How To Play Online Slots

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Jack Harris
by Jack Harris
How to Play Pokies Online

Regardless of which casino you visit, you can find pokies, or slot machines, all around you. In fact, they make up as much as 75% of the total available games within almost any casino. 

In this guide, we will show you the ins and out of how to play online slots. This is a guide so that even beginners who are new to playing pokies can learn the ropes and soon start spinning the reels, understanding all the ways to play so that they make the most of their dollars. 

The history of Pokies

Before you start to learn how to play slot machines, it is important to know about their origins. The first-ever game of slots was invented in the US as a means of distracting saloon customers. It was invented by Charles Fey and called Liberty Bell. Basically, it contained only three reels with ten different symbols on each. By inserting a coin into the machine and pulling the lever, the reels would start spinning, and the player would win a prize in the event they managed to match three similar symbols.

Nowadays, slots operate in a more complicated fashion. Various factors have influenced the overall game design of today’s pokies. Instead of mechanical reels, modern poker machines now use virtual reels in order to establish wins and losses. Moreover, the integration of a computerized system makes it possible to display more symbols, which in turn leads to even larger jackpots.

Learn to Play Slots

How to Play Starburst Online PokiesToday, pokie games easily outnumber table games within casinos by around 20 to 1. Even though the game was invented in America, it's everyone around the world who is known to be most fond of playing this game for almost a century now.

What makes slot machines appealing to a wide audience is their relatively easy gameplay. While other casino games such as Texas Hold Em or online blackjack take a long time to master, playing the game of slots is relatively easy. All it takes is to insert a coin into the machine, place your bets, spin the reels, and wait for the results. Once the reels stop and you land a combination, you automatically win a prize.

But how about its online version? Well, learning how to play slots online is relatively easy as well. In fact, it’s even easier than its land-based counterpart! Once you have deposited money into your account, simply choose your preferred slot game, place your bets, and press the Spin or Start button. And if you are looking for where to practice pokies for free and test out how much fun it is without risking a cent, we can direct you to some of the best casinos online for players.

How to Play Alora

One of the main reasons why so many players love slot games is the fact that they are ideal for a quick buzz. They require no special skills or game knowledge and the rules are self-explanatory and easy to follow. However, if you are new to the scene, here are the main steps you should always follow when playing pokies online:

  • Select one of the casinos we recommend, either a new online casino or a well-established one, and register a new player account. Follow the simple instructions provided by the casino, create a username and a password and log in. 
  • Choose a slot game that you find most appealing and open it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Wait for the screen to load and watch the reels show up on your display. 

Setting Up the Game 

  • choose your desired bet amount by adjusting the coin value and coin size or the number of pay lines you want to play. If you want to have a chance to win the jackpot on a progressive pokies game, use the “max bet“ button and have all the pay lines selected.
  • Find the volume and sound buttons and adjust them according to your preferences. 
  • Check out the paytable as it will provide you with precious information on how much each of the symbols is worth and will lay out the unique rules of the specific game you are playing. 
  • Notice the “start”, “autoplay”, “spin”, “max bet” and “gamble” buttons

how to play slot machines

Start Spinning

  • Spin the reels by tapping or clicking on the corresponding spin or autospin button.  In some games, you can also use the SPACE and ENTER buttons to start and stop the spin. Wait for the reels to stop spinning. In case you win, you will see your winnings show up on the screen.
  • In some cases, you will see a match and will receive an amount of money, according to the amounts stated in the paytable.
  • Certain combinations of symbols will trigger more lucrative results such as free spins or bonus rounds. Please note that often free spins and bonus rounds have their own rules and features that may differ from those in the general gameplay.
  • Remember, in some rounds, you will win and in others, you will lose. Pokies games have a random number generator (RNG) which means that each spin is completely random and not dependent on the outcome of the spins beforehand.

For more tips on how to win playing pokies check out our online pokies tips page. 

Here are a few points you should know about before you start playing: 

  • Different slots games have varying restrictions on their betting structure
  • There are pre-determined betting limits that you can’t exceed
  • Wild and scatter symbols will vary from one pokies game to another

How Do Online Slots Work?

No matter if you are interested in a reel, progressive, or video pokies online, you will need to get winning symbol combinations on the reels and collect the rewards based on the bets you have placed. The paytable will display the potential winnings. You will also need to decide upon the coin denomination and decide on the paylines within a game. To get a deeper understanding of the mechanics of a game of pokies online, here are a few of the main game elements explained:

Slot Coins

The currency players use to wager on a game of slots online. The coins define the size of bets and the term “coin” refers to the coin’s denomination. The term “coin size” refers to a payline and it is the amount that players bet on a spin. Pokies will usually display the minimum and the maximum coin sizes a game accepts, with the minimum coin size usually one cent.

