While we’re all about card games, it can be fun to jazz things up every now and then by branching out and playing something new at an online casino. Online pokies provide an entertaining change from the strategy and concentration required to play card games, and thanks to the introduction of real money pokies on the Internet, you can win cash without having to head to a stale pokies lounge or land based casino.
This article explains how to play pokies online for real money, the best Aussie-friendly pokies sites, and some of the best games to play for the biggest jackpots.
Best AU pokies casinos
How to play pokies online
Unlike many of the card games discussed on our site, it requires absolutely no skill to play the pokies. If you’re capable of making an online deposit and pressing a few buttons, then you have all the ability required to enjoy the thrill of playing the pokies. If you’ve never played the pokies before, either online or in real life, these are all the steps you need to start playing games for the chance to win real money on the Net:
- Choose a safe, reputable online casino which offers a large variety of pokies, like the ones we’ve recommended on our site.
- Sign up for an account (use our links to claim some incredible welcome bonuses) and make an instant deposit in AUD using a trusted payment method like Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, POLi, Paysafecard, Flexepin or direct bank transfer.
- Choose from one of the hundreds of pokies games available, which are also available to sample for free in practice-play before committing to any real wagers.
- Set your desired bet level using the arrows at the bottom of the screen, choosing the amount of coins, lines and bet size you wish to place.
- Press spin and see if you land on a winning combination, with any wins credited automatically to your account.
As you can see, not much skill is required to play online pokies. These games are designed to be entertaining, engaging and exciting, using advanced technology to create animation akin to cinematic standards. The result of each pokies spin relies purely on luck and there is no strategy you can use to increase your chances of winning. As long as you enjoy pokies as a game of chance and bet within your means, this can be a fun and potentially rewarding game to play online. It’s important to set yourself limits when playing the pokies, whether it be financial limits or time limits, to ensure gambling for real money remains a recreational pastime and doesn’t start costing you more than you can afford to lose.
Best AUD pokies sites for real money play
The best pokies sites are those which offer a vast selection of pokies from leading game developers, while being legitimately licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction and certified by an authoritative casino body like eCOGRA. The pokies sites recommended in our casino table above tick all these boxes, while also legally accepting Australian players and offering a range of safe deposit options in AUD. Pokies at these sites are available in instant-play mode directly over your Web browser, with no additional downloads required.
You’ll also find a selection of card games at these casinos, including blackjack, baccarat, pontoon, video poker and several table poker variants. Signing up for an account at any of these sites gives you access to the whole range of real money casino games within. Register via our links to receive welcome packages, including matched deposit bonuses and free spins on selected pokies games.
What to look for when choosing a pokies site
The Internet is a weird and wonderful place, and while there’s many fantastic and trustworthy services out there, there’s also plenty of cowboys looking for the chance to scheme vulnerable people out of their money. This is why it’s imperative that you only ever play real money games at a venue that’s licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction and approved by the relevant gaming authorities.
Here’s what an online casino must comply with before it gets our recommendation:
- It must be legally licensed by a sound offshore gambling jurisdiction – sites claiming to be licensed in Australia should be avoided at all costs. Dependable jurisdictions include Malta, United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Curacao and Alderney.
- All pages requesting your personal information or financial details must be protected by the bare minimum of 128 Bit SSL digital encryption. You can identify this by looking in the URL bar and making sure there’s an additional “s” in the “https” address, or an icon showing a little picture of a padlock.
- A large variety of games from trusted software developers must be offered. We’ve discussed some of the best pokies studios and the games they offer below.
- Payments should be available in AUD using trusted deposit methods with little to no processing times.
- A dedicated help desk must be available to assist players where necessary, via phone, email or live online chat.
- It must offer welcome bonuses, sign-up incentives and a loyalty reward program to registered players. To claim a welcome bonus at an online casino, sign up using any of the links on our site for an offer exclusive to readers of AustralianCardGames.com.au.
There are other things we look out for, but these are the key factors essential to any reputable online pokies site.
