Slot machines, or pokies as we call them here in Australia, are the most commonly played casino game in the country. Being one of the only games that can be played for cash in real life outside the walls of an official casino, pokies can be found at pubs, hotels, RSL’s and sports clubs from Perth to Hobart and Australian cities in-between. To get you started, here’s our pokies guide for absolute beginners.
Best online casinos for pokies newbies
Whether you’ve ever placed a bet on the pokies or not, chances are you’ve crossed paths with one of these bright, loud, bustling machines before. But despite the fact that they seem to be a dominant fixture in Aussie recreational facilities, many people still have no idea exactly how the pokies work or how to play them. If you’re a pokies newbie, read on to get a better understanding of the exciting yet somewhat confusing world of slot machines.
Types of pokies
Pokies have come a hell of a long way since Charles Fey invented the first slot machine ‘The Liberty Bell’ in San Francisco in 1895, which wouldn’t even be recognisable as a pokies game if compared to today’s exuberant machines. There are now lots of different pokies formats, including three reel pokies, five reel pokies, video slots, progressive jackpot pokies, online pokies and 3D pokies but no matter the type, they all utilise either a three reel or five reel slot format. So what is the difference between the two?
3 reel slot machines
Three reel pokies are the closest in format to the old style slot machines, or “one armed bandits” as some people call them. They are much more basic than the jazzy five reel slots games we’re used to seeing in pubs and online casinos and are preferred by some punters due to their simplicity. Three reel slots are based on pre-digital age machines and often feature one single pay-line stretching across three reels. Players win when three of the same symbol appear across the pay-line.
5 reel slot machines
A majority of the popular 3D and video pokies found in online casinos and real life gambling venues consist of the five reel format. The board becomes much bigger and offers many more ways to form a win, with up to 25 pay-lines per spin. Five reel slots generally come with more bonus options, with wild symbols, scatters, free spins and mini-games. Essentially, they’re a lot more interactive and entertaining, and will suit players who are used to the high quality graphics and animation of modern video games.
If you’re wondering which is better out of three reel or five reel pokies, it comes down to personal choice. Those favouring simplicity will definitely lean towards three reel, while those with a penchant for graphic quality and animation will go for five reel versions. In terms of which is more lucrative, it’s generally easier to land a winning spin on a three reel machine, however five reel machines tend to come with higher payouts.
Progressive jackpot pokies
Progressive jackpot pokies are games where the winning jackpot amount increases each time the game is played and continues to grow until someone takes out the winning pot. Progressive jackpot slots are amongst the most lucrative online casino games and are responsible for producing many multi-million dollar winners. They can use either three reel or five reel formats, with some of the most popular online progressives include Mega Moolah, Mega Fortune, Mega Moolah Isis, King Cashalot, The Dark Knight, Beach Life, Hall of Gods, Treasure Nile and Mega Glam Life.
Online gambling has changed the Australian pokies industry dramatically. Punters who were previously required to dress up and head out to their local pub or casino in order to throw some gold coins into a slot machine could now enjoy the excitement of playing the pokies for real money from the comfort of their home.
Although online casinos have been in operation for about 20 years now, it wasn’t until 2004 that Micrograming released Thunderstruck, the first Australian style online pokies game, that Internet pokies started to expand into the incredible virtual games that we know and love today.
Now players can find literally hundreds of different pokies at online casinos, including three reel pokies, five reel pokies, video slots, progressive jackpot pokies, 3D pokies and even virtual reality pokies. Online pokies are played in the same way that you would in a real gambling venue, however instead of playing in a beer stained old pokies lounge with other people who you’d rather avoid, they can be played from a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone anywhere that the Internet is available.
The ever-growing popularity of online pokies means that there are always exciting developments in the works. Gaming software companies have begun partnering with famous movie studios and TV shows like Universal Studios to bring such games as Terminator 2, Tomb Raider, South Park Reel Chaos, Jurassic Park, Aliens, Game of Thrones, The Invisible Man, Bridesmaids and even Playboy pokies.
Want to get a better idea of the kind of pokies you an expect to find on the Web? Check out our comprehensive list of online pokies reviews which is updated regularly to keep you in the loop of new titles as they’re released.
Depositing and transferring funds for real money video slots
Instead of cashing in your notes for one dollar coins, you simply need to register for an account with a reputable online casino and deposit some AUD to your account using a range of trusted payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, bank transfers, Neteller, Skrill and Paysafecard (UKash). Online deposits are processed instantly, giving you immediate access to real money casino games. Spinning the reels is done with the click of a mouse or a tap of a touch screen rather than the push of a button in a bricks and mortar pokies venue.
Pokies on the Web also have the added benefit of being able to be played for free in practice mode so you can get a feel for the game before deciding to lay down a cash wager. This allows players to try hundreds of game catalogues from different gaming software providers like Microgaming, NetEntertainment, BetSoft, Play’n Go, Quickspin and Yggdrasil in order to find one that suits them, an advantage you won’t find in a smoky pokies lounge.
What are the best sites to play online pokies?
Pokies outnumber other popular casino games like blackjack and roulette at online casinos by the hundreds, as pokies provide a much better platform for gaming companies to apply animation and innovative gameplay techniques. Our favourite places to play virtual pokies all offer extensive slots titles, secure deposit and withdrawal methods in Australian dollars and sweet welcome bonuses for new players.
- All Slots Casino – specialising in video slots, hosting over 500 casino games including 300+ pokies.
- Slots Million – the Internet’s biggest selection of the best online pokies in the one spot.
- Jackpot City Casino – Houses games exclusively from legendary software provider, Microgaming.
- House of Jack – an enormous range of AUD slots including over 100 mobile pokies.
- Casino-Mate – Australian-tailored Microgaming slots with generous new player bonuses.
- G’Day Casino – enjoy hundreds of instant-play pokies for free or for real money bets.
Some of the most popular pokies available online include Mega Moolah, Major Millions, Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, Guns N’ Roses, Starburst, Jimi Hendrix, Girls with Guns, Gonzos Quest, Mystic Dreams, Mr Vegas and Castle Builder.
Online pokies generally come with better bonus rounds and more chances for free spins than you’ll find in a b&m casino, with greater leniency on minimum and maximum betting limitations making them suitable to recreational players and high rollers. Online players can enjoy welcome bonuses like matched deposits and free spins, plus loyalty programs where you can earn points for every dollar wagered – something you’ll never find in a land based casino.