When playing online pokies, there is much more than meets the eye. Most players don’t realise that there are different types of pokies, with each type offering its own unique features and ways to win.
This article provides an overview of the different types of pokies you’ll find when playing for real money online, and the best casinos for Australians to play them.
Best AU online pokies sites
If your move to online gambling is fed by your desire for the pokies, you’ve come to the right place, as pokies make up the majority of games you’ll find at an online casino. While table games are generally limited to a handful of variants, pokies are offered in the hundreds, with all kinds of different games and varying wagering requirements available. Here are the best Aussie-friendly sites for real money pokies:
- G’day Casino
- Slots Million
- Royal Vegas Casino
- Guts Casino
- Thrills Casino
- 32Red Casino
- Roxy Palace
- Leo Vegas
Each of these reputable casinos is protected by at least 128 Bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology to ensure your gaming experience is safe. Deposits are available using AUD, with plenty of reliable payment methods to choose from like Visa, MasterCard, POLi, Skrill, Neteller and Paysafecard.
Types of online pokies playable in Australia
Once you start exploring various online pokies games, you’ll notice that the games come in many different formats and are listed in various categories. Some are simple and retro looking, while others are elaborate and action packed. The differences are more than just aesthetic; there are actually several different types of games in regards to the way each is played and how wins are placed. Here are the different types of real money pokies you can expect to find on the Internet:
As the name suggests, 3-reel pokies games have three reels, and any varying number of rows (typically three), and such games were some of the first slot machines to have ben developed. Now, they have been rebooted and remastered, but still pay homage to the older, traditional machines. One of our favourite modern 3-reel slots games is Supernova; a galaxy-themed game with incredible graphics and a soothing backing track. You can play Supernova at Guts Casino.
3-reel pokies are often referred to as classics for a reason, as these pokies tip their hat to the old-school days of slot machines long before the elaborate video technology that we know today. 3-reel pokies are the most simplistic of all pokies, offering three reels that usually feature nostalgic symbols like cherries, lucky sevens, liberty bells and horseshoes. Games are low-stake and are typically played over a single payline, although some may offer the option of activating up to five paylines. Classic pokies don’t have any of the added extras like gamble features or bonus games, and jackpots are typically on the smaller side, but remain popular with players who like more simplistic games and can also be a good starting point for complete beginners.
Popular 3-reel pokies you’ll find at our recommended online and mobile casinos include Cash Splash, Fruit Fiesta, Tunzamunni, Fruit Slots, Break Da Bank and Gold Coast.
Most online pokies games, both video slots and classic slots, have five reels. 5-reel pokies games often have three rows but it is not uncommon for these types of pokies to include more. Golden Tickets slots at Guts Casino is a 5-reel, 5-row circus-themed slots game with 3D animated rendered graphics. Avalon I and II are also 5-reel, 3-row classic slots game available at Royal Vegas Casino and 7Sultans Casino.
5-reel video pokies offering five reels are the most popular of all online pokies and this is where you’ll find advanced graphics, cinema grade animation, high-stakes and tonnes of bells and whistles like expanding wilds, cascading symbols, mini games, jackpot wheels, scatter symbols, free spins and plenty more. Five reel pokies give you the choice of how many paylines you wish to activate per spin, with 25 paylines being the common choice, although some games can offer up to 100 paylines. It’s the large number of possible winning combinations that lower the odds in video pokies, increasing the rewards and therefore making 5-reel games the most lucrative of all pokies.
Some of the most loved video pokies available at leading online casinos include Game of Thrones, Dracula, South Park Reel Chaos, Starburst, Jurassic Park, Esqueleto Explosivo, Gonzo’s Quest and Castle Builder.
Progressive Jackpot Pokies
In progressive jackpot games, the winning jackpot grows each time someone plays for real cash, until of course someone hits the jackpot. A part of the cost each player pays per spin goes directly to the main jackpot.
Pokies players love progressive jackpot games because of the huge jackpots which can reach upwards of $7,000,000 AUD. Often in progressive jackpot pokies, there can be more than one progressive jackpot – a smaller jackpot, a medium sized jackpot and the mega jackpot, for example. G’day Casino has some excellent progressive jackpot slots with jackpots that can reach into the millions, including; Mega Fortune, Hall Of Gods, Arabian Nights, Mega Poker, Triple Frog Jackpot, Tiki Wonders and Geisher Wonders. Royal Vegas and Casino-Mate both own the most lucrative progressive on the Net – Microgaming’s Mega Moolah.
