Twenty years ago, there were only a few dozen real pokies online. Times have changed, mate! These days, there are several thousand to choose from, and that’s just the real-money versions. This article will briefly detail the different types of online pokies, and how to play them with a proper winning strategy.
I won’t go into too much detail, because this would easily become a book if I did. Instead, the goal is to give you just enough information to move forward with confidence and a higher potential to win.
Real Pokies Online – 3 Reel Classics
We all know these games. They have only 3 reels and a limited number of symbols. They are the most basic of all poker machines, with rules and paytables so simple they are displayed directly on the main gaming screen (no ‘info’ button required).
Players can generally insert 1, 2 or 3 coins. The paytable shows what each winning combination pays for each number of coins. Therein lies your strategy. Playing full coins should pay a higher prize for the most lucrative combination of symbols. Simply put, bet max coins to maximize RTP (return to player).
Real Pokies Online – Payline Video Slots
Video Slots (“slots” being the rest of the world’s term for pokies) generally have 5 reels and a set number of paylines. Players pay one coin for every payline they wish to activate. Hence, a 20 payline video slot, played at $0.01, would cost $0.20 to play with all lines active.
Betting all lines isn’t required, but it is highly recommended. Doing so increases the RTP, thereby boosting the win potential for players. Be sure to read the pay table for any additional details that may help you along.
Real Pokies Online – Ways to Win Games
In the last decade, ‘Ways to Win‘ games have become more commonplace. Instead of using a number of paylines that players pay to activate, machines will have hundreds or even thousands of paylines, known as “ways to win”.
No one in their right mind would pay hundreds or thousands of coins to activate so many lines. Instead, the player bets between the minimum and maximum stake (usually starting at $0.40), and that wager is divided up among all ways.
A 243 ways to win game offers all possible pay lines from left to right. A 1,024 ways machine only requires symbols to appear adjacent to one another, effectively paying left-right, right-left, and even top-bottom and bottom-top.
There’s no definitive strategy to win here except to watch your bankroll carefully. They aren’t expensive to play, but dividing your bet so drastically can result in micro-sized payouts, even when many lines light up at once.
Real Pokies Online – Multi-Feature Games
Today’s real pokies online can come with a multitude of features – expanding wilds, stacked wilds, free spins, multipliers, bonus rounds and more. These features most often appear on 5 reel video slots and ways to win poker machines (not 3 reel classics).
It’s important to understand what each feature does, how it’s triggered, and what it might be worth. Therefore players must read the paytable information for complete feature rules.
In some cases, you may have to bet a larger amount to be eligible to trigger a game’s most valuable feature(s). Betting any less would reduce your RTP. Read carefully and make the right bet.
Real Pokies Online – Progressive Jackpots
Progressive jackpot games have a standard paytable, like all others, but they have a special, growing jackpot that can only be triggered by accomplishing some specific feat, like lining up just the right symbols, or spinning a bonus wheel. Some newer games will release the progressive entirely at random.
Progressives can be installed on any type of real pokies online, from 3 reel classics to multi-feature games. The progressive jackpot takes an incremental fraction of each bet wagered and puts it into the jackpot. It continues to grow in this fashion until someone strikes it.
Some progressives can be won on any bet size. Others will only be able to trigger if a high enough bet is placed. Yet another selection of progressives will increase the chances of the progressive releasing based on bet size (i.e. the higher you bet, the higher your odds of winning the jackpot). Again, read the rules carefully to know how to win it, and always place bets that will maximize your RTP.