Sun, Feb 16, 12:20pm by Noah Taylor
Last Updated Tue, Jul 7, 2:17am
We’d be lying if we said that playing pokies involved the same sorts of level of strategy as other gambling games such as poker, sports betting or even Blackjack. All of those require constant decision-making alongside the use of stats and probability to give you your best chance of walking away in profit.
For better or worse, playing pokies is a lot simpler than that. And it’s worth remembering that pokies use a Random Number Generator. Which is a technology that randomly decides which symbols pop up when you spin the reels. For the most part, playing pokies is just deciding on your stake and hoping for the best when those reels are spinning.
Having said that, players will need a good pokies strategy. Factors such things as managing their bank, knowing which pokies pay out more money and making the most of bonuses offered by the casino.
The first online pokies strategy new players should learn is to not gamble their bank all at once in one session. If you’re on a bad run and it’s just not your day it’s worth taking some time out. Take some time to think about where you are with your bank and calling it quits for the day, if necessary.
The other thing worth considering is how much you want to wager per spin. Playing for higher stakes will win you more money when you get it right, but it will also cost you a lot more if you’re on a lean run. Alternatively, you can play for much lower stakes, even the minimum stakes, which will see your money go a lot further.
The first method is much riskier and may result in you losing your bank pretty quickly, whereas the second is better for the more recreational player who wants to enjoy themselves as much as they are concerned with winning money.
Players should also be aware of a pokies’ volatility level. Highly volatile slots lead to big fluctuations in what you can win or lose, while ones with low levels of volatility generally don’t see you win or lose much either way. So, it’s up to the particular player to decide which they prefer.
But unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. Almost all bonuses come with play through rates, which means that wins from them must be wagered through lots of times before you can withdraw the cash. Sometimes as many as 50x.
Occasionally, accepting a bonus also means that your original deposit also has wagering requirements linked to it, making it even harder to get your cash out. So, it’s worth reading the terms and conditions before accepting a bonus to see if it’s worth your while, especially with reload bonuses. With free spins, you normally don’t have anything to lose by claiming them.
The same can’t be said of Loyalty Programs. There’s no downside to being part of a Casino Loyalty Program because it’s just a case of receiving the benefits they give you without having to give anything in return, although of course, any bonuses you accept are subject to the same wagering requirements as the ones just described. However, sometimes bonuses given as part of the Loyalty Program have considerably lower wagering requirements than regular bonuses.
The way these programs (or schemes as they’re sometimes known) work is that the more you play, the higher up the levels you go and the more rewards you get. These can be anything from bonuses to trips to sporting events and concerts, to having a personal Account Manager to help you with anything you need.
Here are some of the ways you can get the most bang for your buck when playing online pokies and hopefully making sure that you end up in profit.
RTP is short for Return to Player. It refers to how much, on average, a pokie pays out to players and is represented as a percentage, almost always in the 90s. A pokie with an RTP of 94% will payout, on average, 940 AUD for every 1000 AUD played on it. So, it follows that the higher the RTP of a pokie, the better for the player. Aim to play pokies that have an RTP of around 97% through a game’s RTP isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, either.
A paytable will be available as part of any mobile pokies’ features. You can generally find it by clicking on the ‘Information’ button or reading the game’s instructions.
The paytable will tell you what all the different symbol combinations payout based on how many of them you get, as well as detailing what prizes you can get in the pokies’ different bonus features.
Knowing the game’s paytable won’t necessarily help you win, it’s just something to be aware of.
Most Aussie casinos will let you play any pokie you like for free, before trying it out for real money. The exception to this is Progressive Jackpot pokies, which generally need to be played for real cash.
Trying out pokies for fun is a great way to help you find your favourites, try out pokies you’d never normally play and better understand the features of the ones you like before going on and risking your own money.
Progressive Jackpots are special types of pokies that take a small percentage of every stake wagered on them and put it towards its Jackpot. The longer it goes on without being won, the greater the amount up for grabs, hence the term ‘Progressive’.
Some Progressive Pokies have several Jackpots, all of which are Progressive. In these cases, it’s far easier to win the so-called Minor Jackpot than it is the Major or Mega one. A popular pokies strategy is to only play progressives and always bet the max. That way if you do get lucky and hit your payout will be life-changing.
Also known as slots or fruit machines, they’re games that operate using reels with different symbols on them. Identical symbols in a row give players pre-determined cash prizes and they always feature at least one bonus round that isn’t easy to access but can be very profitable.
A special symbol that substitutes for any other symbol to help you win. The Wild will rarely replace the Scatter symbol, though. Some games even have more than one Wild symbol.
Sometimes represented by the game’s logo or a special character associated with the theme, the Scatter is a special symbol that is your route to unlocking the bonus features, such as a free spins round. You normally need three of them on the reels to access the bonus round.
A reel is almost like a column and determines the mechanics of the pokie. Generally, pokies have 3 reels or 5 although some of the more recent ones can have plenty more. It’s the spinning of the reels before coming to a halt that makes up each spin/round you play.
The amount you decide to wager on your next spin. All pokies will have a minimum and a maximum you can wager per spin.
You don’t see them often but essentially, they’re Wild symbols that expand to occupy the whole reel. Having them in place seriously helps your chances of securing a good win.
A feature present in just about every pokie that allows you to choose x number of spins to be played automatically for a particular stake without needing to press ‘Spin’. You’ll always have the option to set it up so that the Autoplay ends if you win or lose a certain amount before the autoplay spins come to an end.
A table that displays what you win should you get a particular combination of symbols. It’s a good way of understanding the hierarchy of the different symbols.
Some pokies, such as the famous Starburst, have a re-spin as a feature. What happens is that the re-spin is randomly triggered or activated by a win and you re-spin the reels for free with the symbols generally locked in the position they were in when the re-spin was awarded.
The most common form of a bonus round. Players are awarded a certain number of spins in a special round where prizes up for grabs are generally better than in the base game.
Almost every online casino stocks pokies which can be played on any mobile device of your choice.
Pokies are run using a random number generator which means that any spin can lead to any possible combination of symbols. Pokies are fair and safe but that’s no guarantee that you’ll win on them.
About 95% of them do. They’re generally activated by getting three or more Scatters and are the easiest way to secure a big win.
Progressive Jackpot pokies are by nature random in terms of what you can win on them because a long time without the Jackpot being won can lead to them reaching astronomical sums, sometimes close to 20 million AUD.
Software providers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, Play N’Go, Quickspin and Pragmatic Play make pokies which they license to online casinos to offer to their players.