When it comes to casino games, few are as popular with Australian players as pokies – in fact, playing pokies is practically a national pastime. Known elsewhere in the world as slots, the popularity of pokies is easy to understand. It’s a game that doesn’t require an enormous amount of skill, is easy to understand, simple to play, loads of fun, and potentially very rewarding too.
The first slot machines made their appearance in Australia in the early 1900s. For the next couple of decades the machines went through minimal changes – they all had three reels and relatively small jackpots, with interaction limited to simply pulling down the handle and waiting for the reels to stop. By the 1980s however, video slots / pokies were introduced – these had five reels and different amounts of paylines, plus they offered extra ways for players to win in the form of gamble options and free spins.
The name “pokies” appears to have been derived from the time when slot machines and video poker machines were found in pubs and clubs and came to be collectively referred to as poker machines, which in turn was shortened to pokies.
With the explosion of the Internet in the early 1990s and the creation of the first ever online casino, it wasn’t long before the online version of slots was taking the world by storm. Now instead of going to a land-based casino or the local pub, players could simply play from the comfort of their own home on their PCs and laptops. From there followed the mobile revolution – players could now play on their tablets and smartphones from anywhere in the world. With these advancements came the continuing evolution of games – they were now even more interactive with immersive sound effects and feature-rich 3D graphics and animation. Furthermore, they included different variations ranging from classic pokies and video pokies to fruit machines, pokies and 3D pokies.
The paylines also increased from 5 to 25 and more. Some pokies games did away with paylines completely – these became known as 243 ways-to-win games: if any combo of symbols is in the correct order from left to right, then the game will pay out. Plus, modern slots machines feature an incredible array of bonus features, special wild symbols, free spins and more. Produced by some of the leading casino providers in the world, games just keep getting better and better, with constantly improving visuals, audio, game play, and navigation.
They also encompass all kinds of themes from sport and adventure to romance, ancient civilizations, and more, thus catering to all types of players. As for payouts, some pokies games are more rewarding than others – the progressive jackpot games for example include jackpots that start at a guaranteed million, which then increases every time a player places a bet and plays: this will continue until someone wins the full amount. Other games might deliver smaller wins, but they’ll likely do it on a more regular basis.