Pokies strategy

Pokies require no real skill to play – that’s one of the reasons they are so darn popular. Nevertheless, there are a few different methods seasoned pokie players employ to try and get the most out of their favourite machines. But do any of these techniques actually work?


Play real money pokies online

This is not spam or spin, but simple fact: pokies odds are consistently better when you play online. Here’s why.

All poker machines, be they reel slots, video pokies, or 3D games, come with a projected payout percentage. This figure – also known as the return-to-player rate (RTP) – approximates the amount of all wagers a machine will pay back in the long run, much like the theoretical return rate when you play casino games like blackjack and video poker with correct strategy.

By and large, Internet pokies boast far healthier RTP percentages than their land-based counterparts. The overwhelming majority of digital slot games online pay out at over 95 per cent – so for every $1000 wagered, the game would be expected cough up more than $950 on average. Plenty of popular Web pokies pay upwards of 97 per cent, which stacks up favourably against a lot of table games.

At brick-and-mortar gambling venues, however, the payout rates on pokies are rarely so generous. Australian casinos often set the RTP on their popular machines somewhere between 90 and 95 per cent, while pokies pubs and clubs can even go as low as 85 per cent. So if you play pokies online at a trusted real money casino, and you can improve your chances by 10 per cent or more.

Bet the maximum on progressive jackpots

This is a tried-and-true pokies strategy, and one of the few that actually makes sense. In fact, we could argue that playing the max bet and covering all paylines on progressive pokies is the only sensible way to play such machines.

For those who don’t know, a progressive jackpot pokie is one where the top prize gradually increases until it is won. A small portion of each bet played contributes to a jackpot which can either be localised within one machine or venue, or linked to several games on a progressive network.

For example, let’s look at the Mega Moolah online progressive pokie. This game features a bonus round where you can win one of four rolling jackpots, the largest of which – the Mega Jackpot – starts at $1 million and often pays upwards of five times that amount. Every bet made on Mega Moolah at online casinos contributes to that kitty, which is also linked with Major Millions pokie on the Microgaming Progressive Jackpot Network (MPJN).

The main reason you should play the maximum coin bet on progressive jackpot pokies is that, in most cases, it’s the only way to win the big bucks. If you don’t select all bet lines and play the maximum number of credits per spin, you probably won’t even qualify for the jackpot – and that rather nullifies the whole point of playing a progressive game.

Another point to consider is that the more each player stakes per spin, the quicker the jackpot will rise. The percentage of each wager that goes into the jackpot is fixed – so if one per cent goes into the prize pool, for instance, a $5 bet would contribute $0.05 while a $50 stake would add $0.50. Your probability-to-payout odds improve as long as that jackpot keeps rising, so you might as well stake as much as your bankroll will allow.

Online pokies strategies that don’t work

Besides frequenting casino sites and betting the max on progressives, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to improve your odds on the pokies. Some folks like to keep their number of spins per hour as low as possible, especially after a good win, but this is most effective when playing for comps at a brick and mortar casino. Below are a few gambling techniques that simply don’t work at all when you play real cash pokies games online.

Advantage play

This is a bit like the pokies equivalent of counting cards. A team of players will stake out a bank of linked progressive slots, waiting for the jackpot to pass its average projected value. These players will then hog the machines until one of them hits the jackpot.

While this is a pretty clever (albeit time-consuming and somewhat conspicuous) way to play at a land-based casino, it is completely ineffectual in online gambling. Internet slots can cater for an infinite number of individual bettors, so there is no way for a team to prevent other punters from playing when the jackpot gets juicy.

Progressive betting strategies

Whether your game is pokies, roulette, blackjack, or anything else in the casino, progressive betting patterns should be avoided like the plague. The idea behind these is that no matter what happens, you will come out a winner in the long run.

Unfortunately, this is only the case if you have a bottomless bankroll. Negative progressions like the Martingale system are especially dangerous, as they ask you to keep raising the bet until you hit a winner. So unless you want to run up enormous debts in the blink of an eye, you would do well to ignore such betting systems altogether.

100% guaranteed winning systems

Never, ever pay for an eBook or seminar which promises to teach you how to win on the pokies. Remember that these are not games of skill, like real money blackjack or Texas hold’em poker; they are games of pure chance, and there is no magical secret that can guarantee success.

If you come across a website promoting a foolproof method for beating the pokies, get out of there as fast as you can. Such sites are run by con artists selling 100 per cent bull and peddling tired, long-debunked pokies myths, including those dodgy betting schemes we mentioned earlier. These are bad people who prey on the dumb and the desperate – don’t be one of their victims.

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