Progressive jackpot pokies are games where the jackpot increases every time a spin is placed on that same game anywhere across the linked network. These can be local network progressives or large area progressives, with Microgaming and NetEnt’s progressive jackpot network extending across many of the Internet’s best casinos, resulting in jackpots well into the millions of dollars. Progressives are typically five-reel video games, with multiple bonus features available that trigger the gigantic wins. These won’t always be the best looking or most graphically advanced games, but progressives are your ticket to the serious wins.
Progressive jackpot pokies with the highest possible wins include Mega Moolah, The Dark Knight, Mega Fortune, Mega Moolah Isis, Arabian Nights and Hall of Gods.
MegaSpin pokies allow for more than one game (of the same type) to run at the one time. A lot of punters prefer MegaSpin games because it multiplies your chances of winning. MegaSpin games require a little bit of multi-tasking, unless you’re playing in autoplay mode, so it’s a more demanding game which is what many players like about it. MegaSpin Break Da Bank, Double Magic, Fantastic 7 and High 5 are some of the best MegaSpin slots games available at Royal Vegas Casino for free or for AUD real money.
MegaSpin pokies are regular five-reel video pokies that offer the ability to play multiple games in one screen. If you’re the kind of player who juggles two machines at once when playing pokies at a land based casino, MegaSpin pokies are for you, allowing up to nine real money games to be played at once. Keep in mind that individual wagers are required for each game, so if you’re not careful you can burn through your bankroll incredibly fast.
MegaSpin pokies include Microgaming’s Break Da Bank Again, MegaSpin Major Millions and MegaSpin High Five.
Ways to Win (243, 1024, 3125): when a pokies game is referred to as a certain number of “ways” this means the game offers that many possible winning combinations, eg. in a 243 ways to win pokies game there are 243 ways that symbols can land to form a win. This is a huge advancement since the original slot machines, which only allowed wins over a single payline. In a 243, 1024 or 3125 ways pokies game, symbols can pay from left to right anywhere across the reels, adding to your winning potential.
Popular all-ways pokies include Game of Thrones, Thunderstruck II, Immortal Romance, Arctic Fortune, Reel Rush and Dolphin Coast.
Gaming software developers have done a lot of work in improving the graphics and animations in online slots games, and it is now common to find 3D pokie games at many of the most reputable Web casinos. The image quality, interactivity, features and bonuses of online three-dimneiosnal slots are far superior to land-based pokies which are struggling to keep up with the advancements in online gaming.
Guts Casino has one of the largest ranges of 3D slots games, all of which are aesthetically pleasing, immersive and entertaining. Some of the best 3D rendered games include; Rook’s Revenge, At the Copa, Aztec Treasures, the Slotfather, Gladiator, Heist, Silver Sterling, Gold Diggers, Gladiator, Mamma Mia, Boomanji and many more. These games will dazzle you with their graphics and offer a gaming experience that supersedes pokies machines in brick-and-mortar casinos, and will continue to do so.
There are two different types of 3D pokies. Animated 3D pokies are games that use superior graphics to create an engaging, visually striking gaming experience, and you’ll feel like you’re watching the latest Pixar film rather than playing an online casino game. These 3D games are highly entertaining, using vivid details and offering fun bonus features. The most prominent 3D pokies are from BetSoft and include titles like Mr Vegas, Rooks Revenge, Mega Glam Life, Under the Sea, At the Copa and the Slotfather.
The other type is stereoscopic 3D pokies, which are games that use true three-dimensional animation, requiring the use of 3D glasses. In stereoscopic games, graphics really come to life, giving you the feel that you can reach out and touch the objects in front of you. To date, the only stereoscopic pokies game you’ll find online is Microgaming’s Sterling Silver.
Online pokies house edge and payouts versus land-based pokies
On top of bigger jackpots, better bonus features and more game variety, online pokies come with the added benefit of offering better house edges and payouts than land based pokies. The operational costs for online vendors are cheaper than real life establishments, which allows the casino to offer better payouts.
