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Pokie Reviews - What You Need to Know

Pokie Reviews - What You Need to Know

Recent Pokie Reviews

For a list of our pokie reviews simply check below! We are constantly updating this with new pokies from all different software systems and websites.

What do I need to know?

If you don't know a lot about pokies, or pokie reviews, don't worry! This is here to help our users understand each of the sections which we use, and why these are important. Without any further ado - let's get started!
Basic Information
We use this section of our pokie reviews to introduce and cover a couple of the basics about a game. This includes a brief explanation of the theme and the software system being used. What is a software system, in this context? In this context the software system refers to what might be called the operating system of the pokie game. Or, in other words, the framework onto which the game is built. There are many different systems here, with the most common being Microgaming and NetEnt. It is important to know the system for a couple of reasons. The first is that many websites only use one or two software systems. When different sites use the same systems then the games available on these sites will often be similar or identical. For example if you have a favourite game made by Microgaming on one site then it will generally be available for play on other sites which use the Microgaming system. The second important reason is that the system which is used can generally indicate what the games can be played on, and where they are targeted. To use the Microgaming example again; these work well on most PC and mobile devices, while games from ELK will tend towards being mobile games. This basic section also covers paylines, reels, coins bet and return to player (RTP). For this we'll use the Stash of the Titans pokie for reference. Shown below is the main game screen.Stash of the Titans


See the five different columns on the game? Each of these is called a reel. As there is enough symbols to cover 3 spaces vertically and 5 horizontally we would call this a 5x3 or 3x5 layout.


See those little circles to the side of the page with 10 written inside them? Each of those represents what is called a payline. These work as lines on which combinations can be collected in order to grant payouts. In the above example we can see one of the paylines is displayed on the screen, this is because a winning spin was just performed. There were three of the same symbols were collected on the same payline, which is a winning combination. Generally speaking, the more paylines which a player has activated the more it will cost to place a bet, but the greater their chances of winning. In this game the amount of activated paylines can be changed by clicking the lines button towards the bottom of the game. While these are common and popular there is another type of payline system which is gaining popularity. When the term ways-to-win is used it generally refers to a pokie which has hundreds of possible paylines. In a ways-to-win game all of these will be activated, and there is no way to change that. While this does offer greater chances at gaining a winning combination it can take away a level of control which some players will not appreciate.

Coins bet

When it comes to changing the amount which is bet in pokies you can generally change two options, these are coins bet per line and coin size. This is largely a hold over from the older online pokies which allow the player to customise their own paylines. In ways-to-win games the player can still change coin size and coins bet, which does allow a degree of customisation which is largely superfluous, but is still welcome. There are minimum and maximum possible bet amounts for these, which can differ greatly per game.

