Best Australian Online Pokies

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Free Pokies

Online Pokies Australia: Your #1 Guide

Who has never played pokies for fun at some time in their life? A feature of bars and amusement arcades, the pokie machines have been around for decades now. If you love pokies, then did you know that you can play pokies online? There are well over a couple of thousand or so of online pokies just waiting for you to spin the reels.

You can read this guide to find out all about pokie machines, and which are the best online casinos to play free online pokies in Australia.

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Play Pokies Online for Free

Do you want to play free online pokies?

Most beginners want to try out a few games for free before wagering real money on them. Fortunately, Australian online casinos offer online pokies in the free, fun, or demo mode. Some of them also allow unregistered players to play for free, but most want you to create an account to access the Aussie pokies.

Playing online pokies free is a great way to get familiar with rules and strategies. Even seasoned players like to play new pokies for free before wagering real money on them.

Pokies … a little bit of history

Did you know that pokies have been around for over one hundred years? Well, you do now! The first proper pokie was created in 1899 and named ‘Liberty Bell’. The machine had a slot for cash and three reels. Players entered their fee into the slot then pulled the handle, spinning the reels. Landing three identical symbols (or some other winning combinations) would cause the machine to pay out.

There had been a ‘poker machine’ made in 1891 but this featured five reels containing playing cards. To win, you needed to land a decent poker hand. Payouts were not automatic though – if you were a winner you had to alert the barman who would then award you your prize.

Poker machines eventually made their way to Australia. The most popular games were those that had playing card symbols and to win you needed to land poker-style hands, hence ‘poker machine’ or pokie for short. All similar games are called pokies in Australia, although in the rest of the world they are known as ‘slots’.

​One giant leap for pokie-kind … the video pokie!

In the mid-seventies, some bright spark had the idea of replacing the mechanical workings of an old-fashioned pokie with a computer and a video screen. The ‘spin’ of the reels was replaced by the workings of a poker chip, and the results were displayed on the screen. Despite initial reservations by people who thought that computers might be used to ‘rig’ the results of the spinning reels, video pokies (or video slots as they are known in the USA) took the gambling world by storm and became incredibly popular.

Because video pokies are run by software, clever computer programmers are able to add extra features to such games that make them more entertaining. Modern video pokies have aspects such as wild symbols, scatter symbols, linked progressive jackpots and bonus games.

The next step for slot machines … online pokies!

Online casinos first began to appear on the internet in the late 1990s, and of course, video pokies were excellent candidates to make the transition from video cabinets to online software. Originally, to use an online video pokie players would have to download and install the games on their PCs. These days modern computers are so powerful that they can download any video pokie within an internet browser.

Online players now have many hundreds of video pokies to choose from when they fancy a few spins of the reels and from dozens of online casinos that host games from a number of software developers!

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Online pokies … a quick guide

If you’ve never played online pokies before, then you may be a bit dazzled when you come across one for the first time, and you may find it hard to work out what is happening, and how you play pokies for free. Here is a very speedy guide to the most common features of modern online pokies.

Reels and pay lines

Traditional (mechanical) pokies have three reels and just one ‘pay line’ (i.e. the line that the symbols must fall across so that you have a winning combination), but video pokies tend to have five reels and multiple pay lines. Pay lines can be all sorts of shapes, from straight lines to complete zig zags. You don’t really need to memorize all the pay lines that a video pokie has as if you land a winning combination on one, the pokie will tell you! The rule you need to concentrate on though is that the more pay lines, the better!

Wild symbols

A wild symbol is simply a symbol that can substitute for any other symbol in order to create a winning combination, just like a joker in any card game that uses them.

Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols don’t have to appear on a pay line to be winners. Most video pokies have three rows of five symbols. If you land a certain minimum number of scatters anywhere on the visible reels, then you are a winner! The more scatters you land, the bigger the prize!

Side games

As well as the main feature, a large number of online pokies have side games too! If you land a certain combination of symbols, then you may be able to enter the side game. This is usually completely different from the main ‘reels’ feature and you have the chance of winning a pretty cool bonus or cash payout!

Some side games are down to luck, but others have a skill factor. You can really ramp up your winnings if you land a side game and end up lucky!

​Linked progressive jackpot

‘Jackpot’ slots tend to have linked progressive jackpots. Every time someone pays to play a spin at one of these slots, a tiny proportion of what they pay is added to a cumulative jackpot. This jackpot keeps rolling over and rolling over until finally, someone wins it! To add to the value of this jackpot, anyone who plays the game at any online casino that features it adds to the jackpot.

Some progressive jackpots have made a lot of people very rich indeed. The current record jackpot win stands at over NZ$37,000,000! If your main reason for playing at an online casino is to get rich very quickly indeed, then playing linked progressive jackpot slots is the way to go about it!

Online pokies … who makes the best games?

