How To Play The Pokies Like an Expert

How To Play The Pokies Like an Expert
Reading time: 6 minutes

Playing Pokies isn’t just about luck; it understanding strategy and expertise.

Ever been curious about winning big in online pokies or what makes these the most loved casino games? At Auscasinos, our experience is your winning ticket. We’ve been around the gaming block and understand the ins and outs of online casinos.

This guide is your go-to map, using our know-how to show you simple steps for playing the pokies and scoring those wins. In this slots guide, we will cover the best pokies strategies, the different symbols, how the paylines function, and what features are the best to look out for.

Let’s dive in, so next time you have a slap on a pokie machine, you’ll be on top.

Understand the The Pokies Game

Before you start slapping, you need to familiarise yourself with the game mechanics.

Despite there being thousands of pokie games available with a huge variety of themes, they more or less all function in the same way. It’s a “same meat, different gravy” situation!

Here is our essential list of must-know online slots lingo…

  • Payout Table: Before you dive in, check the payout table. It’s like the cheat sheet showing all the symbols, their payouts, and info on special ones like wilds and scatters. Super handy!
  • Paylines: Paylines are like paths across the screen, where matching symbols can lead to wins. The number varies, but a 5-reel game often has 20 lines, or sometimes a whopping 200+!
  • Reels: Imagine the reels as those vertical columns of symbols. They usually come in sets of five, but you might find some with three, six, or even more. Just click spin, and watch those symbols pop up randomly on the screen.
  • Rows: Rows are the horizontal lines of symbols. Most games stick with three rows, but some go wild with four or more. ‘Classic slots’ can be rebels with just one row.

Betting Strategies: Smart Plays

Levels Betting: Start with a tiny bet, say 1-2% of your bankroll. If you lose five times, up the bet.

Reset when you win. It’s about bouncing back from losses and aiming for bigger wins. Just be cautious not to go too big during a losing streak.

Fixed Percentage Betting: Keep it easy with a fixed percentage (let’s say 2%) of what you have.

Adjust the bet as you win or lose. Great for riding the wave of hot games, but it might take away some of the fun. It helps limit losses during a rough patch.

Martingale Betting System: Think of it as a double-or-nothing game.

If you lose, double your bet; if you win, start over. But, put a limit, like 12 times your starting bet, to be safe. It’s a simple way to play, but be careful not to go too big, and reset after a win.

Progressive Jackpot Strategy: Use the smallest bet and play a lot.

Wait for the jackpot to get big before diving in. Winning big jackpots takes time, so be ready for long sessions and make sure you’ve got enough to keep playing when you use the progressive jackpot strategy.

Tips and Tricks: Playing Smart

Some folks like to “slap and pray” approach.

While others prefer a bit of strategy to their play. While there are no guarantees, our in-house experts reckon these tips can make sure you avoid the casino money-maker pitfalls and snag your best chances at winning real money.

  • Play Higher Denominations: Take a bit of a risk for more excitement – bigger bets mean bigger wins, even if it shortens your time at the machine.
  • Place Maximum Bets and Multiple Paylines: For those massive jackpots, bet the maximum allowed – smaller bets won’t get you the same colossal wins. Adding additional paylines increases your chance of winning.
  • Avoid Complicated Games: Keep it simple for better odds – complicated games might seem fun, but they often have lower chances of winning.
  • Play in Demo Mode for Free Spins: Try free spins to learn without losing money – it’s like a practice round before diving in.
  • Choose Pokies with Higher RTP Rates: Casino games and pokies with higher RTP rates are generally more likely to yield better payouts. A good RTP is usually anything above 94%.
  • Know When to Quit: Accept losses instead of trying to win it all back – chasing losses can dig a bigger hole in your bankroll.
  • Remember The House Edge: Every spin is a new chance – pokies are random, so don’t assume a win is due after a losing streak, casinos owe you nothing and pokies are powered by the almighty Random Number Generator (RNG).
  • Set a Budget: Set a limit and stick to it – gambling responsibly in an online casino means knowing when to walk away (or in this case, log out!). Choosing your volatility level to match your budget is also essential. If you are on a budget, our experts recommend low-volatility pokie machines. If you’re feeling more adventurous and have a larger bankroll, try high volatility that leads to bigger payouts.

Understanding Paylines: The Winning Paths

Paylines are the pathways on the machine grid where winning combinations of symbols must align to secure a win. Here are some common ones you would expect to see available for selection:

  • Straight Lines: Classic horizontal paths for symbol matches.
  • Diagonal Lines: Slanting lines for added winning possibilities.
  • Zig-Zag Lines: Dynamic patterns offering diverse ways to win.
  • Freeform or Scatter Pays: Wins are not tied to specific lines; certain symbols anywhere can trigger a win.

Players usually choose how many paylines to activate.

You can only win on a payline you have selected to play, so don’t be shy and add more than one.


What makes the pokies exciting is the huge amount of features in each game.

These features mean twists and turns at every corner, keeping you on the edge of your seat! Here are a few of our favourite top picks for features to look for in online pokies:

  • Gamble Feature: Activated after each win, this feature offers the opportunity to double your winnings by guessing the correct colour of a face-down card. Who doesn’t like 50/50 odds? Be careful though, an incorrect guess results in the loss of all accumulated winnings for that round.
  • Bonus Game: Certain online slot games include a bonus game triggered by specific symbols landing simultaneously on the reels. Players may need to choose between different elements that unveil prizes or engage in an actual game for rewards.
  • Cascading/Tumbling Reels: This feature increases the chances of winning by allowing symbols to cascade down after each win, making space for new combinations and the possibility of multiple wins in a single spin.
  • Free Spins: Typically triggered by select symbols or scatters appearing three or more times on the gameboard, free spins offer a set number of spins. The more symbols combined, the higher the number of spins awarded.
  • Retriggering: Enables the player to initiate additional spins during the free spins feature.
  • Multipliers: Some slot games feature multipliers that multiply your winnings. These multipliers may also be present during free spins.
  • Win Both Ways: A gameplay-related feature inherent to certain games, allowing players to form winning combinations from both right to left and left to right.
  • Expanding Wilds: This feature causes wild symbols to expand and cover the entire reels they appear on, increasing the potential for winning combinations and larger payouts.
  • Sticky Wilds: Activating this feature locks wild symbols in place while the reels continue to spin, providing an advantage and increasing the chances of forming additional winning combinations.

Bonuses and Promotions

Online casinos often offer various bonuses and promotions for pokie players to win real money and additionally increase their odds of winning.

Some of the biggest jackpots can be won off the back of generous promotions and free money bonuses that are at times handed out to punters.

So what do these bonuses and promotions look like?

These can include welcome bonuses, free spin bonuses, or loyalty rewards. Welcome bonuses are often goodies like deposit matching, and loyalty rewards can come in the form of a reload bonus.

Stay on top of the terms and conditions associated with these offers and jump on them when they pop up.

Disclaimer- Responsible Gambling

The information on our site is intended for informational and educational purposes only.

Any form of gambling can be risky, so you always bet at your own risk. Don’t ever gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. AusCasinos takes no responsibility for any losses made. If you think your gambling is becoming an issue, reach out to Gambling Help online or the Australasian Gaming Council.

For additional information, please visit our Responsible Gambling Page


  • NetEnt ““
  • Gonzo’s Quest ““
  • Australasian Gaming Council ““
  • Gambling Help Online ““
  • The Malta Gaming Authority “”
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Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson
Pokies Expert
70 Articles
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Ryan is our resident pokies expert. Not only does he provide readers with the latest insights, innovations and technology news related to pokies, but he also knows all there is to know about pokies game developers.

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