Pokies Guide

Online casinos have introduced a new way of gambling to the world and this claim is evident through the sheer variety of games found today that have done an excellent job embodying physical casino games. Tradition casinos feature numerous casino games in terms of volume; players can find 10 different slot machines for a popular slot game. The reason for this is so people don’t need to queue up in order to play their favourite pokie machine. Since queuing isn’t required online, internet casinos offer a wide variety of online casino games by taking taken advantage of the development in technology, graphics and design.

If you’ve been to an online casino recently, the evidence is right in front of you; no casino game displays more variety than online pokies. Online pokies are one of the few casino games where developers have the opportunity to freely express their potential and creativity to create an impactful and entertaining casino game.

Free Online Pokies is expressively dedicated to pokies and this article provides a full guide to any beginners who’s willing to learn the game or any enthusiast who wants to brush up their knowledge.

Feel free to go to our ‘Free Play Pokies’ page after you’ve read this article and play online slot game for free – without any registration.


  • History
  • Game components
  • Pokies terms and glossary
  • Steps to play
  • Winning in Slots
  • Pokies Bonus Features
  • Types of pokies

Online Pokies History

Unlike many casino games, slots seem to be quite straightforward in terms of its historical origins.

1895: Charles Fey of San Francisco developed the first slot machine with an automatic payout mechanism and named it Liberty Bells. Liberty bells features a 3 reel slot game with 5 symbols; horseshoe, diamonds, spades, hearts and the Liberty Bell.

1950: An Australian gaming company, Aristocrat Leisure, which is now an industry leader, introduced the first slot machine in Australia after they developed a slot machine called “The Clubmaster”.

1980s: This era saw the birth of unofficial computerized slot machines in which symbols occurred on a RNG (random Number Generator) basis.

1994: Microgaming developed the first online casino software after which online pokies could be played in online casinos.

Game components


Above we’ve shown an image of the popular online pokie game “Foxin Wins” which we will use as an example to demonstrate the components of a typical modern day online slot game.

Initially, the game can be divided into 4 areas:

The navigation bar which can be seen at the bottom of the image. This section is the control panel for the game and controls all functions such as bet amounts, paylines, win amount and the spinning function.

The gameplay area which is situated in the middle as the main display. This area is where the action takes place and within the area you’ll find reels, symbols and paylines.

At the top you’ll find sections which display the total balance and the total bet amount. This section may, in some games, be part of the navigation bar.

Another important component is the paytable which can be seen below and accessed by clicking the ‘i’ (for info – bottom left). Some other pokie game may replace the ‘i’ with “Paytable”. The paytable is a guidebook to a particular pokie game and describes everything there is to know about that particular game.


Pokies terms and glossary

The list below contains important terms related to an online pokie game.

243/1024 ways: Some pokies do not have payline but instead have a fixed pattern known as 243 or 1024 ways to win. In order to create a combination, the symbols have to occur in adjacent reels form left to right. When a game has 5 reels and 3 rows, 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 = 243, which is where the name comes from. The same goes for 5 reels and 4 rows, 4 X 4 X 4 X 4 X 4 = 1024.

Bet Max: The option allows you to bet the maximum coins on the slot machine with the selected coin denomination.

Bet: The total bet after calculating the no. of active paylines, the coin denomination and the no. of coins inserted.

Bonus: Bonus features within the game that is triggered by special combinations or symbols.

Coin denomination: Select a denomination of a single coin.

Coins: The number of coins of a specific denomination you want to insert.

Credits: This box which indicates your total account balance.

Pay table/View Pays: This button allows you to access the payouts, where you’ll find information on the prizes on offer, paylines and rules.

Paylines: Paylines are lines that pass through symbols from left to right. The combinations of symbols that go through these paylines evaluate your winnings. Paylines are generally indicated by the numbers on the right and left sides of the reels.

Reels: Reels are columns on the screen in which all the symbols appear and when you hit ‘Spin’ you are actually spinning the reels.

Spin: This button allows you to spin the reels once with the selected bet amount.

Symbols: Symbols are icons shown on the reels and aligning these icons across the payline earns you prizes.

Steps to play online pokies

An online pokie game can be enjoyed with a few simple steps:

Step 1: Open the pokie game.

Step 2: If you’re new to the game, open the paytable by clicking on ‘Paytable’ or ‘Info’. Go through the pages and once you have good knowledge about the game, close the paytable and comeback to the gameplay screen.

Step 3: Adjust your bet amount by adjusting the coin denomination, paylines and number of coins in-play. These adjustments are made through the navigation bar the bottom of the screen which controls the bets and the spin function. Total Bet amount = No. of paylines active X Coin denomination X No. of Coins inserted.

In the case of ‘ways to win’ game, the number of paylines are not adjustable.

Step 4: Click Spin

Once you click spin, the reels spin and the symbols stop at a random position.

Determining a Win

A typical way of winning in a slot game is to match 3 or more identical symbols along an active payline in adjacent reels. In the case of ‘ways to win’ game, the symbols need to appear in adjacent positions.

In terms of payouts, all slot games are different and all the symbols within a pokie game have different payouts. Most slot games online have a theme and the symbols of the slot games are designed to represent the theme. In most cases, players will find additional symbols such as the classic card suits J, Q, K and Ace as symbols and these symbols normally pay lower than the symbols related to the theme.

Our example above demonstrates how pokie payouts work after a win. Among the reels, 3 identical symbols have lined up along an active payline. (additional text after the image)

Pokie Bonus Features

There is no other casino game where additional features come with such advantage and variety than online pokies. With no terms and conditions attached after winning a bonus, pokie bonuses are one of the catalysts to the popularity of online pokies since a bonus win is instantly added to your casino cash balance. Normally, pokie bonuses are triggered by spinning combinations of various symbols. Pokie bonuses can come in the form of a single symbol or a combination of symbol which then triggers additional bonus features

Click here to visit our Pokie Bonus Feature page where we explain how the most common types of bonuses that are attached to a game of online pokie work.

Types of Pokies

Many newbies will definitely be impressed with the sheer variety of pokie games available online. Developers have taken great advantage of the development in technology and designing to create top quality slot games with sharp graphics, flawless animations and life-like sound effects without leaving out all the classic games which made pokies popular in the first place.

Online pokies can be primarily differentiated in 3 different ways:

  • Paylines and Ways to win
  • Slots by Reels
  • Slots by Graphics and Features

Full details on each type and their differences are explained in our ‘Types of Pokies’ page.