A video pokie is the modern version of the slot machine, an electronic version that works with video animations. The video pokies can be found in both online casinos and land-based casinos.
Pokies are particularly popular and exert an irresistible attraction for casino players from all over the world. But what exactly makes pokies so much fun? Why do casino players return to their favorite pokies time and time again? And how do pokies actually work?
In this article, we tell you everything you want to know about online pokies. What does the payout percentage of a pokie entail? And what does the variance of a pokie mean? What are progressive jackpots, free spins, and wilds?
CasinoFisher explains everything in detail.
Some Interesting Facts About Pokies
- The first pokie was invented by Charles Fey in 1899 and had the beautiful name "Liberty Bell"
- Pokies are by far the most popular casino game
- There are more than 180,000 pokies throughout Las Vegas
- Land-based pokies pay out between 80% and 92% on average
- Online pokies pay on average much higher: more than 95.5%
- The Random Number Generator of a pokie determines the outcome of a spin
- Pokies are random and have no memory
- The highest progressive jackpot ever was worth $ 39.7 million and was won on the Megabucks at the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas in 2003
- There are more than 2,500 different online pokies - and new ones are added every week!
How Do Online Pokies Work?
When you play a pokie at an online casino, you actually make contact with the central server of the software provider that made the game with every spin.
This server receives a signal that you played at a connected online casino according to a certain bet on the relevant online pokie.
The central server then determines via a Random Number Generator whether you have won. If so, for what amount: the outcome of your spin.
Eventually, you will see a visual representation of that outcome on your screen, and the result will also be settled in cash with your account.
These processes are extremely fast. So fast that you don't realize it at all, and you can just play your pokie, without any hitches or interruptions.
The Online Casino is Only an Intermediary Between the Player and the Provider
The online casino, therefore, only functions as an intermediary between you as a player and the casino software provider (for example, Netent or Microgaming). The casino cannot influence the outcome of the spins in any way, and that is a good thing, of course. This way you know for sure that you have a fair chance of winning at the slot machine.
If the connection is broken, the server can retrieve exactly where the game has stopped and still let you start from where you left off, including any payouts that follow.
Why Are Pokies So Hugely Popular?
There are lots of good reasons that explain the popularity of pokies:
You Can Win a Lot of Money with a Small Bet
With pokies, you can win a lot of money with a small bet. Progressive jackpot pokies, in particular, are extremely popular for that reason: you can win millions of dollars with a stake of just a quarter.
One of the biggest progressive jackpots ever was won on the Mega Moolah pokie with a bet of just 0.33 euros (!). The price? 17.8 million euros, won on October 6, 2015.
There Is Endless Variation with Themes
Pokies are an ideal platform for incorporating the most diverse and appealing themes. From well-known movies and hard rock bands to cute animals and Japanese Cartoons: whatever your passion is, the chances are that there is a pokie based on it.
A very successful rock-n-roll pokie is that of Guns N ’Roses. From the smashing soundtrack with real Guns n ’Roses songs and the many references to the band to the cool bonus games: everything fits this pokie.
Film themes are also popular for pokies: think of horror classics such as Dracula and Halloween and blockbusters such as Rambo, Jurassic Park, and Bridesmaids.
Pokies Are Easily Accessible
Pokies are easy to understand: as soon as you understand how the paylines work, the bet levels and the bonus rounds, you are almost a pokie expert. To play pokies, you don't have to learn difficult strategies or master complicated game rules. Anyone aged 18 or over can play pokies without any prior knowledge.
Pokies Are Becoming More Fun and Beautiful
The evolution of pokies is going fast. The first pokie had one payline, maybe four different symbols, and no bonus game. Much has changed since the invention of the pokie: more paylines, more betting options, bonus games, video pokies, progressive jackpot pokies. And what about the graphics and the sound? The newest pokies are a true visual spectacle with animations, 3D graphics, and beautiful sound effects.
The casino game makers are constantly trying to outdo each other by designing even better and more inventive pokies. As a result, the gambling industry itself ensures that new and more delightful pokies are always brought onto the market.
Something for Every Pokie Player
For every type of pokie players, there is a machine that fits well with him. Are you looking for a well-arranged pokie with three reels and five paylines? No problem. Do you prefer a bit more action, and are you looking for a pokie with 100 paylines or more? That is also possible.
