The slot machine was designed in 1895 by a gentleman named Charles Fey. The early machines were very simple, 3 reel machines with just a few symbols per reel. Since then, they’ve become so incredibly popular that they have become a symbol for gambling. Slot machines can be found in just about every casino around the world and even in many arcades and pubs. In Australia, they were known as poker machines which was later shortened to ‘pokies,’ and that is how they are still known today. They were first legalized in Australia in 1956 when a law was signed in New South Whales allowing any registered pub to own and operate pokies. Since then, pokies have become so popular that the estimates say there is one machine for about every 100 Australians that can legally play them. With an adult population of about 20 million people that works out to about 200k pokies waiting to be played. This number doesn’t even touch the number of online slots available to Australians or anyone else for that matter.
So, why are pokies so prevalent? Many people love the excitement of gambling; that chance to hit it big in a single round and change one’s life forever. Not everyone can be a professional gambler, though and even the experts lose from time to time. Pokies offer a chance to feel that rush as you lay it on the line without having to master any rules or strategies. Pokies are just fun and entertaining with their cool themes, flashing lights, and ringing bells.
Take a look at our recommended pokies casinos and then read on to find out more about the available options these exciting games have to offer.
Best online casinos
With the world of online slots as big as it is, there is plenty of room for a vast range of software gaming companies to get involved. Here are three of the biggest around with some of the best slots online:
- Microgaming – Truly a giant in the field of online slots, Microgaming has been around since the mid-’90s and lays claim to developing the first online slots Their games are known for amazing graphics and superb sound quality. They offer all manner of online slot games with options for progressive jackpots too. One thing to note is that Microgaming online slots are not available to players from the USA though they are a leader in online slots UK, SA, AU, and many other countries.
- Playtech – Only slightly younger than Microgaming, Playtech hit the scene in 1999 and quickly became a respectable name in the best online casinos. They have well over 100 different games of all variations and can be recognized by their fantastic sound tracks and superior graphics.
- NetEnt – They launched their first casino in 2002 and have since become a major contributor to online slots and other casino games. Their games receive high praise for fast action, good graphics, and terrific sound. It is important to note that Canadian players cannot use NetEnt games at this time.
Each of these experts in the online slots arena has excellent games and experiences to offer. Their games are exciting, entertaining, and can also be played in demo, or practice mode in most casinos so that you can check them out before you decide to play for real cash.
Online Slots Versions
A great thing about online pokies, slots, one-armed bandits, or whatever you choose to call them is that they are offered in so many varieties and versions. They can be found as standard 3 reel games with the cherries, bars, and lemons we are all familiar with to themed games based on movies or graphic novels with involved story lines that are revealed as you achieve new levels. You will see them advertised this way in online casinos, so we offer you a list of definitions to help you find the game that is right for you.
- 3 reel online pokies – Think of the old, classic machines of yesteryear, and you will probably picture the standard, 3 reel pokie. These games are typically pretty basic and feature 3 reels of symbols with 3 rows of play. You may be able to select one of the rows or all three.
- 5 reel online pokies – The 5 reel games are relatively new in the history of slot machines. The playing field is made up of 5 reels of symbols and 4 or 5 rows. In 5 reel slots, you can select anywhere from 1 to sometimes 50 lines of play in addition to choosing your bet amount. For example, if you bet $1 per spin and select all 50 lines, then your per spin amount is $50. An advantage to 5 reel slots is the huge amounts you can win off of each spin if you hit the right sequence of symbols.
- 234 ways to win – This version of slots shares some similarities with 5 reel slots in the basic layout of the playing field. It differs in that there are no play lines to turn on or off. Instead, there are 243 winning combinations possible in each spin.
- Video themed pokies – Video pokies have become increasingly popular over the recent years. They are often based on popular movies, heroes, or characters from literature, but they can also feature sports teams or even famous landmarks. The games contain short video clips with parts of a story that unfolds as the player reaches new levels or hits special bonus games and symbols.
- Progressive slots – Since everyone who plays the pokies is looking for an exciting win, it is no wonder that Progressive jackpots are such a hot item right now. These games are part of a linked network of casinos and games with unbelievable jackpots. The jackpots are built off of a small percentage of every bet placed by each player on the network. One of the largest payouts ever was over $13 million.
You can play almost any of the slots for free in most online casinos. The casinos will offer the option to do this in order to experience new games at no risk. Think of this feature as a ‘try it before you buy it’ courtesy from the casinos. You can access the free slots play by choosing either ‘Demo’ or ‘Practice Mode’ from the slots menu.
How To Play Online Pokies
One of the great draws to online pokies is that they are super simple to play and don’t really require any special skills or strategies. Once you have chosen your game, you simply choose an amount to play per spin and select the number of play lines if appropriate for the game. It’s that simple. Of course, we can offer you a few tips just to keep you in the game longer and winning some money to take home.
- To begin with, get familiar with the game. Learn the symbols and special bonuses or free spin opportunities offered by visiting the payout board located in the game.
- Decide how much you can legitimately afford to spend before you play and never bet more than you can afford to lose. The pokie is a form of entertainment so decide what you are willing to spend on an evening of fun. If you come out ahead, even better!
- Know the odds. Pokies truly are random. They are powered by random number generators, and each symbol in the game is assigned a random number. For each spin, your chances of winning are exactly the same. This means the house edge can be much higher than in other games. It is usually between 2.5 and 15%.
Pokies, slots, or one-armed bandits, whatever you call them, there is no denying the fun and excitement of playing a few rounds. Don’t miss out! Find your favourite game today and take it for a spin in one of our recommended pokies casinos.