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Neo Beth | May 9, 2023 | Updated on: January 15th, 2024

Pokies Online Glossary

When it comes to playing pokie machines in a physical casino, many of us don’t pay much attention to the technicalities involved. We simply put a dollar in and hope for the best. However, when transitioning to online pokies, we are introduced to a range of unfamiliar terms such as RNG, volatility, and RTP, which can be perplexing. It’s natural to wonder how these terms might affect our chances of winning.


Although luck is the determining factor in pokie games, familiarizing oneself with the terminology of online slots can aid in comprehending the associated jargon and making informed decisions about wagers. While understanding these terms may not necessarily increase one’s likelihood of hitting the jackpot, it can prove useful in making sense of the game’s mechanics.

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Pokies Terminology

Hit: A winning spin.

Hit frequency: The statistical percentage of how often winning spins are likely to occur compared to losing spins.

Payout: The prize money won within a game.

Payline: The line across the reels where a combination of symbols need to be lined up to win.

Pay table: A visual representation of the possible winning combinations within a game, detailing the values behind each symbol and bonus feature and any rules that apply.

RNG (Random Number Generator) RTP (Return to Player): The RTP is the estimated percentage of money that a player will win back compared to the amount of money they wager.

Reel: The vertical line that rotates within a pokies game every time a spin is placed.

Symbol: The unique images used within a game that form winning combinations to create a payout.

Volatility: The amount you stand to win within a game. Low volatility games present more chances to win but with smaller payouts, while high volatility games present fewer chances to win but with higher payouts.

Payback Percentage: The payback percentage of a slot machine indicates the amount of a wager that the player can anticipate being returned to them. For instance, if a pokie has a payback percentage of 94%, this implies that on average, the game will retain six cents for every dollar wagered and payout $.94 to the player in winnings. However, it’s important to note that this applies to the long term and short-term fluctuations may occur.

Scatter Pay: A specific type of bonus feature that grants players a payout when a particular symbol shows up anywhere on the screen.


Different types of pokies:

1024 way pokies: A game with 1024 possible winning combinations within a 5 x 4 reel format.

243 way pokies: The most common form of pokies, consisting of a 5 x 3 reel format with 243 potential winning combinations within each spin.

Classic slot: A basic pokies game consisting of three reels and only one active payline.

Fixed jackpot: The highest possible amount you can win within a slot game.

Fruit machine: A colloquial term used in the UK for pokies that typically feature symbols made up of traditional fruit icons.

One armed bandit: An Aussie slang word used to describe old-style pokie machines that required the pull of a lever to spin the reels.

Progressive jackpot: A game with a base jackpot that grows higher for every bet placed on that game anywhere within the progressive jackpot network.

Flash Slot: A flash slot is a type of pokie game that can be played instantly without requiring a prior download.

Hold Bonus Slot: This gaming term refers to a bonus feature where specific reels are “held” in position while the remaining reels are spun, typically until a winning combination is achieved.

Video Slots: Video slots are a type of slot game that displays the outcome of each spin on a video screen instead of physical reels. While all online slot games can be classified as video slots, this term is mostly used to describe the games that are played on video screens at land-based casinos. These games typically offer a wide range of betting options and have multiple bonus round features.

Terminology for slot game features and symbols:

Bonus game: A game within a game triggered at random or by landing specified symbol combinations that can significantly boost your chances of bigger wins.

Expanding wilds: A wild symbol that spreads vertically, turning all other symbols in that reel into wild symbols and increasing the winning potential.

Free spins: Spins that can be activated during a pokies game either at random or by the appearance of scatter symbols upon specified paylines.

Multiplier: A specified value that multiplies your win by that set amount.

Scatter symbol: A designated symbol that typically triggers bonus features like free spins and multipliers.

Wild symbol: A symbol that can be substituted for other symbols in order to create a winning combination and often acts as a multiplier.


Pokies wagering terminology:

Bankroll: The amount of money you have allotted to spend playing the pokies.

Coin size: The value behind each coin played in a single spin, with coin sizes in online slots usually ranging from .01 up to a couple of dollars.

Minimum bet: The lowest amount of money that can be bet in a single spin.

Maximum bet: The highest amount of money that can be bet in a single spin.

Cashback: Cashback refers to the money returned to the player as a reward for their actions through the casino’s VIP or Rewards program. Typically, online casinos offer more generous cashback options than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.