Poker machines, also affectionately known as “pokies,” are the most popular online option for Aussie gamblers. Actually, the same holds true for land-based casinos, as pokies routinely generate the bulk of their income.

Their ease of use is largely responsible for their popularity. In most cases, a player need only make a wager and press a button. There are also colourful images and sound effects to hold a player’s attention, and the repetitive nature can often be spellbinding.

Despite flocking to play online pokies, most people do not use the best possible strategy for success. In this article, I’ll offer winning tips for poker machines that anyone can use. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, but these steps should help improve your odds over time.

Maintain Realistic Expectations

You can’t always win on a poker machine. No matter what you do, the game’s random number generator simply can’t be beat. Therefore, it’s a good idea to maintain realistic expectations about your upcoming session.

If you can come out ahead, then that’s great. However, breaking even still provides you with an evening of fun. And even if you lose more than you win, you can always return on another day.

Most importantly, don’t play pokies and expect to win a jackpot every time. If you do, you’re going to be in for a great deal of disappointment.

Stick with High RTP

RTP stands for “return to player.” Expressed as a percentage, this is the amount a player can expect to get back from a machine. For example, a game with a 95% RTP will pay back, on average, $95 for every $100 wagered.

Please keep in mind that the RTP fluctuates a great deal in the short term. However, it will always hold true over thousands of spins.

In order to increase your chances of winning, you should always seek out pokies with the highest possible RTP. Fortunately, online poker machines tend to have a higher payback percentage due to the greater amount of competition between casinos.

To find the RTP, either check the website of the designer or a site dedicated to pokie reviews. I’ve analysed a number of games on this site, and I’ve always made an effort to include the RTP.

Pay Attention to Volatility

Pokies can often be divided into low and high volatility machines, although some fall in the middle. Games with low volatility pay at a greater frequency, but the wins tend to be smaller. Meanwhile, high volatility games don’t pay as often, but the wins are usually worth more.

If you’re on a limited budget, then it’s best to stick to low volatility machines. If you want to try the high volatility option, make sure you’ve got plenty of money and patience.

Player engages in online gambling

Always Wager Enough on Progressive Pokies

Most progressive pokies require the maximum possible wager in order to be eligible for the jackpot. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always risk the maximum amount on a progressive. Otherwise, you might hit the jackpot and not qualify.

Before playing a progressive pokie, be sure to carefully read the game’s rules. This should inform you as to the specific wager requirements.

Bankroll Management

Managing your bankroll is perhaps the most important skill that a gambler can learn. Otherwise, you risk blowing through your money and having nothing left over for future gaming sessions.

Your bankroll should consist only of money that you can afford to lose. Otherwise, you risk getting into deep financial trouble.

According to gambling author John Grochowski, your bankroll should be large enough to cover 250 bets. This will give your session a 90% chance of lasting at least three hours.

Of course, it’s important to play a pokie that conforms to your bankroll. For example, a player with a small bankroll should stay away from poker machines that cost $1 or more.

Most important, you should stop playing as soon as your bankroll is depleted. That, or set some other loss limit prior to your session and stick with it.

Watch Out for Branded Pokies

A lot of online casinos offer licensed pokies tied to franchises such as Marvel Comics or Game of Thrones. These games are meant to draw in players, but they often tend to have a lower RTP than many of their fellow pokies. While these slots can be a lot of fun, the smart move is to pass them by in favour of more profitable options.

Additional Reading

If you’d like more winning tips for casino games, be sure to read the following: