My top hacks for cheating fruit machines, by Adele

BEGINNING her residency in the gambling capital of the USA, Adele explains why she only took the gig to make bank in the arcades: 

I love a flutter, but none of that blackjack, craps or Texas Hold ‘Em nonsense. No, I was raised in the amusements at good old Southend-on-Sea, where I picked up these tips.

Scope out the fruities

Take a table near your fruit machine of choice, and wait. Statistics: the longer it hasn’t paid out, the sooner it’s gonna. Spot your window and slide in while whoever’s playing is at the bar or nipped for a piss.

Yeah, you might get in the odd barney, but it’s worth it. I once cleared £40 on Aztec Tombs by nipping in when Fatneck Bob had popped out to feed the meter. He went f**king mental.

Lick your quids

Nadger to hygiene. You’ve got to lick your quids before you slot them in. It’s scientific fact it confuses the sensor and two out of seven times gives you unlimited nudges, which is as good as handing you the cash.

Has it happened to me? No, but that’s odds for you. It happened to my uncle and he won so much cash the amusements owner torched the whole place for insurance. They’re both neighbours now in million-pound houses on the Blackwater estuary, proving it’s true.

If in doubt, boot

The machine’s gone wonky? Then you, as a consumer, as well within your rights to give it a fucking kicking. I saw it on Watchdog. They get jammed up inside, so if you’re a couple of hours without a win take a run up from across the room and give it a proper boot. Did it once and got a jackpot two quid later.

Watch for patterns

Nothing’s truly random in this universe, as Brian Cox once told me while cleaning the fuck up on the 10p waterfalls. A fruit machine’s an artificial intelligence and they can’t beat human ingenuity.

So relax, centre yourself and wait for the patterns to show themselves. Whether it’s a pair of cherries heralding three’s-up on the gold bars or a nudge too far, they’ll be there and when you’re in the perfect zen state you’ll be up £3.50 in no time.

Get friendly with security

Uniforms hate a winner. You need them on your side, no matter whether you’re sending a two-year-old into the teddy picker for a Sonic the Hedgehog or scoring big on the Flying Aces fruitie.

Whether you’re paying them off with sell-by-date nougat, promising them a pint later or cutting them in on the publishing of Set Fire to the Rain, it’s worth paying out that bit extra to have them backing you up when the woman from the change booth storms over and starts laying in. Money you’ve won is sweeter than money you’ve earned, always.

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Gaudy decor and tiny f**king portions: the gammon food critic takes on tapas

Restaurant reviews by Justin Tanner, our retired food critic who voted UKIP six elections in a row

IF Spanish food’s any good, how come the Costa del Sol’s full of English pubs selling English food? Answer me that. 

Exactly. But there’s a fancy new tapas place opening by the ringroad, so as Warwickshire’s resident gastronaut I’m duty-bound to give it the once-over.

The place used to be a Poppins, serving proper dishes like fish fingers and chips, sausage and mash and full English breakfasts. Back when this country embraced its own national cuisine, before we all pretended to be in fucking Barcelona.

The decor is a gaudy hotch-potch of childish colour and pictures of street carnivals in Madrid or some shit. It’s a country where sport means dressing up to get chased around by an angry bull, so gravitas and good taste are not their strong points.

The staff are mostly young Spaniards, with a smattering of eastern Europeans. Family business propped up with immigrants. Thought we’d Got Brexit Done? More fool you.

I ordered a selection of tapas. When in Rome, so to speak. Tapas, I Googled, translates as ‘lid’ or ‘cover’ and historically refers to a slice of bread placed over your sherry glass to keep flies out of it and to nibble on while you drink. Though presumably the flies would have been all over the bread. With these hygiene standards it’s no wonder I didn’t do a solid stool for a week in Fuerteventura.

First problem? The portion sizes are fucking tiny. If an army marches on its stomach it’s no wonder the Spanish sat on the fence through World War Two, to their eternal shame.

The paella, a traditional Andalucian rice dish, is a confused offering including chicken, sausage and prawns. Like they’re dithering over what to eat and go with a bit of everything. More fence-sitting indecision, but like I say, World War Two.

Other specialities included chorizo – a kind of Spanish attempt at sausage, but riddled with garlic and paprika and other bollocks. The courgette croquettes looked promising, closely resembling McNuggets as they do, but were mostly herbs and air.

Then there were mussels. Fucking mussels! Who the fuck wants to eat a slimy sea snail with a consistency like warm snot?

There was also a noticeable lack of chips. Now, you may say chips aren’t traditional Spanish food, but ever had patatas bravas? Chips and ketchup. So they’ve no excuse.

I skipped dessert as my guts were backflipping after the mussels. I didn’t hang around for the bill as I’m a food critic. And anyway I didn’t give my real name and I won’t be going back.