Choosing The Right Games To Play

With such a huge choice of pokies out there, it's vital to pick the right ones. It doesn't necessarily mean picking the games with the biggest jackpots or best bonus rounds, but the right games FOR YOU.

Don't, for instance, go hunting out classic games with just one payline if you really want some free spins. Similarly, if you're not bothered about fancy cutaway sequences and laborious bonus features, don't go for a Hollywood-themed pokie like The Dark Knight or Hulk.

Getting bored is the worst thing a gambler can do. If they aren't interested, they start to do silly things like betting more coins or blowing the rest of their bankroll before moving on to a new game. Choose carefully and keep your favourites in a handy list (if available) at your online casino.

Understanding Variance And RTPs

Choosing The Right Games To Play

It's important to know what RTP% your pokies have. The RTP% (Return to Player percentage) is the average long-term returns a player will get when playing a slot.

For example, a poker machine with an RTP% of 96% will return, theoretically, 96 cents for every dollar bet on the game. Of course, players can go on a steam and win a big jackpot then quit. But for all players over a long term, that's the way the pokie has been set up to pay out.

Examining the Reels

Each poker machine has reels that are filled with symbols. A typical pokie may have 10 unique symbols which are arranged on the reels in particular ways. Good pokies may be filled with lots of Wilds (which substitute other symbols to form winners) or Scatters (bonus symbols that pay wherever they land).

The key is to find pokies which have lots of jackpot symbols and which have good payers on the first reel (Reel 1). A winning payline on a pokie normally pays out from left to right. i.e. the winning symbols have to match starting from Reel 1. If you find a first reel with no Wilds or good jackpot symbols, you're not going to hit many winners.

A pokie 'par sheet' will list the arrangement of symbols on the reels. These are hard to come by (the developer doesn't hand them out willingly) but by playing a game enough you will get a good impression of how symbols are arranged vertically on the reels.

Checking the Paytable

Before you start playing a pokie for the first time, check out the paytable. Here you will find the list of symbol payouts, jackpots and bonus round details (if available). You will also discover the minimum number of symbols you need to line up to get a win (usually two, but sometimes three), and the number of coins awarded for hitting five symbols in a row.

The bonus details page will show you how to trigger the round and what is awarded. If you win free spins, do you get a multiplier on all wins? And are those free spins retriggerable?

Play For Fun

Don't think about opening your virtual wallet until you've tested a pokie with play money. Most pokies online let you try them out with play credits first. This way, you can get a good idea of whether a game pays out regularly or has exciting bonus rounds.

Grasping Variance

Pokies usually fall into one of three categories: low, medium, or high variance. Variance is the frequency (or infrequency) with which pokies pay out on average. Variance can also be tied to the arrangement of symbols on the reels.

A low-variance pokie will pay out regular, but small, wins. Medium-to-high variance pokies may see you go a tonne of spins without anything then bang, you've hit a jackpot.

Certainly, high-variance pokies are good for big wins but you'll need a larger bankroll to offset the losses. Casual gamblers can generally gravitate towards the lower-variance games.

Beware Stacked Reels

While most reels have symbols that seem to have been arranged at random, some games feature 'stacked reels'. Stacked reels have lots of identical symbols sitting on top of one another.

Tips On Planning Your Betting Bankroll

Tips On Planning Your Betting Bankroll

Just as with roulette and blackjack, it's important to use some kind of bankroll system when you play pokies. If you only have a budget of $50, there's no point hitting a pokie with minimum bets of $2. That gives you potentially just 25 spins before you go bust.

Because of variance (the swings in luck) it's important to have enough cash spare in case of a run of losing spins. Try to have enough bankroll for 100 spins. So, with a bankroll of $100, that means 100 spins at $1.

Pay careful attention to the ways bonus rounds are triggered too. If a lucrative pokie has a bonus round that is triggered by hitting five winning spins in a row, you'll need enough cash in reserve to achieve that. Similarly, some pokies have a progressive multiplier in the base game which increases the more wins in a row you hit. There's nothing worse than just not having quite enough cash to keep that multiplier going.

Taking A Shot At Big Progressive Jackpots

There are dozens of progressive jackpot pokies available online. Progressives are linked across multiple casinos to offer players the chance of a massive jackpot.

The jackpot itself is made up of portions of regular bets. So, let's say you bet $1 on each spin. 1c of that may go towards the jackpot pool. If the player triggers a particular payline or hits a special bonus round, the pooled jackpot can be won. Some pokies even award their progressive jackpots totally at random.

One word of warning: most of the time, progressives can only be triggered when betting the maximum coin. Some games, however, feature several tiered jackpots to give players of all budgets a chance to win.

Make The Most Of Casino Bonuses

Every online casino gives players the chance to increase their bankroll with the help of a bonus. To draw you in there's a welcome bonus, and to keep you playing there's a reload bonus. Many casinos also offer free spins to new customers.

Free money is always good to take advantage of, but be aware of what you're getting into before you start. For example, a welcome bonus might match your first deposit 100% up to $500 if you play enough games in your first week. That sounds great, but you need to ask yourself two questions: what's the wagering requirement, and are pokies eligible?

A wagering requirement is the amount you will have to "roll over" or "play through" the deposit before claiming. For example, a wagering requirement of 20x on a $500 deposit means you will have to gamble $10,000 to see any of that $500.

Pokies will be eligible towards the bonus play-through too, but how much? Check the terms and conditions first: all your pokies play may contribute 100% towards the bonus but sites can vary.

Finally, look at joining a pokies leaderboard challenge. A pokies tournament gives you the chance to win free cash by hitting the most consecutive pokies wins or making the most "winnings" in 50 spins and beating your fellow casino gamblers.

Sensible Pokies Play Means Bigger Wins

By picking the right games and employing sensible bankroll management, you can make your pokies experience more enjoyable.

The right games, the right budget, and a good range of bonuses should all be decided upon before you even join a casino. And don't forget to test out as many games as you can in the play-money versions.

Related pages

Learn more about pokies online below