If there’s one thing that’s difficult about online pokies, it’s choosing which version to play. With dozens of online casino developers out there creating thousands of variations of this enthralling game, figuring out where to start can seem nothing short of daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Instead of feeling paralysed by choice, you can think of it as an incredible opportunity – to learn, discover and enjoy along the way. Besides, there’s no rush. You’ve got plenty of time to shop around and find the games that appeal to you.
So how to begin? Sure you could do a Google search to find pre-configured lists of other players’ favourites, but it’s far more satisfying to come up with your own. Once you’ve figured out your preferred style, it’s only a matter of time until you’re able to make your final top choice.
To help you get you started, follow our six tips for finding your favourite online pokies game. After that, emboldened by the process, you’ll be picking your pokies without fear, prepared for your quest for finding your number one. Remember, this is a personal journey. How you rate each game, and what that means to you, at the end of the day, is subject to your own tastes.
Tip #1: Read up on the different pokies software providers
If you’re a pokies newbie looking to get in on the game, or a casino pokies veteran looking to take your love online, it’s a good idea to start with a quick scan of the pokies software providers you’ll encounter in cyberspace.
While once upon a time casino games were predominantly powered by a couple of power house software providers like Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt, today there are dozens upon dozens of players in this now crowded field. While of course there are many things that you will find to be fairly similar (if not the same) when comparing between online casino software, there will be differences.
Some of those distinctions will be in the game’s interface. How it looks, where the command buttons are, the precise manner in which bets are placed. The variations here may be subtle to most, but others, once they get used to a certain look and feel, find interface differences to be fairly significant.
Another difference you might note between casino software providers is the graphics and sound effects used in their pokies games. Some programmers are better at special effects, like what are known as 3D slots. Others specialise in the dazzling stuff, like hyper animation. And some have a great ear for music, creating lifelike jingles and background sounds that help bring each game to life.
Keeping these criteria in mind, it won’t take too long to figure out which software providers you prefer. Once you’re done with this initial stage of research, you’ll need to check out the pokies you think you’d like in action. And for that, you’ll need to visit an online casino.
Tip #2: Visit different online casinos
To find your favourite online pokies game you will need to visit a number of online casinos. Yes, you read that right. One online casino is simply not enough. True, many online casinos offer the software of multiple gaming companies, but you won’t get a full enough range unless you shop around.
Signing up at online casinos is free, so no worries there. We do, however, recommend making at least a small first deposit, so you can get a real sense of the games. Once you’ve got money in your account, the quest begins.
Most online casinos will have their featured games promoted on their homepage. And these are quite often the casino’s most popular games, so they’re definitely worth a try to get you started. Similarly, many online casinos give free spins as part of their welcome bonus, so make sure to grab those up. The spins are usually limited to a particular game, often one the that the casino knows is well loved by other players (this is a promotional gift after all, designed to get you engaged). But since the rounds are free, and on a proven pokies game, they are certainly worth a spin. Besides, who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love at first sight!
As for finding other pokies games, we suggest having a look through the full casino catalogue. In addition to the ‘Popular Games’ tab and ‘Video Slots’, always make sure to have a look under the ‘New Games’ tab as well. Though the names of these categories may differ slightly between casinos, you get the drift. If you really want to know what’s on offer, invest a bit of time in clicking around.
Tip #3: Play pokies in free play mode
All online casinos let you play their pokies games for free. Also known as ‘Fun Mode’, this is a risk-free way to try any game you fancy. Just keep in mind, since you are not betting real money, you cannot win any money either. Still, free pokies play is an excellent way to familiarise yourself with new games, and an important step on your journey to discovering your favourite pokies game.
Of course, the free play option is not limited to the discovery phase. In fact, many veteran online casino players enjoy free play on a regular basis when they feel like trying a new game or simply want to play for a little fun without putting up the cash. So take advantage of free play as often as you like, on as many games as you want. Doing this takes the pressure off, and lets you really focus on investigating the game.
Tip #4: Try different pokies themes
Video slots offer an amazing array of possible themes. So abundant are these variations, if you can imagine a theme, in all likelihood it exists in the form of a pokies machine. Not all themes can be easily categorised. But some are well-known. For example, there are a lot of pop culture pokies that feature movie stars, famous television programmes, popular songs, or superhero comics. Often these come laced with amazing animation, or even video clips, that make the action all the more fun. So if you’re a pop culture fan, keep your eyes open for these sorts of games.
