For those of you, who like our mascot Croco, are curious about how online pokies work, this article is for you.

It’s always interesting to see how things actually work. To peek behind the façade and uncover the mechanics of a certain product.

Pokie machines are no different. Like cars, video games and Croco-infested lakes, there’s always more going on beneath the surface that we don’t see right away. This makes the question as to how pokies actually work so intriguing!

Of course, many of you probably don’t give two hoots as to how they work. Any why would you? As long as it pays you some cash and you have fun with a particular theme, what more could a loyal PlayCroco member want?

For those of you, who like our mascot Croco, are curious about how pokies work, this article is for you. It might not make you a better player, but we will reveal some surprising details about pokies (both online and land-based) that you didn’t know.

So if you ever find yourself locked in a game of pokie and slot trivia with a table full of hungry alligators, you won’t have to worry about being turned into a meal. Instead, you’ll be able to impress with your skills and hopefully leave with all limbs intact!

On the other hand you could always decide to only play with crocodiles. They’d never take a bite out of you. Instead, they’ll help you win more money on your favourite slot and give you the scales off their back. Because as we all know, crocodiles rule…


Online VS land-based casinos 🎰

When asking the question how pokies work, it’s important to distinguish between online varieties and their land-based counterparts.

It’s true that both online pokies and land-based slots have a lot of things in common. They follow the same basic rules, they have similar bonus round mechanics and they’re both mostly a different iteration of the original one-armed bandits or fruit machines (see more about this in our article “Who invented pokies? A historical summary of pokie machines”).

However, online slots are as the name suggest only available online. They’re connected to other slots of the same brand or title around the world, which allows for linked progressive jackpots. Online slots can also be played using cryptocurrency, cash via a voucher or credit card, which differs from land-based pokies that normally only take cash.

What’s more, online slots can be played anywhere at any time. That means no more waiting for the casino to open its doors or having to visit a particular bar or club in order to play the pokies.

Finally, online pokies and slots offer more convenience. For example: being a member of PlayCroco gives you access to hundreds of different titles with a wide variety of bonus features, paylines and themes. Not even the largest casinos can offer such an expansive breadth of choice!

That being said, land-based pokies do have their advantages. For one, land-based slots are based in places where you can also socialise with other players. This is drastically different to online slots that are normally played within the comfort of your own home.

Another reason to play land-based pokies is that there’s a certain thrill that comes with the tactile experience of pressing buttons, watching the machine light up and hearing the sound effects in real life!

For us here at PlayCroco, land-based pokies still have their place. But if you’re a modern Croco living that modern life, it’s hard to beat the simplicity, accessibility and convenience that online slots offer.

In order to start playing at PlayCroco online casino, simply follow these 3 steps:

  1. Load your PlayCroco account with credit using any one of ourdeposit methods
  2. Select a pokie or online slot to play
  3. Click “Play for Real

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The basics of pokie machine gameplay ⚙️

All online pokie machines have slight variations in how they can be played. For arguments sake though, we’ve come up with a few steps based on our very own online pokies. So if you’ve never played an online pokie before or simply want to know how pokies work, these steps will help:

  1. Sign up to PlayCroco by clicking the “Sign Up” button on our homepage
  2. Deposit funds into your account via our banking page
  3. Select an online pokie from our selection of available titles
  4. Click “Play for Real” to play this chosen pokie for real cash
  5. Enjoy playing and winning on said pokie

For a more detailed breakdown on the ins and outs of online pokies, our blog page has plenty of articles for you to read. The best online slot articles for both new and intermediate gamers include our blogs on gambling terms, winning strategies and online pokie symbols.


Random number generators (RNG) 🔢

We can’t discuss how pokies work without talking about the backbone of online pokie machines – the random number generator (RNG). The RNG makes online slots incredibly fair, thereby ensuring your chances of winning are always reasonable.

