Some simply call them slots while others refer to them, as gambling machines, fruit machines, or one-armed bandits. In Australia however, they are commonly known as poker machines or just pokies because the game reels usually come with poker card symbols. And without a doubt, the most popular games played by Aussies in online casinos. In today’s post, we’re going to cover all the essentials that you must know about pokies, plus some super helpful tips that will quickly help you earn more cash with every reel you spin online. If you find this pokies tutorial helpful, share it with one or two of your friends, and they’ll thank you later!
Advantages of Playing Pokies Online
Just in case you are wondering why pokies have grown to be popular in Australia’s online gaming expanse, it’s because they come with plenty of advantages. Other than being able to enjoy a massive variety of games from anywhere at any time, some of the other most cited benefits of playing pokies are;
✔ They are usually exceptionally fun to play since they come with interactive themes and storylines capturing different scenarios. In fact, you can even pick the type you want to play based on the theme, e.g. horror, beach, romance, and science fiction.
✔ If you want to take a new pokie machine for a test run or you just don’t feel like spending your real cash, then you can enjoy the games for free, sometimes without even the need for registration.
✔ Online pokies come with extra features such as wilds, free spins, multipliers, scatters and even jackpots to help players earn more payouts from their wagers.
✔ They come with higher RTPs compared with what you may find in land-based casinos or pubs. Playing on brick and mortar gaming facilities restricts you to pokies with RTPs of between 87-90% while playing online guarantees you more wins with RTPs ranging from 94% to over 98%
✔ Jackpot payouts for online pokies are also typically much higher. Ordinarily, jackpots from traditional gaming areas on land are usually on the tens of thousands of Australian dollars while online jackpots could go as highs of millions of AUD.
✔ Betting limits when playing online tend to be much more flexible, and you can set the machine to a few cents per spin up to hundreds of dollars depending on your size of bankroll.
✔ You will have easy access to fast-paced tournaments, reward systems such as VIP schemes and many more promotions that earn you free spins and extra cash.
Why don’t you get started today and see how things will go for you? But first, read the section that follows so that you can learn how to make the most out of your bets!
How to Play Pokies
Unlike other complicated casino games such as blackjack and poker, playing pokies is quite simple. Fundamentally, it’s just about pressing a button to spin the reels after loading your bankroll and wait for the symbols to line up and collect your payout. Well, at least that’s the case for seasoned veterans who know their way around online pokies. On the other hand, if you are a rookie, here is a step by step guide that you can follow to effortlessly enjoy playing pokies online;
◾ Buttons Highlight
This is the button that will increase or decrease the amount of money. For instance from 1c to 5c
Credits Per Line
The button that adds or deducts a single credit on each line
(+) and (-)
A button that lets you increase or decrease the number of active paylines per round. May also be labelled ‘Select Lines.’
Press this button to spin the reels with the current size of credit and bet level.
Pressing this button will automatically start the game with the maximum credits per line.
Hit this button to stop spinning the reels right away
Some of the pokies out there will have this button to allow you to spin the reels automatically for a set number of times.
A button that will take you to a second screen to view different symbol combos and their respective payouts. It may also be labelled ‘Help’, ‘Info’, ‘View Payouts’ or ‘View Pays’, depending on the pokie
Pressing this button will take you back to the game screen from the paytable
◾ Getting Started
Now, to start playing, here’s what you should do after you pick the game that you’re interested in:
1 . Pick the denomination of coins and make your bet
2 . Choose the coin size per line, and if you are about to play a multi-line pokie, you should also set the number of lines
3 . Hit the ‘Spin’ button to start spinning the reels
Players who want to place maximum wagers on all the active paylines should just click the ‘Max Bet’ button, and the reels will start spinning right away.
You should, however, note that not all the game buttons are usually available at the beginning. Some of the buttons such as the ‘Start Feature’ or ‘Gamble’ buttons won’t appear until you activate the associated feature of the game or you have earned a win that can be gambled.
