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Welcome to the page that’s dedicated to the beautiful world of slot machines, also known as pokies! Here you will find lots of relevant information about the machines and a complete guide for navigating through the world of pokies. There will be information on both traditional and online pokies.

What Are Pokies?

Slot machines, also known as one-armed bandits, fruit machines, poker machines, or simply pokies or slots, are part of the general category of betting games. Pokies are some of the most sought-after forms of gambling in the world – both in land-based and online casinos. You can also often find them in game rooms, bars, and sports betting rooms.

Pokies have many different names due to the many different figures and images that are on the machines, as well as due to their general look. For example, some Pokies are called “one-armed bandits” because they have a lever attached to the side that you have to pull in order for the pokie machine to spin. The name slots come from the slots on the machines where players can insert and retrieve coins.

How Do You Play Pokies?

This might be a question that many feels would need no explanation. But at Casino Cupid, we believe that no question is too big or small. Also, if you’ve never heard about these machines before, or maybe only seen them in movies, you might now know exactly how they work. If you don’t know, don’t worry. We’re here to help!

A pokie is made up of wheels that have images or figures displayed on them. The first pokie had 5 wheels with images of poker cards, whereas the others only had 3 symbols of poker cards and other images. Today, the pokies consist of many different images and can have 3 or more wheels. In order to play the game, you must insert money into the slot of the machine so that it activates. Then you can either pull the lever on the side or push a button on the machine in order to make the wheels turn. When the wheels stop turning, they will reveal a combination of images. These images are displayed at random – it’s all up to chance. The combination determines if you will win more, less, or no money.

When it comes to online pokies, it’s even easier since you don’t even have to pull a lever. As you may have already imagined, you only need to click the screen!

And voila, this is how you play pokies.

The History and Evolution of Pokies

The first coin-operated pokie ever invented was called Liberty Bell and was created in 1887 by a car mechanic named Charles August Fay. It consisted of 3 wheels that displayed some card symbols (heart, spades, and diamonds), a horseshoe, and a bell called the “liberty bell”. The bell combination was the strongest – hence the name of the machine. The first fruit slot machines (with images of fruit instead of playing cards) were introduced in 1907 by Herbert Mills. Mills was frustrated that Fay didn’t want to sell his copyrights, and therefore chose to start his own production of a different type of slots.

In 1967, Bally Systems, an American pokie machine manufacturing company, produced the first electronic pokie machine and the first electronic pokie machine video game. Bally Systems also created the first pokie data system. To this day they have continued to innovate and develop the online and traditional pokie market.

The popularity of pokies has always shown continuous growth, but during the Coronavirus pandemic, online and traditional pokies reached an entirely different level of popularity. This may be due to the fact that you don’t have to think much when playing the game. This can be seen as a great advantage compared to strategic games where you have to think all the time when playing. It’s very relaxing and easy to play.

Other than being a relaxing and easy game, since you don’t have to think too much, what other advantages do pokies have? If you’re curious, then keep reading!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pokies

It doesn’t matter whether you’re focusing on online pokies or traditional pokie machines, when it comes to defining the advantages of pokies, there are multiple things that can be mentioned:

  • They’re much more accessible. You only need a mobile, tablet, laptop or computer.

  • They have a wide range of different pokie types and themes that are different from conventional ones.

  • You can play from the comfort of your home or from anywhere you want!

  • You can try demo versions until you feel more secure. Then afterwards, you can play for real money

  • It’s available 24/7.

  • The offers and bonuses available at online casinos are more attractive than those of classic pokies.

  • The safety and security of the money that you’ve won and your personal data are guaranteed.

  • You have much more control over your bets, as you can set win and loss limits.

  • There are multiple payment methods, which is a big difference from traditional pokies where you can only use cash.

Disadvantages of Pokies 

Like everything else in life, online and traditional pokies also have some disadvantages. Here are some that you should consider before you start playing:

  • They have a lower winning rate compared to other gambling games, especially progressive jackpot pokies. A progressive jackpot pokie is a pokie that continues to climb in value until one lucky player wins it.

  • They can be very addictive. This of course applies to all games of chance, but with pokies, the risk is a little bit bigger due to how easy it is to play and win. Therefore, make sure that you play in moderation!

Online Pokies Vs. Traditional Pokies

There are quite a few differences between online pokies and traditional pokies, but it’s difficult to determine whether online pokie machines are better than traditional ones, or vice versa. In the end, it's all a matter of preference. On the one hand, when you play a pokie machine in a bar or an arcade you don't receive as many offers or bonuses as you might at an online casino, but the atmosphere and experience are different, making it a social activity. In online gambling, the competition is much higher, which is why online casinos offer various bonuses and rewards to attract new players and turn them into loyal customers. Here are some benefits that are worth mentioning:

  • Deposit Bonuses: As the name indicates, it’s a bonus that you receive when you’ve made a deposit. When a player creates a user in an online casino and deposits an amount, which is to be used in a pokie machine or in some other game, an additional amount can be received as a deposit bonus.

  • No Deposit Bonuses: This bonus doesn’t require any deposit or payment from the player in order for the player to obtain it. A no-deposit bonus can be obtained by having spent a certain amount of time as a user in the casino, by having played a certain number of times, or by having reached some type of "milestone" that the casino specifies for obtaining this bonus. One of them may be, for example, the registration of the user in the casino.

  • Free spins: They are like “free tries”. In the case of pokies, you could get, for example, 4 chances to play correctly free.

Now that you know a little about some of the bonuses, advantages, and disadvantages of pokies, it’s important that you also know a little more about some of the more advanced terms that exist within the world of pokies. These include:


In gambling, volatility is the term used when assessing the risk of losing. In other words, volatility helps you figure out how often and how much you can possibly expect to win.

There are three levels of volatility in online gambling:

  1. Low: When there’s low volatility, there are more chances to win. The payouts are more stable, but earnings are lower. Low volatility pokies offer the opportunity to play longer, as the losses are lower. They are a good option for those who play just for fun. You must be aware that pokies are a form of entertainment and should not be approached as a way to earn money since doing so could encourage gambling addiction behaviour.

  2. Medium: They are a sort of middle-ground between low-volatility and high-volatility online pokies. They offer decent returns but are a lot less frequent than the low-volatility ones. A big advantage of medium volatility online pokies is that they offer a lot of bonuses.

  3. High: The risk is high, but the reward is proportional considering the possible profit. These pokies are suitable for players who have large sums of money and are armed with a lot of patience.

In order to fully enjoy the pokie experience, it's a good idea to do a quick analysis to find out which strategy you prefer; modest but more frequent wins or going for a generous jackpot. Most online casinos don’t disclose volatility. So, this task is up to the individual player. This can sometimes take a few rounds. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use the demo version if you wish to examine the volatility of online pokies.

RTP - Return to Player

It’s a criterion that is often found in the game description. RTP can vary significantly from game to game. Casinos usually present games with an RTP range between 80% and 95%. Yet, there are some offer rates of 98% and above. In other words, this index expresses what percentage of the money played will be returned to the players. Often, the RTP is required to be specified on the game’s website.

A game with high RTP is said to offer more wins to players. It’s often said to be in the player's favour since it must be at least greater than or equal to 96%. On the other hand, a low RTP offers little profit and favours the house if it is equal to or less than 95%.

The RTP is calculated considering 3 elements: the number of game possibilities, the output, and the total amount of money deposited in that game. RTP is calculated based on millions of rounds of plays and not just a few rounds played by a single player. It means that you may play for hours straight without winning anything, just as you may win in a single try.

RNG – Random Number Generator

The system that starts the device and determines the position of the symbols on the wheels of online pokies is a system based on RNG, a random generation of numbers. It is very important that the results are random, after all, when it comes to games of chance this is what defines them. Both online and offline casinos are regularly controlled and monitored by the appropriate authorities. There are many myths about pokies (both positive myths and negative myths), but the truth is that everything is based on luck. Neither the casino nor the player can influence the result since it´s completely random.

Types of Online Pokies

In addition to pokies with 3 or 5 wheels, there are now 7 or even 9 wheels. The number of wheels influences the volatility of the game and the number of possible combinations.

When it comes to the game’s functions, it can be played with either classic twists, avalanches, or cascade rounds. Avalanche or Cascade rounds have a different gameplay than classic spin rounds. These two functions offer more opportunities to win. Symbols that have been a part of a winning combination disappear from the screen and are replaced by new symbols without the player having to place a new bet.

Online Pokies’ Features and Symbols... They Vary!

  • Games with sevens. Some examples are Big 7 Pokies, 7777 Lucky Pokies, and many others.

  • Games with classic symbols inspired by classic pokie machines: fruits, cards, dice, crowns, diamonds.

  • Minigames with special pokies. They have different themes and you can choose whether you want to keep or “freeze” the image of one or several wheels before starting a new round. This is possible in, for example, Fantasy Pokies.

  • Games with thematic characters, superheroes (from stories, books, movies, or TV shows), and celebrities.

  • Games with random functions. In addition to being able to “freeze” the wheels that you wish, there are other random functions for you to have fun with. For example, with some pokies, there is a possibility of increasing the bet and the lines, in which a winning combination is obtained, could be “unlocked” through having obtained a good combination in a spin. This happens in an online game called Pocahontas Pokies.

