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Australian online pokies 2022 – play for real money and for free

Aussies are known as the world’s number one gamblers and pokie lovers: about 20% of all the slot machines that exist on our planet are located in Australia. It’s no wonder online pokies are always in high demand when it comes to gambling on the Internet.

Here, we will try to briefly cover the basic fundamentals of the most popular casino game: types of pokies, slot providers, winning odds and RTPs, pokie symbols and pay tables, where to play online pokies for real money, and how to win.

How to choose the best online pokies?

The best online pokies Australia must conform to the minimum set of rules:

  1. Be produced by a licensed and reputable game developer (crucial for real money gambling).
  2. Have their Random Numbers Generator and gameplay tested on fairness and randomness of outcomes (crucial for real money gambling).
  3. Be compatible with the device (or devices) you prefer using for real money online gambling. If you favour mobile devices, check how good the mobile optimization is.
  4. When you are gambling for real money, check if the casino you’ve chosen has a confirmed license as well and offers the payment options that suit you the best.
  5. Decide on the gameplay you want to enjoy: do you want something simple and straightforward that will take you back in time to the first land-based casinos (then, you will have to go for 3-reel older online pokies with classic casino themes)? Or maybe you would like to feel almost like playing a cool video game with immersive sounds and special effects? In this case, go through the list of the newest releases from the market leaders and their 5+ reel or Avalanche online slots.
  6. Online pokies for real money cover hundreds of themes, starting with nature and wildlife and finishing with the latest TV and movie hits and stars. As the main objective of playing online pokies must always be entertainment, and never – money-making, we are sure you will have much more fun spending your free time in the virtual ambiance you love.
  7. Check the numbers: RTP (Return to Player Percentage: the higher it is, the better), pokie volatility/variance and hit frequency worked out practically by players, allowed bet ranges, and the history of jackpots or other impressive payouts.
  8. When you play free pokies online, decide on the way to do it: demo versions at online casinos, casino game simulations and their mobile apps, social online casinos.

There is no point in choosing the best online pokie of all times because everyone is looking for something specific in online gambling: excellent graphics and design, complicated (or simple) gameplay, engaging themes, or excellent RTPs and frequent jackpots.

Types of online pokies

Besides the themes, another thing that distinguishes one online pokie from the other is the structure, meaning the number of reels in most cases. The difference is visible to any newbie who can count: the most popular types of pokies online and at land-based casinos have 3 or 5 reels.

But the game developers don’t rest on their laurels: they keep on introducing new things, such as 6- and 7-reel pokie mechanics and even online pokies with no reels at all. What is left to spin in a situation like this, you might ask.

The answer is simple: some online pokies have the so-called ‘Avalanche’ or ‘Cascading’ reels (that look much more like falling blocks than reels, to be fair). Examples of games built on these mechanics are the iconic Gonzo’s Quest, Asgardian Stones, Gem Rocks, EcuadorGold, Elements: the Awakening, Cosmic Fortune, and Pharaoh’s Treasure, all of which were produced by NetEnt.

Another distinctly structured game is Well of Wonders by Thunderkick. There are no reels at all – just gems flying and hanging in the thin air.

3-reel pokies

‘3-reel pokies’ have become the synonym for ‘classic pokies’ because of their simpler look and fewer features. Even though the very first slot machine invented in 1894 – the Liberty Bell – had 5 reels with 5 playing cards on each of them, the first wave of slot games that filled up land-based casinos at the beginning all featured 3 reels.

As a rule, the 3-reel best online pokies Australia of today have a minimalistic design and clear-cut bold symbols, a couple of extra features and bonuses like Scatters and Multipliers, and a Gambling option.

Normally, the classic slot machines of the past used to have 1 payline, but it isn’t the same for 3-reel online pokies. Video slots tend to offer 1, 3, 9, 10 ways to win. That’s not a lot if we compare them to 5-reel pokies online with their hundreds of paylines.

Yes, in terms of the gameplay, the minimum number of paylines may seem rather dull. But, on the other hand, looking at the winning possibilities, you should understand that to have more chances for landing a winning combination, you have to activate as many paylines as possible. Activating paylines is, in other words, paying for each of them. So, the more paylines a pokie has, the bigger bankroll it will require. In other words, 3-reel pokies are more suitable for those who are on a tight budget.

Plus, fewer winning combinations mean fewer winning options and a higher hit probability. Although the payouts may not be extremely high, the volatility of 3-reel slots is lower. It ensures more moderate but frequent payouts as opposed to 5-reel pokies.

Examples of 3-reel best online pokies:

  • Break da Bank by Microgaming;
  • Couch Potato by Microgaming;
  • Wheel of Wealth by Microgaming;
  • Fire Joker by Play’n Go;
  • Alchemist’s lab by Playtech;
  • Mega Joker by NetEnt;
  • Double Triple Chance by Merkur Gaming.

3-reel online pokies are an excellent option for new gamblers and those who are looking for the vintage casino vibe.

