Online Pokies: Symbols and Features Explained

For Australian casino players, slot machines top the list when it comes to the most preferred casino games. They are fun and easy to play, making them well-suited for both novice and seasoned players. It, therefore, goes without saying that learning the game symbols is important if you're to enjoy spinning pokies now and then.

Slot machine
Online Pokies: Symbols and Features Explained

So, what are pokie symbols? These are the icons that determine your winning combinations and payouts. They are pivotal to pokies and contribute to the uniqueness of each machine. Here, we’ll take a closer look at basic pokie symbols and features.

Basic pokie machine features and their meanings

Online pokies have different symbols that are mostly based on the pokie’s theme. The most common terms and symbols include:

Reels and paylines

Reels are vertical columns in a video pokie where the symbols are placed. When you click on the start button, the reels spin and only stop to reveal a combination of different symbols. Pokies come with anything from three reels upwards.

Paylines are where winning combinations are formed. You must align a fixed number of the same symbol along a payline to win. The number of paylines ranges from just 1 in a classic pokie to hundreds of thousands of lines in megaways pokies.

Standard symbols

All slot machines have symbols on the reels that grant a payout when you land at least 2, but usually 3 or more, of the same symbol along a payline. Standard symbols can have low or high-paying values and do not trigger any bonus features. Examples include:

  • Single BAR, Double BAR, Tripple BAR: Often featured as a high-paying symbol, the BAR is among the most popular symbols in classic and fruity pokies.
  • 7s: Found on classic pokies, this is a high-paying standard symbol, especially when you land more than two.
  • Fruit symbols: These are icons that feature on fruit pokies as standard symbols. They often include lemons, cherries, oranges and grapes.
  • Royal card symbols: Almost every pokie features these symbols, mostly as low-paying standard symbols. Usually just the four suits – clubs, diamonds, spades and hearts – are used.

Special symbols

  • Wild symbols: Wilds, as they are commonly known, are special icons that appear randomly on the reels, triggering bonus features or replacing other symbols to form a winning combination. They come in various forms, such as expanding, sticky, cascading, and stacked wilds.
  • Scatter symbols: These are among the highest-paying symbols on online pokies. They unlock different bonus features, such as free spins, and don’t need to align with other symbols to payout; it’s enough for them to just appear on the reels.

Pokie machine bonus features

Added features in pokie games improve your chances of landing a win. Here are the most popular bonus features:

  • Multipliers: These are unique bonus features that multiply your winnings by a certain value, usually between 2x and 5x. However, in some pokies, they can exceed 1000x.
  • Bonus rounds: This is an additional gaming round aside from the main game that offers players a chance to win more prizes. It’s usually triggered by landing scatter symbols, wilds, or sometimes it appears at random.
  • Progressive jackpots: This is a type of jackpot that increases every time the game is played and the jackpot prize is not won. As a bonus round, the jackpot round can be triggered by free spins, scatter symbols, or wild symbols.

Types of pokie machines available to Australian online gamblers

Slot machines are developed by different game providers, so they vary in game mechanics, themes and designs. They can be grouped into three broad categories:

  • Classic slots: These are the old-school type of games that resemble the first-ever pokie machines of Las Vegas. They usually come with three reels and one to three paylines. Commonly featured symbols include fruits, 7s and bars.
  • Video slots: These are more complex pokies with more paylines, exciting bonus features and at last 5 reels. They usually feature different themes with symbols to match, crisp graphics and animations.
  • Progressive slots: This type of video pokie features a progressive jackpot. As more people play the pokie, the prize pool increases.

Winning combinations and payouts

Whether you play on a video slot or a classic slot, the goal is to create winning combinations. Most pokies will create a winning combination when icons align horizontally or diagonally along a payline from the leftmost reel.

However, some advanced pokies now pay both ways; from either the left-most reel or the right-most reel. In addition, some game providers use cluster mehanics to create winning combinations.

When it comes to payouts, the RTP (return to player) rate indicates how much you might win over a period of play. So, an RTP o 95% indicated that if you wager $100 over a period you might get $95 back in winnings.

WhereGamble tips to increase your chances of a winning

RNG (Random Number Generator) software is used by pokies, hence cheating is nearly impossible. However, you can use these strategies to increase your chances of winning.

  • Play games with an RTP of 96% or more.
  • Select your bet size based on the game’s volatility. Play with smaller bets for high-variance games and larger bets for low-variance pokies.
  • Play the maximum number of paylines.
  • Try games in free demo mode before placing a real money bet.

How Pokies work

Online pokies use RNG (Random Number Generator) software, an arithmetic-based program, that randomly selects a group of numbers to determine the winning combinations. The result is that any spin has an equal chance of landing a win or loss based on the numbers generated in that spin. Pokies:

  • Are not programmed to have hot and cold streaks.
  • Don’t pay out in cycles.
  • Don’t favour high rollers when paying jackpots.
  • Aren’t fixed to ensure the house always wins big.


Online pokies have become all the rage in the gambling world. They offer both beginners and experienced players a chance to have fun due to their variety and simplicity. After reading this guide, you should now know about the different symbols and what they trigger within each game. Always check the pokie paytable to learn which are the standard symbols and which are the special symbols. Have fun and don’t miss out!

Bonus features such as free spins, bonus rounds, re-spins, and multipliers are triggered by scatter symbols, wilds, and special bonus icons.

This differs with each game. You can always find out what each icon pays the most by checking the paytable.

No, pokies from reputable game providers use RNG (Random Number Generator) software to generate winning combinations. However, be sure to stick to the licenced casinos we recommend on WhereGamble in order to have access to fair and tested games.

Each pokie has standard symbols that include high-paying and low-paying icons and special symbols that trigger bonus features.

Yes, in fact, the highest-paid jackpot prize from an online pokie stands at AUD 31 million from Mega Moolah.
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