Asking yourself ‘what strategy goes into playing pokies?’ More than you might think — there are many ways to get the most out of your game, from selection to which bonuses you qualify for. We’ve compiled 10 essential tips for pokies players, whether just getting started or completely new to the game.

Pokies are by far Australia’s favourite casino game and every new player wants to know how to win big by spinning the reels. Lucky for you, we’ve pulled together ten of the best pokies tips to help you out.

First things first, let’s squash some misconceptions. Pokies machines cannot be timed, players are never ‘due’ a win, and if you’re playing at a safe site, luck is the only factor in determining the outcome of each spin. However, that’s not to say you can’t get better at playing online pokies!

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Here are the top ten pokies tips for beginners which will improve your knowledge, game selection and bankroll management:

1. Check the RTP

The RTP or return-to-player rate is the long-term percentage that you can expect to be paid out from a certain pokies game. This figure is always less than 100% because of the house edge which casinos have in pokies. The average RTP is around 96%, which means that in the long term, for every $100 you wager on the game, you’d be paid out $96.

It’s important to remember that the RTP is a long-term payout rate, so in the short term you might be up or down significantly on that. Nevertheless, the RTP rate is a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to online pokies. We recommend only ever playing pokies with a 96%+ RTP rate. Anything less than that is too skewed towards the house for our liking. The RTP for games is sometimes displayed on the casino site or in the game’s information section, but usually, you’ll have to do a little online research of your own.

2. Understand Volatility

The volatility of a pokies game is the measure of how often players strike wins. Some games pay out small amounts very often, while other games pay out large sums infrequently. Volatility is not a measure of the amount you’ll win when playing, but rather how those wins occur. Whether you prefer high, medium, or low volatility pokies is really down to personal preference and playing style.

If you’re playing the long game and betting small amounts to extend your bankroll, highly volatile pokies might appeal to you. On the other hand, players with a limited budget might prefer to pick up a few smaller wins with a low volatility game.

3. Know the Paylines

Gone are the days of single payline pokies dominating the market. Instead, 21st century pokies developers have created games with hundreds and even thousands of ways to win. Obviously you won’t be able to memorise all the paylines, but it’s worth checking how many each game has. Games with more paylines give you more chances to win but they come at a cost. Often you’ll have to bet per payline, so pokies with high numbers of paylines can be expensive to play!

4. Play Within your Budget

On that note, it’s critical that you find pokies which offer bets that are comfortably within your budget. The average online player can spin the reels between 400 and 600 times an hour. If you’re betting 1¢ every game, you’ll have wagered a total of $4–6 in an hour. If you up that bet to 50¢, you’ll have wagered between $200–300 in an hour. Though 50¢ is still considered a low stakes bet, it can quickly add up.

With thousands of pokies available online, you’ll be able to find one which suits you regardless of your budget. Low stakes players can find a host pokies with minimum bets starting at just a penny, while high stakes players can wager hundreds of dollars per spin if they so desire.

5. Manage your Bankroll

If there’s one thing that every successful gambler knows, it’s how to manage their bankroll. Your bankroll is the total amount of disposable income that you want to gamble with. It is not all of the money in your possession, but a small fraction that you feel comfortable setting aside for gambling purposes.

There are some golden rules for managing your bankroll:

  • Only ever play with what you can comfortably afford to lose.
  • Never chase losses when gambling on the web because this can lead to serious financial problems.
  • To extend your bankroll and thus your playing time, make small bets with only a fraction of your total funds.
  • Most importantly, when your bankroll is done, stop playing.

6. Test Games Beforehand

The vast majority of top-rated online casinos in Australia allow players to test their games for free in demo mode. By spinning the reels for free a few times, you can test the volatility of the game, see the design and check how it runs on your device with no risk to your own funds. We recommend always playing for free before switching to real money casino games when you’re ready.

7. Be Wary of Jackpots

It’s no secret that we’re fans of jackpot pokies here at Gamble Online Australia, but they’re not all created equally. In fact, some software providers see jackpot pokies as a way to mask incredibly low RTP rates. It’s not uncommon to find jackpot pokies with RTP rates of <92%, with 1-2% of that going towards the jackpots. Progressive jackpots also often also have easy-to-miss conditions written into the fine print, for example requiring bettors to wager the maximum amount in order to play for the top prize.

They are usually highly volatile too! That’s not to say that they’re all bad though. People have won life-changing money by playing the jackpots, so don’t be afraid! Approach them with caution and do your research to make sure that you’re giving yourself the best possible chance.

8. Pick up a Free Casino Bonus

Casino bonuses can double, triple, or even quadruple your bankroll. That means you can play for longer and have more chances to win. What’s more, many casino sites reward new and returning players with an online pokies free spins bonus. Though wagering requirements apply to all casino bonuses, the vast majority of them can be cleared by playing pokies.

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9. Find Fun Games

Pokies are a simple game of luck. Because there is no element of skill and the house edge is built into the game, they are not to be used as a money-making venture. Instead, play pokies for fun. Find games with designs, characters, or bonus rounds that you like and enjoy!

10. Play at the Safest Sites

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gambler, if you’re playing for real money it’s important that you protect your funds, privacy, and personal information. To do so, ensure that you only play pokies at safe, licensed, and regulated casino sites like the ones we recommend here at Gamble Online.

If you’re still looking for the perfect pokies casino, why not read up on your options by visiting our online casino reviews?

Matthew Vanzetti

Pokie Professor & Casino Expert

Matthew Vanzetti is the go-to expert on pokies at Gamble Online Australia, bringing years of firsthand experience from Melbourne’s casino floors to his engaging articles. His expertise covers everything from traditional slot machines to modern jackpots, providing readers with practical insights and tips to enhance their gaming experience.

Matthew’s passion and detailed knowledge make his writings essential for anyone interested in the thrilling world of pokies.

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