How to Play Pokies: Our Guide 🎰

Welcome aboard! This guide navigates you through the fun world of pokies, from classic 3-reel to innovative grid slots and cascading reels. Discover how paylines influence your gaming strategy along the way.

A row of Traditional slot machines
Traditional Pokie Games in a Land based Casino

Land-based casinos will line up multiple standalone machines.

A Standalone, 3 Reel, Classic Pokie
A Standalone 3 Reel Classic Pokie

Standalone Pokies similar to this can be found in bars and cafes.

An Online Branded Pokie Game
An Online Branded Pokie Game

Online Pokies have unlimited ways to theme Pokies

An Online Pokies Lobby
An Online Pokies Lobby

Online casinos will display hundreds of pokie games on one page.

Classic Pokies: How to Play Traditional 3-reels

Classic pokies offer a straightforward and nostalgic casino experience. These games usually have three reels with symbols like fruits, bells, bars, and sevens. The goal is to match these symbols on a single payline to win payouts.

To play, simply choose your coin size, decide how many coins to bet, and press “Spin.” For a higher stake, you can use the “Max Bet” option. Always bet responsibly to keep the fun going!

Boosting Your Winning Chances In Classic Pokies

While luck is key in classic pokies, here are some strategies to improve your odds:

  • Understand the Game:

    Review the paytable to know the winning combinations and payouts.

  • Manage Your Bankroll:

    Set and stick to a budget to keep your bets within your limits.

  • Use Bonuses:

    Take advantage of welcome bonuses and free spins offered by online casinos.

  • Practice 

    Play in demo mode to get a feel for the game without risking your funds.

Grid Slots: How to Play Grid Pokies

Understanding Grid Slot Mechanics

Grid slots are a fresh twist on traditional pokies. Instead of the usual reels, these games use a larger grid layout, often 5×5 or bigger, allowing for more symbols and winning opportunities.

  • Cluster Pays: Wins are formed by clusters of matching symbols, usually requiring at least five connected horizontally or vertically.
  • Cascading Reels: Winning symbols disappear, letting new ones fall into place and potentially creating more wins.
  • Exciting Features: Expect multipliers, wilds, and bonus games to enhance the excitement and potential payouts.

Maximising Wins With Grid Slots

Success in grid slots isn’t just about luck—strategic play can make a big difference. Here are some tips to boost your chances:

  • Study the Paytable:

    Grid Slot Paytable

    Understand each game’s paytable before you start. Learn how to form winning clusters, the roles of special symbols, and how to trigger bonus features.

  • Take Breaks:

    Avoid long gaming sessions to prevent fatigue. Regular breaks keep your mind fresh and your decisions sharp.

  • Manage Your Bankroll:

    Set and stick to a budget. Grid slots can be volatile, meaning you might hit long dry spells but also have the chance for bigger wins.

  • Play the Demo Version:

    Try free demos available at most online casinos. This helps you get familiar with the game with ease.

Cascading Reels Pokies: How to Play Pokies With Tumble Reels

Cascading reels, also known as tumbling reels, offer a dynamic twist on traditional slots. Instead of spinning reels, symbols fall from above. When you hit a winning combination, those symbols disappear, and new ones cascade down to replace them.

Each win can trigger a chain reaction. Once the winning symbols vanish, new ones drop in, potentially forming more winning combinations. This process continues until no new wins appear.

Look out for wilds, scatters, and multipliers during cascades. These features can enhance the excitement and boost your chances for big wins.

Tips For Winning at Cascading Reels Pokies

Though luck plays a big part in pokies, these strategies can help you make the most of cascading reels games:

  • Learn the Game:

    Understand how cascading works, what each symbol means, and how bonuses are triggered.

  • Stay Patient:

    Cascading reels can lead to big wins, but not always frequently. Stay patient and stick to your budget to ride out the dry spells.

  • Practice First:

    Play the demo to get a feel for the game. This way, you’ll know what to expect when you play for real.

  • Budget Wisely:

    These games can have long-losing streaks before big wins. Set a budget that allows you to play comfortably through these ups and downs.

Pokies Paylines: Your Guide to Winning


What Are Paylines?

Paylines are the paths and invisible lines across the reels where matching symbols must land to win. They can be simply horizontal lines or intricate patterns like zig-zags and diagonals.

