We’d be lying if we said that playing pokies involved the same sorts of level of strategy as other gambling games such as poker, sports betting or even Blackjack. All of those require constant decision-making alongside the use of stats and probability to give you your best chance of walking away in profit.

For better or worse, playing pokies is a lot simpler than that. And it’s worth remembering that pokies use a Random Number Generator. Which is a technology that randomly decides which symbols pop up when you spin the reels. For the most part, playing pokies is just deciding on your stake and hoping for the best when those reels are spinning.

Having said that, players will need a good pokies strategy. Factors such things as managing their bank, knowing which pokies pay out more money and making the most of bonuses offered by the casino.

Florida woman scoops up $1m pokies jackpot twice in three weeks

How Do You Manage Your Pokie Bankroll?

The first online pokies strategy new players should learn is to not gamble their bank all at once in one session. If you’re on a bad run and it’s just not your day it’s worth taking some time out. Take some time to think about where you are with your bank and calling it quits for the day, if necessary.

The other thing worth considering is how much you want to wager per spin. Playing for higher stakes will win you more money when you get it right, but it will also cost you a lot more if you’re on a lean run. Alternatively, you can play for much lower stakes, even the minimum stakes, which will see your money go a lot further.

The first method is much riskier and may result in you losing your bank pretty quickly, whereas the second is better for the more recreational player who wants to enjoy themselves as much as they are concerned with winning money.

Players should also be aware of a pokies’ volatility level. Highly volatile slots lead to big fluctuations in what you can win or lose, while ones with low levels of volatility generally don’t see you win or lose much either way. So, it’s up to the particular player to decide which they prefer.

Casino Bonuses

Casino bonuses are a good way of playing more spins on pokies without using your own money. They generally come in the form of welcome bonuses or free spins and mean your money goes a lot further.

But unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. Almost all bonuses come with play through rates, which means that wins from them must be wagered through lots of times before you can withdraw the cash. Sometimes as many as 50x.

Occasionally, accepting a bonus also means that your original deposit also has wagering requirements linked to it, making it even harder to get your cash out. So, it’s worth reading the terms and conditions before accepting a bonus to see if it’s worth your while, especially with reload bonuses. With free spins, you normally don’t have anything to lose by claiming them.

Australian money wrapped in a red bow

VIP/Loyalty Programs

The same can’t be said of Loyalty Programs. There’s no downside to being part of a Casino Loyalty Program because it’s just a case of receiving the benefits they give you without having to give anything in return, although of course, any bonuses you accept are subject to the same wagering requirements as the ones just described. However, sometimes bonuses given as part of the Loyalty Program have considerably lower wagering requirements than regular bonuses.

The way these programs (or schemes as they’re sometimes known) work is that the more you play, the higher up the levels you go and the more rewards you get. These can be anything from bonuses to trips to sporting events and concerts, to having a personal Account Manager to help you with anything you need.

VIP pass being held by someone in a white glove

Pokies Strategy Tips

Here are some of the ways you can get the most bang for your buck when playing real money online pokies and hopefully making sure that you end up in profit.

Understanding RTP

RTP is short for Return to Player. It refers to how much, on average, a pokie pays out to players and is represented as a percentage, almost always in the 90s. A pokie with an RTP of 94% will payout, on average, 940 AUD for every 1000 AUD played on it. So, it follows that the higher the RTP of a pokie, the better for the player. Aim to play pokies that have an RTP of around 97% through a game’s RTP isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, either.

Play Free Pokies First

Most Aussie real money online casinos will let you play any pokie you like for free. The exception to this is Progressive Jackpot pokies, which generally need to be played for real cash.

Trying out free pokies in Australia for fun is a great way to help you find your favourites, try out pokies you’d never normally play and better understand the features of the ones you like before going on and risking your own money.

What’s a Paytable?

A paytable will be available as part of any mobile pokies’ features. You can generally find it by clicking on the ‘Information’ button or reading the game’s instructions.

The paytable will tell you what all the different symbol combinations payout based on how many of them you get, as well as detailing what prizes you can get in the pokies’ different bonus features.

Knowing the game’s paytable won’t necessarily help you win, it’s just something to be aware of.

Understanding A Progressive

Progressive Jackpots are special types of pokies that take a small percentage of every stake wagered on them and put it towards its Jackpot. The longer it goes on without being won, the greater the amount up for grabs, hence the term ‘Progressive’.

Some Progressive Pokies have several Jackpots, all of which are Progressive. In these cases, it’s far easier to win the so-called Minor Jackpot than it is the Major or Mega one. A popular pokies strategy is to only play progressives and always bet the max. That way if you do get lucky and hit your payout will be life-changing.

Pokies Strategy Glossary


Also known as slots or fruit machines, they’re games that operate using reels with different symbols on them. Identical symbols in a row give players pre-determined cash prizes and they always feature at least one bonus round that isn’t easy to access but can be very profitable.


A reel is almost like a column and determines the mechanics of the pokie. Generally, pokies have 3 reels or 5 although some of the more recent ones can have plenty more. It’s the spinning of the reels before coming to a halt that makes up each spin/round you play.


The amount you decide to wager on your next spin. All pokies will have a minimum and a maximum you can wager per spin.

Expanding Wilds

You don’t see them often but essentially, they’re Wild symbols that expand to occupy the whole reel. Having them in place seriously helps your chances of securing a good win.


Some pokies, such as the famous Starburst, have a re-spin as a feature. What happens is that the re-spin is randomly triggered or activated by a win and you re-spin the reels for free with the symbols generally locked in the position they were in when the re-spin was awarded.


A special symbol that substitutes for any other symbol to help you win. The Wild will rarely replace the Scatter symbol, though. Some games even have more than one Wild symbol.


Sometimes represented by the game’s logo or a special character associated with the theme, the Scatter is a special symbol that is your route to unlocking the bonus features, such as a free spins round. You normally need three of them on the reels to access the bonus round.


A feature present in just about every pokie that allows you to choose x number of spins to be played automatically for a particular stake without needing to press ‘Spin’. You’ll always have the option to set it up so that the Autoplay ends if you win or lose a certain amount before the autoplay spins come to an end.


A table that displays what you win should you get a particular combination of symbols. It’s a good way of understanding the hierarchy of the different symbols.

Free Spins

The most common form of a bonus round. Players are awarded a certain number of spins in a special round where prizes up for grabs are generally better than in the base game.

Online Pokies Strategy FAQs

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