Can I play pokies on my mobile?
Absolutely! Online casinos recognised the value of portable play early on, and as such all of our recommended pokies sites all now cater to smartphone and tablet play. While you won’t find as many mobile pokies available as you would at a casino’s full desktop site, the number of mobile games available is growing, with almost all new titles released with mobile optimisation. Mobile slot games maintain the same high level of graphics, animation and speeds, but have simply been shrunken down to suit the smaller screens and touch-screen function on mobile devices. Arguably, the touch-screen functionality makes mobile play the superior choice, but it completely comes down to personal preference.
Mobile pokies are powered using Flash of HTML5 software, which means games are available for instant-play directly over your mobile browser regardless of the operating system you’re using. As long as your mobile device is data-enabled, has Internet connectivity and has the relevant Flash software installed, you’ll be able to access pokies on the go. Games are optimised for use with all smartphone and tablet makes and models, including iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Windows Phone, LG, Nexus, HTC and many more.
While mobile pokies are widely available, you’ll notice it’s rare to come across a reliable online casino that offers a downloadable native app – the kind you’re used to getting from your app store. This is simply because the ease of instant-play means downloadable apps are no longer necessary, with a majority of players preferring to play directly over their browsers without wasting their data allowances or hard drive space. However, for those who prefer to use downloadable apps, our top-rated pokies site, Casino-Mate, does offer a native app available to be downloaded for both iOS and Android operating systems.
The alternative is to create your own Web app, which can be done from any of our recommended casinos. All you need to do is head to the mobile casino, bring up your in-browser settings and select the “add to home screen” option. An icon for the casino will be added to your mobile home screen, ready to be accessed instantly with a single tap just like any regular downloaded app. You can even create a Web app directly for your favourite game, so you can bypass the casino lobby completely and access the game anytime, anywhere.
Popular online pokies from top game developers
With literally thousands of pokies available online, it can be hard to know which are worth your time and money. We’ve compiled a selection of some of the best pokies to try on the Internet, with games created by world-class software developers featuring impeccable animation, multiple bonus features and lucrative jackpots.
Microgaming – Mega Moolah, Game of Thrones, Lost Vegas, Avalon II, Tomb Raider, Bridesmaids, Immortal Romance, Jurassic Park, Girls With Guns, Playboy, Thunderstruck II, Bikini Party, Sterling Silver.
Net Entertainment – Starburst, Dazzle Me, Gonzo’s Quest, Divine Fortune, Jimi Hendrix, Dracula, Guns N’ Roses, Piggy Riches, Aliens, Spinata Grande, Aloha Cluster Pays, The Invisible Man, South Park Reel Chaos, Twin Spin.
BetSoft – The Glam Life, Mr Vegas, Gladiator, A Night in Paris, After Night Falls, Rooks Revenge, Under the Bed, Weekend in Vegas, Sugar Pop, At the Movies, Boomanji, At the Copa, Puppy Love.
Play’n Go – Cloud Quest, Gemix, Royal Masquerade, Samba Carnival, Aztec Princess, Wild North, Tower Quest, Eye of the Kraken, Rage to Riches, Spin Party, Fruit Bonanza, Happy Halloween.
Thunderkick – Arcader, 1429 Unchartered Seas, Esqueleto Explosivo, Fruit Warp, Sunny Scoops, Birds on a Wire, Bork the Berserker, Toki Time, Flux, Magicious, Barber Shop.
iSoftBet – Mega Boy, Basic Instinct, Rambo, Jackpot Rango, Kobushi, The Love Guru, 24, Platoon, Alice Adventures, Neon Reels, Astro Magic, Beverley Hills 90210, Heavy Metal Warriors.
Quickspin – Big Bad Wolf, Wild Chase, Phoenix Sun, Second Strike, Sinbad, Treasure Island, Firestorm, Crystal Queen, Dragon Shrine, Gold Lab, Spinions Beach Party, Sugar Trail, The Epic Journey.
