Learn History, Reviews, and Much More about Online Pokies at

If there's any given in online gaming it's that Aussies love pokies!  You can learn a tremendous amount about online pokies at


The inventor of the game we call pokies was a German immigrant to the United States called Charles Fey.  We don't think that he could have possibly imagined the effect his game would have on the world of gambling and many years later on the world of online gambling.  First of all, Fey invented a relatively simple game.  The most significant difference between Fey's game, which he called a slots machine, and other games was the involvement of money.  Charles Fey invented a game that you could bet on and, if you won, you'd be paid in coins.

Great Leap Forward in Online Pokies

It's important to understand the jump in pokies enjoyment and popularity with the advent of online gaming.  When you go to a land-based casino, you can still hear the loud tinkling of coins dropping into the metal receptacles as players win. However, the advantages of playing pokies online far outweigh the thrill of seeing and hearing coins fall into your lap.   At an online casino, you might find several hundred pokies.  Because modern pokies all have storylines, the larger the collection of pokies at any given casino, the more fun you'll have playing them.  It's so easy to go from pokies to pokies at an online casino that you'll likely sample some pokies that have a theme that's theoretically less to your liking.  At a land-based casino, you might not be willing to give up your seat at a popular pokie because it will be taken quickly and you might never get it back. At an online casino, you never have to wait!  So you can venture forward knowing that your seat at your favourite pokies is reserved in perpetuity for you!

High Payout Rates

The matter of costs works both ways when we compare online pokies and land-based pokies.  Because brick-and-mortar casinos have massive overhead they program the Random Number Generator (RNG) that determines the outcome of pokies, video slots, and many other games, to achieve an average payout rate of about 85%.  Online casinos set the payout rate at about 96%.  The actual payout rate for any given period fluctuates because the RNG makes every spin entirely random. 

Reversing the discussion of cost, we see easily that when you play online, you incur none of the costs of travelling to a land-based casino.  This is another reason why a site like is so valuable: given that you've decided to play online, you'd like to have a site that covers the ground fully!

Uniquely Aussie

The term pokies as it is used in Australia and New Zealand derives from the word poker which Aussies also played on machines a century ago.  Modern pokies are five reel games.  They have themes and many ancillary ways to win large sums. 

Some Characteristics of Pokies

Video pokies have wild symbols.  These take the place of almost all other symbols to create wins.  There is one symbol that the wild symbol cannot replace: the scatter.  That's because the scatter has a very important role: it takes you to the free spins bonus round!  When you get a win with the help of the wild symbol, it often has a multiplier.  The multiplier may appear again in the bonus round.  When it does, it is usually higher than in the regular game.

Video pokies may have stacked reels.  That means that the wild symbol appears in consecutive order on a given reel.  Sometimes the reel is completely stacked with the wild symbol.  This feature is sometimes a feature of the free spins bonus round.

Another amazing and highly lucrative feature of some pokies is cascading paylines.  If you win on a spin, the winning payline falls down and is replaced by a new set of symbols.  If the new symbols create a win; you win and the winning payline cascades again.  In some games with this feature, there is a very big payout if the winning paylines cascade five times in a row.

Spins or Multipliers, Oh My!

One of the most exciting choices gamers are asked to make in the bonus rounds is whether to take more spins with a lower multiplier or fewer spins with a higher multiplier.  This dilemma has been talked about on forums for years.  Some gamers are passionate supporters of higher multipliers; some are equally passionate supporters of more free spins. 

Clearly, the free spins bonus round is the best place to achieve a big win in pokies.  Some pokies allow you to retrigger the free spins if you get three scatters again whilst you're playing the free spins.  In theory, you could multiply the free spins several times and get concomitant big wins!

As we said, the free spins are usually the best place to get big wins.  Let's focus quickly on two exceptions.  In the regular game, if you get five of a kind, the payout is likely to be enormous especially if you've gotten five wild symbols!  Of course, if you play a progressive pokies game, the potential payout may very well be into the millions!

Sensational Graphics

Many pokies have been adapted from big hits from television or the movies.  A short list would include Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones Thunderstruck and many more.  The biggest requirement for the success of such pokies is spectacular graphics, animation, and sound.  Often the characters recreate a short scene from the movie or show.  The characters become animated frequently and the developers use sound and music to set the mood.  Without excellence in all these areas, such pokies would never have seen the light of day.  Whilst it's true that all new pokies feature great graphics, the demands to recreate mood and aesthetically beautiful visual effect is greatest in the adapted pokies.

Graphics for mobile have likewise improved so much in the last few years that mobile gaming is now at least as popular as PC gaming.

Clearly, we've touched upon a few interesting aspects of online pokies.  To get a fuller discussion we recommend you read about online pokies at


From Rupert Walters
November 2016


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Note: Opinions expressed in the 'Articles' section of Smartgambler are those of the authors and are not implicitly endorsed by the owners of Smartgambler.




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