To give you an idea of the difference, Australian land based pokies have an average return to player (RTP) of 90.89%, compared to online casinos which have an average RTP of 96% or higher.
This means that when playing online you’re not only saving yourself the extra expenses involved with heading out to a land based casino, but also playing games that give you a better chance of winning.
People who’ve only played the pokies at land-based gambling establishments mightn’t know how many different types of pokies games are available. There is a considerably more diverse range of pokie games available at an online casino than you would find at a brick-and-mortar casino.
For online pokies players, there is an incredible selection of pokies game stylistically and fundamentally different from one another; these differences keep pokie games fresh and innovative. These are the most popular pokies types available to Australian punters:
Payline and Ways Pokies
Typically, online and land-based slots will stick to the usual slots payline format – where there are a certain number of pre-set winning lines in the game. Spin a winning combination of symbols across any such lines and you receive a payout. Most payline pokies games allow you to adjust how many lines (a.k.a bet lines) you wish to activate – the higher the number of bet lines, the greater chance you have of winning, but it means there is a higher cost per spin.
Modern online pokies however, are now inclined to use the entertaining ‘ways’ format. This structure refers to pokies advertising the number of possible winning combinations, as opposed to pre-set lines. Typically, the most common types of ways pokies are; 243 ways pokies, 1024 ways pokies, and 3125 ways pokies.
In ways pokies, you cover all bases for the same set price per spin (you can adjust the betting amount, but whatever value you select, you’ll always have all possible winning ways activated). Rather than symbols being required to settle across a specific pattern/line, in ways games, the symbols/icons may be connected in any direction across the reels. The amount of paying combinations is determined by the number of active icons on each reel. In a 243-ways game, there are five reels and three symbols per reel (3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 243), accounting for 243 potential winning ways on any one spin. A 1024 ways game has four visible icons per reel, and a 3125 ways title would have five visible symbols per reel.
The brilliant Game Of Thrones 243 ways video slot is a thrilling game and a great example of this online slots format, now available to play at Guts Casino, Royal Vegas Casino and Casino-Mate. Other ways pokies include; Thunderstruck II, Immortal Romance and Hitman.
Think of multi-player pokies as a linked way of playing pokies with other, where you share in potential jackpots. Whenever a play hits a special bonus or spins a winning combo, other participating players playing at the same time get a share of the prize. Make money from other players’ winnings, while contributing to others; wins, too. Isis Multiplayer and Wheel of Wealth Multiplayer are excellent multi-player pokies games to get you started – both are available at Casino-Mate.com.
These are some of the most popular types of pokie games online. Interactive pokies games are more immersive and require more input from the player than traditional pokies games. They will often follow a story arc, have an introductory video that sets the scene and have interactive bonus games to unlock and play.
NetEntertainment’s Aliens is a brilliant example of an interactive pokie: the player begins on Level 1 (The Search) which uses advanced graphics to showcase a technologically advanced pokies screen, where successive winning combinations allow the player to enter Level 2 (The Encounter). This level resembles that of a first player shooter video game, and if you can manage to work your way through and kill all the aliens, you progress to level 3 (The Hive) where you must destroy the Hive and kill the Alien Queen before your ammunition runs out. So advanced, scary and engrossing, it’s almost as good as playing Aliens on Xbox One – with the bonus of winning real cash.
In BetSoft’s The Slotfather, you’re presented with a protagonist mobster and shown his thug enemies. The bonus game in The Slotfather is similar to a shootout arcade game, where you have to point the target at an enemy and hit it in order to win bonus coins in the game. There are usually many elements to an interactive pokies games, and they are often one of the most fun ways to play pokies.
Online fruit slots mimic the original land-based fruit machine slots that first made pokies machines famous – a tribute to the days where pokies had levers we’d pull and we’d watch the mechanics go to work to spin those reels. If you want to a gaming experience that is close to an authentic brick-and-mortar casino experience, we recommend you head to the specified ‘Fruit Slots’ section of pokies games at Royal Vegas Casino.
Where Can I Play Online Pokies for Real Money?
Note these games are much more readily available at online casinos than offline casinos. Royal Vegas, Casino-Mate, 7 Sultans Casino, G’day Casino, Thrills Casino, Emu Casino and Guts Casino have an excellent collection of the above types of pokies games.