There is an abundance of free iPad pokies out there, and most sites will have games optimised for this device. All you need to do is select the app from your favourite site and download onto your iPad, ready for you to play whenever you want.
Picking The Right Casino Sites
Online casinos usually offer games from a range of developers. Others, meanwhile, deal exclusively with one manufacturer. While the latter can lead to rather limited sites, it sometimes means players get a first look at new releases.
But casinos with several big developers on their books can provide a good range of pokies. If one developer specialises in 3D video pokies, one on 3-reel classic pokies, and another on progressive jackpots it means players get an excellent choice all in one lobby.
The beauty of online pokies is that you can usually try games out for free before committing real money. Look for the 'Demo Play' or 'Practice Play' button next to the pokie. Some sites will let you try pokies out without even having to register an account. It's a good way to work out if you want to take the plunge and sign up.
Online vs. No-Download Pokies
Many online casinos in 2018 give Aussie players a choice: a download client or access to an instant-play site. With a download client you access all your favourite pokies using a desktop app. Individual pokies are downloaded to your PC or Mac as you select them at the casino.
Alternatively, instant-play, or 'no-download' games are accessed via the web browser. There's no need to download anything. Instead, players just log in to their casino account and load up games in a separate window. This is possible as many pokies are designed using web-enabled software like Flash or HTML5.
And with mobile gambling growing in popularity in Australia, HTML5 pokies are perfect for playing on a tablet or smartphone. Most developers now have versions of their pokies that are optimised for touch-screens and great gaming on the move.
Understanding Bonuses And Features
Every developer has a selection of video pokies packed with special features and bonuses. But features can vary wildly from game to game.
Most modern games have lots of paylines and special icons like Wilds and Scatters. Bonus features that award free spins or instant wins are commonplace, but it's always worth checking the paytable before you play.
Every online pokie will feature a paytable listing payouts, jackpots and bonus details. Payouts can differ as much as the features themselves, so it's important to find something that's right for you. Paytables are also great places to learn the ropes so you properly understand the bonus features.
Grasping Basic Variance And RTPs
Just as bonus features vary, so do the games' long-term payouts and "variance". Casinos will often list pokies' RTPs (Return to Player percentages). These are the theoretical long-term payments made to pokie players. So, a pokie with an RTP% of 95% pays out, on average, $95 for every $100 paid in.
While pokies are "random" in that the outcome of the reels isn't fixed, payouts can vary hugely depending on the number of bonus symbols and big jackpot icons.
Variance is the way pokies pay out over time. High-variance pokies pay out lots of small, but regular, wins. Low-variance games may not pay out for a while but when they do it's a big jackpot. Choosing a low or high-variance pokie is down to personal choice.
Leading Pokies Developers In 2018
Picking the right pokies is about choosing games that are right for you. Importantly, you need to pick games you aren't going to get bored with in five minutes. Equally, you want to find games that pay out fairly frequently.
But choosing a good developer is important too. Smaller, niche developers like iSoftBet and Yggdrasil have more of a free rein to incorporate unique design and slick features. But bigger developers have a massive range of titles, from classic 3-reel games to big-budget branded pokies. Here are some of the best and biggest developers in 2018.
One of the biggest casino software developers on the planet, Microgaming has over 750 pokies in its bulging arsenal. They have been pioneering pokies since 1994 and even launched the very first pokie online in the mid-90s. Favourite progressive jackpot games like Mega Moolah and Cash Splash are still hugely popular. Mega Moolah holds records for its jackpot payouts. The developer makes 3-reel and 5-reel slots but has also trademarked games with 243 paylines.Read More
Israeli gambling giant Playtech is known best for its range of Hollywood-themed pokies. Find a Playtech casino and you'll find a site packed with branded Marvel superhero pokies like Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America. Playtech also supplies casinos with table games and Live Casino software.Read More
Scandinavian player, NetEnt (formerly Net Entertainment), has become one of the biggest pokie developers in recent year. They have pioneered VR versions of their games more recently, but in terms of 3D animated pokies they are hard to beat. Many free spins bonuses found online are tied in with popular NetEnt titles like Gonzo's Quest, Starburst, and Jack and the Beanstalk. NetEnt also has a decent range of branded pokies based around rock artists (Jimi Hendrix, Motorhead, Guns N' Roses), with exclusive footage included in the bonus features.Read More
US giant IGT (International Game Technologies) has a huge monopoly in the American pokies market, but many of the developer's games can be found online. As well as big branded games based on board games (like Monopoly), IGT is known for some big progressives like Cleopatra and Siberian Storm.Read More
The original Australian pokie developer, Aristocrat has been the dominant force in Aussie gaming for the past few decades. Aristocrat pokies can be found in land-based casinos from Australia to the USA, but many casinos online boast a spread of Aristocrat titles. Aristocrat's games tend to be simpler and more "classic" than their big 3D rivals but their popularity still remains.Read More
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