Learning Online Pokies

Around 70-80% of all online casino games within a casino consist of slots. We have already touched on the history and evolution of Pokies on our main Pokie page and in this page we go into more detail on how online pokies are played.

On a basic level, there is no game that is simpler than slots. However, as online slots have developed rapidly over the years, more and more features were added and today, online slots boast more features than any other casino game. This page should work as a guide that describes all online pokie features and answer the precise question of “How to Play Online Pokies”.


At the end of this article we hope you understand the basic gameplay and rules of all types of online pokies. We will be referring to one of the top pokie games online, Safari Sam to give you visual examples of online pokie features.

Basic Features

Before we start with the actual gameplay, it is necessary that you understand the basic features of online slots. Some of these features are common with land slot machines where are some are exclusive to online slots.


Symbols are icons you see on the gameplay screen and it is the combination of these symbols that will give you payouts. As you see in this game, the symbols include a safari guide, a tribal woman, a Lion, a Gorilla, A Zebra, a Monkey, a hut, a Safari jeep, the Safari guide looking through binoculars and basic safari equipment such as a rifle, hat and water bottle. If it is a themed pokie game such as this one, the symbols can tell you a story which summarizes the theme of the slot game.



The columns that you see on the gameplay screen are reels and when you click ‘Spin’ you spin the reels. Slot games are typically divided into 2 types according to their reels, 3 reel and 5 reel. As you can see, Safari Sam is a 5 reel pokie game.


Paylines are lines that pass through symbols from left to right. The combinations of symbols that go through these paylines evaluate your winnings. Paylines are generally indicated by the numbers on the right and left sides of the reels. If there is a number shown on the side of the reels it means that particular payline is active. You can place your mouse cursor other the number of see the pattern of that payline. This particular game has 30 paylines.


Some pokies do not have a particular payline but follow a fixed pattern. These games are termed, 243 ways to win or 1024 ways to win. As the names suggest, 243 ways to win games have 243 different combinations on which allows a payout. When a game has 5 reels a 3 rows, the combination is 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 = 243 which is where it gets its name from. Similarly for 1024 ways, it’s 5 reels and 4 rows so 4 X 4 X 4 X 4 X 4 = 1024. In order to create a combination, the symbols have to occur adjacent to each other from left to right.


Robo Jack slot 243 ways to win game


Basic Rules and Gameplay

In terms of basic rules and gameplay, online pokies, or pokies in general are very simple to learn and can be understood just within a few steps.

Step 1: Choose a bet you are comfortable with.

You choose your wager amount by adjusting 3 options, the no. of paylines, the coins or bet per line and the coin denomination. These adjustments are made through the navigation bar the bottom of the screen which control the bets and the spin function/ As seen in the example below, one the left you have ’Choose Coin’ which adjusts the Coin denomination. For Safari Sam, the coin denominations are $0.02, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, $0.50 and $1.00. Safari Sam is a 30 payline pokie game and players can decrease or increase no. of active paylines by clicking on the “-“or “+” buttons. Similarly, next to the Select Lines, you can adjust the Bet per line and choose to insert 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 coins of the selected denomination.

You total bet = Coin denomination X No. of active paylines X Bet per line

This being said, the lowest total bet for Safari Sam is $0.02 X 1 (active payline) X 1 coin = $0.02 and the maximum bet allowed is $1.00 X 30 (maximum no. of active paylines) X 5 coins = $150.00

Each adjustment you make effects your total win amount or payout in different ways. The coins that you win will be in the denomination of the coin demonination you placed you bet in. Decreasing the no. of active paylines decrease your chances of winning by that much and  betting only one coin gives you the most basic pay.


In the above example, you can see the no. of coins you win if you get identical symbols along an active payline. So if you look at the Lion symbol on the top right, 3 symbols on an active payline wins you 20 coins and the value of each coin will be equal to the value of the coin you bet with. If you bet one coin, you will win 20 coins but if you had bet 5 coins, you would win 100 coins for the same number of symbols.

We advise you not to select a wager amount exceeding your budget, but we also strongly recommend you to play with maximum paylines even if you adjust your coin denomination and coins per line.

Step 2: Spinning and Winning

After you have set your bet amount, the next step is to pull the lever, or in the case of online slots, click ‘SPIN’. The reels will spin and symbols will randomly land on each reel. If 3 or more identical symbols land within a payline from right to left, then you win and you will be paid according to the payout table.

Slot Bonuses

If you are used to land-based casino slot machines, this section will introduce you to a whole new exciting world of slot bonuses. Although there are a few slot machines that do offer bonuses after a spin, this feature is very common among online slots and these features get more and more creative and rewarding as new online pokie game are introduced. This section intends to guide you through all the popular and rewarding slot bonuses.

Wild symbols

This symbol might as well be the most important symbol in any online slot game. Wild symbols transform themselves into whatever symbols you need to create a winning combination. For example, if you have 2 combination on an active payline and you need one more symbol on that payline for a win, and by chance if there is a wild symbol on that payline,  it will be treated as 3 identical symbols therefore giving you the pay for 3 symbols. It can be said that wild symbols are the jokers for slot games which will substitute any symbol to create a winning combination.

Scatter Symbols

To win in a slot game, the set of symbols need to land on an active payline. Scatter symbols do not need to land on an active paylines, and they pay regardless of the symbol position on the reels. Scatter symbols are special symbols and normally you require 3 or more symbols to land anywhere on the reels to win scatter pays. In additional, scatter symbols are gateways to other bonus features such as free spins or a bonus game.

(Image of a wild symbol occur)

Free Spins

As the name indicated, this bonus awards a set number of free spins to the players. This feature is triggered only when you get specific symbols on the reels which are mostly scatter symbols. It is very common that 3 or more scatter symbols trigger the free spins feature.



These are bonuses in which the win amount is multiplied by a certain number of times. Multipliers are normally attached to some other bonus such as wild or free spins. For example, if there is a slot bonus that states, 5 free spins with 3x multiplier, on every win you get during those free spins, the win amount is multiplied by 5 times.

Go back to the TOP

More casino-pokies.com.au articles

–          Beginner’s Guide
–          Getting Started
–          Introduction to Online Casinos
–          Casino list by Software
–          Casino by Types
–          Casino bonuses and Promotions
–          Casino Loyalty Programs

<< Go back to Pokies