Australians Love Their Pokies
Aussie players have a love affair with pokies. Popular in arcades and land-based betting outlets across the continent, pokie machines (known as slots elsewhere), may not have the history behind them that card and roulette games do, but they are arguably more popular. What types of pokies appeal to players down under, though? What kinds of pokies are available, and how do Aussie players get to grips with pokie machines? It is time we spun a few reels and took a closer look.
A Game 120 Years in the Making
Pokie machines have a decent history, stretching back to the 1800s. However, they did not come to Australia until much later. In fact, it was not until the 1950s that Australians got their first glimpse of pokies. New South Wales moved quickly to legalise the games in 1956, and from the pubs and clubs of the state, they quickly spread to other parts of Australia.
The games immediately caught the attention of Len Ainsworth, who rapidly developed Aristocrat. The software provider developed a series of land-based pokie cabinets for players across the country. Today, Aristocrat is still the largest developer of cabinet pokie games to players in Oz. Len would also form another company in 1995, named after himself. Ainsworth is also a regular provider of pokies to players across the continent.
Despite 2001’s IGA (Interactive Gambling Act) ensuring that Aussie companies such as Aristocrat and Ainsworth could not offer online casino games to players down under, Australians have still found a way to play their favourite pokies. Offshore casinos fall outside of Australia’s gambling laws, and many millions of Australians regularly play pokie machines at these online casino sites. The advent of mobile pokies has further rekindled Australians’ love affair with the games.
What Makes Aussie Players Want to Play Pokies?
Australians can be drawn to all manner of pokie games. Some favour the big brands, which means to say pokie games which feature licensed franchises such as films, sports clubs, television shows and more. Other Aussie players prefer a more traditional approach and want to play games which have ancient Egyptian, fruit, Irish luck, cultural or historical themes. Ultimately, thematic preferences will vary from Aussie to Aussie. There is certainly enough choice for Australian players out there, though.
Players down under can expect to be able to play pokies in Australian dollars. On top of that, there is enough variance that Aussies can play both low variance and highly volatile pokies. While some of the more extensive progressive jackpot pokies may be absent from offshore Australian casinos, there are still pokies with jackpots worth many millions of dollars up for grabs.
Which Pokie Games Can Australians Play?
Where a pokie provider can offer their games depends on licenses. As Australian does not license casinos to offer Aussies internet gambling games such as pokies, those licenses must come from elsewhere. The types of pokies that Australians can play depends on the software providers’ own licenses.
Some software providers are licensed out of a jurisdiction which also caters to players in Australia, and some are not. Australians may be able to play games from Pokie Provider A at Casino X, but if they were to visit Casino Y, they would get a set of games from Pokie Provider B instead. The types of pokies Australians can play really depends on the software that is available at their chosen casino.
Fortunately, there are so many pokie providers in the world that Australians are guaranteed to have hundreds of pokies at their disposal, including classic, video, mobile, and jackpot pokie games.
Playable Pokies at Australian Online Casinos
To play pokies online, Australians have to sign-up at offshore casinos. This means to say online casinos which are not licensed in Australia. Once they have done so, a wide variety of pokie games becomes available to Aussies. Here are just a few of the more popular options you can expect to see in Australian casino sites:
- Classic Pokies: These games are based on the legendary fruit machines which first arrived in Australia in the 1950s. Although not as popular as video pokies are today, these 3-reel machines are still the favoured game to play amongst older players.
- Video Pokies: Video pokies are Australia’s favourite pokie machines. These typically feature 5 reels and multiple paylines. They are themed and come with all manner of special features woven into their design, too.
- Jackpot Pokies: If you fancy your chance of winning millions of dollars, why not play a jackpot pokie? These games are usually based on the video pokie format and can dish out their jackpot in a myriad of ways.
- Mobile Pokies: Again, those are closely based on the video pokie format. In fact, apart from them featuring easy to use buttons (designed for fingers and thumbs), there is not much which separates mobile pokies from video pokie machines.
- Free Pokies: These could be a combination of any of the games listed above. However, it is worth noting that while you can play for free, you cannot win real money on these games. They are solely designed to allow you to test drive a pokie and gain experience. Most top Aussie casinos offer this option.
Progressive or Non-Progressive…
Australia’s pokies may be either progressive or non-progressive. What does that mean? The terms refer to the way that the jackpot in the pokie is won. For instance…
- Progressive Jackpot Pokies: A progressive jackpot pokie has a prize which is not capped. It rises with each wager that is placed. When it is won, it will return to its default value, and rise once more. Any player playing anywhere in the world can win the top prize, and once it has been won, it disappears from every Australian casino. The way that progressive prizes are won can vary. Some require you to land symbols on a payline, while others pay out at random. Ultimately, the nature of these jackpots ensures that Australians are generally able to compete to win millions of dollars at a time.
- Non-Progressive Jackpot Pokies: By contrast, non-progressive pokies have a fixed jackpot. That prize is the same all the time. If a player in Japan or Germany wins the prize on the pokie, Aussies can still win the same reward mere seconds later. Non-progressive prizes can always be won, and as a result, they are often worth considerably less than the top prizes found in their progressive cousins.
Top Pokie Features Every Aussie Should Expect to See
The array of features you can find in online pokie games down under varies greatly. The types of features you should expect to have access to depends on the type of pokie game you are playing. There is not a single set of rules which stipulates that pokies “have” to contain any of these features. However, when you are looking for a top pokie to play, we would expect to see some of the following options:
- Classic Pokie Features: Three-reel gameplay with classic symbols, just a handful of symbols, and a lack of features. Nudges and trail-based bonuses can appear in fruit machines. Most classic pokies will only carry non-progressive jackpots.
- Video Pokie Features: Most should feature five reels and between 9 and 243 paylines. MegaWays pokies can offer as many as 117,649 lines. Video pokies will usually offer wild symbols and bonus rounds. The latter may include free spins, re-spins or click and win bonuses. You may also find in-game bonuses, such as multipliers, special wilds, instant cash prizes and more. It is usually video pokies which feature both progressive and non-progressive jackpots. At the same time, it is video pokies which tend to be designed with a theme in mind.
Popular Pokies for Players Down Under
There are literally thousands of pokies for Australians to play online. Software developers who are known to provide games to players down under include:
- BetSoft Gaming
- Play ‘n Go
- Rival Gaming
- Real Time Gaming (RTG)
BetSoft is the leading provider of 3D pokie machines to players in Australia. IGT gives Australian players the chance to try their hand at some of their land-based favourites digitally. iSoftBet and Quickspin have plenty of mobile pokies for Aussies to try their hand at, while Rival and RTG offer a more retro-style and simplistic pokie gaming experience. Regrettably, neither of the two home-grown providers (Aristocrat and Ainsworth) can provide games to players in Australia, and this would be in breach of the Australian gambling laws.
Of course, other software providers cater to the Australian market, too, so do not be shy about looking around. However, those listed above do tend to be the most prolific and commonly found software developers when it comes to Australian casinos and pokies.
If you are looking for a head start, then the following pokie games all come highly recommended for players down under:
- Good Girl Bad Girl
- Roo Riches
- Sticky Bandits: Wild Return
- Siberian Storm
- Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead
Where to Find Top Australian Pokie Games
Now that you know a thing or two about the types of pokie machines you can play in Australia, you might think that it is time to join a top Aussie casino? At our site, you will find a variety of leading Australian casinos which are jam-packed with popular pokies. Head over to Australian online casinos page to find the ideal venue to play top online pokies today.