Learning how to play pokies opens up an exciting world of gaming. Not only do casinos draw the bulk of their revenue from these machines, but their overall simplicity allows a player to enter any casino on the planet and begin play with a minimal amount of preparation. And while these games rely on luck over skill, players willing to take a risk can sometimes be rewarded with massive jackpots ranging into the millions of dollars.
While this article doesn’t offer any guaranteed advice for how to win at pokies, it does provide a firm understanding of the different types of games in both land-based and Internet casinos. Once you are aware of the differences, you’ll be able to choose the machines that best meet your needs as a player (and punter).
Two Types of Pokies Games
Before we get into the features included on modern pokies, let us look at the two basic types of slot machines in operation. As long as you are playing on Earth, the pokies you use should fall into one of these categories.
1. Reel Machines – These machines contain physical reels that spin when a lever is pulled or button is pressed. This design was standard on the classic ‘one-armed bandits’ of the past, but they are becoming increasingly rare. Most examples include three reels.
2. Video Machines – Thanks to innovations in technology, the majority of pokies now fall into the ‘video slots’ category. This means that the physical reels have been replaced with computer graphics, and the machine has fewer moving parts. This allows for more virtual reels (often 3 to 6), multiple pay-lines, and numerous bonus options and animations. For more information about video machines, browse through ourvideo pokies articles.
Please note that pokies have different names throughout the world. In Australia and New Zealand, they’re commonly known as poker machines, and this is often abbreviated to “pokies.” The British refer to them as fruit machines, while players in Las Vegas know them as slots or slot machines. Canadian gamblers put a small twist on the latter by labelling them “the slots.” No matter what you call them, you should have no problem conveying what you’re looking for.
Popular Pokie Features
Modern poker machines include a number of features to keep customers coming back for more. In this section, we’ll examine some of the more common options.
Straight Slots – Also known as “straight multipliers,” these machines have a fixed payout schedule that rises in regular increments depending on the amount of money being wagered. If a player bet once coin, for example, they might win 20 coins. Two coins wagered on the same winning symbols would pay 30 coins, and three coins would yield 40 coins.
Another example of the straight pokie is the buy-a-pay machine. This option contains multiple paytables, and the customer can unlock the more lucrative ones by inserting additional coins into the machine.
Bonus Slots – Also called a “bonus multiplier,” this type of pokie offers a fixed pay scale similar to straight slots. There is a difference, however, and this takes the form of a bonus amount awarded to winners who wager the maximum amount of coins. While a one-coin wager might pay 30 credits, and a two-coin wager might pay 40 credits, the three-coin would break the pattern and pay 60 coins (the extra 10 coins being considered a bonus amount).
Progressives – Each time money is inserted into the machine, a small portion is allotted to the progressive jackpot. This amount continues to rise until someone meets the necessary qualifications to win it. At that point, the progressive jackpot drops to a predetermined level and begins to climb once again. The most profitable type is the wide area network, which links jackpots from machines in various casinos to create a life-changing payout.
Wild Symbols – One or more symbols on these slots are wild, which means they can take the place of any other symbol for the purpose of making winning combinations.
Bonus Games – In order to keep modern players engaged, most video slots include one or more bonus games. These in-game events often break with the spinning reels format by including animation and even clips from movies and TV shows. A common theme of bonus games requires the player to select certain objects on the screen which are then revealed to have free spins or credits hidden underneath.
Multiple Paylines – Classic poker machines only had a single payline, but more advanced versions have greatly increased that number. Since certain symbols must line up on a payline for the player to win, this has resulted in larger payouts and the appearance that players have an even greater chance of winning. The paylines on some games remain small, while others range into the hundreds.
A Step by Step Guide to Playing Pokies at Brick-and-Mortar Casinos
If you want to know how to play pokies at land-based casinos, you’ll need to follow these steps:
1. Find a Machine – Most players are drawn to graphics or titles that catch their eye, while others seek out specific games based on their cost and payout.
2. Read the Rules – Once you found a machine, I suggest taking the time to read the rules and examine the paytable. These details should be listed on the machine’s cabinet, or there may be a button that you can press to display the pay scale.
3. Insert Money – Once you feel comfortable with the rules, it’s time to insert some money into the machine. Coins are usually accepted, and dollar feeders are also available for players who want to obtain a larger number of credits. In some cases, you may also be able to obtain a card from a kiosk with a pre-set number of credits on it. In the case of the latter, you’ll insert the card into an available slot on the machine.
4. Play the Game – This step should be self-explanatory.
5. Collect Winnings – While some machines still have hoppers that deliver coins to winners, others print out a paper ticket that can be redeemed for cash elsewhere in the casino. Another option is the hand pay, which requires a casino employee to come over and deliver your winnings in person.
If you play in a traditional casino, I suggest signing up for a Player’s Club card. These cards are free, and they are inserted into the pokie machines once you begin your session. All transactions are recorded and can be viewed by casino management, which often leads to comps for frequent players. Examples of complimentary items include free meals, hotel rooms, and entry into special slots tournaments.
How to Play Online
In order to play online pokies, you first need to choose a casino. I suggest one of the following: Platinum Play, Vegas Palms, Royal Vegas, or 7 Sultans. Once you’ve found a site that you’re comfortable with, complete the sign-up process and choose between the downloadable and no-download versions of the casino software. I recommend the former, as it gives you access to all available games and superior graphics.
Once the software is available, open an account by depositing money from your bank, credit card, or one of several other options. Now that you have money to spend, you can browse through the games and click on any that draw your interest.
Winnings are added to your account, and you can either play with the money or convert it into physical cash though the withdrawal process. Getting money from an online casino can sometimes be a chore, which is why selecting a reputable site is always important.
Now that you know how to play pokies, you can get online or walk into any casino in the world and begin an exciting hobby that has the potential to turn you into a millionaire. There’s no doubt that slot machines require a significant amount of luck in order to be successful, but the persistent player who carefully manages their bankroll can usually end a session with a smile on their face and a few extra dollars in their pocket. No matter what your approach to slots, just remember that the ultimate point of playing is to have fun.