How do online pokies work?

“Pokies” is the word used for online slots in Australia and New Zealand. Pokies are quite popular among the punter community, as there are tons of variations with different mechanics that appeal to the preferences of every bettor out there. 

In the past, you were required to attend a casino and explore the place until you found a pokie that resonated with your preferences. However, thanks to the internet, this fact has changed and now you can play online pokies from almost any device, such as your computer, tablet or even smartphone.

Although most online pokies look different, the way they work follows the same principles as their real-life counterparts. 

Whether you’re new to the online betting world or would like to know a bit more about how these gaming machines work, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explain what online pokies are worth and the essential information you should know before you start betting.

Understanding how pokies work

There isn’t anything complicated about pokies or slot machines. All you need to do is choose your pay lines, press the spin button and wait for the results to pop up. You can only win if the line matches a particular combination already pre-established. You can get familiar with those if you read the pokie’s description, although it always implies having between 3 or 5 of the same illustrations appearing in the same line.

If you happen to win a pokie line, then you’ll receive a particular number of credits. It can vary depending on the value of the illustration or level prize. You can choose to cash out your winnings or continue playing.

That’s everything you need to know about how pokies work. The mechanics aren’t complicated. As mentioned above, all online pokies follow the same rules, but they can include a couple of extra features or mechanics to make things more exciting for the player. If you’re familiar with the basic functioning, you won’t have any problems while trying out new games.

The features of online pokies

As mentioned above, pokies tend to have different features to entice punters into playing. Here we describe some of the most common options:

Straight slots

Straight slots or multipliers utilize a pre-established payout schedule, which increases based on the amount of money the punter wagers. For instance, if you’ve chosen to bet on one credit, you may end up winning 20 credits. Two credits may give you 30 credits, and so on.

Bonus slots 

Bonus slots or multipliers are pokies that reward the player with a specific bonus amount whenever they wager the maximum number of credits or coins. For instance, if we follow the example given above, while two credits may grant you 30 credits, wagering three coins and winning may give you 60 credits.

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Bonus games

It’s very common for online casinos to include bonus games in their pokies. This way, they can keep the players engaged and playing. A common example of a bonus game is roulette, which contains several freebies that you can take advantage of once you’ve acquired them without any limitations. It can be either free spins or perhaps bonus credits.

Wild symbols 

Wild symbols are included in most online pokies. These symbols or illustrations can replace any other symbol in the game. Hence, it allows you to make winning combinations more easily and win more often. Most casino games include one wild symbol or multiple ones. It varies depending on the operator.

Pay lines

While traditional pokies only include one pay line, online slots often include multiple pay lines. This feature makes the games more exciting and can also increase your chances of winning. The number of pay lines varies depending on the game. Some pokies have a small number of pay lines (such as three), while others may include ten or even twenty. 

How to choose an online pokie: RTP and Volatility 

Besides the features mentioned above, you should also be familiar with RTP and Volatility. This way, you’ll be able to find the best slot game for your playstyle and preferences. 

Return to Player (RTP)

The RTP is expressed using a percentage, and it refers to the amount of money the punter loses or wins throughout the course of a nearly infinite number of spins. 

If you choose an online pokie with a high RTP percentage, you’ll win less often. However, whenever you win, you’ll likely be able to cash out a considerably high amount. On the other hand, an online pokie with a lower RTP percentage will allow you to win more often.

The current industry standard is between 94% and 98%. The average is 96%. For example, if you choose a game with 98% RTP, it should pay out around $98 for every $100 wagered.


The other important term related to online pokies is “volatility.” It refers to the size of the payouts and frequency of a particular pokie. The ratio may look different in every game.

Low-volatility pokies grant payouts more often, while high-volatility ones do so not very frequently. However, keep in mind that low-volatility pokies only grant a small amount whenever you win, while high-volatility ones may not reward you very frequently, but the prizes will be considerably larger. 

The volatility ratio and the RTP can give you an overall idea of how much you’ll be able to earn whenever you win. Being familiar with both terms can help you understand the game better and adjust your strategy accordingly.


Online pokies can be very entertaining. After all, they’re uncomplicated, and you don’t have to learn overly-complicated mechanics to be able to play them. However, understating concepts like RTP or volatility can help you maximize your earnings, as you’ll be able to choose a game that offers better opportunities.

Similarly, it would help if you looked forward to playing pokies with beneficial features, or at least ones that are entertaining for you. Try to find online casinos that grant you free spins every now and then to entice you into playing more often.