Australian Online Slots Guide 2016
For well over a century, slot machines have brought a great deal of joy to people all over the world and people of all ages. The earliest slot machines were not intended for gambling, but actually for simple recreation. The term "slot" comes from a simple regulated place to insert a designated coin. In many ways, it was one of the earliest automated devices for human enjoyment. Placing a coin in a machine would trigger the mechanics of a machine and horses would race, carousels would spin, and lights, music, and action would commence. But more importantly was the movement of the machines into saloons where patrons began to wager on the mechanical horse races. By 1888, the first coin payout slots were in existence; hence, the first gambling slot machines were born.
In 1890 or thereabouts, an innovation by San Francisco mechanic Charles Fey would forever change how the world would play poker. In an attempt to speed up the game of poker, he developed his first three-reel machine. A year later, he built the 4-11-44, and it was so successful that he quit his day job and opened his own business to produce more units. Just before the turn of the century, he built his first three-reel slot machine with automatic cash payouts, the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell was hugely popular among saloon goers in San Francisco. It wasn't long before other developers such as Mills Novelty copied Fey's design.
If you speak American English, you refer to the three or more reeled phenomena as a slot machine. If you speak British English, you probably prefer the term "fruit machine". But if you are from the land down under, you more than likely enjoy a nice game on a pokie, short for poker machine. No matter what you call this exciting variety of chance, you know winning on an online slot game it is a fast track to riches.
Why Are Slots the Game of Choice?
Slots are the everyman game. Because of the fascination with the mechanics of a machine and ultimately the autonomy associated with slot machines, every man or woman can play them. It does not require skill, great thought, or concentration. For many, it is a way to escape the doldrums of the day and maybe, just maybe experience a big win! We like to think of it as the adult video game that children love to play. Instead of chasing to higher levels, adults go after the exciting real money wins.
So How Do Online Slots Really Work?
Online slots and live are machines with independent reels, anywhere from three on up to many reels with symbols and numbers. A player wins when random numbers or symbols show or "land" in either a certain frequency or alignment. That showing or alignment determines the payout of the machine. Slot machines are completely random. The proper term for the mechanism is RNG, or Random Number Generator.
It doesn't matter what your preferred game is: every bet is ultimately determined by the RNG. Simply put, there is no way of altering the outcome of the machine, it is random. It is almost impossible to state the odds of a slot machine, as the odds are not quantifiable. Players do not know how the game is created; therefore the random action of each machine is completely random.
RNG: The Heart of Slots
The RNG is constantly at work. Even when a player is not playing, it is picking numbers. The very moment you push spin or pull the lever, the numbers or alignment of symbols is in motion, truly identifying slots as a game of chance. Every millisecond it is as work. In many ways, if one can't say it's the heart of the game, it's certainly the brain with rapid neurons firing all the time. This rapid firing removes the possibility of anyone cheating.
But wait! You see people stopping the reels. If they are capable of stopping the reels in video slots online, doesn't that cancel out the randomization of the RNG? Not really, because while it may interfere with where the numbers or symbols fall, the randomization was still in place and the time it takes for a machine to stop will have more of a negative impact than that of a positive one for players. See more on that later in the FAQs.
Best Way to Play
Let's start with some of the most important terminology and then go on from there.
ActionSlot action refers to all of the slot machine playing time accumulated by a slots gambler. Casinos keep track of your play for promotional and comp purposes. Tip: always use your player card.
Betting UnitsBetting units are the monetary investment per unit. Typically they are wagered amounts in increments of .01, .02, .05, .10, .25, and up. Betting units are related to credits.
Bonus Feature or FeaturesAre special opportunities to trigger extra play, non-spin related prizes, free spins, multipliers, and more. These are the perfect way to increase your winnings.
CreditsConversion from denomination to units of play. For example, when playing a penny slot, there are 100 credits for every dollar inserted for play. Some online casinos have a different credit conversion.
Free SpinThe ultimate bonus feature. Many slot players only play machines that offer free spins. Because casinos track play action, free spins increase up comps and play time. Another way of looking at it is that you are playing with the casino's money.
Hot SlotsNeed we say more? They are slots identified as hitting more frequently than other machines. However, what is hot one day may not be hot the next.
JackpotThe crème de la crème of slot action. This is the ultimate win.
Multiplier - Super Bonus FeatureIn bonus play, payouts can be multiplied many times the original betting unit. Some are as high as 300x!
PaylinePayline is the line on which winning combinations must land in order to win a payout.
PayoutThe payout is the amount won for a winning combination on the slot machine.
Player CardLand-based casinos offer players a player card to keep track of play action. The comps generated from this tracking can provide you with future promotions, food, prizes, and more.
Any time you enter a casino or an online slot room, it is important to identify how much you are comfortable spending. The naysayer would say, “How much are you willing to lose?” But you know you have seen some people making some really big money! So, how do you get in on the action? How do you know what you should play?