Do you like a lot of risk in your game, if the reward is good? Then you probably prefer to play on high variance pokies such as Raging Rhino or Bonanza.
Do you prefer a more entertaining pokie where you can spend a good long time with your money? Then you will rather opt for a pokie with low variance, such as Starburst or Blood Suckers.
Pokies Are Exciting and Entertaining
Online pokies know how to give a winning experience like no other casino game. The visual and sound effects increase the tension, and the beautiful "Super Big Win" animations that you see when you have won a great prize, give you a victory rush that has no equal. And what do you think of all those "nearly" moments? If you just miss that progressive jackpot or nice payout because one symbol is wrong. It gives you a kick that is just as great as when you see a grand prize.
The bells and whistles that every online pokie makes will stimulate you to play again and again.
Are (Online) Pokies Safe?
All online casinos that we promote at CasinoFisherl use high-quality and extensively tested software from respected companies.
These companies have a license that allows them to offer their casino games under strict conditions. Their pokies are regularly tested by external companies for randomness, honesty, security and payout percentage.
Pokies: Tips and Commonly Used Terminology
As all casino games, online pokies also have their own terminology. We explain the most commonly used terms and also give you some extra tips for playing pokies.
Payout Percentage of a Pokie
The payout percentage of a pokie is also called the Return to Player or RTP. This percentage shows which part of the stake is again paid to the player. The higher the payout percentage, the lower the house advantage, and the more advantageous players have.
We recommend that you always choose an online pokie with a payout percentage of 96% or higher. The payout percentage of a pokie can be found in the rules of the pokie. You can also find the payout percentage in our pokie reviews.
Which Pokies Pay the Best?
This is, of course, a very useful question. If you look at the payout percentages of pokies, there are a number of important things that you can take into account:
- Online pokies pay out much better than land based pokies. This difference can go up to 19%!
- Our advice: if you want the best possible chance of winning, play online pokies
- The payout percentage of a pokie can almost always be found in the rules of a pokie
- If you cannot find the percentage, choose another pokie
- A good payout percentage is when a pokie pays out more than 96.5%.
- An excellent payout percentage is when a pokie pays out more than 97%
- A high benefit percentage is not a guarantee that you will make a profit: it only increases the chance
The Hit Frequency
The payout percentage determines how much a pokie pays back to the player, but another essential term is the hit frequency. It indicates how often a pokie gives out a payout. In other words, how often do you spin a winning combination? A pokie with a payout percentage of 99.5% is not worth much if it only gives 1 of 40,000 a winning combination.
The Random Number Generator (RNG)
The Random Number Generator is the mathematical heart of every online pokie. The RNG chooses completely randomly and independently one number out of millions of possible numbers for each spin. Each unique number corresponds to a predetermined payout. All these numbers in a row, with their payouts, together form the paytable and the payout percentage.
Based on the payout, the pokie determines which symbols are shown on which positions on the screen: the visual representation of the spin. If the outcome of the RNG was a number where the payout is 0, then you will get a screen without any winning combinations.
If the RNG fell to a number where a payout of 10 times the total bet belongs, then you can see (for example) 5 cherries on an active payline.
It is important to know that the RNG has no memory at all. The RNG cannot keep track of whether a player wins or losses. In fact, the RNG does not even know what the outcome of the previous spin was.
A mobile pokie is nothing more or less than a pokie that is optimized for playing on a mobile device, such as an iPad, a mobile phone, or a tablet. The game mechanisms and payout percentages are the same as with the regular version of the pokie, but there may be slight differences graphically.
Number of Paylines of a Pokie
Most pokies have a fixed number of paylines. These paylines show how the symbols must fall on the screen to arrive at a winning combination. The number of paylines of pokies can vary enormously: from just 1 payline to 100 different paylines.
An increasingly popular kind of pokies is "Win-all-ways". There are no fixed paylines here, but all combinations count from left to right on consecutive reels, no matter where the symbols fall.
This creates many ways to win, depending on the number of reels and the number of symbols per reel.
Well-known Win-all-Ways pokies are Raging Rhino (WMS), Twin Spin (Netent) and Immortal Romance (Microgaming). The number of ways to win at the various pokies is from 243 to 4,096. Many pokies from Bonanza Gaming implement the Win-all-Ways mechanism to the extreme: sometimes more than 100,000 ways to win.