Return to player

This is the amount of wagered money which is expected to be returned to the player over a long period of play, on average. A return to player of 97%, for example, would mean that 97% of the cash a player wagered over a day of play would be returned to them.
These cover the options which the games give the player. This changes per game, though similarities can be found within certain systems. For example many Microgaming offerings use similar or identical options pages. The most common options are found simply by clicking large and obvious option buttons. The ability to simply mute all the sound or individual sounds is one of the most common which can be found on these option pages. Others can include display options. These can change the level of detail within pokie games. These are useful options when the system which a player is using is older or less powerful. Generally using the lower options here will allow these systems to run the game more smoothly than on high settings, but will not look quite as good. How much this differs depends on the game. Quickspin is also a common option found on these pages. When this option is selected it speeds up the spinning of the reels so they take less time between when the spin starts and when the spin ends. This cuts out a lot of the waiting time, and is especially noticeable over long period of play. The final of the commonly found settings is the ability to change the currency display. This will allow the user to change between various types of currency which are supported by the game. This usually includes coins, credits or Euro's, dollars, etc.
Other Helpful Additions
This section of our pokie reviews lists some of the features which are not strictly necessary, but do offer a bit to improve the game experience. The most common here is the autoplay option which is included in almost every online pokie. This option allows the player to set rules which dictate a certain amount of automatic spins, as well as ending options. When it comes to autospin amounts this is usually displayed in increasing quantities such as 5x, 10x, 25x or 50x. Many of these games also allow the player to enter their own custom amount of spins to be completed. Ending options often differ based on which software system which is being used. The selected options here will end the autospin process once certain conditions are met. This usually includes once a certain amount of cash has been won or lost, or when certain bonus games are activated. Other useful additions which are listed in this section include the help buttons on the games themselves and statistic buttons. While these are not always offered, and some simply do not work, those that do can be extremely helpful.
This section of our pokie reviews goes into further background details about the pokie. Usually this means going into the theme and explaining a little bit about it, and why it was used. As there are thousands of pokies out there it can be nice to get a little background on some of these themes and ideas. If you get curious about the game or some of the symbols or bonus games then this section can often clear some up some of the confusion. Speaking off symbols and bonus games...
Other Features and Bonuses
This section of our pokie reviews covers the bonus structures of the game. This usually comes down to the wild and scatter symbols, which are common on most pokie games. The wild symbol is used in much the same way as it is in a game of cards. It usually can act as replacement for any other symbol in the game, except the scatter symbol. Here's and example of a wild symbol which has been taken from the Stash of the Titans game which we used as an example above: Stash of the Titans Wild These wild symbols can pay out very well, and can often create combinations with other wild symbols in order to make even larger payouts. In order for these to work they need to appear on a winning payline, with more of these appearing meaning a greater chance of a payline becoming a winner! The scatter symbol is another bonus symbol which is common to many online pokie games. Here is the scatter symbol from Stash of the Titans: Stash of the Titans Scatter These are very different from other symbols in a couple of key ways. The first is that they often do not need to appear on an active payline in order to payout. Simply have some scatter symbols show up on a single spin and the player can generate a payout. These scatter symbols are also the most common way in which bonus games are accessed. Usually it takes at least 3 of these to appear on a single spin in order for one of these games to be activated, though there is a lot of variance between different games. This section also includes other bonus symbols which are game dependent. Here we list some of the other randomly activated bonuses which can appear in regular play.
Bonus Games
Online pokies often come with bonus games, which are usually spread between two types- free spins and game specific bonuses, though these can be one and the same. Free spins games work just as they sound. When the game is activated by a player achieving the trigger goal they will be gifted a certain amount of free spins. The amount of spins varies between games. In these free spins the game usually takes the amount which was wagered in the spin which activated the free spins game. In other words a big bet which won the free spins would pay more. A smaller bet which won free spins would result in lower possible winnings. Sometimes more free spins can be won within these games. These also often limit some of the symbols which can appear during the free-spins game. Other bonus games are even more dependant on which game is being played. There is a huge amount of variety here. Some of these are just as interesting as the main game itself! As this is such a large component of the pokie games it is common for many players to base their favourite game on the available bonus game, and how often it comes up.
How to Play
This section simply lets players know what they need in order to place a bet and spin the reels. It also includes some helpful information on auto spins for the advanced players.
Overall Design and Usability
This section is used to critique, you guessed it, the design and usability of the pokie. While the design and how well it works with the theme might not be interesting or important to many people the usability is absolutely important. In simple terms a great design can be let down by a game which does not work very well. On the other hand a game that works very well can be let down by terrible design. Both are connected and both are important components. If we find any major problems running the game then this is where they will usually be found.
Where to find it
Knowing about a game or reading our pokie reviews isn't especially useful if you don't know where to find the game. This section offers some helpful tips on locating these games. More importantly, it links to our reviews of websites which contain the games. This means you can read the review to get an understanding of a game, then check to see which of the supported websites is the best fit for you!
In this final section we take all that we have learned over the course of investigating and playing the game in our pokie reviews and lay it out for you, the player. Keep in mind that while we try to be as objective as we can, a lot of this comes down to personal taste. If you're left feeling curious then follow our casino reviews section and check the game out!
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