How to Win on Pokies 🎰

Aiden McMorran
September 19, 2023
where to win Pokies in Australia

How to win on Pokies in Australia … what a question!? Everybody and his brother knows Aussies love to gamble and are big fans of online pokies. Lucky for them, the choice of games available 24/7 is already massive and keeps on expanding.

The quantity itself kind of guarantees players will find numerous options fitting their taste and budget, but there are a few things an inexperienced newbie should learn before they get started.

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This guide was created to help the existing and soon-to-be fans of pokies enjoy the experience as much as possible and potentially win while spinning the reels at one of the safe and fair Australian-friendly online casinos.

📌 How to play Pokies

It’s unlikely to find an Aussie unfamiliar with the rules of the game but we’ll shortly review them for the benefit of those that have recently reached the minimum gambling age. Pokies are generally played on a grid which consists of 3 or more columns (reels) and 1 or more rows. Hitting the Spin button sets reels in motion, and once they stop, the player collects a payout for matching a minimum of 2 or 3 identical symbols on an active payline. Pokies differ in terms of the number of winning lines and while some feature a single one, others will pay over as many as 243 and even more.

In some games, paylines are fixed and you’ve got no choice but to bet on all, while in others you can choose to play with less. Symbol combos usually pay from left to right, meaning that the first icon needs to land on the left-most reel, but depending on the game they may also (or alternatively) deliver the other way around. Before the spinning action starts, one has to set the bet per spin.

how to play pokies

Classic pokies usually play with 3 reels and 1 or a few paylines while video slots use 5 or more reels and deliver over a bigger number of winning lines. The latter are themed games with special features such as free spins, multipliers and pick-and-click bonus rounds applied when a specific condition has been met. Some pokies incorporate a progressive jackpot – a high-value win which increases in value until won and is awarded either randomly, by hitting a specific symbol combo, or through a jackpot bonus round. Mega Moolah, for example, features a randomly triggered Jackpot Bonus Game which uses a wheel of fortune mechanics to pay one of 4 progressive rewards. Depending on the game and the developer, players may be required to bet maximum amounts in order to be eligible for the jackpot prize.

Most of the reputable developers include information which tells you what kind of a return to expect. A theoretical return to play (RTP) is expressed as a percentage which with most pokies ranges between 95% and 96%. A title with an RTP of 96% is expected to pay back 96 AUD for 100 AUD wagered, though keep in mind that’s a theoretical long-term return measured over many, many spins and will not necessarily replicate within a single gaming session. Another term one needs to be familiar with is volatility or variance.

Pokies can have high, medium or low variance depending on the frequency and size of payouts. Highly volatile slots pay less frequently, but when they do, the player receives a significant balance boost. It’s generally recommended to go for low variance slots if you have limited funds and wish to play for longer. The others may earn you bigger amounts but could just as easily consume your entire budget in next to no time.

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✅ Do’s and ❌ Don’ts while playing Pokies

  1. Choose pokies with a high Return-to-Player (RTP). Even if it doesn’t guarantee the payback, it will increase your chances of walking away with a profit rather than a loss. RTP information is frequently found within the game, either in the paytable or rules section. Some gaming sites feature a page with a complete list of payout information and thus make it easy to compare games.
  2. If you have a limited budget to play with, pick low variance slots which are more likely to provide a longer gaming session. They may not be able to pay fortunes, but at least you (probably) won’t lose all of your money before a bonus round gets activated.
  3. Use free-play option to give the pokie a burl and learn about mechanics and payouts. If it’s not your bowl of rice, you can move on to the next one without having lost any money. Some pokies feature bonus rounds where you get to pick between several options. For example, more than a few offer different combos of free spins and multipliers, and when playing for fun, one can test them all and decide how to manage the feature once real money is at stake.
  4. Budget management is important no matter which casino game you choose to play; without a plan, you may have to bail out sooner than expected. One should first decide on the amount they’re willing to invest (and potentially lose!) and then stick to it no matter what. The available budget should also impact the player’s choice of games (depending on minimum and maximum bets accepted) as well as the decision on how much to stake per spin. Use the latter to control your investment rather than play with less than the maximum number of paylines.
  5. Be careful with casino bonuses. It’s ok to use an opportunity to play with the operator’s money but make sure to read terms and conditions prior to claiming a bonus. What’s the good of “free” cash if the attached wagering requirements are next to impossible to meet? You should also check potential restrictions in terms of game availability and their contribution towards the required rollover, maximum bet limits while using bonus funds, and so on.