Now, Croco won’t hand out any prizes for guessing what the RNG does. After all, it’s function within a pokie is actually very straightforward. Essentially though, the RNG is a type of software that generates random numbers using highly complex mathematical algorithms. These random numbers are then used to determine the type of symbols that appear on the reels.

The RNG whirls into action each and every time you press the spin button on an online pokie, moving faster than Croco trying to get the last piece of steak at his local butcher. This way you’re never shown the same lineup of symbols twice, which makes playing only pokies both thrilling and surprising. If that’s not enough though, RNGs also keep everything above board and ensure there’s no unfair advantage to the house.


Pokie paylines explained 📈

How do pokies work? Well, a fundamental part of all online pokies is the payline.

Also known as a betting line or a winning line, a payline is a specific combination of symbols that determines wins during a base game or bonus round. With the amount that could potentially be won listed in the online pokie’s paytable.

For standard slots, paylines run from the left to the right of the grid. Some paylines can be straight horizontal lines, while others can zigzag. It all depends on the game that you are playing. Most online pokies have between 25 and 50 paylines, however, the amount of paylines in a game can run as high as 245 or more!

Some online pokie titles allow you to select the amount of paylines in play. These are called “variable” slots. Others are fixed and are creatively called “fixed” pokies. The more paylines you have in play, the higher your chances of winning and scoring a payout are.

Once selected, paylines remain static for the duration of your spin. This means you cannot change them halfway through a spin in order to win more money. You also cannot wager more funds on a particular payline.


Low, medium and high volatility 💰

Another interesting feature of online pokies is volatility.

Not only does volatility play an important role in how pokies work, it’s also a great indicator when you’re trying to figure out the amount of risk involved on a slot. This is because volatility relates to how often and how much you can expect to trigger a winning combination.

Low volatility pokies will payout frequently, but the payouts won’t be all that prestigious. Medium volatility pokies pay out on more occasions than low volatility slots but once again the payout amount will be on the smaller side.

High volatility pokies, on the other hand, can run for ages before a payout is awarded. When it does come though, you’ll need to hold onto your hat because chances are it’ll be bigger than great grandfather Croco (and that’s pretty damn big)!

If you’re the patient type, a high volatility pokie will suit you to a tee. If you like the thrill of the win then a low volatility slot will be a better fit. Really though it all comes down to your own personal playing style. For those of you who are curious as to how pokies work though, volatility is definitely a key piece of the puzzle.


Return to Player percentage (RTP) 👯

Now that we’ve covered RNG, paylines and volatility in relation to how pokies work it’s time to talk about RTP, otherwise known as Return to Player percentage. 

This term is used to explain the sum of money that an online casino pokie pays back to you in the form of winnings. It’s listed as a percentage and it takes into account the potential payback amount over a certain period of time.

But how do they work out RTP? Well, it’s pretty simple. The total amount of money paid back to players is divided by the total amount wagered by said players. What you’re left with is a percentage that usually ranges anywhere from 95% to 97%.

By itself this percentage figure is useful in deciding whether or not a pokie title is worth playing, however, you’re better off weighing up both this figure AND volatility together in order to make an informed decision.


All about pokie reels 🎢

Last but not least, we’re going to talk about pokie reels. More specifically though, we’re going to discuss why reels have an effect on how pokies work.

Reels, for the neophytes amongst you, is the name for the columns on the pokie playing grid. The reels are stationary and never change position. Practically every online slot has reels, except for some speciality titles such as Fish Catch and Banana Jones.

Upon hitting the spin button the reels will run vertically at a high speed before coming to a stop and revealing certain in-game symbols. Depending on the game’s paytable, the symbols on the reels will either result in a win or a no-win spin.

The majority of traditional and modern online pokies have three reels, however, you’ll also find a few that have five reels. Rarely will you come across slots that have more than five reels in total.

Of course, the mechanics behind how pokies work is usually centred on the RTG, volatility and RTP, but it’s useful to know what role reels play in the scheme of things. If only for the fact that here at PlayCroco, we don’t mind giving you the inside scoop when it comes to online casino games. After all… anything to help you win!

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