Online casinos do not make online pokies themselves (although some do, but these are few and far between) but source them from specialist software providers. Here are (in our honest opinion) the five best online pokie software vendors:

NetEnt

NetEnt

NetEnt is regarded as the best online software company for pokies and other casino games in the world. This Swedish company has been around since 1996, and have made some of the most popular online pokies available anywhere on the internet.

Top pokies to play for free: Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Mega Fortune.

Microgaming

​Microgaming

If any company has the right to be called the ‘grand-daddy’ of all online casinos, it is Microgaming. This company is based on the Isle of Man near England and launched the very first online casino way back in 1994. Its software is still regarded as among the best to this very day.

Best pokies to play: Mega Moolah, Immortal Romance, The Finer Reels of Life.

Betsoft

Betsoft

Betsoft has released many great games across the ages, but sadly their titles are not available for everyone. That’s because of licensing issues as some of their licensing has been revoked, a problem they have been fighting since 2014. If you’re in Australia, then you should be okay to play many of Betsoft’s fantastic titles.

Best pokie games: Good Girl Bad Girl, Yak Yeti and Roll, Greedy Goblins.

Yggdrasil Gaming

​Yggdrasil Gaming

Not all the best software companies have been around for years. Yggdrasil Gaming (like NetEnt, based in Sweden) has been around since 2013 and in a relatively short expanse of time has established an extremely decent reputation for itself with plenty of corking titles.

Best pokies: Cyrus the Virus, Vikings Go Bezerk, Holmes and the Stolen Stones.

Play’n GO

Play'n GO

Play’n Go has been around for a lot longer than people seem to think – since 2005 in fact. It has taken some time for this company to establish itself in the online casino arena, but since 2015 it has been making some of the very best online pokies around!

Best pokies: Rich Wilde & the Book of Dead, Cash Vandal, Sweet Alchemy.

Best Online Pokies in Australia

Pokie MachineSoftware ProviderRTP ValueJackpot
Mega JokerNetEnt99.00%2,000x
Couch PotatoMicrogaming98.00%5,000x
Bikini PartyMicrogaming98.00%20,000x
Big Bounty BillKalamba Games97.87%5,000x
Mystery MotelHacksaw Gaming97.62%10,000x
Crystal CavernKalamba Games97.67%10,000x
Joker’s LuckSkywind97.61%820x
Psycho CandiesG Games97.50%5,000x
Retro Reels Extreme HeatMicrogaming97.50%4,400x
Blazing BullKalamba Games97.42%2,667x
MachinaKalamba Games97.42%26,600x
Fruit 40Swintt97.42%5,000x
Fairy BelleSwintt97.42%750x
Leprechaun RichesPG Soft97.35%100,000x
Mega FortuneNetEnt96.60%$375,000+ (Progressive)
Mega MoolahMicrogaming88.12%$1,000,000+ (Progressive)

Pokie MachineSoftware ProviderRTP ValueJackpot
Book Of 99Relax Gaming99.00%5,000x
Jackpot 6000NetEnt99.00%6,000x
Marching LegionsRelax Gaming98.12%10,000x
Butterfly StaxxNetEnt98.07%640x
Cosmic ReelsMetaGU98.03%10,000x
Blood SuckersNetEnt98.00%1,014x
Liquid GoldMicrogaming98.00%5,000x
Money CartRelax Gaming98.00%5,000x
Classic Joker 5 ReelsStakeLogic98.00%6,000x
Dragon DanceMicrogaming98.00%600x
Zeus Lightning Power ReelsRed Tiger Gaming97.73%5,037x
Zombie QueenKalamba Games97.67%1,930x
Pyro PixieKalamba Games97.65%8,000x
Wild OrientMicrogaming97.50%60,000x
Mega FortuneNetEnt96.60%$375,000+ (Progressive)
Mega MoolahMicrogaming88.12%$1,000,000+ (Progressive)

Where to play online pokies for free?

Most of the top online casinos in the world, not just Australia, offer free to play versions of their online pokies. Simply pick any of our top-rated casino sites and browse through the library of casino games. Instead of paying for real money, you’ll be given the option to play for free, in demo mode. 

This is a great way to learn a new game, without the need to risk real cash. You can make absolutely sure that you understand its rules, features and gameplay elements, before moving on to real money play.

Pokie MachineSoftware ProviderRTP ValueJackpot
Book Of 99Relax Gaming99.00%5,000x
Mega JokerNetEnt99.00%2,000x
Marching LegionsRelax Gaming98.12%10,000x
Butterfly StaxxNetEnt98.07%640x
Cosmic ReelsMetaGU98.03%10,000x
Blood SuckersNetEnt98.00%1,014x
Liquid GoldMicrogaming98.00%5,000x
Dragon DanceMicrogaming98.00%600x
Big Bounty BillKalamba Games97.87%5,000x
Twin JokerStakelogic97.79%12,320x
Pyro PixieKalamba Games97.65%8,000x
Mystery MotelHacksaw Gaming97.62%10,000x
Crystal CavernKalamba Games97.67%10,000x
Psycho CandiesG Games97.50%5,000x
Mega FortuneNetEnt96.60%$375,000+ (Progressive)
Mega MoolahMicrogaming88.12%$1,000,000+ (Progressive)