It is always best to start out small. Everyone has heard the story of the grandma that sat down to a machine and played one $0.01 credit and won the progressive, or of the person landing in an airport in Vegas, popping $20 into a machine, making a max bet, and walking out with $10,000. While these stories are true, they are the same general odds of winning a state run lottery. Yes, someone is going to win! The reality is that you should know your bankroll, limits, and what you are willing to wager.
Some of our team will only play penny slots online, believing that they are spending less money at the casino site. That is fine for them as they are playing what is comfortable to them. Others play with larger denominations, but wager only one credit at a time. Another member of our team will only play max bet on everything regardless of the denomination, because winning the jackpots, mega-features, and such is a big part of the thrill of the chase. Ah, the thrill of the chase….
The thrill of winning is a large part of the fun. But the thrill often times ends when all you are doing is chasing a losing streak. This brings us back to the most important aspect of playing slots: knowing your limits and holding to them.
Slot Systems and Strategies
To begin with, there are no real winning strategies per se. Ask any big Vegas guru and they will tell you what our team of experts have discovered in their 20+ years of experience. The truth is that slot-play is autonomous. It really is, and the strategies are really about what works for you. Every person has his or her own superstitions and approaches to the game.
The odds when it comes to slot-play are in the house's favour. The payouts are the worst in the house, unless you ask an online slots player and they will quickly say, “I never win on the table!” Like we said, each individual's strategy is as unique as the wide variety of slot action at a casino, live or online. The main point always comes down to how much are you willing to play.
Often times, players will tell you what their lucky slots are. They may even encourage you to saddle up next to them and play along. Enjoy the win! But in reality, what is winning for them may leave you feeling sad and blue. It is always best to determine your rhythm and stick with it.
The Fourth “S”
Superstitious: Let's call it the fourth "S" in the line of Slot, Systems, Strategies and, yes, Superstitious. The reality is that slot players happen to be the most superstitious players in the house (well, maybe after Craps players). After many years of enjoying slot action, we can tell you we each have our own guidelines when choosing a machine. All in all, it comes down to your personal choice, bankroll and, after many times in a casino, intuition. When you come at it with a desire to be entertained with potential benefits, then you will experience a win-win each and every time.
Key Strategy For Beginners
- On multi-line games, always bet maximum lines. This increases your hit frequency and, in turn, increases your payout ratio. Feel free to play minimum credit, but always play maximum lines. Multi-line is not the best online slot game of choice for new players. It can be confusing and could result in losing more of your bankroll then you desire.
- NEVER play a progressive for less than the maximum bet.
- Multipliers are a good choice for newbies as the options for winning are cut and dry, and you can still win a decent payout by playing the minimum bet.
- Start slow and build as you win.
- Do it for the fun of it! This is the most important thing to remember if you are a new player. Have fun. If you are in it to win it, then you may walk away disappointed. Always consider the entertainment value when it comes to playing at a live or online casino. Winning is fun, but so is all the collective energy that comes from the experience.
What Types Of Slots Are There Online?
Buy-a-pay games are games where you are specifically buying certain opportunities to win. Often times you will see with these games that if you buy only a chance at hitting bars, the minimum credit, then if you hit on all 7's you will lose. However, if you buy two or more credits, you will win if you hit the bars and you will win if 7's appear. Again, in this case you want to avoid playing the minimum credits. We have seen far too many heart-broken players hit all red sevens and nothing happen. Why? Because, the minimum bet was placed. However, there are many who believe that the bars will appear more often than the 7's, and by playing the minimum they will have longer play over time.
These games have a very set number of reels and typically 1 to 5 lines. The more you bet, the more your win is multiplied. Double Diamonds, Fives, and similar games are good examples of a multiplier. These are the perfect games for newbies.
Currently the most played slot game, especially online. The key strategy when playing multi-line is to always bet all of the lines. You do not have to bet the max number of credits, but you will be increasing losing potential by not playing max lines. In many games, the only way you can experience the max bonus is to play both max lines and max credits. It is important to read the game rules if you are a novice player, or you will be totally confused by your wins and losses. Players often choose the minimum line and minimum bet and believe they hit it huge, but playing the minimum allowed leaves them wishing they had gone all in. It is heart breaking because just like the blue moon, such a hit happens only once... in a blue moon.
Considered the best bet when it comes to slot play in the casino. The highest payouts and the most consistent payouts are there as well. The hit frequency and the payout frequency are greatest with video poker. Plus, it really does take the skill of poker and the random joy of slots, and puts it all into one experience. The longevity of play is greater when playing video poker for the minimum bet. You can easily increase your bankroll and then increase your bet as you gain momentum.
On most slots, the amount of the top jackpot is fixed. But some slots have a meter that shows the jackpot amount getting progressively higher. Those are called progressive machines (as opposed to "flat-top" machines). A portion of the money played in those machines goes towards making the jackpot higher. The more people play, the higher it goes. If nobody's playing, the jackpot amount doesn't budge.