Pokies Symbols Terminology
Apart from the game buttons and what they do, the other pokies terms that you must know about if you are serious about becoming a pro in this game are the game symbols and what they mean. By understanding what these symbols mean, you will effectively plan your gaming and know what to do in the course of your gameplay. Nonetheless, bear in mind that they may not be available on all machines. Thus, the essential pokies terms that you must have at your fingertips are;
◾ Standard Symbols
These are the most basic types of game icons that you are going to find in all the pokies that you want to enjoy. Mainly, they are the ones that will earn you a payout once you hit a winning line. In the majority of pokies out there the least valuable game icons are typically represented by poker card symbols like A (Ace), K (King), Q (Queen), J (Jack), 9 (Nine), and 10 (Ten). Low-value icons could also be depicted by card suits such as Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, and Hearst. For the old-fashioned pokies, on the other hand, the lowest value game symbols tend to be represented by fruits such as Grapes, Lemons, Melons, Oranges and Cherries.
Together with the mentioned low-value symbols, pokies also come with other standard icons that have a significantly higher value. In the old-fashioned classic pokies, the symbols with higher values are usually denoted by a Bell, Diamond, the number 7 and the BAR icon. For the more modern video and ipokies on the other hand, the higher paying icons will vary from one machine to the next because they are customised to fit the theme of the game. For instance, if you are spinning the reels of a pokie with an underwater thematic concept, the high paying icons could be depicted by the likes of sunken ships, treasure chests, and colourful aquatic life forms.
◾ Wild Symbol
Other than the standard game icons, the wild symbols are the most popular icons even though they aren’t usually available in all pokies, especially in the classic type. For the modern video pokies, however, it’s difficult to come across a game that won’t have the icon. The wild normally substitutes all other standard icons when it appears on a winning line. For example, if you have two Aces on the second and third reel, a wild icon on the first could depict an Ace and automatically earn you a payout from an active payline. Thanks to the evolution of online pokies, there are different types of wilds available today. They are;
Walking Wild: a wild that stays on the reels and switch a single position with each new spin.
Expanding Wild: this expands and covers the entire reel with the symbol
Multiplier Wild: a wild that increases the winning line payout by a certain number of times.
Sticky Wild: this will stay frozen in its position for a specific period
◾ Scatter Symbol
This icon is one of the most anticipated icons in any pokies game that comes with it. Apart from earning you higher cash rewards if enough of them show up on an active pay line, the scatter is often responsible for unlocking a special feature. As long as enough scatters appear, you could trigger free spins that come with lucrative multipliers so that you can make more money.
◾ Bonus Symbol
Like the scatter, the bonus symbol is also responsible to for triggering a type of unique bonus game that tends to have higher potentials of bigger payouts. Depending on the pokie game you are enjoying, the bonus symbols may need to appear in a specific formation to unlock the bonus, or they may even be restricted to appear on particular reels.
Start Playing with a Bonus to Win More
If you want to enjoy the pokies, even more, you should look for an online casino that offers substantial rewards like free spins and matched bonuses so that you can play more, have more fun and stand a chance of earning much more significant cash rewards. Here are the top 2 sites where you can get started with an advantage;
What is RTP and How Does it Work?
The RTP (Return to Player) is a term coined by casinos and pokies developers to refer to the percentage of all the player returns in the pokie from cash wagered by players. For instance, if you place one hundred wagers worth $1 on a pokie with a 97% RTP, then you may expect roughly $97 of your cash back in the form of winnings.
As a rule of thumb, you should always be on the lookout for pokies with higher RTPs so that you can have a higher chance of winning back your cash! However, you must remember that RTP values are calculated on a long-term basis, and thus you should never bet with money that you can’t afford to lose.
Tips to Maximise your Earnings as you Spin the Reels
Now that you have all the pokie basics at your fingertips, here are a few extra tips to boost your gameplay and help you rake in more rewards with every round of play;
◼ Spend a few minutes on the paytable to know the game basics even before you think about trying out the game.
◼ Before spending real cash, try and enjoy as many games as possible in the free to play option to understand everything about the game, e.g. features, winning combination and betting range
◼ Make a point of enjoying your favourite pokies in the same casino to increase your chances of joining the loyalty programs where more perks await
◼ Set your bankroll before you start playing and stick to it. Once you deplete your bankroll, quit the game and come back later
◼ In case you land on a massive win, avoid lingering, grab your cash and walk away. And if you must continue playing set a loss limit for yourself and don’t go beyond it.
◼ For progressive pokies, you are better off playing maximum coins per line for higher chances of hitting the jackpot.
The Best Australian Pokies
Wondering which games you should start with once you are ready to start spinning the reels? If so, try out these three titles since they are among the highest rated favourites by Aussie gamers.