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Pokie games are some of the most popular games in the world, with 89% of all gaming revenue coming through them. But for many, they can represent a scary proposition, with industry jargon and the fear of losing money trying to learn the ropes putting many off even looking into pokie games. If this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place, as on this page we take you through the basics of pokie games, what key terms mean, and how you can learn the ropes easily and cash free. 

Reels and Rows

The number of symbols that can be seen horizontally is the number of reels, whilst the number of symbols that can be seen vertically is the number of rows that each pokie game has. As a general rule, expect most online pokie games to have five reels, although this can vary between as few as three and as many as nine.

The premise of pokie games is very simple. In essence, for most games you have to match symbols along the reels in order to win outside of any bonus rounds or special features which the game has. The symbols change from game to game, in keeping with whatever theme the game uses, but generally the symbols most associated with the game will be those of higher value, whilst other symbols, such as those from a regular deck of cards, will hold lower value. The majority of the time, you will win money provided you match 3,4, or 5 symbols along any reel that is an active payline.

Active paylines

A payline is simply a line which if you can locate 3,4 or 5 of the same symbol, pays you money. Some games work with a wide number of paylines, up to 243, whilst others use just 5 or 10. With those that use more, you can often choose which paylines to make “active” which affects how much you stake per spin. However, if you do this, you may miss out on profit if the symbols align along a passive payline.   

Wild and scatter symbols

Two of the most common symbols in online pokie games are the wild symbols and the scatter symbols. The wild symbol serves to imitate any other symbol, which significantly increases your chances of winning as it can substitute along any winning payline. The scatter symbol can come in handy too, not least because finding a certain number of them (usually three) often allows you to enter any bonus features that the game may have, such as free spins mode. Both are also valuable in their own right, and aligning them along any paylines will result in payouts greater than other symbols.   

Pokie Games Free Play

With a lot of online pokie games, an accompanying option for free play is available, which we thoroughly recommend. Each pokie game is slightly different, with different rules, bonuses features and rewards. With free play, you are able to notice the nuances and important features of games that more general reviews may not point out, as well as offering you chances to decide whether a particular pokie game is right for you, they may not all be. 

Whilst there are a wide range of different types of pokie games, this guide has sought to cover the basics that exist tying them all together. For more detail, we highly recommend reading some of the reviews on this site, or jumping into online free play, which will allow you to come to terms with many of the nuances of different games. Happy betting!