🔝 Game Providers for Australien Pokies Sites


Microgaming surely doesn’t need an introduction. This veteran is one of the industry’s driving forces and boasts the largest assortment of spiffy online pokies. The team addresses a variety of players’ preferences, offering an amazing choice of classic and video slots as well as high-value progressive jackpots. The team has won numerous industry awards and thus far marketed close to 1,000 online casino games. If you’re a true pokies fan, you’ll have spun the reels of all-time popular Thunderstruck, Immortal Romance and Break Da Bank, and are well familiar with the developer’s branded titles like Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park. Mega Moolah, the most famous progressive ever, has paid individual wins of over 20 million USD. It has also created several Australian multimillionaires, paying as much as 5.6 million AUD to one lucky player in November 2016. As of lately, Microgaming cooperates with small, up-and-coming developers such as Slingshot Studios (Zombie Hoard, Cash Of Kingdoms) and Stormcraft Studios (Fortunium, Agent Jane Blonde Returns).


Playtech is another veteran and an industry giant with a portfolio of more than 700 online casino games. The developer’s collection of pokies is amazingly diverse in terms of themes, design and mechanism. You are likely familiar with Playtech’s popular licensed titles such as The Avengers, X-Man, Justice League, Superman and The Dark Knight, film-themed hits like The Matrix and Gladiator, and progressive Age Of The Gods and Jackpot Giant. The Batman serial, featuring comic book style visuals and real footage from the TV series, comes with a number of original bonus rounds with high win potential. Monty Python’s Spamalot is as witty as films created by the universally popular British comedy group and incorporates several entertaining, appropriately named features. 


NextGen is yet another industry pioneer which in 2011 became part of the NYX Gaming Group. The company focuses on developing classic and video pokies with high-quality visuals and engaging gameplay. Games from the Foxin’ Wins series, Medusa and Jackpot Jester 50,000 are some of the developer’s most popular titles to date, with top-notch new ones continuously coming out of the company’s studios. Make sure to try newer releases such as The Mask and Kingdom’s Edge.


If you appreciate visually attractive pokies, there’s none better than BetSoft. The company’s 3D games are absolute perfection when it comes to design but that’s not all they’ve got to offer. BetSoft team clearly invests a lot of effort in concept development and consequently treats us to special features which superbly fit the theme. Good Girl Bad Girl, The Slotfather, After Night Falls, Whospunit? and Mr. Vegas is only a few of many stunning BetSoft pokies which are also tons of fun to play.

Playn Go

Play ‘n GO is an experienced Swedish developer which boasts a versatile gaming catalog but is best known for its high-quality pokies. Fans love to spin the reels of Royal Masquerade, Rage to Riches, Aztec Princess and Gemix, as well as more recently launched Troll Hunters and Wild North. Hugo slot, featuring a likable little troll, became so popular that the company went on to produce several sequels.


Yggdrasil is a hugely innovative game creator which, in a relatively short period of time, managed to market a number of amazing pokies featuring in-game promo tools and a social media sharing tool named Brag. The company was a renowned slots specialist with gems such as Vikings Go Berzerk, Double Dragons and Orient Express until it came up with its first unique table game mimicking live casino play. Yggdrasil’s innovation power was once again demonstrated with recently released Dr. Fortuno, a pokie with the first ever cross-vertical jackpot.


Established in 2013, ELK Studios is one of the newer kids on the block. The developer produces nothing but pokies and makes sure that each and every one features attractive visuals, creative themes and original bonus rounds. The company has introduced predefined betting patterns known as Betting Strategies and several other innovative in-game options. There’s no doubt you’ve already played with ELK’s Taco Brothers, a friendly troll called Sam and mischievous Bloopers.


