Myths about the pokies

Pokies is one of the simplest and most popular casino games around the world that every newbie or long-time gambler can enjoy. With the advancement of modern computerised slot machines and online games, playing pokies has become easier, safer and more entertaining than ever.

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Despite its inherent simplicity, though, there are still some superstitious gamblers out there who persist on spreading myths or misinformation about how to win the pokies, how to play each machine correctly or how pokies games are rigged. The creation of legends surrounding the game has led to certain illogical misconceptions that, quite frankly, baffle us, and only serve to confuse new players in playing what is an easy game to understand.

But while it’s been easy for these admittedly hilarious myths to persist, it’s also equally easy for us here at to debunk them. Make no mistake: online pokies are strictly regulated by several watchdog organisations such as eCOGRA to ensure fairness, security and responsibility to the player.

1. A Pokie Machine is either “Hot” or “Cold”

The biggest culprit making the rounds among superstitious gambler circles, many casual patrons and gamblers like to define a machine’s potential payout by designating it as either a “hot” machine which has not paid out its jackpot in a long-time, or a “cold” one which has seen too many wins and is less likely to.

Every online and land-based pokie machine is governed by a random number generator (RNG), a device designed to produce a series of outcomes completely devoid of pattern or predictability and which runs on complex algorithms. Each play result is completely independent from previous plays, so you never have to worry about whether or not your performance is due to a “hot” or “cold” machine.

Verdict: Myth

2. You Have to Warm Up the Machine

Another common myth of pokies is an extension of the previous one, and concerns player strategies. Many players believe and suggest we should start off by betting small amounts in order to “warm” the machine up to payout bigger, and in the belief that jackpots only come after certain intervals.

A pokie machine doesn’t keep a memory of how long it’s been since it’s last paid out and doesn’t determine wins based on any length of time; it’s always pure luck and randomness, as to ensure players never identify an exploitable pattern. While we can mostly laugh this one off, just focus on bettinf as much as you’re comfortable with, enjoy the game and aim for a win.

Verdict: Myth

3. Timing is Everything

There are no special times of the day to play pokies and expect to win more than usual. It makes no difference to the machine operation as to whether or not you’re playing during the day or during the night, or if you’re in the casino playing when nobody is around or when it’s a Friday night. The same goes for when you decide to play Microgaming pokies or pokies by any other slot software developer on the Web.

If you hear someone swear by it, chances are they just happen to have some really lucky streaks; time has nothing to do with it, so play online pokies whenever you feel like, rather than govern your enjoyment of your favourite games based on a myth.

Verdict: Myth

4. Button Combinations Will Help

A somewhat amusing idea thrown around between some players is pressing button combinations or pressing the buttons at certain times will lead to a win and a bigger payout from the machine. This is, of course, a myth.

All you need to know is pressing certain buttons will decrease or increase your bet, and that you should play with however much money you’re comfortable with and expect a win based on your own luck, not mysterious, unproven button combinations.

Verdict: Myth

5. That Jackpot Could Have Been Yours

The Random Number Generator (RNG) software in each and every mechanical pokie machine (and also in online pokies) continuously cycles through numbers and goes through thousands of combinations every second, both when someone is currently using the machine and when nobody is playing.

If you can’t get over the fact another player won the jackpot on the machine you literally stopped playing on five minutes prior, rest easy; the time you took to leave the machine and for the other person to play it and win means it’s highly unlikely the winning combination was one you could have gotten had you stayed another few seconds — the RNG technology behind the modern pokie machine is a lot more unpredictable than that. We always have equal chances of winning the big one.

Verdict: Myth

6. Casinos Can Control the Pokies With a Switch

There is no way a casino can change the technology powering a pokie machine, remotely or through flipping a switch. Every pokie machine has pre-set settings straight from the factory. There is an in-built computer chip with the approved software which powers each and every game, and within that chip are determinants for theoretical payout percentages and more.

For the casino to change the way the game functions, they would actually need to return the entire machine to the factory or physically change the chip. Both processes are costly and time-consuming and with tamper seals, random audits and a legal requirement of the casino to report to the appropriate Gaming Control Board should there be a change in a machine’s software, there’s no reason to let this myth persist if it’s based on suspicion.

Verdict: Myth