If you play online pokies, you know the deal. This is a game based almost entirely on luck. You place your bet, push the button to spin the reels, and where they land is entirely in the hands of fate, or the random number generator (RNG) to be more precise. There is nothing you can do to change that. You can’t press the button harder, or longer to push the reels faster. What you see is what you get. In fact, there are no skills to hone to bring you to superior game play. But still, you want to know – what can you do to increase your pokies odds?
To help you on your winning way, we’ve put together a number of useful pokies tips. It’s important to note, none of these tips on their own, or used combined, will guarantee you a win. However, following a good pokies strategy can put you on a cash winning path, or at least minimise potential losses. So without further ado, and in no particular order, we bring you eight excellent pokies tips and strategies that can help increase your win rate.
Collect on all free bonuses
To recruit new players, and keep veteran players engaged, online casinos offer a lot of bonus promotions. These come in many different types of formats. The most common type of casino bonus, of course, is a deposit bonus, that rewards you either with extra money or free spins when you make a deposit. These bonuses are an excellent way to extend your play time, and as such, your chances of winning at pokies as well. Just keep in mind that all casino bonuses have wagering requirements which can be as low as 20X and up to 50X your bonus plus deposit. That means, claiming your wins from such bonuses can take quite a bit of time.
An even better option, is an absolutely free bonus. That is a bonus you simply get, with no deposit required on your part. This can be free money, like $10 absolutely free, or absolutely free spins. These total freebies are pretty rare, so when you see them make sure to grab them up. There will still be wagering requirements associated with such bonuses, but the value of your pokies win is even greater as you didn’t have to invest a thing!
Check each pokies machine’s payout rate
Every online casino game has a payout rate. And most reputable online casinos make these stats easily available to you, whether on a webpage on the casino’s website and/or within the game information itself.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when reviewing payout rates. The first thing is to understand what the payout rate actually is. Better known as return to player (RTP) by those in the casino industry, this number is listed as a percentage. For online pokies it’s usually somewhere in the mid-nineties range. Most numbers we found say that for online pokies a decent rate would be anywhere from 90% up to 97% RTP. So if the game you’re looking at says it has a 95% RTP that sounds awesome. And you’re right. Those are indeed decent odds. Just remember what the number actually means – that for every $1 spent on that pokies game, the machine will pay out $0.95, keeping the nickel difference for itself. In other words, that means the house always has a clear advantage on any slots game.
The higher the RTP, however, the better your odds of winning at the moment. That’s because the second thing you need to know is that the number you’ll find listed as any game’s RTP is dynamic. That means it is subject to change on a month to month basis. Also, it’s built on thousands if not millions of instances, so consider that in terms of your particular odds at any given time.
A final thing to remember here, that’s super important, is that there is simply no such thing as a hot or cold pokies machine. No matter what anyone may tell you, and no matter how you may feel, it’s all random. Even if you see a winners list scrolling your favourite casino site, this is not a sign for where your next win lies. Play whichever game you want, based on your personal preferences, and maybe keep one eye on the actual payout rate for a slightly increased edge.
Move on to the next machine
Ever heard the expression “throwing good money after bad”? It sounds harsh, but there’s a lesson here. Let us explain. If you’ve been playing the same pokies machine for a while, say an hour now, you probably feel rather invested. For starters, you’ve put a lot of time sitting and waiting for the machine to pay out, and you’ve also likely put in a fair sum of money. It’s only natural that you feel this machine is bound to pay out any minute now. And so you keep on playing it.
A good pokies tip, however, encourages you to walk away. If you’ve been playing one machine for a long period to no avail, despite how invested you may feel, it’s actually recommended that you move on to something else. Keep in mind how a random number generator works – entirely randomly. That is, each spin technically has the same odds of winning, no matter how long you’ve played. A win may follow a win, back to back. Or it could take another thousand tries to get to the next winning spin. Nobody knows. So give your eyes and your sanity a bit of a break, and try your luck at a different slots game instead.
