Playing Pokies

Online pokies are often used as a synonym for online video slots in Australia and New Zealand, but this isn't the original usage. The term 'pokie' is actually short for 'poker machine'. It was originally shorthand for the electronic poker and slot machines found in pubs and casinos. These games ran on a video screen and offered players a wider range of features than their mechanical predecessors. In today's usage, however, the term is almost exclusively used to refer to video slots played either in person or online. Many people don't even use it to refer to video poker games at all.

Why Should You Play Online Pokies?

In the casino world, all games fall on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are pokie games where you don't have to learn any particular skills to play. At the other end are games like blackjack that require you to put in a lot of work and practice before you should really be playing for much money at all. Players who prefer to get right into the action without having to spend a whole lot of time practising and preparing, are those who will get the most out of online pokies real money play.

We want to point out that there's nothing wrong with choosing to play games that require more strategy. For those who play pokies online for real money to relax and see if they have what it takes to get on a lucky streak, however, it's better to be able to jump right into playing. Then you don't have to spend hours getting ready.

How to Play Pokies Online

The original usage of the term 'pokie' had to do with games that were played in person on video screens. Because of this implementation of the games, it's very easy to see how they were translated over to the online environment. Pokie games were meant to be easy for anyone to pick up in just a few moments, and that aspect of the experience continues.

To play pokies online, there are really only three things you need to do. First, you'll pick out the game you want to play. Next, you'll choose a wager amount. Finally, you press the 'spin' button. It sounds very simplistic, but there's actually a bit more to it, and we want to break down the process for you in a little more detail here.

Choosing a game to play

All pokies games will have a theme or motif that the game is based on. This is often the primary concern when choosing one to play. There are so many online pokies available at virtually every online casino out there. Players can more or less choose the games they want based on whatever criteria they feel like. The theme of the game is what most people focus on. Here are a few other factors that can come into play with pokie selection.

  • The format of the game and whether it falls within the typical parameters or not.
  • The features available based on what a player's personal preferences are.
  • How much they have played the game in the past. Some people prefer to try something new, and others prefer to stick to the same title for a long time.
  • The available wager sizes that you can choose in the game.
  • The volatility and level of balance in the pay schedule for the pokie in question.

These aren't the only factors that come into play, but they're the most relevant for people who are getting started playing online. If you look at how most people choose from the online pokies Australia has to offer, then the chances are that it's the theme, the game format, the features, the game history, the bet sizes and the volatility that will influence their decisions the most.

Bet size selection

You essentially have three ways to control your bet size when you get into online pokies real money play. You can adjust the number of paylines, the number of coins you're betting per payline and the size of the coin you're using. For example, a game with 20 paylines with three coins bet per payline and $0.02 coin sizes would have a total bet size of 20 x 3 x $0.02 or $1.20 per spin.

Not all games allow you to manipulate all three of these factors. In fact, some of them won't allow you to manipulate any of them. However, virtually all Australian pokies online in today's industry will allow you to at least change the value of your coins. This is the case even if you can't bet multiple coins per payline or manipulate the total number of paylines that you're playing with.

On a related topic, players will often choose bet sizes relative to the size of their account balance (also known as their bankroll). Players don't want to bet such small amounts that winning doesn't matter to them. It's also a bad idea to bet so much that a short run of bad luck will completely clean out your account and leave you with a balance of zero. Bet sizes that achieve a balance between these two extremes are the best.

The Features Available in These Games

Basic gameplay for the typical online pokies Australia has to offer will have wins coming from lining up certain matching symbols on the reels. However, many of these games have extra features that give you more ways to win, and they also add a lot more excitement to the games as well. We're going to break down a few of the different kinds of features that you can find when playing pokies online.

Wild symbols

A wild symbol is found in the vast majority of pokies in today's online environment. It is typically a substitute for any of the normal, non-scatter, non-bonus symbols to help you get payouts you wouldn't have received otherwise. Variations on this feature can be found pretty frequently like expanding wilds that cover an entire reel and sticky wilds that stay in place across multiple spins. Because they show up during regular gameplay, wilds and wild-related features are often some of the things that drive the overall experience.

Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols are special because you can win with them without the normal restrictions put on symbol-based winning combinations. For example, they don't always have to show up left-to-right on the reels (though they do in some games). They also don't have to show up on a particular payline. This means that you can win by having them show up anywhere on the reels, even if more than one shows up on the same reel. This added level of flexibility gives players yet another source of value. This is especially true since the largest scatter wins are typically one of the top available payouts in a game.

Free spins

A free spins bonus feature sounds just like what you'd think. The player gets free turns at the game he or she was playing. However, free spins are often combined with other goodies to give players more value than they would have received from normal spins. For example, they can get multipliers on all of the wins they get from those free spins. They can also get other special features turned on that aren't available in the regular game.

Pick a box and instant win bonus rounds

Sometimes an online pokie just wants to give players some extra value without a lot of bells and whistles. Instant-win features and pick-a-box features are good for that. An instant win just gives you a payout right then before immediately returning to normal gameplay. A pick a box game gives you a slight diversion in that you'll choose from a number of 'boxes' that contain prizes. This is basically as good as giving the player a randomly-chosen win. Either way, both of these features give players extra value that's more than welcome.

Pros of Playing Pokies Online

Players have the choice between getting in on the action on the Internet or making their way to the casino or pub to play there. There are a number of advantages to playing online instead of in person:

  • You can get started in moments online.
  • Online pokies typically have a larger game selection.
  • Finding an online pokies no deposit bonus, gives you a free chance to win that you can't get in land-based establishments.
  • Your costs are lower because you don't have to travel.

Online pokies no deposit bonus

This promotion works by the casino giving you a free chip to play some pokies with. If you run up real money winnings and clear the terms of the bonus, then you can cash out those winnings. It's just like you would for normal winnings from playing online pokies for real money. The advantage here is that you don't actually have to wager anything in the process. Land-based games don't have this type of promotion available.

Cons of Playing Online Pokies

While there are a few important advantages to playing online, there are some things you miss out on as well. The social atmosphere that you gain from playing land-based pokies is something that you can't duplicate when playing on the computer. Considering the social experience is one of the main reasons that many players enjoy the pokies genre, that can be a point of contention for some. The games available in the land-based arena are also not always available in an online casino. That can play a key role in the decision about where to play for some.

Another potential disadvantage of playing these games online is that they may not have enough skill or strategy elements for certain types of players. In this case, it's just an example of a person's predisposition not matching up with the genre. These players should try more strategic titles like blackjack or video poker instead. It's worth noting that the same thing happens with plenty of people who don't have the time to invest into learning highly strategic games. They will prefer online pokies because of how easy it is to get started.

How Pokies Compare to Other Casino Games

We mentioned earlier that online pokies don't require learning a lot before you can jump right in and play. That's largely because the game is based on pure chance. This is very similar to some other games like baccarat and roulette though neither of these table games has the ability to win as much money relative to your bet size in a single play as pokies do. While roulette and baccarat are games of pure chance just like pokies are, the ability to win massive jackpots sets the video slot genre apart.

On the opposite end of the chance-skill spectrum lie games like video poker and blackjack. While video poker machines were a part of how pokies got their name, they're not typically considered pokies in today's vernacular. Both video poker and blackjack require a lot more strategy and skill, and that sets them apart in a major way. This is a big part of why pokies games are much better for people who don't care for putting in much time studying. They are for those who just want to jump in and try their chances right way.

Why Online Pokies Are So Much Fun

Complications are the main resistance to having a good time in any given casino game. With that having been said, consider the following. Someone can jump right into an online pokies no download platform, choose a game, click on a bet size and press the spin button. They immediately have a chance to win a massive jackpot. There's no other game in the online casino world that allows players to get into this level of action so easily. With so little resistance or chances for getting hung up or confused, online pokies are considered by many to be the most fun game that you can choose at an online casino.

Even if you choose a downloadable software platform to play pokie games online, you're still just a couple of clicks away from the action after the software is installed on your computer. With this high level of accessibility, all barriers to pure fun are removed. All that you have to do is click in and get started playing your favourite games.