Pokie machines are, of course, a game of chance, which means that you cannot win consistently. That does not, however, imply that there is no skill involved at all. Especially when playing online, the smart player can do a lot more with a bankroll than the average person. In doing so, you give yourself that much more opportunity to win. In fact, while playing online, it is not an absurd goal to earn as much as fifty cents back on every dollar gambled.
Research Online Pokies
Reading an article such as this one is a good start. Unless you plan to play just for fun, your goal should be to understand every facet of online pokies play before placing your first bet. Know the vocabulary. Understand and recognise factors like payout percentages, and learn how to calculate odds. These items are the key to your long-term success, and if you master them now, you skip that all-too-common step of throwing money away as you learn.
Payout Percentage vs. Hit Frequency
The hit or payout frequency is the chance a pokie machine has to pay out on any given pull. This information is not nearly as useful as it seems. In fact, it is quite misleading for the new player. The much more important value is the payout percentage, which is the percentage of the money taken in by the machine that it eventually returns to the players. Online, the payout rates tend to range from 96-98.5%, and while higher is better, odds factor in as well.
With progressive pokies, the jackpot increases with each pull until won. Online, progressive jackpots often stretch across networks, so they can get quite large. Progressive pokies are not always good bets. They tend to pay out below standard machines, so it really depends on what level the jackpot is. If you decide to play a progressive, then you should gear every choice you make towards winning it, which can mean choices you would not normally make.
Maximum Bets, Coin Size and Paylines
Do not bet small just to bet more often. The best payout percentages are on the maximum bet for the machine. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but with $5 in hand and a $5 maximum bet, it is better to bet it all once then to play a quarter twenty times. Likewise, do not assume that multiline machines pay out better because this is often not the case. In the case where the multiline pokie does pay out better, prefer line quantity over per line bet size.
Maximising Your Bankroll: Bonuses
In the introduction, we mentioned earning a significant amount of money back on each dollar gambled. The best way to do this is to take advantage of deposit bonuses and loyalty programs. We usually suggest that a player spread their bankroll out among various online casinos only long enough to find the one that suits them. Once the player does that, they want to make the most of that loyalty program by giving that casino their business exclusively.
Maximising Your Bankroll: In-game Bonuses
Online casinos do not limit bonuses to accounts. They also provide bonuses on the machines themselves. Sometimes these bonuses are free spins or they might be bonus games on the side. Payout percentages and odds are far more important than in-game bonuses, which typically have long odds. Nevertheless, in-game bonuses may distinguish one pokie machine from a similar machine. Keep in mind that some bonuses become richer the more you play them.
Pokies tournaments are a relatively new phenomenon online, and since most players do not typically associate tournaments with pokies, they are wary of them. That is a mistake for two reasons: Tournaments tend to pay out at an extremely high rate, and the casino guarantees them to pay out by the end of the period. If your casino of choice has regular tournaments, you would be wise to work that into your bankroll budget as much as possible.
Autospin is a common pokie feature that lets the machine spin on your behalf until you meet some condition, such as number of spins or money amount won. Autospin is a powerful pokie tool when you need to maximise time. For instance, if a casino runs a short-term bonus on a pokie machine, then you may want to get as many bets as possible in before the bonus expires. The other advantage is convenience since it can save you many mouse clicks.