How To Pick a Good Online Pokie Game - Pokie Games Guide




The world of online pokies is vast and constantly growing. There are more games now then there has ever been, which in turn, creates both choice and confusion at top online casinos.

As the range of games increases, the more choice there is means that picking the best pokies becomes harder. The truth is that there is a pokie game for everyone and in most cases, dozens of games that will tick boxes for each player.

One of the first things that we tell potential players to have an understanding of is the type of games you like to play and go from there. If you’re new to online pokies, then you can choose things that link in with hobbies or interests. Throughout this article, we will take a look at what you need to do to choose the best games for you.

Deciding Your Favourite Pokie Theme

One of the easiest places to start is that of the theme of the game. You can see the theme without having to look at any stats or data on the game and then simply pick ones that are of interest.

Given there are thousands of online pokies to choose from, you’re likely going to have a multitude of games that are within the same theme. For example, if Egyptian games are your thing, then you’re able to choose from the likes of Tutankhamun, Treasure of the Pyramids, Mummy Gold, Queen of riches, Crown of Egypt and Egyptian Rise. There are dozens to choose from, but you get the idea.

insert_text_hereEgyptian themed pokies have become increasingly popular over the years (Credit: Alamy)

The theme of the game is key for how a pokie might look, but the gameplay for each game within the same theme will likely be very different. In fact, they may be similar only in name, which is why a lot of these will be spread across a range of game developers and manufacturers. Some of the best themed-games are branded pokies. These included the likes of TV Shows, movies, games, comics and game shows, to name just a few.

Branded games are some of the most popular and that’s because they are some of the most intricate. Take a movie-themed game as an example, throughout it you’re likely going to get references to characters, soundtracks, and they even might include clips from the movie as well. It’s also worth noting that branded games often come with a bigger budget than most “regular” pokies. This is because they have been commissioned by the owners of the brand so this must be reflective of their standards.

As we’ve mentioned, there are lots of themes to choose from. Below we’ve included a brief overview of some of the more popular themes in the pokies industry right now:

  • Ancient Egypt
  • Viking/Norse Mythology
  • Horror
  • Oriental
  • Branded Games
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Adventure
  • Alien and Space
  • Fruit
  • Irish
  • Classics
  • Jackpots

Pokie Jackpots – What to Know Before You Play

Jackpot games are the most popular pokie type for any casino game. They are a way for players to win huge sums of money from a very small outlay, which is why the lure is so great.

What you’re going to find with these games is that there are two types. The most common is that of a standard jackpot and then you also get a progressive jackpot. Standard jackpot games are sums of money that are applied to “regular” pokies. This is usually money that is put up by the casino or it’s sometimes put up by the game developer.

To trigger these you will need to hit a set combination of symbols within the game and then providing that you do so, the jackpot that is fixed with the game will be paid out. It’s important to not get a max win and a jackpot mixed up. A max win is the most that you can win on a pokie which is represented as a multiplier of your stake amount. A jackpot is an amount you can win regardless of if you wager £1 per spin and £1,000 per spin.

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Regular jackpots are often worth huge sums of money, however, the biggest jackpot wins almost always come from progressive jackpots. Progressive games work differently from a regular jackpot. In these games, the sum of money that can be won will progressively increase with each wager that is made. The games are set up to take a percentage of each bet and apply that to the jackpot fund.

For example, let’s assume that they take 10% of each spin. If a player places a £10 spin, then £1 would be added to the progressive jackpot. Winnings from these games often exceed 7 figures and the biggest games have paid out 8 figure sums. This is life-changing money for any player!

The reason why these jackpots get as big as they do is that they are usually run and hosted by the game developer and not just the casino. This means that the game developer might have that game in 10 different casinos, massively increasing the number of players who are contributing to the jackpot. Jackpot games will always be some of the most popular, but it’s worth noting that, jackpot aside, they are often pretty poor pokies in terms of RTP and favour the casino more than most online pokies. The excitement comes from the jackpot, but if it’s gameplay you’re after, you’re likely best off with more mainstream titles.

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Volatility and RTP – What’s Important When Choosing a Good Online Pokie?

We always recommend understanding how pokies work should be the first port of call for any serious online pokies players. This understanding will allow you to then better choose games that are right for you, rather than just any old pokie. Two key points for any pokie is that of RTP (Return to Player) and Volatility. These are often misunderstood as the same entity, but that is not the case.

RTP is documented as a percentage and technically, all casino games have them. The number is representative of the amount of money that gets returned to the player for each spin that is made. For example, if you’ve got a pokie with an RTP of 95% then this would mean the game pays 95% of all takings back to the player, with the casino taking 5% as their cut. In monetary terms, it would mean that for every £1 staked, the casino takes 5p and the player gets 95p.

