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The complete guide to Australian pokies

Published by Niki | April 14, 2021 | Last updated: April 18, 2023

With the online casino industry continuously growing and expanding, there are many different popular online casino games to try. Among the many choices, there are slot machines known as online pokies in Australia and New Zealand. These are popular choices across the world, but especially among Australian and Kiwi players.

Pokies capture players' attention with their exciting themes, fun features, and enormous win real money possibilities. As with any other game, it has a set of rules, and wins are purely luck-based. Despite this, there are a few things you can do to increase your winning odds when playing online pokies.

The Complete Guide to Australian Online Pokies

Read our complete guide on the best Australian online pokies games to learn how to play and tips for increasing your winning combination odds.

What are pokie games?

The term pokie is a popular casino game in Australia and New Zealand. But what exactly is a pokie? In simple terms, pokie games are slot machines.

The term was first used to refer to video poker machines and later on became the word used about slot machines.

Pokie games are available in both - land-based casinos and online casinos in a variety of pubs, clubs, and casinos across Australia and New Zealand. Pokie machines are no different from slots with video screens used for spinning action.

How to play pokies?

Australian online pokies are top-rated, especially among Aussies, as they are quick to play and highly entertaining. To play free online pokies, you do not require any skill, strategy, or in-depth game knowledge to play. All types of best real online pokies come with rules that are quick to learn and easy to follow.

If you are new to the world of Australian online pokies, a little guidance can help you play pokies online like a pro from the get-go.

Choose the best online casinos to play pokies at

Before you can start playing, you first need to pick the online casino that is right for you. When selecting Australian online casinos sites, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

The first is licensing and regulation. Make sure you play at a licensed casino, as it adheres to strict safety protocols designed to keep you safe. From there, you can take a look at the customer support, welcome bonus and bonus rounds, Australian real money pokies games available. You want an online casino that has a great variety of games that will satisfy your gaming needs.

If you are not sure where to go, browse through CasinoWow's list of recommended online casinos. Each is secure and provides the best in gaming action, casino bonuses, welcome bonus features, bonus games, and real money casino games. Once you find a casino you like, register a new player account to start.

Setting up your Australian online pokies game

Top online casinos will have various games, especially real money online pokies that you can enjoy via your desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Pick a game you are eager to try, hit the button, wait for it to load, and play real money pokies.

From there, you need to do a few things before you start spinning the reels. The first is to select your desired bet amount. You can do this by adjusting the coin value and coin size or even the number of paylines.

If the sound volume is too loud or you prefer spinning in silence, you can head over to the volume/sound buttons to adjust it according to your preference.

Always check the paytable for information on the value of the symbols, the payouts you can expect, and the rules linked to the specific pokie.

The majority of slots have a "Spin/Start", "Autoplay", "Max bet" and "Gamble" button on the bottom of the reels. These are your tools for navigating your gameplay.

If your maximum bet amount is set, you can click Spin or Start to spin the reels. Alternatively, you can hit the Autoplay button to set several automated spins. This essentially means the reels will spin automatically until a win real money or bonus round has been struck.

Play online pokies with fair play

All Australian pokies make use of Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure the outcome is random and fair. This software allows each spin to deliver a completely random outcome that is not bound to previous spins.

Take note: every pokie has its restrictions, including the betting structure. There is also minimum and maximum betting limits that cannot be altered.

In each game, you could find a wild and scatter symbol different from those found in another pokie. The purpose of the wilds and scatters may vary based on the game too. Some award instant wins. Others expand or are used to trigger bonus rounds such as free spins or pick-and-click bonus games.

Where does the term pokies come from?

When visiting Australia or New Zealand, you will find players mainly refer to slots as pokies. There is no definitive answer, but the belief is that the term came from the original video poker terminals. These were the first casino games available in both Australia and New Zealand casinos.

It's believed that the term comes from 'poke' in 'poker machine' and eventually evolved into pokie.

Instead of constantly saying 'poker machines' the majority quickly started referring to it as a pokie or pokies. As the industry continued to grow and develop, the range of video slots available increased. It did not take long for players in these regions to start referring to slots of any kind as pokies.

The difference between pokies and slots

As someone who knows online slots by one name, you might find yourself wondering if there is any difference between pokies and slots. It's commonly thought that there must be something different or unique because of the different names.

To clarify this, we can quickly look at another theory for where the term 'Pokies' came from. Slot machines operate through the use of coins.

In order to play, you need to put in several coins, and if you trigger a win, the coins will fall out, ready for collection.

Some believe that the term pokies came from the habit of players poking their fingers at the machine in hopes that it will spill coins at random.

Today, there are no differences between pokies and what most of the world refers to as slots. The only difference is in the name of the game.

If you find yourself in Australia or New Zealand and hope for some slot spinning action, the pokies section is where you need to go.

The impact and effects of pokies

Online gambling is an excellent form of entertainment enjoyed across the globe. While it might come with a great range of benefits, it also has some adverse effects.

Studies of Australian online gamblers have shown that online pokies are the primary online gambling activity leading to strong improvements in Australia's gambling regulations.

The harsh reality is that Australians are known as some of the most prolific gamblers in the world. They spend almost double the amount on gaming as most other players. According to researchers, less than 1% of every 4% experience severe harm, making it nearly 1.5 times more common than heart disease.

On top of that, stats show that about six of those around people with gambling problems experience harm, increasing the overall impact on society. The total social cost of gambling in the Australian community is estimated at $3.7 billion a year.

Some of the many effects/harms that can come from online gambling include sleep disruption, poor physical health, and sleep disruption. More severe issues have family problems, bankruptcy, unemployment, and possible suicide.

According to the data, pokies are responsible for about half of the gambling problems among Australians.

With the rapid growth in online and mobile gambling, the number of problem gamblers has also risen. For this reason, the Australian Interactive Gambling Act has banned all forms of online casinos apart from the lottery, race, and sports betting.

Foreign operators still cater to Australian players, enabling them to access any online games they wish to play. If you are an Australian player looking for online casinos outside the legal variety, it is always suggested to follow responsible online gambling protocols. Set limits and never chase winnings or losses.

Gambling should always be a form of entertainment rather than a means to an end. No matter what games you choose to play, choose to do so responsibly.

FAQs for Australian pokies

What do pokies mean in Australia?

Pokies is a term used when referring to slot machines, video slots, video poker, and any slot game. It started as a term for video poker and later became the term used for online slots.

Why are pokies called pokies?

There are many theories on why pokies are called that. Many believe it is derived from video poker and turned into a slang word that was later used to describe slot machines.

What are the best online pokies in Australia?

All online pokies differ in terms of bonus rounds, jackpot prizes, maximum bet, and themes. The top online pokies are powered by software developers and come with a great return to player percentage. Check out the CasinoWow list of free to play online pokies to find only free online pokies.

Are the online pokies rigged?

No, online real money pokies run via RNG software which ensures the outcome is always random and fair. That being said, it is safer to play free pokies online first and then to play real pokies online via top online casinos where games are audited and checked for fair play practices. Oftentimes, they offer great deposit bonuses, free spin promotions, and popular online pokies.

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