Hint: If you cannot play the maximum bet on a progressive, then go to a flat-top machine and play.
Differences Between Live and Online
Is there a big difference between playing online and at a live casino? Well, there are differences as well as advantages. We will take a look at each and let you decide. Another way of looking at it is this: why choose when you can have the best of both worlds?
Finding The Perfect Online Slot Casino
One of the fun aspects of playing live is the hunt for the loose machines. While this is fun, it is also frustrating. Concerning oneself with where to play, front, middle, back; and in some cases, smoking or non-smoking, high limits, penny. The list goes on and on. And before you know it, you lost out on precious time. Online casinos limit that frustration in that your personal space is your personal space and you don't have to search too far to find your favourite machine.
There is no need to wait for your preferred machine online, unlike live casinos where you sometime have to wait for your favourite pokie to open up, and all the while you're watching others win features, bonuses, and jackpots before your very eyes. Online slot action is available to you 24/7, and there is never a waiting line to get on the slot that calls you by name.
Land-based casinos by and large pay around 90% in payouts, while online casinos have a greater payout percentage more in keeping with 95%. Online casinos do not have the brick and mortar overhead, so they can encourage greater play action by minimizing their edge. It is important to keep in mind the average payouts as outlined by our team of experts regardless of whether they are real or virtual.
Did you know?
Contrary to popular belief, $0.05 slots have the lowest rate of payout, with the bigger denominations having the highest frequency of payout. Also, $0.01 slots are actually nestled somewhere in the middle.
The Benefit Of Live Slots
Live Casino Energy
There is nothing like live casino energy: people cheering, music playing, winning bells and whistles, food, libation, and human interaction. Sometimes this is exactly what an avid online pokie player needs: community. What better way to revive your love of the game? And chances are it's the very thing that got you playing online in the quiet, privacy of your own home.
Comps - short for compensation - are a major plus to playing at a live casino. Comps are given for frequency of play. It is a loyalty program and casino incentive, and acts as a rewards program. You can expect everything from free food, to hotel rooms, to trips to Vegas and other major casino ports of call, as well as gifts.
Advantages To Online Slot Action
A welcome bonus can immediately double your play action and time online. Welcome bonuses are hugely popular with online casinos, and in many ways trump offers that a land-based casino can offer. It is so important to shop around online and not only find the best offers, but the most reputable virtual action. Our team of experts has compiled some of the best in the land for your enjoyment. For example, All Slots which is a highly slots-focused online casino offers AU$200 free to new players.
Better Control of Your Bankroll
When playing online slots you begin with a deposit. You can determine at that moment how much you are willing to invest. Establishing your bankroll is one of the most important aspects of safe, reliable play. When playing at a casino, it is so tempting to keep running back to the cashier or cash machine. But the majority of the time, you spend money on fees that really do impact your bankroll. It is best to determine how much you wish to spend for entertainment, deposit it, and if and when that runs out come back later when you can start over again.
Mobility & Access
Online pokie play has never been easier thanks to online casinos. Many now provide mobile apps for your iPhone, Android, and other smart devices. Truly, along with your PC or Mac, you can be playing your favourite games whenever and wherever you wish. Plus, you will be saving your play action dollars as there is no need to tip the wait staff, valet, or spend more money on beverages, food, and libations than necessary, not to mention transportation to and from the brick and mortar establishments.
When it comes to playing slots games online, there are always many questions. While you can find the answers at the local host/hostess booth found in both online and live casinos, who wants to waste time and in many cases stand in line waiting? To save you time, our experienced staff have brought together some of the most frequently questions for your perusal.
Do casinos control the payouts?
Not really. While some technology allows for "loose" paying slots, the truth is that every slot machine has an RNG, and that keeps the payout very random.
Do higher denominations payout more frequently?
Yes, in theory. The belief is that the higher denomination machines do payout more frequently and, of course, the payouts are higher. The ratio to payouts is in relationship to input. The thing to always remember is winning is winning. If you are lucky and you double your $0.01 denomination wager, then you have won in proportion to your investment.
Should I play only the machines that are played a lot by other players?
No, it is really random. Remember the RNG. All machines are going to be warm and appear to be played often. It is no indication that they are "hot". Every machine has the same chance in the end of paying out.
Do I have a better chance of winning at live casinos if I don't use my player's card?
Not at all. The system that issues and monitors your player card is completely isolated from the system that generates play. There is no connection between the frequency of payouts or bonuses.
Then why does it seem that people with higher-level cards win more?
It is all in the ratio of frequency of play. Like flipping a coin, the more you flip the coin, the greater the chances of increasing your odds of getting tails. Now, the truth is that people with cards that indicate they play at that casino more frequently and with higher investments will receive bigger comps and offers for free play. Keep that in mind when you discover that you are an avid slot player. The payoff with being there is in perks/comps, but very few people make a living playing online slots. But they do win real money!