How Paylines Work

  • Winning Combinations: When the reels stop, symbols need to align along active paylines to trigger a payout.
  • Types of Paylines: Classic pokies may have just one payline, while modern games can have hundreds or even thousands.
  • Betting: Each active payline typically requires a separate bet, so more paylines mean higher stakes but also more chances to win. You should also be aware that some pokies come with fixed paylines while with others you will have to increase your bet to cover all paylines.

How Paylines Affect Your Pokies Strategy

Betting and Winning


  • More Paylines, More Chances: Betting on more paylines increases your chances of hitting a winning combination.
  • Cost Consideration: Each active payline adds to your bet. Find a balance between the number of paylines and your budget.

Jammin Jars 2 betting options

Fixed vs Adjustable Paylines

  • Fixed Paylines: You must bet on all available paylines in every spin.
  • Adjustable Paylines: You can choose how many paylines to bet on, giving you more control over your spending.

Understanding Paytable

The paytable shows how much each symbol pays and the payline patterns. Study it to see which paylines are likely to win.

Grid Slot Paytable

Choosing the Right Game

  • High Payline Games: Games like Megaways offer many paylines and frequent wins but may require higher bets.
  • Low Payline Games: Opt for games with fewer paylines if you prefer lower bets with potentially higher payouts.

Expert Tips to Enhance Your Pokies Experience

Understanding RTP And Variance In Pokies

To optimise your pokies adventure, it’s important to understand two key concepts: Return to Player (RTP) and Variance.


RTP indicates how much a pokie returns to players over time. For instance, an RTP of 96% means $96 is returned for every $100 wagered.  Remember, RTP is a long-term average and doesn’t guarantee specific returns in short gaming sessions. Higher RTP pokies offer better potential returns over time.


On the other hand, variance measures a pokie’s risk level. Low-variance games provide frequent but smaller wins, ideal for steady, low-risk play. High-variance games offer less frequent but larger wins, suited for those seeking bigger payouts at greater risk.


Understanding RTP and variance helps you select pokies that match your risk tolerance and gaming preferences effectively.

Practical Strategies For Pokies Success

Here are some practical tips to enhance your success rate and overall enjoyment when playing pokies:


Know Each Game

Understand the rules, symbols, paylines, and bonuses of each pokie game before playing.


Set a Budget

Decide on a session budget and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses and remember that pokies are for enjoyment, not income.


Take Advantage of Casino Bonuses

Use casino bonuses wisely to extend playtime and potentially increase winnings. Always review bonus terms and conditions.


Play Demo Mode

Use games in demo mode offered by online casinos to learn game mechanics and features without risking your own funds.


Bet Wisely

Consider payline numbers, coin size, and coins per line when placing bets. Align your strategy with your budget and gameplay goals.


Study the Paytable

Symbol and Feature Insight: Paytables detail symbol values and game features, enhancing your understanding and strategy for each game.

How to Choose The Perfect Pokie

Choosing the perfect pokie game is like finding your ideal wine—it’s about matching your taste. At CasinoAus, we’ve reviewed a wide selection of pokies to cater to all types of players. Here’s how to find a game that suits you:

  • Identify Your Preferences: Start by pinpointing what you enjoy most about pokies—whether it’s the thrill of spinning reels, hitting jackpots, immersive stories, or engaging bonus rounds.

  • Consider the Theme: Pokies come in various themes, from adventurous journeys to Egyptian treasures and classic fruit machines. Choose a theme that resonates with you for an enjoyable experience.

  • Check the Game Features: Look for exciting features like bonus rounds, free spins, multipliers, wild symbols, and scatters. These can enhance the excitement of your gameplay.

  • Software Provider: Different providers like NetEnt, Microgaming, and Betsoft offer unique styles and mechanics. Explore their offerings to find the visuals and gameplay that appeal to you the most.

Betsoft Hold & Win Games
Betsoft Hold & Win Game
The Slotfather II
Branded Style Pokie
A lively Cluster Pays Betsoft Game
A Cluster Pays Game
Stacked a Betsoft Grid Slot
A Grid Slot
Quest to the West
Cascading Reels
StarBurst XXXtreme
An Updated Classic - Starburst
Divine Fortune
A Progressive Jackpot Game


Jamie Bungaree avatar
Jamie Bungaree
Head of Casino Games

Hi, I’m Jamie, the Head of Casino Games at CasinoAus. For over eight years, I’ve been exploring the exciting universe of iGaming, from pokies to table games. My experience isn’t just about playing; it’s about understanding the mechanics and delivering quality content. My background in journalism equips me to provide you with insights that go beyond the surface. I’m here to make sure you have an engaging and informative experience.

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