty the cash boxes at the bottom of the machine, obviously this has no effect on the hopper balance, or how the machine plays.
of the newer fruit machines also have a note changer built into them.
Most of these machines will have 2 hoppers, and will be refilled
very often. As the money from
the hoppers is used to change the notes you should not use the hopper balance as a
guide as to when to play the fruit machine.
Changing the Volume:
able to change the volume (audio) on a machine can be very useful. Some fruit machines have very loud jackpot tunes so if you
donít want to get noticed it may well be worth turning the volume down
slightly. It is also useful, when playing in pubs with very loud music,
being able to turn the volume up slightly so you can hear the machine.
Just remember to change the volume back to its original level when you
5p Fruit Machines:
Although refill keys can be used on modern 5p/£5 machines, the information they provide is less important as most of them donít streak like their £15/£25 version. For example the balance will fluctuate a lot less (i.e. the hopper balance will probably never go below £100), and will not be as relevant as 5p machines tend to be played with small change (which doesnít go into the hopper) rather than £1 coins.