In Australia, we love our pokies, in all their shapes and forms, online and offline. And we play them a lot. These are basically pure, simple, and proven facts. As such, figuring out which is the most popular pokies structure in Australia is not an easy task. Nor does it necessarily have a definitive answer.
This pursuit is made even more difficult by the complexity of the question. That is, the term pokies structure can be interpreted by different players in different ways. To some of us, the structure may be a matter of the poker machine’s very mechanisms or paylines. To others, it’s a matter of theme or even bonus features. And if you take all the various aspects into account, can one pokies machine really reign supreme? Let’s consider a few factors and see.
Which basic pokies structure is preferred – Online or offline?
Let’s begin with a basic pokies structure, the question of online versus offline play. Online pokies, as you likely are aware, are all those pokies you play at an online casino. These can be from the casino website itself, or from the casino app you’ve downloaded to your mobile phone. Offline pokies, needless to say are then the pokies machines you encounter at casinos and other gambling venues, either here in Australia or on your travels abroad. They’re the real deal upon which online pokies are built, with the flashing lights, coin slots and buttons you can touch.
While land-based pokies have certainly been around for longer, these days, online pokies are steadily proving more popular, pretty much everywhere including here in Australia. That’s because the online pokies structure simply provides a level of convenience against which the land-based machines cannot compete. Online pokies are accessible every single day of the week, 24/7, right from the comfort of your own home (or office, or park bench, or anywhere you like). Offline pokies, on the other hand, require some effort and planning. And it’s harder to play them in your pajamas! You need to get dressed and out of the house to play at the casino after all! Plus, with online pokies, you can keep a running account, with money you’ve deposited just a click away, whereas the casino requires you to buy in each time. And, online pokies, in general, have a higher return to player (RTP), which also adds to their allure. So while Australians surely still love a good live gamble every now and then, with the flash and thrills of other gamblers on the grounds, online pokies are our preferred structure on a more regular basis.
Which pokies format is preferred – Three reels, five reels, video slots or fruit machines?
Perhaps one of the biggest draws of online pokies is how easily they lend themselves to the different pokies machine structures. And more so, how easily all of these machines can fit into the confines of an online casino. In other words, online casinos, in addition to being the best venue in terms of accessibility, also offer the best in terms of the varieties of pokies formats available. So which ones do we like the most? Again, it’s a bit hard to say.
In general, as thrill loving folks, Australians tend to gravitate towards the faster paced more exciting formats in terms of actual layout and functionality. These are led by the video pokies with all their bells and whistles. At their core, you’ll find an unbelievable array of engaging themes (more on this soon) with lively animation, suitable sound effects, and even video clips worked in. To accommodate all that action, these games are generally of a five-reel nature, though a few three-reel video pokies can definitely be found every now and then.
That being said, we also have our traditional side, in which we show a strong appreciation for the less complex machines of yesteryears. And this is most evident in our ongoing love affair with the old-fashioned three-reel fruit machines. You know the kind we mean, cherries, lemons, oranges and all. If you add these machines together with the video pokies, they may well come out on top in terms of the most popular pokies structure in Australia.
But if you ask around, you may equally conclude that it is actually the online progressive pokies machines that rank as our top choice. These mega jackpot games have an extra layer of adrenaline naturally wrapped in as we spin in the hopes of what are often multi-million dollar prizes. The anticipation alone is near temptation enough. The knowledge that the instant millionaire potential is real is the legendary stuff pokies fun is made of. As such, you can regularly find Australian players spinning the reels of leading progressive pokies like Mega Moolah, Mega Fortune, Empire Fortune, or any of the jackpot games with a decent RTP.
Where do pokies themes factor in?
Another element in terms of pokies structure to consider is the pokies theme. As you know, pokies come in a vast array of themes, with massive appeal to different types of players. And the software developers and animators work hard to keep coming up with ones that local audiences will love. But which themes factor in most?
Here in Australia, we are actually open to a wide range of themes. That is, we don’t necessarily have anyone motif we prefer outright. That being said, if we look at the frequency of play for different types of machines, you could say we do show a certain pattern. And that pattern seems to indicate that we like machines with an Egyptian theme (like mummies, pyramids, Pharaohs and the likes), African motifs (and their accompanying jungles), all sorts of animals (from pigs to pandas, penguins and on), mythical creatures, ancient gods, superheroes, cartoon characters and more. In other words, you might say, when it comes to our preferred pokies themes we’re up for anything from the exotic through to the familiar. Basically, if it is something that interests us in general, it is likely to have local appeal in pokies machines as well.
