Pokies are one of the most accessible pastimes, especially for us lucky folks in Australia. With over 20 full-scale casinos serving our local population (and visitors of course!), plus hundreds of smaller venues that are home to pokies machines, we can venture out and play pretty much any day of the year. Add to that the thousands of online casinos that exist, the vast majority of which are open to us, and it’s clear that pokies play can be non-stop if we wish.
But playing pokies – whether online or offline – isn’t only a function of access. After all, we need to have the time, the budget, and frankly the will to be wagering and spinning. And while we all have our own personal tastes and lifestyles that determine how this happens, there are in fact trends that point to more popular times to play.
This “science” can be narrowed down to hours of the day, days of the week, weeks of the month, and months of the year. In fact, it’s more than just interesting trivia to ascertain these stats. Online casinos build their business on acquisition and retention, so it’s in their interest to figure these things out and act accordingly. This means they’ll generally serve up promotions to bustle up traffic during slow times, and possibly offer less bonuses when they know you’ll be playing anyhow. If you haven’t noticed yourself how this works, trust us, it does. But just to give you a closer look, let’s examine some of the more popular pokies months, to understand player behavior and casinos’ reactions.
What makes a month popular for pokies play
There are a number of reasons why people play pokies. Or you might say, a few factors that influence their playing. Some are more wholesome, while others are unfortunately a bit more worrying. Either way, one thing’s for certain, and that’s that these simple motivators play a significant role in why certain months are more popular for playing pokies than others. For example:
- Budget – A small number of people are born with a silver spoon in their month. But the rest of us mere mortals have to work pretty darned hard for our money, which mostly goes to paying our daily expenses and a steady stream of bills. This means we wait eagerly for our payday, which is usually at the beginning of the month or every fortnight. As such, if you fit into this working folk category, you’re likely more flush at these times and more likely to have a bit of extra cash for your pokies budget. Hence, pokies betting is generally higher at the beginning of each month, with a smaller surge in two-week intervals.
- Loneliness – Some people visit casinos because they like the crowd, or at least like being in a place where they know they’ll be among likeminded people. Others visit online casinos for similar reasons, i.e. it makes them feel less alone. And while loneliness can always strike, certain times of the month, particularly holidays and weekends, can make them feel lonelier. Hence holiday times (more on this to come) and weekends tend to be more popular times for gambling.
- Boredom – Similar to loneliness, many people, particularly those who don’t have plans, feel bored over the holidays, weekends, and late at night. This is another reason why you’ll see a surge in pokies play during months with holidays and long weekends. Playing pokies simply put, gives bored people something to do.
- Hopefulness – There are also seasons that inspire hopefulness. For example, in spring, the world seems to perk up, and our optimism tends to rise accordingly. This means people may play more pokies in spring when they feel like the world and Lady Luck is on their side.
- Weather – The weather can influence pokies play in two ways. For online casinos, inclement weather is good news. That’s because when it’s cold, raining, or worse outside, people don’t want to leave the house, and tend to spend more time looking for indoor entertainment, like pokies. On the flip side, when it comes to land-based casinos, good weather is key – which is reasonable since you need to venture out of your house to visit one. This is particularly true for gambling vacation destinations. For example, Las Vegas is most recommended during the months of March through May (i.e. spring in the US) and September through November, when the weather is least severe.
- Escape – Since pokies offer a nice temporary escape (when played mindfully), there are certain months in which this form of motivation might be particularly relevant. Again, this would depend on the individual. Like a university student may want a bit of an escape during exam season, while an accountant might want to unwind during tax season.
The Christmas and New Year holiday season
Now that we have determined a few reasons why there are months in which pokies are played the most, it’s time to start identifying some of those months.
The first on our list should be obvious, and that is December, trickling ever so slightly into January 1st and New Year’s Eve. Why this month is so popular is pretty clear. December, simply put is THE holiday season. Christmas, after all, is a pretty big event. And in many ways, it is perfectly suited for pokies and casino promotion purposes.
For starters, there is a huge range of Christmas themed online pokies games offered at any self-respecting casino. Online alone you can find titles from all of the major software developers including Secrets of Christmas by NetEnt, Santa’s Wild Ride from Microgaming, A Christmas Carol from Betsoft, and Leprechaun Carol by Pragmatic Play to name but a few. In other words, anyone looking for a little holiday cheer or to get in the holiday season spirit can quickly turn to Christmas slots. While most of these games are available year-round, some casinos choose to limit them to December time – which makes them a much-anticipated draw for festive seekers.
