Fruit Machine Refill Keys

& Keyfobs




Fruit machine refill key user guide

Do you remember looking through the glass of a fruit machine to see how full it was? With the newer front opening fruit machines that's all stopped as instead of tubes manufacturers are using hoppers as the payout mechanism, preventing you from seeing how full the machine is.  That's where a refill key comes in!

What is a Refill Key used for?

A 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.

The Idea:

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 don't 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.


On some machines (mainly in chain pubs or big arcades) you may see a little blue sticker with the word MIDAS on it.  MIDAS is a monitoring system, directly connected (via a little box behind the bar) to the pub's H.Q.  It has the ability to monitor the machine and report errors in real-time.  Depending on the way the system has been set-up the pub might get a call or the box behind the bar might beep to tell the staff if someone is using a refill key.  You have been warned!

Note Changers:

A few 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:

Being able to change the volume (audio) on a machine can be very useful.  Some fruit machines have very loud jackpot tunes so if you don't 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 have finished.

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 don't 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 doesn't go into the hopper) rather than £1 coins.

What affects keys have on the following machines....

Insert the refill key and turn, this will display the hopper balance.

Insert the refill key and turn.  This will display the hopper balance on the LED display.  To see the last bank hold down the first hold button and then turn your key.  The machine will display the last bank on the right of the LED display and how much was paid out on the left of the LED.  You can also adjust the volume by holding down the middle hold button and turning your key, to turn the volume up press the middle hold button, to turn it down press the right hold button, remove your key to set the volume.

Note: Some of the newer Barcrest Machines only allow a refill key to be used once.  You will have to wait until the machine has been switched on and off for the key to work again.

Bell Fruit Manufacturing:
Insert the refill key and turn, thus putting the machine into refill mode.  Pressing start will now display the last win, pressing start again will display the last bank, and pressing start again will allow you to change the volume (by pressing the hold buttons).

Insert the refill key and turn to put the machine into refill mode.  There do not appear to be any options to display.  However if you hold down the centre hold button and then turn your refill key you can change the volume on the machine. 

Insert the refill key and turn.  The collect, exchange and start buttons will flash.  Press exchange to cycle through the options, and press collect to select an option.  The options are Volume, Last Bank, Last Win Recall and Hopper Balance (however "hopper balance" displays Access Denied).

Insert the refill key and turn.  Press exchange to display the last bank, cancel to display the last win, and hold button 1 (the left hold button) to change the volume.

Insert the refill key and turn.  The collect, exchange and start buttons will flash.  Press exchange to cycle through the options, and press collect to select an option.  The options are Volume, Last Bank, and Last Win Recall.

Project Coin:
Insert the refill key and turn to display the hopper balance.  Press the start button to display the last 10 errors, or press the right hold button (hold/hi) to display the last win. 


Many people don't know what a refill key is, and will believe that you are illegally defrauding the machine, so be careful where and when you use it. Currently there is no clear ruling regarding the legality of using a Refill Key.


We currently have a limited number of electronic refill keyfobs available. However the old-style refill keys are unfortunately out of stock until further notice.

Click the link below to send a safe & secure payment via Paypal, your refill key fob will usually be delivered within 1 week.



* PLEASE NOTE that the UK includes all areas of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. I also post to BFPO addresses at no extra charge.
It DOES NOT include the Republic of Ireland (Eire) or any other overseas addresses. Any orders received from postal addresses in non-UK areas are liable to be immediately refunded, minus a £1 administration fee.

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