Online pokies pay tablePay Lines

The term refers to the combination of icons you must see showing up on the display in order to win a reward. It is the line running through the reels and intersecting with symbols on different reels. The number of paylines differs from one game to another, and it could be anything from 5 to 100.  You can find diagonal or horizontal paylines. This number depends on the number of coins the game accepts. 

How paylines work: say the pokies game has 25 paylines. If you want to bet one dollar per spin, you would choose to bet $0.04 per line as 25 multiplied by 0.04 is $1. 

Total Bet

The total bet is the bet per line multiplied by the number of lines played.

Maximum Bet 

The maximum amount a player can wager on a certain reel spin. Also referred to as bet max, it is normally set at 5 coins. Slots online have a separate bet button. Progressive games require players to place the maximum bet on a spin in order to be eligible for the big jackpot.


This can also be referred to as autoplay. It defines the number of spins that will spin automatically. This is so that you do not need to keep hitting the spin button for every spin. You can define the number of spins you want to spin in a row - 5, 20, 50 and in some games you can define an unlimited number of spins until a feature, such as free spins or a bonus round,  is triggered. You can cancel the autospin feature at any time by simply clicking again on the autospin button.

Understanding the Paytable

The paytable provides you with all the information you need to understand the rules of the particular game you are playing. It is well worth taking a few moments before you start spinning to look over the paytable information and make sure you understand the specific details as they do change from game to game. 

Symbol Value

In the paytable, you will see the amount each symbol in the game is worth. The payout will increase according to how many matching symbols you receive. For example, a certain symbol could pay out 50 if it appears 3 times, 250 if it appears 4 times, and 2500 if it appears 5 times. In most slot games, each symbol will have a different value.

Online pokies -symbols value

Scatter Symbols

The most important icon in any game of pokies, scatter symbols can beef up the winnings since they carry top rewards. They can also play the role of multipliers or activators for bonus rounds (free spins, bonus games with huge rewards). In some games, you must score at least 3 scatter symbols in order for them to have value. New scatter symbols showing up during a free spin round will trigger fresh free spins for the player. The symbol can usually not be replaced by a wild symbol.

Wild Symbols

Highly rewarding symbols are found in video slot games. They stand in for other symbols (except for scatter symbols) and they complete winning combinations, just like the joker in a deck of cards. They can also play the role of multipliers, with the purpose of doubling, tripling or quadrupling the rewards by their value whenever they complete a winning combination of symbols. 


Features parts of pokies where rewards are multiplied by a certain value. A set of symbols that results in a 100 coin reward, a 3x multiplier will bring the player 300 coins. Multipliers also apply to the number of free spins a player wins. They can boost the value of the rewards by 2x up to 25x.

Free Spins 

Free spins are exactly what the name implies - a round or spin that is given to you for free. You may receive free spins as a feature of the game itself, by attaining a certain set of symbols that reward you with free spins. You could also receive free spins as a bonus given to you by the casino you choose to play at. Many casinos offer a no deposit bonus to new players that comprises a certain number of free spins. 

Bonus Rounds

Some pokies games have bonus rounds which are mini-games within the slot game where you can win special prizes or play extra games. Bonus rounds are triggered when you receive a specific match of symbols within the slot. They vary from game to game.

Online pokies free games feature

Rules of playing Pokies

Each pokie game has its own specific rules and nuances and these will be explained in the paytable. Here are some of the common rules found in most pokies games:  

  • Winning icons must be adjacent to each other. This rule is true for most games, not all. Check out the winning paylines possibilities in the pay table.
  • The payout will only be for the highest win only.
  • Pay ways - some games will only pay out for lines that are from left to right. Others payout for both pay ways - left to right and right to left.

Which Pokie Games Should You Choose to Play?

Most pokie games, particularly new ones, have the same odds of winning. Most people prefer to choose their pokies for their theme, how much fun they are, what kind of bonus games they might be able to trigger, or for the graphics. However, some slot games are actually considered more advantageous than others due to their payout percentages. Based on research, games that have at least $5 per bet and higher will provide you with larger payouts, while the cheaper ones with $1 betting floors will have a significant decline in their payout percentages. Also, single-payline pokies have statistically better odds of winning compared to pokies with multiple paylines, even though many people will swear the more paylines, the more fun the game!

Now you know how to play pokies, check out the real money pokies page to find out all you need to know about winning money playing pokies. 


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