The other big reason why pokies are most played in December is that online casino heavily promote the Christmas season. Log in to any online casino during this time of year and you’ll immediately see for yourself exactly what we mean. There are generally tonnes of very enticing promotions being run – including bigger than usual bonuses, more frequent bonuses, and even free giveaways. The casinos also tend to dress themselves up in holiday gear, giving an overall merry feel to people’s pokies play.
And finally, what can we say, but people tend to have more free time around big holidays, often taking off work for a week or two. Even if they are stuck at their desk, we all know the sly truth, that we tend to wind down a bit as the holiday season settles in. This means people are either bored or excited; or less poetically put, simply looking for what to do. Enter pokies.
April and the Easter holiday
Again, months with a holiday tend to be particularly popular with pokies players due to the mix of dedicated games and promotions.
So much like December is a proven draw, April is also a strong pokies month. This is because in the Northern hemisphere April means spring and spring mean excitement and hope. And also, it is the month with Easter, a holiday that online casinos and their players love, again for a few main reasons.
First, much like Christmas, Easter has also spawned a host of online pokies games, like EggOmatic by NetEnt, Easter Eggs by Play’n GO, Easter Surprise from Playtech, and Wonky Rabbits, also of NetEnt fame. And if you log in to any given online casino in the weeks leading up to Easter, you will certainly see these games being promoted heavily. In fact, if you check your email, you will likely see more of the same, with Easter promotions encouraging you to try these seasonal games, often with free spins or pokies bonuses to match. Other things to expect: promotions with eggcellent and egg-citing language, Easter Egg hunts with casino prizes, and other pastel and bunny style treats that help drive pokies traffic and make April one of the more popular months around.
October and the Halloween effect
Another month which pokies are played the most is, of course, October, in large part courtesy of Halloween. Another “photogenic” holiday, Halloween to lends itself perfectly to the pokies and online casino format.
Some casinos choose to go the spooky, scary route, while others put an emphasis on the trick or treat element. Either way, Halloween is practically designed for these kinds of things with lots of familiar icons, artistry, and terminology to help.
And once again, needless to say inline (or driving) this popularity, there are all those Halloween inspired games like Pumpkin Smash from Yggdrasil Gaming, Blood Suckers from NetEnt, Lucky Witch from Microgaming, and Happy Halloween from Play’n GO.
By the way, recapping on these three pokies dominating months – December, April, and October – it is not only online casinos and their pokies game that benefit. Since these holidays include vacation days (with the exception of Halloween), many land-based casinos also see an increase in foot traffic. After all, people have the time off so they can more easily pop by. Also, since they are perfect occasions for throwing themed parties, many casinos choose to do so in a kind, to attract party-loving players.
Best time of month to play online pokies
While it is interesting to note the months in which pokies are most played, it is also intriguing to explore the times of the month.
Often at the beginning of the month, online casinos will offer some form of a reload bonus as a draw. This is just a fancy name for what is essentially a match deposit bonus. But it is a good incentive, and what it basically does is reload your casino bank account for the month to come. We’ve even seen online casinos that offer more than one form of reload bonus at a time. For example, a general reload bonus for a lower sum that can be played on all games. Or, if you prefer pokies, a higher bonus sum that can be bet only on these spinning games. With such bonuses on the table, it is safe to say that the beginning of any given month is a prevalent time to play online pokies.
Although the reload bonus is an excellent traffic builder, there are other times of the month that are equally attractive. For example, many online casinos know that say Sunday afternoons are generally a slower time for pokies traffic. As such, you can often find a Happy Hour bonus happening during these times, which of course helps change the equation and makes them a more popular time to play.
Friday and Saturday evenings, on the flip side, tend to be the most popular days for pokies players, which makes sense since these are the hardcore element of any given weekend. In terms of an hour of the day, that’s a bit trickier to say, as most online casinos serve players the world over. That means while it is the middle of the night for us here in Australia, someone else is likely just waking up. So hours of the day are a bit harder to narrow down.
Determining which months pokies are most played is an interesting endeavor. As we’ve seen, months that feature a major international holiday tend to be the most popular. This means December with Christmas leads the way, usually followed by months like April and October.
That being said, casinos work hard to make sure players are entering their premises and gambling year-round. This is their livelihood at the end of the day, and they have everything invested in making sure their business runs smoothly 365 days a year. And this is no guessing matter, nor is it left up to luck. Rest assured, there are a lot of stats being gathered, analyzed, and employed to make it happen.
As such, while some months may make for a more natural draw, casinos and their staff continuously labor to create new and exciting ways to keep us visiting at regular intervals. That is why new pokies games are always being added to their gaming repertoire, bonus promotions and comp programs are being offered, and VIP services are provided for a friendly chat. These little extras all add up to help keep players enticed through every mood and season. In other words, the end goal is to keep you happy and to keep the casino coffers full every month of the year.