5-reel pokies

In comparison to more simplistic 3-reel slots, 5-reel online pokies:

  1. have far more paylines (up to several hundreds); 
  2. have more complex and elaborate gameplay;
  3. tend to offer more bonus features;
  4. have higher volatility, hence – bigger but less frequent payouts;
  5. are more suitable for high bankrollers;
  6. have more room for creative design solutions.

The most popular 5-reel best online pokies Australia:

  • Starburst by NetEnt;
  • Big Bad Wolf by Microgaming;
  • Big Red by Aristocrat;
  • Book of Ra Deluxe by Novomatic;
  • Sizzling Hot by Novomatic;
  • Aztec Temple Treasures by Microgaming;
  • Age of the Gods by Playtech;
  • Buffalo by Aristocrat.

The online gambling market of today is much richer in 5-reel pokies online, and it’s getting harder and harder to find new-released 3-reel games. It seems like the latter have truly become a casino classic.

6- and 7-reel pokies

You won’t happen to stumble upon 6-, 7-, 8… reel pokies online at every casino: they are a rare creature. Some game developers were hoping to boost their popularity when they just started to appear, but 5-reel slots retained their position and remained statistically more popular up until now.

Having more reels implies even more intricate game mechanics, which may lead to unnecessarily increasing complexity of rules. The number of paylines and winning options grows too, reducing the winning chances and blowing up the budget. Some online pokies have an expandable reels feature or add them to the existing ones as a bonus reward.

Best online pokies with 6+ reels:

  1. Piggy Bank Bills (Pragmatic Play, 2021) – a 6-reel online pokie;
  2. 3021 The Bounty Hunter (Yggdrasil, 2021) – a 6-reel online pokie;
  3. Fortune Reels (Wazdan, 2021) – a 6-reel online pokie with 46,656 ways to win;
  4. Gemmed (Betsoft, 2019) – 9 reels, 40,503 paylines;
  5. Punk Rocker (Nolimit City, 2020) – 5-6 reels, 243-46,656 paylines;
  6. Hades Gigablox (Yggdrasil, 2020) – 6 reels and 50 paylines.

We have no doubts that those who are looking for something new and fresh are sure to enjoy any of the games we’ve mentioned above.

Progressive pokies online

The odds of hitting some of the best-known progressive jackpots are comparable to the chances of winning a lottery – from 1:13 to 1:26, according to different resources.

For those who don’t know, a progressive jackpot is one of the most desirable money prizes ever known. This jackpot has a shared cash pool, and every dollar spent on the progressive pokie contributes to it. If an online pokie (progressive pokie) is linked to the progressive jackpot pool, its location won’t matter: everything players wager in the game goes straight to the common prize pool. The main twist is that nobody ever knows when a progressive jackpot is going to hit and how much it is going to get.

All these characteristics make progressive pokies highly volatile games with extremely rare but amazingly huge payouts.

Progressive best online pokies:

  • Mega Moolah by Microgaming, the biggest win – €19,4 million.
  • Mega Fortune by NetEnt, the biggest win – €17,8 million.
  • Arabian Nights by NetEnt, the biggest win – €8,6 million.
  • Hall of Gods by NetEnt, the biggest win – €7.8 million.
  • Gold Rally by Playtech, the biggest win – €4,6 million.
  • Beach Life by Playtech, the biggest win – €6,2 million.
  • Jackpot Giant by Playtech, the biggest win – €5,8 million.
  • Monty Python’s Spamalot by Playtech, the biggest win – €2,7 million.
  • Gladiator by Playtech, the biggest win – €2,3 million.
  • Funky Fruits by Playtech, the biggest win – €2,1 million.
  • King Cashalot by Microgaming, the biggest win – €1,5 million.
  • Major Millions by Microgaming, the biggest win – €1,8 million.
  • Age of the Gods by Playtech, the biggest win – €972,723.
  • Tunzamunni by Microgaming, the biggest win – €311,522.

Take into account that usually online casinos don’t allow players to use casino bonuses while playing progressive pokies, and they may apply some other rules to these games: playing with the maximum bet or activating all the paylines, minimum deposit amount. We suggest checking all the terms and conditions in advance.

Play online pokies for free or for real money

 

Play pokies for real money:

Free online pokies:

Pros

  • there is a chance to win real money prizes;
  • some real money game collections include more game titles.
  • there is no risk of losing real money when playing free pokies;
  • you don’t have to register at an online casino and confirm your personality to play free pokies;
  • free pokies are a great way to dip your toes into the gambling world with no financial risks.

Cons

  • there is always a chance to lose when you play pokies for real money;
  • you have to sign up with an online casino and provide copies of documents confirming your personality.
  • not all the online pokies have demo versions available for free play;
  • there is no chance to win real money when you play pokies for free.

Top online pokies providers

The top 10 online pokies game providers for Australian gamblers:

  1. Aristocrat;
  2. Microgaming;
  3. NetEnt;
  4. IGT – International Gaming Technology;
  5. Playtech;
  6. Yggdrasil;
  7. Betsoft Gaming;
  8. Pragmatic Play;
  9. Evolution Gaming;
  10. Play’N Go.

