Online pokie games are big business in Australia, and everyone who plays them naturally wants to win. This leads to them looking for ways to improve their chances and get an enhanced edge. After all, for a 98% payout to operate, some players have to win while others lose. The smallest edge can push a player from perennial loser to regular winner. The problem is that some players are so driven to find an edge over the competition that they take on board some false information. People are naturally more inclined to believe what they want to hear, but we would like to take this opportunity to clear up some common misconceptions regarding online pokies and how they work.
Even if you have played the same pokie for months and know how all of the bonus features work, what all symbols in any combination pay and how often the bonus feature appears, you still do not know everything that the machine knows. It knows all of this, together with the various algorithms that decide which reels appear when, which box contains the most free spins and how likely you are to win the progressive jackpots. There are certain things that the player cannot know but the machine always does, meaning that the majority of pokie strategies are completely pointless. The ones that do work are general assumptions that play on chance rather than skill and serve to attempt to put the player in a better position.
This idea around online pokies is left over from fruit machines and pokies in pubs and clubs. Those machines contained real cash and it is true that the more money there was in the float, the more likely the machine was to get rid of some of the excess. However, this has no basis in online pokies, where all credits are “virtual” as far as the machine is concerned. Any methods of “forcing” online pokies are doomed to fail. In compliance with their certification from the likes of eCOGRA or other bodies, online casinos have to ensure that every single spin is fair and random. This can work in the player’s favour, but also means that a losing streak will not necessarily be followed by a losing streak as every spin is independent in terms of percentage chances. If, for example, there is a one in ten chance of activating the bonus game then statistically spinning the reels ten times will not necessarily award the feature, something that also applies to jackpots.
Online pokies from reputable online casinos always publish the payout rates of their games. Generally, pokies are considered as a category, whereby every different game offers the same rate. A common trap for players to fall into is that they may deposit $100, drop to $50 and then continue on the basis that they will reach $98 on a 98% return machine before they drop to zero. In practice, this is not the case and the only individuals likely to see precise returns are millionaires playing for 10 cents per spin. In an extreme example, let us say that ten players play for $100 each over the course of ten hours. The pokie has taken $1,000 in total over this time and players have taken $980 back out. The fourth player was the lucky one who saw the jackpot spin in for the only time during these ten hours and took home $500 for his trouble, leaving $480 to be shared out among the other nine players, for just over $53 each. Even ten hours is too short a time frame for solid evidence, but the example illustrates how nine players can lose nearly half their bankroll on online pokies while the operator is still sticking rigidly to their published payout rates.
The purpose of this look at some of the myths surrounding online pokies was by no means to put players off the idea of playing pokies. All of our recommended online casinos and their online pokie categories are completely fair and fully regulated. However, certain ideas around their play and gaining an edge can be a little off centre, and it is important for successful players not to believe some of the strategies that they may come across. There are legitimate methods of increasing the player’s edge, which can be found throughout this site, so feel free to check out our other online pokie articles for the best possible advice.