Pokie Features: All Pokie Features Explained

Pokie Features: All Pokie Features Explained
Reading time: 10 minutes

If you’re new to playing pokies online, it can be a little overwhelming getting to grips with all the various online pokies features available and how to maximise those features to help boost your chances of a win.

Our experienced team has played all types of pokies and we’re here to explain everything you need to know about the different pokie features.

We highly encourage you to read our guide about How to Play Pokies beforehand.

Let’s get started.

What Are Pokie Features?

When you play online pokies you’ll notice a heap of different features designed to entice Australian players.

These Pokie features are special elements or mechanisms within the game that make gameplay more exciting and can significantly increase the potential for wins.

Here’s a rundown of common pokie features you might encounter:

  • Wild Features
  • Scatter Features
  • Reels Features
  • Free Spins / Bonus Features
  • Jackpot Features
  • Gamble Features

Below, we will explain each feature in detail.

Wild Features

Wild features are thrilling additions that significantly enhance gameplay and increase a player’s chances of hitting winning combinations. At their core, wild symbols serve as the chameleons of the slot world, with the ability to substitute for almost any other symbol on the reels, apart from scatters or other special symbols, to complete winning lines.

Wild Symbols

A wild symbol is one of the best pokie games symbols to look out for, and you’ll find it at most casinos. When these appear on the reels, they can fill the location of any other symbol.

For example, if you need to complete a pay-line, wilds act as whatever you need to get you that payout, except for other bonus symbols (free spins, scatters etc).

If you’re particularly lucky (or seek out the best pokies), wild symbols may come with a multiplier attached, making pay lines even more valuable.

Expanding Wilds

An expanding wild is a wild symbol that first appears as a distinctive bonus symbol occupying a single symbol position before it expands to cover a larger number of symbols.

Depending on the pokie machine, expanding wilds may stretch to cover all reels in the game or expand to cover a much smaller selection of symbol positions.

These symbols can come with a standard multiplier that covers each size change or may change with the expansion of the symbols.

Sticky Wilds

Sticky wilds are wild symbols that stick on the reels for multiple spins.

These are great because they give you numerous winning combinations across several spins of the reels.

The number of spins that these wilds stick for will vary depending on the game you’re playing.

Some games offer a single re-spin, some offer a set number of spins, some remain in place until a win is hit, and some expand, eventually filling the whole reel.

Sticky wilds can also offer a win-on-repeat option that lets you claim free spins with each spin that the wild remains, which can generate some big wins at top casinos!

Random Wilds

The random wild is the most common wild symbol found in online pokies, with the wilds randomly appearing on the reels during play.

These symbols can act as just about anything (except other bonus symbols) to help you make your pay lines.

These wilds may also come with a multiplier that can increase with the number of wilds on the reels.

Walking Wilds

Walking wilds, also known as shifting wilds, act like a typical random wild symbol on the first spin before shifting in the following spins.

The wild will appear on the reels during the first spin before shifting to the next reel for the next spin, continuing until each reel has experienced the wild.

These wilds can appear on reel one and move their way to the right or on reel five before shifting left.

Shifting Wilds lets you make several winning combinations whichever way they walk during your 5-spin stays.

Stacked Wilds

A stacked wild is the name given when two or more symbol positions are stacked, one on top of the other.

Typically, these wilds work by covering the entire reel. They let you create winning combinations across each of the lines rather than via a single symbol position.

They work like a typical random wild. The difference is simply in the number of symbols covered in a vertical connection.

Multiplier Wilds

A multiplier wild is a wild that comes packed with an additional multiplier, so you can maximise your winnings by creating different combinations.

They’re often used with other forms of wilds and can be multiplied by each other if multiple wilds appear on the reels.

The size of the multipliers and how they work depends on the specific pokies game, so check out the details before diving in.

Scatters Features

The scatter symbol is a common bonus symbol in many typical 5-reel pokies. It’ll give you a payout regardless of where it appears on the reels.

The magic of scatter symbols lies in their ability to activate bonus features within the game. Commonly, landing a certain number of scatters on the reels during a single spin will trigger special game modes such as free spins, bonus rounds, or even mini-games, each offering unique opportunities for rewards.

These symbols are unique because they’re not required to be a part of a pay line and will simply payout if they appear on any of the playing reels.

Because scatter symbols are a bonus feature, you usually can’t substitute them with wilds. For example, if you need three scatter symbols for the bonus, you won’t usually get the bonus if you only hit two scatters.

Several different types of scatter bonuses can be claimed when playing pokies online, including bonus scatters, scatter without bonuses, and expanding scatters.

Each online casino game usually has its own rules for scatters, but in our experience, once you play the game a few times, it’s pretty easy to understand and recognise how they work.

Reels Features

Reels are the vertical columns that spin when you play a pokie game, whether it’s in a traditional casino or online, and they are fundamental to the game’s design and functionality.

The composition and features of these reels can vary greatly, adding layers of excitement and complexity to the gameplay. Depending on your pokie of choice, they can be instrumental in creating combinations and cashing in big wins.

Once upon a time, reels remained stationary, but today you can manipulate reels in many online pokies games to maximise your chances of winning.

We’ll explain all of them below.