What about paylines – Do we have a preference here?
Now that we’ve got themes covered, let’s zone in on pay line structures. When it comes to how you can win playing online pokies, it turns out there are actually a lot of different ways. That is because there are many different payout structures, essentially based on the number of paylines machine features.
A pay line, basically, is the line upon which winning combinations are formed. While it’s theoretically possible for a game to have a single pay line, these types of games don’t really exist anymore. More likely, the games we now play have at least 15 or 20 paylines, and usually, more like 25, 40 or even 50 paylines, that is winning combinations. But don’t let the term fool you. A pay line is not as straightforward as it sounds. That is, while a pay line may indeed be a straight, horizontal, diagonal, or vertical line, it can also be something a bit more complex, jumping all over the screen in a predetermined zigzag pattern.
Some games have fixed paylines, which means you play all of its paylines automatically each time. Other games have adjustable paylines, with the choice of how many paylines to activate each round being entirely up to you. In this case, you can only reap the rewards from the lines upon which you have a bet. This means while a game may have 50 paylines, you need to have bet on all 50 paylines for them to be taken into account towards a win.
Mathematically speaking, more paylines mean more winning opportunities, but to activate them all likely requires that you make a significantly larger wager on each spin of the reels. Such calculations are especially true when it comes to progressive jackpot games in which activation of all paylines is required to generate the big win. So keep in mind, paylines need to be balanced with your overall pokies budget to ensure you are maximizing your coin spend. Other than that, since we Aussies are a gambling lot, it’s safe to say that we do in fact enjoy more paylines and their winning potential over other structures, even if they require a bit more input on our part. So in summary of pokies pay line structure, what do Australians prefer? We’d have to say the more the merrier, in a nutshell.
Bonuses and other feature structures we like in our pokies games
Next on our list of popular pokies structures are the game’s features. That is, the types of features we like most. Besides big jackpots, this is pretty easy. And it’s in many ways similar to all that we’ve said above. Bigger, better, more. We like features that give us more! A pokies game with a built-in free spins structure always works well. And since we love big winnings, lots of multipliers (especially the bigger ones), sticky wilds (that stay in place between spins), and expanding wilds are always appreciated. Mini-games like the gamble feature and its double or nothing stakes also work well with locals, since as we all know, we love an extra opportunity to gamble within.
But it’s not only freebies and extras that we love around here. Because simply put, we’re not only playing online pokies for the big winnings. It’s a near national past time after all, and we want it to be enjoyable. Consequently, we’re also on the lookout for games with excellent entertainment value. The ones that make us happy whether we win or lose, because either way, we’ve had fun along the way. This means things like easy navigation, smooth gameplay, good sound, and visual effects, and a little animation to round it out.
Free play structure vs. real money structure
The final question in terms of evaluating the most popular pokies structure in Australia has to do with how we wager on them. That is do we prefer free play structure or the real money type?
Although freebies hold a special place in our collective hearts in a general sense, we’d have to say the latter comes out on top. Sure free play is a great setup for getting started with a new game, or when the budget is running a bit low. But without a doubt, nothing beats the thrill of real money pokies bet. And there are two main reasons for that. First of all, when you have real money on the line, the adrenaline rush is automatically higher. You could lose it all in a single spin (gasp) or you could enjoy a big win. Your fate, or at least that of your money at hand, is just a spin away, and that’s pretty exciting stuff. Second, the winnings themselves. Sure in free play practice mode you can build up a fictitious casino account and gain some satisfaction from watching your dollar sum climb. But when it comes to withdrawals, this account is a bust, because it only exists in cyberspace. Real money winnings, however, are the real deal, yours to withdraw, use and enjoy whenever you want. And nothing beats that, good hard cash.
So, at the end of the day, having explored the various types of pokies structures, we have learned a couple of interesting things. To begin with, it’s a remarkable journey to understand just how many types of pokies are out there, and the many ways in which they can differ. There are different pay line structures, different feature structures, and different theme structures to name but a few.
As importantly, when it comes to answering the umbrella question – as to the most popular pokies structure in Australia – it turns out it’s virtually impossible to come up with a single, conclusive response. Sure we can say it seems to be that online pokies are most popular here. And we definitely have a strong interest in jackpot pokies and real money play. But with so many machines to choose from in such a myriad of structures and forms, it seems to be that the only true leader is that of choice.