  • Special pokie games. Some pokies have other ways of playing that differ from the more typical ones, such as tournaments.

Is It Safe to Play Online Pokies?

When playing at an online casino, you may be concerned about the security of your personal information or banking details. But when playing at a licensed online casino, you can be sure that the security of your data is guaranteed. Online casinos are closely monitored by different apparatuses depending on where the online casino has received its license. In New Zealand, online casinos are required to be licensed in order to be considered legal. The New Zealand Gambling Commission hears casino licensing applications and appeals on licensing and enforcement decisions made by the Secretary of Internal Affairs. Therefore, you can rest assured that licensed casinos are very safe to play at!

It's important for you to know the risk of playing at unauthorized casinos that don’t have a license. Nobody can guarantee the security of your data in an unauthorized online casino. In fact, any type of guarantee is excluded. Even when it comes to withdrawing profits, the process is much more complicated, takes much longer, and you may be faced with various difficulties. And if you believe that you don't have to pay taxes on money won at unauthorized online casinos, then you're wrong. Therefore, it’s important that you make sure that the casino you want to play at is licensed. Otherwise, you jeopardize the security of your personal data. Here at Casino Cupid, all the casinos that you see are licensed.

The Best Tips and Strategies for Online Pokies

It’s s a well-known fact that pokies are designed to be profitable for the manufacturer, at least in the long run. However, a well-developed strategy and some basic rules can help you maximize your profits.

  • Compare online gambling: When being in a traditional gaming room, you are much more limited in terms of the range of devices and games available. In online rooms, you have many options available. There are several online casinos available, each offering games developed by different manufacturers. Among the best-known manufacturers, we can mention NetEnt, Playtech, EGT, Novomatic or Microgaming. So, if you are here at Casino Cupid, it means that you have taken the first step of your pokie adventure. At Casino Cupid, you can compare and find the best and most trustworthy online casinos since Casino Cupid is an authorized online casino comparison platform.

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When comparing online gambling games, you should pay attention to the RTP. The higher it is, the better your chances of winning are.

  • Don't forget the reviews!: Why are game reviews relevant? Because through reviews, you can learn more about what other players have experienced. Both when it comes to the game and the manufacturer. This can help you choose the most suitable game for you. By reading the reviews, you can find a lot of useful and relevant information about online games that may have caught your attention. Reviews generally reflect the experiences of other players, so you can check whether or not the information and data presented by the casino are true. This is especially useful when it comes to finding out about the volatility and RTP of the game.

  • Start with the demo version: Online pokies with demo versions provide you with virtual funds to "test the waters". You can use demo versions to find out what kind of pokie games appeal to you the most and then play for real money later on.

Don't bet more than you can afford: It's true that a higher bet can lead to bigger profits, but it's important to be modest and not bet more than what you're comfortable with losing. Pokies are basically games of chance. No matter how many strategies you apply, winning is not guaranteed since it's all a matter of luck.

Setting a limit for both profit and loss is always a good idea. This gives you more control over how much you spend and can help you determine when it’s best to retire.

  • Choose the right moment to stop: You probably know the scenario. You keep putting money into the pokies hoping to win more and you end up losing all your accumulated winnings. This doesn't sound like a smart move, does it? Instead, choose the right time to quit the game.

  • Learn to play responsibly: pokies aren’t a source of income. It’s important to distinguish between fun, source of income, and gambling addiction.

  • Study the game’s interface to see what the structure is: It doesn't matter if it's a simple game like online pokies or a slightly more complicated game like Blackjack. It’s important that you know how it works and what strategies you can in order to win. From the menu, you can find out how much you can bet in each round and what the value of the bet is. The money that you bet will be displayed on the screen in chips, credits or other symbols, but you determine its value. Don't forget to establish a withdrawal limit for winnings and losses.

You’ve now gained knowledge on everything from the types of online pokies to their history and how to play them. After having read all the information above, all you have to do is click on the SPIN or PLAY button and start enjoying the different types of games offered by online pokies. Remember that if you have any questions or are new to online casinos and games, Casino Cupid is here to help you… Good luck!

Table of contents

  • What Are Pokies?
  • How Do You Play Pokies?
  • The History and Evolution of Pokies
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Pokies
  • Online Pokies Vs. Traditional Pokies
  • Volatility
  • RTP - Return to Player
  • RNG – Random Number Generator
  • Types of Online Pokies
  • Online Pokies’ Features and Symbols... They Vary!
  • Is It Safe to Play Online Pokies?
  • The Best Tips and Strategies for Online Pokies

Frequently Asked Questions