How to Select Pokies at Online Casinos

August 1, 2015


There are thousands of online pokies on the Internet and easily a few hundred of them at each of the casinos we recommend. So the question arises as to how one decides on which pokie to play. Normally the average return to player is used as a criterion. This becomes difficult in in the case of online pokies. The return cannot be calculated and not all pokies declare this figure. In any event the best software providers develop their pokies to give an average return of about 95%. So players at Australian online casinos will have to look for other criteria.

The most logical factor would be the variance of the pokie. There is no numerical measure available so one has to do a bit of qualitative analysis. High variance pokies are those that will give larger payouts, but the large payouts will occur infrequently. Low variance pokies are ones that will give smaller but more frequent payouts. So first you have to decide which type of pokie you prefer. This is entirely a personal choice. Then you have to develop the ability to evaluate the pokie as to its variance. Some helpful pointers in this regard are discussed below.

The payout table is a good indicator of the variance of an online pokie. You need to look at the five of a kind payouts for all symbols. If there are one or two symbols with high payouts and the rest have low payouts then the variance will be high. In such pokies the high paying symbols are fewer and winning combinations with these symbols occur less frequently. Progressive pokies with life changing payouts have the highest variance.

Variance, or volatility as it is sometimes referred to, is also introduced through bonus features like free spins and second screen games. You can tell that some bonus features will be triggered less frequently. Normally in most online pokies the free spins are triggered by getting three scatter symbols anywhere on the reels. Sometimes the requirement is changed to getting three scatter symbols on an active payline. Usually the less frequently triggered features will have larger payouts, maybe through larger multipliers. Bonus features that are triggered less frequently but pay better add volatility to the online pokie.

Beyond that choices become personal. Online pokies have almost infinite themes, which include sports, romance, action, ocean, history. You go for the themes you like best. If you have a fondness for the free spins feature then avoid pokies that do not offer this.