Fruit machines – the popular name for gambling machines that use pictures of fruit like cherries and bananas – have a long and intriguing history. Nowadays you can find free games online and gamble on them without a problem, but once upon a time, life wasn’t so simple if you wanted to do a spot of gambling. In the late 19th century, gambling was frowned upon and the use of machines with which to do it outlawed in many places. Fruit machines were developed in America to show wholesome fruit rather than (unwholesome) cards, and they often paid out in products like sweets rather than money, getting around the ‘gambling’ label. They typically had three spinning columns, in contrast to the five usually seen on pokie games. Nowadays, this type of gambling machines is especially popular in British and Australian pubs and clubs.