If this were to happen for every spin, then games would be pointless. Players aren’t going to play a game where they bet £1 and get 95p back every time. To alleviate this problem, volatility is added to the game. Volatility is essentially the frequency that the game pays out. This is usually rated as low, medium and high. Low volatility games will pay out small amounts but at a high frequency. High volatility games will pay out larger sums of money, but less often. Medium volatility games strike a balance between the two. RTP and volatility combine to create the platform for that game. They are independent of each other but work together to create individual gaming environments.

In an ideal world, players should be looking for games with a high RTP. They want pokies to pay back the most per spin as possible. There are, however, caveats to this. One major one is that high RTP games often come with smaller jackpots and top prizes. Games like progressive jackpot pokies generally have lot RTP rates as the trade-off is the big jackpot prize should you hit. When it comes to pokie volatility, you then need to work out which game types are going to best suit your game style. Smaller bankrolls that want more value for money should shoot for low volatility games. Whereas larger bankrolls that want higher wins in terms of value will want higher volatility pokies.

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Finding Your Favourite Pokie Game Developers

The pokies industry has dozens of game developer’s to choose from. Some are better than others, but each brings its own style and formats, which keep the industry feeling fresh. Each developer will have a certain number of games attached but don’t necessarily think that bigger is better here as some of the smaller companies have some of the most popular games at the minute.

Here is a list of some of the more popular pokie game developers right now:

Pokie Game Demos – Try Before You Buy

One of the best ways to test new pokies is to use what is commonly referred to as “demo play” games. This allows you to play pokies for play money, without having to invest real money into the game.

The idea is that you can “try before you buy” and it lets you see how pokies function, just as they would for real money. Everything is the same, except, instead of having to use your own money, you get given a play money balance that you can use for that game.

If you can get access to your game of choice in demo play, then we highly recommend that you test here before playing for real money. The games work the same, but knowing how bonus rounds work, which scatters and wilds to look out for and also the value of each symbol, makes for a more streamlined and immersive game when you switch to real money.

Top Pokie Sign Up Bonuses and Free Spins

Anytime that you get access to a new casino you should be taking advantage of their welcome or sign-up bonus. These are accessible to most players and they can come in several different packages.

The most common is that of a deposit bonus, where the casino will match the deposit that you make with them in the form of bonus money. Once you get the bonus money you can then use this money within the casino on real money games that will work alongside your cash balance.

On top of sign up bonuses, you’re also likely to get several free spins. These are spins that are dedicated to a single game on the site but is a great way to test that game for free.

Often you find that any winnings from these free spins can be kept as cash. However, deposit bonuses will need to be cleared within a series of T’s and C’s to change this money from bonus cash to a withdrawable balance.


The number of pokies that you can choose from today is quite overwhelming for many players. Most casinos and even new pokie sites have hundreds on their roster, so choosing the right one is not always that easy.

We would recommend that you do as much homework as you can on a new game before you jump. All of our reviews on Pokie Source will outline how the games work, features and which player type they are best suited to.

If you can get access to demo play, then 100% take advantage of that. If not, start small with new games and then increase your bets as you become more confident that this is the pokie for you.

Pokie Game FAQs

🎰 Can you actually win on online pokies?

Yes, you can win on online pokies. They are set up to allow certain profitability for players, but long term, are set up in the casino's favour. However, there is always the opportunity to hit big and win large sums of cash, but just be wary that these types of victories are rare.

🎰 What volatility is best for online pokies?

This will vary for each player. Small bankrolls should look to low volatility and larger bankrolls can afford to play higher volatility games. The higher the volatility the bigger chance of a huge payday, but there will also be less wins along the way and more of a chance of going bust!

🎰 Are all online pokies safe?

As long as the casino you are playing at is licensed by a governing body like the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority then the pokies will be safe. Rest assured, every casino we recommend at PokieSource is fully licensed and regulated, so any pokie game you play from one of our partners is 100% safe.

🎰 Can you play all good online pokies on mobile?

Yes, almost all pokies are now accessible on mobile. This will either be via a downloadable app or via a mobile casino site that you can access in your phone’s browser. The handy part about playing at mobile casinos is that you can play on to go, wherever you are as long as you have an internet connection.

🎰 What features should good pokies have?

Good pokies have a good balance of a high RTP and mid-high volatile. They will include a range of bonus rounds and features, such as scatters, wilds and free spins rounds. Of course, different players will prefer different pokies, but in general these features should be considered a pre-requisite to a good pokie.

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