It was the Americans who invented the pokie machines (or as they like to call them, “slot” machines), but it’s the Australians who like to play them the most. The first pokie came into the world at the end of the 19th century in New York City. These first pokies were cute little machines, mostly with fruit symbols on the reels. They used to stand in the corners of bars, asking for a nickel to spin their reels and maybe award you with a cigarette or a drink. Cash rewards came much later.
Many things have changed since then. Pokies evolved from these small mechanic babies to modern video slots and finally moved to the virtual realm, with the expansion of online casinos. Additionally, the rapid development of technology brought innovations to the gambling industry, so most contemporary pokies now work with RNG (Random Number Generator). These are small computer chips which are integrated into the machines themselves, and they generate a huge number of random numbers, sometimes even thousands per second. And if you play the machine, by pulling the lever or pressing the “spin” button, you will choose one of the numbers, which will determine the outcome of your game. Therefore, cheating is impossible, both by the casino and the players, and most of the gamblers’ superstitions have been proven wrong.
Pokie machines’ awards evolved too, from candy to multimillion progressive jackpots. It is no wonder that they are so popular these days.
So let’s see what you need to know before you start playing slots.
1. Always Check RTP
RTP is the principal thing you need to know about pokie machines before you insert your coin in them. You’re giving your money for something, so why not ask around about the terms? In a way, the RTP number tells you “the internal costs” of pokies. The term RTP means “return to player,” which is a percentage of money the slot machine returns to the players over a long period of time. The rest of the 5% is the so-called house edge, and this is how casinos earn a living.
However, keep in mind that this is a statistical number, and it doesn’t promise you that you will get 95 dollars if you wager 100. It’s not how it goes, because this number is calculated based on hundreds, and maybe thousands of games. In the short term, anything can happen.
Ultimately, bear in mind that a good RTP is 92% and above. Anything less then this is not worth your time and energy.
2. Look for Bonuses
Bonus games usually award players with free spins or a certain amount of extra cash.
Online casinos usually attract new players with juicy welcome bonuses. These are often accompanied by free spins, which you can use on “slot games,” and maybe even earn yourself some extra cash.
I always say that the bigger bonus doesn’t mean a better one. Some people then ask me, how do I know which bonus is the good one? Well, look for its wagering requirement and check if it’s sticky. Wagering requirements are the number of times you must turn the amount of the bonus in order to be able to withdraw your winnings. On the other hand, if the bonus is sticky, it cannot be withdrawn at all. As for the ideal values, anything smaller than a 60x wagering requirement is good for pokies. And of course, the bonus shouldn’t be sticky under no circumstances.
3. Keep an Eye out for Progressive Jackpots
My personal opinion is that, once progressive jackpot slots were invented and became available 24/7 at online casinos, all non-bonus and non-progressive pokies should have become museum items. I just don’t see why you should play basic slots if you can compete for that gnarly multimillion-dollar jackpot. These jackpots are called progressive because their size grows in real time, as the common prize pool fills with players’ wagers from different progressive machines sharing the same pool. These are some of the best awards in the gambling world, and that’s what makes pokies so trendy among gamblers.
4. Find a Thematic Pokies Machine
Thematic pokie games are another great thing about modern gambling. So if you are a fan of some of the popular movies and series, like Game of Thrones or Terminator, I am happy to inform you that you can combine this with your passion for gambling. Just give yourself some time to browse online pokies or land-based machines, and you are sure to find your favourite.
5. Choose a Reliable Casino
You can play pokie machines in any casino, or even online. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Playing in a casino gives you a more traditional experience, with all the excitement of pulling that lever down and watching the reels spin. However, playing online is much more comfortable since you can play pokies no matter where you are and how late it is. Besides, playing at an online casino will give you better payouts because online pokies are known to have higher RTP values than land-based ones.
Furthermore, it would be smart to check if there are any reviews about the casino you intend to play at, be it online or brick-and-mortar. There are lots of scam casinos out there, and sometimes, even a simple Google search can save you lots of money and time in the future.
Pull the Lever!
No matter which poker machine you choose to play, just make sure it offers a good RTP value and provides some juicy bonuses, as well as a jackpot, if possible. It is most likely you will find this in an online casino, but there might be one in your neighbourhood which will suit you as well. So explore the offers and reviews, and once you are sure you’re at the right place, spin those reels. Happy betting!