Via the bet button, you determine how much you want to bet per line. With some pokies, there are fixed bets per spin: so you only decide how much you want to bet in total.
The Bet per Line x Number of Paylines Determines the Bet per Spin
If you multiply the number of win lines by the bet per line, you calculate the total bet per spin. If you play 10 paylines with a bet of 0.50 dollars per line, the total bet is 5 dollars per spin.
The Max Bet Button: Watch out for This
There is a max bet button on every online pokie. This max bet button stakes the maximum bet for you. With some pokies, it runs up to 250 dollars per spin. Therefore, make sure that you do not click this max button by accident.
Wild Symbols Replace Other Symbols
The Wild symbol (or the Joker) is a widely used symbol with online pokies. This symbol replaces all other symbols (sometimes excluding the scatters) and, therefore, provides extra winning combinations. Sometimes a wild symbol also has an extra multiplier. So the wild symbol is a welcome one.
Sticky Wild Symbols
A sticky wild symbol often appears in bonuses with free spins. If a sticky Joker falls, it will stand for a few spins or sometimes even during the remainder of the bonus. For that reason, the sticky Joker can give enormously high payouts and is a popular type of Joker.
Examples of online pokies with sticky Jokers are Danger! High Voltage, Dead Or Alive and Emoticoins.
The multiplier multiplies a payout by a certain factor. This can be x 2, or x 3 or sometimes even higher. The multiplier is often associated with the wild symbol or is used with free spins.
Scatters are symbols that give a winning combination where it doesn't matter where they appear on the screen. They may therefore be "scattered". Often the free spin bonus or another bonus game is triggered by 3 or more scatter symbols.
Stacked symbols is a name for several of the same symbols on a roll. These stacked symbols are stacked on top of each other and ensure large payouts. Stacked symbols are becoming increasingly popular in new video pokies.
The Variance of a Pokie
The variance determines the risk profile. The higher the variance, the more risky the pokie is. A pokie with a high variance may give the player very high payouts, but the chance that the player will take that big payout is small. High variance pokies are best suited for the serious, seasoned gambler who understands that sometimes you have to invest a lot to be able to win well. Well-known high variance pokies are Immortal Romance and The Wish Master.
A pokie with a low variance has less potential for large payouts, and the player will mainly get many low prizes. This type of pokies is more suitable for the recreational player who wants to play for an excellent long time. Examples of low variance pokies are Starburst, Sevens High, and Blood Suckers.
Progressive Jackpot Pokies
Progressive jackpot pokies are extremely popular at online casinos. Hall of Gods, Mega Moolah, and Divine Fortune are all pokies that have a large progressive jackpot as the main prize, which can often run into the millions.
A progressive jackpot pokie places a fixed portion of all bets from all players in a large, shared jackpot. It allows such a progressive jackpot to grow very quickly, and everyone who plays the pokie has a chance to win it.
The Bonus Game
The bonus game is an extra game where you can take extra large payouts.
Earlier you used to get some extra free spins with a multiplier and that was all.
Modern bonus games are a lot more inventive and often give you extra wilds, respins, stacked symbols, mini games and much more.
What types of bonuses are there?
There are hundreds of different types of bonus rounds. Most combine several of the elements below.
The Free Spins Bonus
The most famous and common bonus is the free spins bonus. With a free spins bonus, you get several free spins that are often worth a little more than regular spins. Think of extra multipliers, extra wilds, or additional stacked symbols.
Sometimes it is possible to win extra free spins during the bonus game. It is called a retrigger.
The Mini Bonus
The mini bonus is just not the main bonus but actually a quick snack. The mini bonus usually falls at random moments during the game. You often win an extra feature for the next spin, such as extra wilds, extra multipliers, or extra premium symbols. It also happens that you win a sum of money. A good mini bonus makes a pokie extra attractive because it provides variety and a surprise element.
Well-known pokies with mini bonuses are Koi Princess and Guns N ’Roses from Netent.
The Pick’n Click bonus
During a Pick'n Click bonus, you select additional prizes from a field of symbols by clicking on them. You do this until you choose the end symbol or have no more turns. You often receive money, but sometimes you can also earn multipliers, extra free spins, or extra wilds.
Secret of The Stones, Golden Fish Tank, and Hansel and Gretel are examples of pokies with Pick'n Click bonuses