How to Win Real Money on Online Pokies

Chloe Wilson - EditorChloe Wilson - 10 March 2021 in Features

How to Win on Pokies

If you wish to know how to win consistently when playing online pokies, you might be disappointed to learn that there is no magic formula.

However, by grasping a few basic principles, you will be able to make better decisions that can stretch your bankroll and increase your odds of winning to the maximum. In this article, you will learn how game selection, altering your bet size and a good understanding of bonus terms can improve your chances of winning.



As pokies are games of chance, there are no strategies per se that will drastically increase your chances of winning. However, by understanding how RTP and volatility affect a game's outcome, you may slightly increase your winning chances.

Yes and no. In theory, you are more likely to win on pokies that have high RTP percentages. However, as RTP percentages are calculated over a near-infinite number of spins, you cannot expect high RTP pokies to directly affect a single gaming session.

Yes, it does. Generally, you will win more frequently in low volatility pokies. However, the wins will also be significantly smaller than those of high volatility pokies.

As online pokies generally have higher RTP percentages than live pokies, you theoretically have a better chance at winning when you play pokies online. However, as RTP percentages are calculated over a vast amount of spins, these differences may not be of any significance during any individual gaming session.

Yes, and no. The bet size itself does not increase your chance of winning on a given spin. However, by altering your bet size, you can make your bankroll last longer and increase your chances of winning. As casino wins are always a multiplication of your bet, the bet size does affect the size of any potential winnings.

What You Must Know About Winning On Pokies

Before we start, let us remind ourselves that pokies are games of chance. Whilst you can apply betting systems to increase your winnings chances on classic table games such as Blackjack and Roulette, such systems are of littles use when it comes to playing pokies, despite what some “experts” may tell you.

However, by understanding the fundamental game mechanics of online pokies, you can make informed decisions that may extend your gaming session and give you slightly better odds of winning. Read on to learn more.

Understanding How Pokies Work

Assuming you already have a basic understanding of how pokies work in terms of pay lines and bet size, we will look at the three fundamental aspects of an online pokie's game engine.

Random Number Generators (RNG engines)

All real money online pokies are controlled by Random Number Generators (RNG engines). These game engines are essentially algorithms that game results are entirely fair and random.

Reputable game developers are licensed by gambling authorities that perform regular audits to ensure that RNG engines work as they should and that all game results are entirely random. This means that online pokies can never be rigged and that there is no way for players to "beat the system" or manipulate game results.

Return to Player Percentages (RTP)

Return to Player percentages express how much of players' stakes a pokie returns in the form of winnings over time.

If a group of players collectively stake $96 on Starburst, which has an RTP of 96%, $96 will be distributed as wins to the players. The remaining $4 is the casino's house edge. You can play Starburst at PlayAmo.

RTP percentages are measured over an almost infinite number of spins, and as such, they do not relate to any single player's gaming session.

In other words, you will never win 96% of your spins during any given gaming session. Having said that, RTP percentages are still significant as they do reflect how much a pokie pays out over time.

You should aim to play pokies with the highest possible RTP percentages. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid pokies with an RTP below 96%, whilst pokies with RTPs above 97% can be considered exceptionally lucrative.

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Volatility, or variance as it is also called, is another critical aspect to consider. A pokie's volatility tells you a lot about the size and frequency of its wins.

This is what you must know:

  • Low volatility pokies More frequent, but smaller, payouts. Examples of great low volatility games are Toki Time and Jungle Book.
  • High volatility pokies Less frequent, but substantially larger, payouts. Microgaming's Immortal Romance is an excellent example of a high volatility pokie.

Low or High Volatility - Which Pokies Should I Play?

When you play a high-volatility slot, it may take a while before you hit a win. However, when you do win, you will likely win a substantial amount. In other words, the win may very well justify the long wait.

When you play a low-volatility pokie, you can expect to win much more frequently. You will mostly win smaller amounts; however, these frequent wins can keep your bankroll afloat and extend your gaming session significantly.

When you play high volatility pokies, you need a larger bankroll as it may take some time before you hit a big win. These games are the right choice when you have a somewhat substantial bankroll. You can then lower your bet size to make your funds last longer and increase your chances of hitting a lucrative win - after all, even a small bet can yield a substantial win due to these games’ massive win multipliers.

Using Your Knowledge of Game Mechanics to Win on Online Pokies

Once you have grasped the basic principles of payouts in online pokies, you can consider them when choosing games and bet size.

Truth be told, game selection and bet size are the only two variables that you can manipulate to increase your winning chances.

Choose The Right Games

If you start with a small bankroll, it is best to choose a low volatility pokie.

That way, you can gradually build a larger bankroll that is likely to last until you get a win in a volatile slot. Once you have a big enough bankroll, you can switch to a more volatile game and potentially score more significant wins.

Whenever possible, you should also choose games with high RTP percentages. Ideally, you should only play pokies with an RTP of at least 96%.

Our Top Ten Pokies With The Highest RTP

1429 Uncharted Seas98.56%Thunderkick
Marching Legions98%Relax Gaming
Good Girl, Bad Girl97.79%Betsoft Gaming
Big Bad Wolf97.3%Quickspin
Toki Time97.1%Thunderkick
Sakura Fortune96.8%Quickspin
Holmes and the Stolen Stones96.8%Yggdrasil
Startup Valley96.48Truelab
Primal Hunt96.01%Betsoft Gaming
Wolf Treasure96%IGTech

Alter Your Bet Size

By increasing and decreasing your bet size, you can extend your gaming session and affect the results of any potential win multipliers.

Consider decreasing your bet size to stretch your bankroll when you are on a losing streak. If the tides suddenly turn you can increase the bet size again, so that you enter any potential bonus round with a larger bet size that yields bigger wins.

Using Bonuses to Increase Your Chances of Winning on Pokies

A casino bonus increases your bankroll and thus allows you to play longer. Therefore, you theoretically increase your chances of winning when you claim a bonus.

However, the most significant advantage of playing with a bonus is that you can place large bets and take a bigger risk.

When it comes to bonuses, it is actually sensible to place big bets and aim for massive wins. By placing big bets, you get a chance to score wins that are big enough to leave substantial funds in your account even after you have wagered your bonus.

Learn more: Read our article on wagering requirements to learn everything there is to know about wagering a casino bonus.

Using No Deposit Bonuses to Win on Pokies

There is certainly something to be said about using free no deposit bonuses to win on pokies.

As most casinos offer no deposit bonuses and free spins, you can try your luck at multiple sites - and since you are playing with free bonus credits, you can take risks that you might not otherwise be willing to take.

Since no deposit bonuses have restrictive win limits, you might not be able to cash out all that much. However, nothing stops you from withdrawing a wagered bonus win and redepositing the money to claim a massive match deposit bonus.

That way, you can place daring real money bets on volatile slots and potentially score massive wins - after all, you have never risked any of your own money.

Summary - A Checklist to Optimise Your Winning Chances

As you can tell, there is no clear-cut way of winning on pokies. At the end of the day, you can only apply a few simple principles, cross your fingers and hope for a lucrative outcome on your next spin.

Here is checklist you can follow to ensure that you are always optimising your winning chances as much as possible:

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