Pros & Cons of Online Pokies

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Huge Selection. Pokies are the most popular of all Australian online casino games. As a result, software developers spend a lot of time creating new titles. Hundreds are released every year, with all kinds of fascinating themes and innovative new gameplay mechanics.Less Sociable. Visiting the casino with your friends and having a chat is all part of the fun. It’s tempting to play online pokies alone in your own house, taking away from a part of the experience. 
Generous Returns. Because the online casino industry is very competitive, sites have to offer generous payout rates. The RTP percentages of the top pokies are incredibly high and can even reach 99%! Slower Payouts. Especially if you are lucky enough to land a big jackpot, it can take a long time to get your hands on the cash. Even with a regular win, it could be up to a week if you request a withdrawal via a card or bank transfer.
Tempting Bonuses. For similar reasons, casinos must attract and retain players with incentives. Deposit match bonuses can boost your bankroll. But equally, you’ll find plenty of attractive free spins deals.Excessive Play. With no need to factor in travel time or worry about having a beer, it’s easy to lose track of your gameplay. If you’re prone to excessive gambling, make use of the responsible gambling tools found at our top-rated casinos.
Simple Rules. Unlike other casino games, there’s not really much strategy involved with online pokies. It’s just a case of spinning the reels and seeing how your luck is. If you’re tired after a hard day, that’s an attractive way to relax.

FAQs

How to Play Pokies for Real Money?

That’s an easy one. In this article, we’ve named several of the best online casinos in Australia. All of these sites offer real money pokies. Just register a new account, visit the cashier to make a deposit, then pick out your favourite title.

How do online pokies work?

Online pokies rely on random number generator software which has been independently tested to ensure its fairness. The outcome of each individual spin is determined by this RNG. It’s similar to a roulette wheel, in that each number is randomly chosen with every spin. In the short term, sequences can occur that seem unusual. But over a long period of time, the game will pay out in accordance with its RTP settings.

Are online pokies rigged?

Absolutely not. All RNG software is tested and certified to prove that it’s not fixed in any way. If an online casino was ever caught cheating, word would spread quickly and they’d have no customers left!

Can you beat an online pokie machine?

In the short term, yes. The longer you play online pokies, the closer your payouts will be to the game’s RTP percentage. But if you get lucky with a big win early on and walk away, then absolutely you can beat the game. Especially if it’s a porogressive slot that pays out a huge sum of money. 

Can you win money with online pokies in Australia?

Of course! If you play real money pokies, then you can win cash. Naturally, if you only play them in demo mode, which is a free to play version of the game, then your winnings would not be real.

Are online pokies safe?

For sure. All online casino games at Australian casinos, including pokies, go through rigorous testing. Reputable third party software testing agencies like GLI will perform simulations on the RNG software and make sure that the advertised RTPs are real and that the software is genuine. 

How do I pick a good pokie machine?

Ultimately, you should be looking to have fun when playing online pokies. Find a game that appeals to you, whether it’s due to the theme, the visuals or even the soundtrack. Everything else depends on what you are looking to achieve. If you don’t have the patience for long losing streaks, find a low volatility title. And if you want to make your bankroll last longer, look for pokies with high RTP values.

Which online pokies payout the most?

The games listed in this article are some of the pokies with the highest Return To Player rates found at Australian casinos.

Can I Play Free Pokies at Australian Online Casinos?

Yes! All of the country’s top online casinos allow you to trial their pokies in demo mode. Playing these games for free is a great way to test a new strategy or to learn the rules and bonus features. You should always try a game for free before you risk your hard earned cash.

How do pokies jackpots work?

Since online pokies are truly random, every single spin has a chance to hit the jackpot. If a game features a standalone jackpot, then it will randomly pay out the big prize independently. But many online pokies have a progressive jackpot which is linked to many other games. The Mega Moolah titles are all linked across multiple countries, which can lead to massive payouts stretching into eight figures!

Do pokies pay more at night?

No. Online pokies are completely random. The software uses a random number generator which determines the outcome of every spin. This is verified by independent testing agencies like GLI and BMM Testlabs. They make sure that games are honest and cannot be interfered with. Day or night, you always have a fair chance to win.

What is the RTP in online pokies?

RTP stands for “Return To Player”. It’s a way to easily indicate how much an online slot machine pays out. A value of 97% simply means that $97 is paid out for every $100 that’s taken in. The higher the RTP, the better it is for the player!

And in conclusion …

Australian online pokies surely are the cream of the Aussie online casino realm, which probably explains why there are so god-darned many of them! We hope we have given you plenty to be chewing over – how to play online slots, what are the features that you should be looking out for, which are the best software vendors, which are the best games and where are the places that you can have the most slotting entertainment!

Good luck with your slotting career! Play online pokies for free! Remember, only ever gamble with money that you can afford to lose, and never chase your losses. If you think you need a break from online gambling, then make sure you take it.