Since the first pokie machine appeared in New York by the end of the 19th century, these easy-playing gambling machines have attracted people by promising great prizes for matching the winning symbols. “One armed bandit” as gamblers used to call pokie machines, may have changed over time. This was mostly just to keep pace with modern technology — But the main principle of operating slot machines still remains the same. Let’s go back in time to see how these popular casino games worked in the beginning.
The History of Pokie Machines
When the first machine appeared in the USA, it worked on a lever principle — All a player had to do was to pull the lever and wait for the winning combination of various poker cards symbols to appear on something nowadays known as reels. The original pokie machine had five ‘reels’ which increased the player’s chances of winning.
Some people saw the business potential of these gambling machines, and they have put a lot of effort into improving them. The final result was a recognisable slot machine with three reels, a coin slot, and a lever on the side. This enhanced slot machine was known as the Liberty Bell machine because it contained new symbols next to the regular ones — The bell and the horseshoe.
At first, pokie machines were mechanical — They consisted of reels, the lever that gets the reels spinning, the slot for inserting the coins, and the coin tray.
The first video slot machine that represents one step forward in the pokie machines evolution appeared in the 70s. The main difference was that these pokies had an inbuilt video screen that showed the reels and different functions of the game. Ever since video slots have appeared on the gambling scene, their popularity continued to grow. This is mostly because of the exciting storylines they offer to players, as well as generous bonus rounds during the gameplay.
These kinds of machines that offered a game- within- a game bonus round that increase your winnings considerably, first appeared in Australia in 1994.
Nowadays, pokie machines are fully digitalised. Their operation relies on a computer program, and there are few mechanical parts left. For reasons like these, they are usually referred to as electronic gaming machines.
The central part of the pokie machine is the random number generator. It is responsible for the randomness of symbols that may appear on reels and form a payout combination. When a pokie machine works on a certified RNG, you can be sure that the game is fair, and that every player has equal odds of winning.
How to Play Slots
The players start the game by inserting cash or a particular ticket into a machine, and once the bet is accepted, they hit the start button or press start on a machine’s touch screen.
This is where the RNG takes over, and the random combination of various slot symbols pop out on the screen. Although there are some strategical steps you can take to increase your chances of winning, there are no 100% pokie machine secrets to predict the outcome of the game.
When I mentioned strategy, it all boils down to placing a’max bet,’ i.e. placing maximum coins on all paylines to chase big wins, such as jackpots. In case you win, you get paid out. Otherwise, the machine waits for you to press the button again.
Why Knowing the RTP Is Important
The ‘Return To Player’ is actually the percentage of bets on a particular slot machine the casino is ready to pay over some time. This period often depends on the length of the life of the machine, which is approximately three to four years. So if the RTP is 90%, and you bet $1 constantly, you can expect to get 85 cents in return over time.
The regulatory bodies determined that the return to player in Australian land-based casinos should range from 85% to 92 %, but you should always check this before you start playing, so you know what to expect.
What Online Pokies Offer
Online gambling market recognised the potential for making money through pokies right from the start. Moreover, the casinos are competing fiercely in providing the richest offer of these compelling games to players. There are a couple of significant differences between the online slots and regular pokie machines.
The RTP at online slot games is usually higher, around 94%or 95%, which can seem attractive to gamblers who used to play slot machines in regular casinos.
The other convenient option online casinos offer to their visitors is the free play option. In this trial period, players have the chance to get familiar with a slot game, its main features, and the winning combinations before they start spinning for real.
The gameplay is the same as on the real pokie machines. You choose the coin value, the number of paylines, and push the button to start the game. The symbols appear on virtual reels and bring you winnings — Or not.
In the end, all I can say is that pokie machines have always been the first choice of numerous gamblers. Even though the outcome of the slot machine depends on pure luck, the prospect of winning big at these fast-paced casino game will never fade away. Go ahead and try your luck playing some pokies as soon as you can.