Yggdrasil – Alchymedes, Bicicleta, Big Blox, Holmes & the Stolen Stones, Incinerator, Vikings Go Berzerk, Vikings Go Wild, Winterberries, Seasons, Legend of the Golden Monkey,
This is a tiny sample of the pokies titles you’ll find online. Other game developers with premium content at our recommended casinos include Rival, Playtech, NextGen Gaming, NYX Gaming, Elk Studios, Cryptologic, Leander and many more.
Types of online pokies
When you start playing the pokies online, you’ll notice not all games are the same, and we don’t just mean the graphic quality or game themes. Here’s some of the types of pokies you can expect to find when gambling on the Internet:
Progressive jackpot pokies – these games typically offer the highest possible payouts, with jackpots increasing every time the same game is played anywhere across the linked network. Games like Mega Moolah, The Dark Knight and Mega Fortune have base jackpots starting around the $1-million-dollar mark, offering much higher winning potential than the pokies you’ll find at your local pub.
3-reel pokies – the more basic pokies games, similar to the original slot machines, where symbols spin across three reels and wins typically fall on a single payline. Three reel games offer a higher chance of winning, but with much lower wins than five reel games and minimal to zero bonus features.
5-reel pokies – five reel pokies account for the majority of all online pokies, using high quality video animation to spin symbols across 5-reels and multiple paylines. Five reel games can have up to 25 active paylines per spin and multiple bonus features like wild symbols, scatter symbols, free spins, gamble features, expanding wilds, sticky wilds, and bonus mini-games.
243 way, 1024 way and 3125 way pokies – also referred to as “All-Ways” pokies, these games literally offer hundreds of potential winning combinations within each spin.
MegaSpin pokies – these games allow you to play up to nine separate pokies games at once, all within the one webpage. While this means you can have several games on the go for the chance to win more money, be mindful each game requires a separate wager, making MegaSpin pokies a sure way to burn through your money at a rapid pace.
Virtual reality pokies – Using advanced technology and a wearable VR device like the Oculus Rift headset, players can immerse themselves in slot games in full virtual reality. You can walk the halls of a virtual pokies lounge, interact with other players and then play the pokies in immersive 3D for a gambling experience unlike any other.
How to deposit money to a play pokies online
Depositing money to play with at an online pokies site is an easy process and you don’t even need to have access to a credit card to do so. Online vendors have made sure Aussies are well taken care of when it comes to reliable deposit options, with the Australian dollar widely accepted using such trusted payment methods as:
Credit and debit cards – Visa, MasterCard, EntroPay
Web wallets – Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz
Pre-paid cards – Paysafecard (formerly Ukash), Flexepin
Bank transfers – Citadel Direct or direct wire transfer
All you need to do to make a deposit is login to your online casino account, go to the cashier/banking section and select the payment method you want to use. Enter the amount of funds you wish to transfer and follow the prompts to enter your details and complete your transaction. Most deposits will hit your casino account instantly, except for bank transfers which can take up to three business days to process depending on the venue.
The payment options available vary at different sites, so always check a casino accepts your preferred payment method before registering for an account. You can usually find this information in the casino’s FAQ or help section, or you can chat with a customer service representative using the venues live chat function.
Is it safe to play pokies online?
Provided you’re playing at a licensed, reputable online casino, you can rest assured it’s safe to play the pokies for real money online. Trusted sites like the ones we’ve recommended are all licensed by leading offshore gambling jurisdictions, adhering to strict laws and regulations set by their country of origin. Just because a gaming venue is based online, it doesn’t mean the vendor is free to operate outside of the law. These sites must follow stringent rules to ensure a safe, responsible gaming space for players, while ensuring games run fairly and above board. They’re also licensed by third party authoritative bodies who audit games to ensure player fairness and safety at all times.
All of the casinos recommended here at Australian Card Games are protected by a minimum of 128 Bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital encryption security, the same level of online protection used by Australian banks, so you can be comfortable knowing your personal and financial information is safe when playing at any of our top-rated pokies sites.