Take a bit of time off
No matter how much you love pokies, you cannot play them around the clock. Nor should you. Remember, online pokies are meant to be an enjoyable pastime, with the added benefit of a potential win. So our next pokies tip is to take a break. Even better, set yourself limits on your pokies play. For example, you can set a maximum amount of time you’d like to play each day, say an hour or two. You can also define what time to play, such as for one hour after dinner or half an hour during your bus commute. This is a good idea in terms of time management, as well as preventing problematic gambling. It also keeps your mind fresh, so you can get maximum enjoyment out of your pokies play. And a good vibe like that could potentially radiate towards a win.
Set a pokies budget and stick to it
One of the most important gambling tips in general is to set yourself a gambling budget and stick to it. This holds true for pokies gambling as well. You need to set yourself limits in terms of how much money you are going to play with, and how frequently. You also need to set yourself limits both in terms of wins and losses. And you most certainly shouldn’t be gambling with money you need for your day to day life, such as rent and groceries.
So for example, you may set yourself a weekly budget of $100 for gambling. This would come out of your leisure budget. You could use this money in a single day, or break it up over the course of the week. Once you’ve spent your weekly budget, you’d have to wait for a new week to begin to play more. If you happen to win while you’re playing (yay!) decide in advance how much of your winnings you would put in your bank account and how much you’d add to your weekly play roll. Since there’s no anticipating the amount of a win, you could do this as a percentage, say 80% goes towards your savings and 20% goes to your casino account, spreading out the joy of a win.
Go for smaller jackpot prizes
Every online casino you visit will have a huge range of pokies games available. Each casino will categorise these games differently under tabs and sub-tabs like three-reel games, video slots, blockbuster slots, jackpot slots, and more. In reality, there are two main types of pokies when it comes to how you win: progressive jackpot pokies and all the rest.
The progressive games are the mega jackpot games. They are a highlight of any online casino as they feature the biggest potential payouts, that can easily crawl into six-figures and certainly reach the millions every now and then. There is an undeniable thrill in playing these progressive games. However, the jackpots here are based on a network. That is, the exact same game is being played in many online casinos at the same time, with each bet placed helping to increase the potential jackpot. Because the stakes are so high and the player pool so large, the odds of progressive wins are lower than other games.
As such, a good pokies strategy if you’re looking to spin a win, is to play smaller prize games. The rest of the pokies (besides the progressives) are operated on a local level, casino by casino, so the competition is minimised. If, however, your dream is the thrill of the mega jackpot, then by all means go for it, with your eyes open to the realistic odds.
Think twice before you bet the max
Again, one of the reasons you’re playing online pokies is to win real money prizes, and the more the merrier. We get that. However, most of the time bigger isn’t better, or at least doesn’t increase your odds at a pokies win.
So while you may be tempted to push the ‘Bet Max’ button on your favourite pokies game, you need to think twice before you do. Remember, betting more does not increase your odds. It just increases the payout. Or in the case of ‘Bet Max’ optimises all the paylines, which is essentially the same. The odds of the machine will remain the same. So yes, you can possibly win a whole lot more if it happens to be your lucky day. But if you lose, you’ll lose a whole lot more. As such, it may be better to go with a lot of smaller bets than blow your entire budget on a couple of quick spins.
Play pokies in fun mode
Since you cannot win real money prizes in fun mode (aka practice mode) it may sound counter-intuitive to increase your odds by playing there. That’s true to a large extent. But playing in fun mode gives you a couple of advantages that can help you improve your win rate. First of all, you can familiarise yourself with the game before making a real money wager, which is always a good idea. That way if you lose, it’s only play money at stake. It also helps you get a grip on the specifics of any given pokies machine including the betting functionality, pay tables, multipliers, wilds and even bonus rounds, all of which help you better understand the game in the long run. And understanding is a good strategy if you want to get ahead in pokies, or any aspect of life really.
Final advice towards securing a pokies win
As a game of chance, there’s not all that much you can do to increase your odds at a pokies win. You can’t, for example, take a course to sharpen your skills. Nor does the old saying “practice makes perfect” really apply here. No matter how often you play, your pokies odds will remain more or less the same.
That being said, there are a few tips as outlined above that you can follow to hedge your bets. These include collecting free spin bonuses, choosing your pokies machine wisely, and betting on budget. At a minimum, following these pokies strategies will reduce potential losses. And at best, following them can help lead to more frequent wins, bigger pokies cash prizes, and if you’re really lucky, both.