These game providers have all been certified by international gambling authorities; and, at the same time, the high quality of their products has conquered crowds of fans all over the world.

Best online pokies for Australian gamblers

The best online pokies for real money and free online pokies for Australians:

  1. Wolf Gold by Pragmatic Play;
  2. Book of Ra Deluxe by NetEnt;
  3. Buffalo King by Aristocrat;
  4. Starburst by NetEnt;
  5. Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt;
  6. Lucky 88 by Aristocrat;
  7. Big Red by Aristocrat;
  8. Sizzling Hot by Novomatic;
  9. Pyramid King by Pragmatic Play;
  10. Guns and Roses by NetEnt.

Real money games and free pokies online are available at our Pokiesurf online casino.

Australian online casinos to play pokies

Top Australian online casinos to gamble for real money:

  • Fair Go online casino;
  • Las Atlantis;
  • Joe Fortune;
  • Red Dog casino;
  • ABO casino;
  • Highway casino;
  • Hula Spin casino;
  • National casino;
  • PlayAmo casino;
  • Woo casino.

Before making a real money deposit, always check whether the online casino Australia has a legitimate license and can confirm it, whether or not it is on any casino blacklists compiled by the independent industry watchdogs, and go through the customer feedback online.

Understanding online pokies

Online pokies are a game of chance, and they probably come the closest to encapsulating the meaning of this phrase. A player has a minimum impact on the game result: relatively speaking, the gambler fully relies on the Random Numbers Generator that will determine which symbols, how many of them and where will land and, consequently, build a winning combination.

In other words, a player hardly has any way to increase the winning odds (unlike the skill-based game of Poker, for example). The only thing we would recommend is activating all the paylines to make the pokie game run at full speed. 

Winning odds at online pokies

On average, the chance of hitting the real money prize on pokies is about 1:10. We are not talking about the jackpots and maximum wins here: these are the average symbols payouts.

But think about the number of winning paylines, paylines on the whole, and possible symbol combinations. They are always different, and because there are a lot of them in every game, 

Don’t forget that the larger the promised payout (or jackpot) is, the smaller the chances of winning it are. And they will be different at different pokie machines. For instance, the person who triggered the biggest pokie jackpot ever ($39,7 million) beat the odds of 1:16 million. The odds of hitting the jackpot of ‘Black Rhino’ are 1:9,7 million.

Online pokies RTP

RTP (Return to Player Percentage) – the percentage of the casino income that the casino has to pay back to the customers in the long run. RTPs are established by law and depend on the territory where the casino is located.

Seeing that the pokie you are playing at has a 90% RTP doesn’t mean that having spent $100 on it, you will surely win $90 back. RTPs are a long-term obligation, and this 90% may be unevenly divided among many gamblers.

How does Random Numbers Generator work in online pokies?

Random Numbers Generators (RNGs) are designed to produce the closest to random results. To put it simply, they are computerized algorithms that determine which symbols, how many of them, and where will land and, consequently, build a winning combination.

Pokie symbols

Symbols spinning on the reels form various combinations after the reels stop. Depending on which symbols get matched, the combinations have different values.

Some symbols also have additional features and influence on the game. They are Wild and Scatter symbols.

Wilds can replace any other symbol when there is a chance to complete a winning combination and usually have the highest paying value.

Scatters might trigger free spins, bonus games, or act as multipliers.

Pokie Paytables

How much each symbol is going to pay in a winning combination and which of the symbols have extra functions – all this information can always be found in the pokie pay tables. They are definitely worth studying before hitting the ‘spin’ button.

Online pokies tips

As we’ve mentioned before, a player has minimal influence on pokie games. The things that may help, though are:

  • play free pokies first;
  • starting with the lowest wagers;
  • activating all the paylines;
  • choose the games (and game providers) with a solid reputation, confirmed license, and a history of regular fair payouts.
FAQ

The short answer is no, as long as you are playing at a licensed online casino in Australia that has an untainted reputation. In this way, you can be sure that the games have been tested on the randomness of outcomes and fairness of payouts.

A player has a minimum impact on the game result: relatively speaking, the gambler fully relies on the Random Numbers Generator that will determine which symbols, how many of them and where will land and, consequently, build a winning combination. In other words, a player hardly has any way to increase the winning odds (unlike the skill-based game of Poker, for example). The only thing we would recommend is activating all the paylines to make the pokie game run at full speed.

Top Australian online casinos to gamble for real money: Fair Go; Las Atlantis; Joe Fortune; Red Dog casino; ABO casino; Highway casino; Hula Spin casino; National casino; PlayAmo casino; Woo casino. Before making a real money deposit, always check whether the online casino Australia has a legitimate license and can confirm it, whether or not it is on any casino blacklists compiled by the independent industry watchdogs, and go through the customer feedback online.

Updated: 31 May 2022
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