Thunderkick is another youngster focused on developing top-notch pokies. The provider’s portfolio is not huge but it’s filled with creative executions like Turning Totems, Babushkas, Esqueleto Explosivo, Arcader and Luchadora. Newer games, such as Wild Heist at Peacock Manor, Jaguar Temple and Midas Golden Touch, each deliver something unique along with multiple opportunities to score hefty wins.

⁉️ FAQ On How to win on Pokies

Can one play online pokies for free?

In general, yes. Most online casinos offer a free-play option with the majority if not all of their pokies. One can frequently use it while not logged in, which means it’s available even to non-registered players. Some operators are happy to let you practice risk-free but only after you open an account and log in.

What determines the outcome of a spin?

All non-live casino games, pokies included, use a Random Number Generator (RNG). The role of the RNG is to make sure every single outcome is completely random and can’t be influenced by the player, the casino, or anybody else. It does so via algorithms which generate numbers corresponding to symbols on the reel. Regulatory bodies which issue operating licenses require that RNGs are regularly tested by independent organizations to make sure they do exactly what they’re supposed to do.

Does the outcome of a spin depend on whether you play for fun or for real?

In principle, the same RNG determines the outcome regardless of whether one invests real or fun credits. At least that’s how it functions when playing at a trustworthy online casino that offers licensed games from reputable providers. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that your performance while using free-play will be replicated once you start playing with real cash. Because of the Random Number Generator, it’s quite possible to win with fun credits and then lose real money on the same game, or the other way around.

What is a slot tournament?

A slot tournament is an event where registered members get to compete against each other and potentially win bonus cash or real money rewards. Not all online casinos organise them, but those that do usually offer one or more on a daily basis. Some tournaments require a buy-in while others (so-called freerolls) can be entered free of charge. They all start at a specific date and time and last for a few hours, days, or even a month. The casino will choose one or more pokies players can play within a single tournament. Criteria for winning a prize differ; points may be awarded for the size of the overall win, the number of consecutive wins or losses, for triggering a feature, etc.

Is there a difference between online and land-based pokies?

The essential mechanism of online and land-based pokies is identical; the main difference is the choice of games. When playing on a computer, you’ll be offered hundreds or possibly more than 1,000 pokies accessible via the same site. Physical casinos have limited space for placing gaming terminals and therefore can’t offer as many. Online pokies, unlike land-based ones, usually provide a free-play option, and they also tend to offer a higher RTP. Another benefit is that online gaming is accessible 24/7 while brick-and-mortar casinos operate during limited hours.

Is there a winning strategy for playing online pokies?

If you’re looking for a pokies strategy guaranteed to deliver a profit, you won’t find it. Due to the above mentioned RNG, each result is completely random and can’t be influenced. Pokies, unlike online blackjack and poker, don’t offer choices which bring skill into play. Some may let you choose among game modes or different bonus rounds but that’s more a way to influence volatility than the outcome.

Is it smart to use the Gamble feature?

First of all, you should know that not all pokies incorporate the Gamble feature. When you find one that does, red/black is actually a good bet because it’s the only bet with no house advantage at all. The odds of doubling your win are 50:50. At the same time, you could end up regretting the decision having gambled away a particularly large win. Choose according to your temperament and gaming style.

Should I use bonuses to play online pokies?

Bonuses can be a good tool to extend your gameplay under certain conditions. First of all, the attached play-through requirements should be low enough to give you a fair chance. Secondly, they should come with as few as possible restrictions. There are always pokies one can’t play with bonus funds and which don’t count towards the required rollover, so make sure to check these details before accepting the casino’s money.

Author Aiden McMorran

Aiden McMorran is a renowned expert in the online casino industry, hailing from Australia. With a profound understanding of the intricacies of online gambling, Aiden has established themselves as a leading authority in the field. Having spent several years immersing themselves in the dynamic world of online casinos, Aiden McMorran possesses a comprehensive knowledge of various aspects, including game mechanics, regulations, and player psychology.