Cascading Reels

With cascading reels, the reels remain fixed as symbols drop from the top of the screen. They form winning pay lines as they land before disappearing and making way for additional symbols to make their way to the pile.

Think of this like the Candy Crush Saga, but for video slots, every time a winning combination is made, the connecting symbols are spent and make way for fresh symbols. The combinations can be never-ending, with countless pay lines created from a single spin.

Reel Respins

Reel re-spins give you a second chance at a potential win when playing online pokies, thanks to a replay-at-a-price option.

Unlike some innovative reel games, the standard game is played exactly as you may expect, matching symbols and creating combinations of pay lines from left to right.

However, at the end of each spin, you’re given the option to spin single reels, keeping the others locked into place.

You can choose as many re-spins as you like from the symbols on the screen, but it does come with a catch!

Each re-spin comes at a price determined by the slot machines and the symbols on show at the time of play. Based on our experience, there’s usually a decent chance of a large payout, but expect to pay a premium for giving it a shot to win real money.

Rotating Reels

The rotating reel feature is more commonly associated with bonus rounds than typical play.

The bonus will play out exactly like any traditional slot as you try to create pay-line combinations from left to right.

However, when the rotating reels are triggered, you’ll see a total of four 90-degree rotations with a payout for the pay-line combinations at each angle.

This gives you the benefits of a 4x multiplier thanks to the rotating reels shaking up the situation and finding more winnings for players.

Tumbling Reels

Tumbling reels come out of the BetSoft and IGT development labs.

Sugar Pop is perhaps the best-known example of tumbling reels and, like the cascading reel design, is undoubtedly influenced by the popularity of the mobile game “Candy Crush Saga”.

The design allows for both vertical and horizontal pay lines, much like the mobile game functions.

Wild Reels

A wild reel is the name given when an entire reel is given the wild treatment.

The wild symbols will stack one on top of the other to cover the entire reel rather than a single portion of one or multiple reels.

This lets you make combinations of pay lines across all lines, not just with a single symbol.

Free Spins and Bonus Features

Free spins and bonus game features are some of the most sought-after features when playing pokies online.

When you trigger these, you can access some big rewards with a bit of luck!

Free Spins Feature

You can find free spins in most online pokies and trigger them in a few different ways:

Either by landing a minimum of three bonus symbols in any configuration across the reels, by a random free spin trigger or by collecting a specified number of required symbols.

Depending on your game, you’ll get a set number of free spins offered, which might be 10, 20, 50 or even 100.

Some real money slots give you variable free spins, where the number of free spins changes each time you trigger the feature.

Other games give you the option to choose several free spins and associated multipliers, while some trigger an additional screen where you can find additional bonuses.

Free spins often come with a multiplier, maximizing the winnings from the free spins for boosted wins.

These will differ in size from game to game, although a 3x multiplier is one of the most commonly seen bonuses.

Bonus Game Feature

Separate bonus game rounds come in many different forms but usually take you away from the reels in favour of a bonus mini-game where you can win prizes.

They can work in different ways depending on the game. For example, a trail bonus (played like a board game), a combat round or a skill game.

These can add extra excitement to break up the reels and are a popular feature with many Australian pokie players.

Randomly Appearing Features

Randomly appearing features are features that randomly appear when you play pokies online.

Some games will gift rewards at random intervals during the game. Like a small sum of cash, or a chance to re-spin. Others will allow you to select a prize from a choice of mystery symbols.

Jackpot Features

Jackpot pokies are one of the most popular types of pokies, because they can give you access to a large pot of cash!

Based on our experience, we think there are three main categories that every player should know about.

Progressive Jackpots

A progressive jackpot works kind of like a lottery, with a small percentage of each wager used to fund the prize pool across multiple casinos.

These progressive jackpots get bigger as more people play, letting one lucky player potentially win a multimillion-dollar fortune!

Fixed Coin Jackpots

A fixed coin jackpot is a jackpot with a fixed value attached. This can range from small to life-changing values, depending on the game.

Daily Jackpots

Daily jackpot pokies are the most recent invention in the jackpot world. They showcase time-sensitive jackpots designed to dish out a determined amount of cash.

Introduced originally by Red Tiger Gaming, the time-sensitive jackpots often feature promotions such as “must be won before a specific date”.

These can be great because you know exactly how much is up for grabs and when the amount will be dished out.

Gamble Features

A gamble feature is a special bonus game found when you play real money pokies. The gamble feature gives you the chance to gamble your winnings at the very end of the game.

Usually, you’ll be offered a 50/50 choice on a random outcome, like the flip of a coin, a dice roll or predicting if a virtual card drawn will be a red or a black card. If you choose right you’ll win, but if you don’t, any winnings you made on the spin will be removed from your balance.

Although they can be exciting, in our experience, they’re not always worth the risk if you’ve won big. But for small wins, they can be a great option, depending on your risk appetite.


With so many online pokies games to choose from, in our experience, it’s wise to play the best online pokies Australia has to offer so that you receive the best features to boost your chances of winning.

Maximising features to your advantage can make a big difference in not only how much you can win, but also how long you can keep playing to enjoy the thrill of playing online pokies at some of the best online casinos worldwide.

Understanding how they work and what to watch out for can help enhance your gaming experience the next time you visit an online casino. Letting you find the best pokies to play for real money.

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Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson
Pokies Expert
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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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