Other much beloved pokies themes include sports, animals, and fruit machines. For example, there are pokies games with pigs, pokies games with birds, pokies games with pandas, and on and on. There are also many pokies games that perfectly capture an era, like the disco themes of the 70s or retro 80s. Or if you prefer, there are circus themes with trapeze artists and packed with clowns, or food themes from dim sum through popcorn, to ice cream, pizza, pasta and more.
In addition to those listed, there many games like Starburst that wouldn’t fit any of those categories per se, but remain a top pick of players for ages now. So our advice here is to try out a whole range of games. You can stick to topics you love – that is the games that instantly catch your eye. Or you can try your adventurous side, and click on something you never considered before. From our many years of experience, however, we’d have to say, it’s pretty much impossible to know what you’ll love in advance, so try as many themes as you can.
Tip #5: Make sure to check out the many pokies features
When you’re on the prowl in search of your favourite pokies game, finding a theme you like isn’t enough for most. You also want to check out the pokies features. What do we mean by that? Pokies features include things like bonus symbols, scatter symbols, multiplier symbols and wild symbols. More than just wild symbols in fact, they can come in all sorts of forms like sticky wilds, shifting wilds, stacked wilds, expanding wilds, and plain old simple wilds.
In each game, all of these symbols will look different, and will have different effects, when you land them on the reels in different combinations. For example, they can help trigger bonus rounds, or any number of rounds of free spins. Another top pokies feature is one in which other small side games are tacked on to your pokies play, like the popular in-game Gamble option. When triggered (and you accept) all you need to do is make a simple guess, usually along the lines of the colour or suit of a face-down playing card you’ll be shown onscreen. If you’re right, you double your winnings. If you’re wrong, you lose ‘em.
Even the pokies paylines themselves can be a feature in some games. For example, you can easily find pokies with 20 or 50 paylines. But how does 243 ways to win sound to you? And what about 1024 ways to win? Or win both ways? This is all pretty tempting stuff.
There are also other pokies features, beyond those you’ll find on the reels. For example, many games have an auto play option. While some may see this as lazy, or beyond the point of the pokies (since you miss out on all the action), others find it a convenient way to keep on spinning the reels, even if they have to step away from the screen. This is especially true if they are after a big win, more than the entertainment factor.
Tip #6: Mix it up
Even after you’ve found a pokies game you particularly love. Don’t stop there. True you may want to play it all the time, because it feels familiar and you like that. But like all good things, too much of one game can be overkill. And since you put in all that effort to single out your favourite game, you don’t want to overdose, playing until you are simply sick of it. As such, we suggest you keep your pokies play fresh and fun by mixing it up; that is, playing other games in between as well.
Also, it’s important to remember, all online casinos these days are regularly updating their pokies catalogue. That means there are new options available on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. This is part of what makes pokies so fun. And who knows? Maybe one of those new games is the absolute gem you’ve been waiting for – you wouldn’t want to miss that right? The only way to find out is to try new games as well. So don’t put on blinders. Instead stay abreast of new offerings and be sure to give them a try. You may be presently surprised by how they pan out, creating a new winner in terms of your preferences.
Think about this: Maybe you don’t need a favourite pokies game after all
There are a lot of online pokies out there, and each has its distinct pleasures. While people often ask questions about our favourites like “what is your favourite colour?”, “what’s your favourite food”, or “what’s your favourite song,” often times, it’s quite possible you simply don’t have one. And why should you really? There is absolutely no reason in the world why you need to profess your number one love for anything. You can love pizza, pasta and chicken wings equally. Why not? With such differing textures and flavours, they each appeal to a different part of you.
Same goes for pokies. You don’t need to have a top game. If you do, great. If not, no worries. Play what you like when you feel like. And if someone asks, don’t feel ashamed to let them know, that with so many great options out there, you’re not the type of person to limit yourself like that. You love playing pokies and that’s really all you need to know.
Finding your favourite online pokies game is a matter of perseverance and personal taste. Some people know what they love from the get-go. Others find love at first sight, sticking to the first pokies they try. But for most of us, it takes a little time to figure it out. And even if you don’t, that’s okay. Pokies are always fun to play in their many forms. In fact, exploring this massive range is an essential part of their appeal.
So in your quest feel free to maximise the availability and accessibility of online pokies games. Do some research, play around, and discover all your options out there. While you may find a favourite or two in the process, there’s certainly no need to limit yourself to a single game.