While there is no sure-fire way to win a pocketful of pennies on the pokies, there are a few tactics we can stick to, to ensure we are playing to the best of our ability.
Since online casinos are a business, their main aim is to make a profit, so ultimately they are going to make the money in the long run. But this doesn’t mean we can’t win, and with the right strategy we can give ourselves the best chance at pocketing some winnings on the pokies.
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Tactical features of online pokies
Playing online is the first step to playing smarter as the payout percentages, which we explain below, are better. There are some features that should be avoided by certain players though, while other should be used.
Type of slot machine
From reels, to paylines, to ways to win, and more, picking the right type of slot machine is probably the best tactic to start off with.
3 reel slots: Play these type of slots if you are new to pokies, prefer the classic slots, or don’t want anything too complex.
5 reel slots: Opt for 5 reel slots if you want more chances at winning and prefer modern video slots with unique themes and innovative features.
Pokies with paylines: Opt for paylines if you have a smaller bankroll as the minimum bet can be as small as $0.01 on some pokies.
Slots with more ways to win: Opt for more ways to win pokies (such as 243 ways to win, 1024 ways to win, etc.,) if you have a larger bankroll as these generally require a larger minimum bet.
Progressives: If you want a chance at winning a huge jackpot, that is linked to either a specific casino or to all the casinos that offer the title, opt for a progressive.
Many pokies have a gamble or ‘double up’ feature where you can multiply your winnings or lose them all. This is a risky feature where you can opt to double your winnings by picking the colour of the suit (red or black) but if you don’t answer correctly, you lose your winnings. Interestingly, it doesn’t have a house edge attached; rather it is a 50/50 chance of winning. Some pokies also have the option to quadruple your winnings, though the odds are more in your favour when opting to double your winnings.
Who should use this feature?: We recommend using this feature if you are planning on putting your winnings back through the machine as your odds of winning are better here then they are with the slot, though if you are finishing up or on the verge of using your bankroll up we recommend avoiding this feature.
All players, regardless of their bankroll should start off small if possible and then raise the coin size if you win. However, if you are playing a slot that requires the max bet to win the jackpot (such as the progressive Mega Moolah) then you should obviously start with the maximum amount.
Always do your research on the slots you are going to play online, especially for the RTP (the percentage that is returned to players over time) in you are planning to play for a long period of time.
Always aim to play pokies that have at least a 95% as it means the house has a 5% edge and that is generally the highest you should accept when it comes to online house advantages (American roulette has a 5.26% house edge and we generally suggest to avoid this and opt for European roulette with a house edge of 2.70%).
Many Net Entertainment and Microgaming pokies have a RTP of anywhere between 96-98% meaning you can get slots with as little as 2% house edge (Blood Suckers by NetEnt is a great example, with a RTP of 98%).
Tips to playing the pokies online
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when playing the pokies online that affect your overall gaming experience.
Create a bankroll: This is the best way to ensure you will have a good time. If you create a bankroll (a limit on how much you are prepared to ultimately lose) you’ll not only enjoy playing, it will be even more fun when you win. Ensure you stop once you have used your bankroll up by only depositing that amount to the online casino, and using a payment method that isn’t easy to top up quickly with if you are one to go over your budget.
Set a limit on losses: All players should set a limit on how many spins you are willing to lose and then quit once you have reached this amount. This way you won’t go on a huge losing streak that you weren’t willing to go on and you will be managing realistic expectations. Additionally, it will prevent you from losing a huge amount in order to win back any losses.
Take advantage of online casino bonuses: The best part about playing the pokies online is the casino bonuses that players can take advantage of. All of our reputable web casinos offer generous bonuses for new players and what’s best here is that pokies contribute 100% to the wagering requirements that are in place, so you can quickly and easily release the bonus cash as real cash.
Don’t play frustrated or intoxicated: While you may be at home playing the pokies instead of playing at a bar or at a land-based casino these two recommendations still apply. If you come home after a big night, don’t jump on the net and start spinning the reels, and if you are in a bad mood avoid playing the pokies completely. These two factors will ruin your experience and if you lose, you will be even more worse off.