Pokies Games: Mechanical Gambling Machines vs. Online Pokies
Over the past years, the revolution of the internet has led to revolutionary changes especially in the pokie industry in Australia and the rest of the world. Pokies lovers can now enjoy gaming at the comfort of their own homes by simply playing online.
But even before the internet, spinning the reels of mechanical pokies machines had always been a fast-rising past time in Australia for decades. As we speak, the pokies machine games population in Australia is ranked 7th highest in the world. The region’s most famous to be playing pokies machines are the New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
To give you a better perspective of how different things have become, we’ll break down the major transformations in the pokie machines by comparing the mechanical machines, against their online counterparts. But first, how about a bit of history?
Brief History of Pokies Machines
The history of the events goes back into 1956 in New South Wales where the pokie machines were first legalized in the region. Before the legalization, the pokie machines were initially prohibited by the law, and the construction of the pokie machines was extremely basic. Despite the law condemning the pokie machines, they were still quite popular. After they became legalized, their popularity in Australia grew even further.
Pokies later became part and parcel of the Australian way of life with the introduction of the fast internet speeds and cutting-edge digital technology. This enabled the machines to be available in a wide range of options in online casinos. As a pokies lover today, you now have access to thousands of pokie games behind your PC or even on your smartphone.
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Offline and Online Pokies Comparison
You can choose to physically go to a brick and mortar casino to play a few quick pokie rounds go online on your computer or mobile device to start playing. Either way, you’ll have plenty of fun. But then, what is the difference between the land-based versions and the online options? Which experience is better? To answer these questions, here’s a one-on-one comparison between the online pokies and land-based pokies:
1. Design Technology and Game Structure
The best online pokies are characterized by the high-quality graphics and sound effects that accompany their gameplay. You’ll enjoy the sounds effects of the different themed titles, and one thing for sure is that the online pokies try as much as possible to mimic what’s available in land-based casinos. The graphics, game interface and soundtrack try to offer you an experience that’s as close to the real-life game as possible.
However, loading your betting money is very different between the two. For the online pokies, you’ll deposit your funds using a credit or debit card, cryptocurrency or e-wallets. You can then place bets and later withdraw your winnings. As for the land-based pokies, you will have to load actual coins and even bank notes to start playing. Even so, there are still some technologies used in the land-based casinos that are not available online.
2. Convenience and Comfort
When it comes to flexibility, online pokies are far ahead because of how easily you can access them. The current pokies games are not only designed to be compatible with PCs and Mac computers but also tablets and smartphones of all sizes. In just a click, a tap or a swipe you can play your favorite pokies at any time of the day or night. You don’t have to worry about your current location. All you need to do is internet access, and you are good to go!
As for the land-based pokies, you’ll need to physically visit the places with the pokie machines for you to be able to play. This indeed limits your game time. Moreover, you can find the entertainment spots overcrowded, and this limits your privacy.
3. Number of Games Available
Online casinos are known for providing a wide range of games that will cater to the tastes of a multitude of Aussie gamers. You’ll have unlimited access to numerous pokies, and you can switch from one game to another at will. Some are arranged based on the number of pay lines, jackpots, themes, number of reels or the availability of a bonus feature within the game.
While mechanical pokies also come in large numbers in casino lobbies, the only challenge is that the machine that you want to play might be occupied. As a result, you will have to wait for your turn.
4. Return to Player (RTP)
Return to player (RTP) shows the approximate returns you can expect at the end of your wagering exercise. Also, take note that the pay-out percentage does not necessarily mean that you’ll win on every spin but shows what you can expect to get in the long run. Thus, as a rule of thumb, it’s wise to take on the pokies with high payout ratios since they offer you better chances of winning some money.
Online pokies are known to offer the highest payout ratios as compared to the land-based pokies. If you take a closer look at the numbers because online pokies indeed pay out more winnings to players. Land-based pokies offer a payout ratio of about 83-87% while their online counterparts have a payout ratio of between 92% and 98%. This gives you even more reason to choose the online pokies over the mechanical pokies.
And by the way, regular audits are done by online gaming establishments such as eCOGRA and TST make it easier to know the game RTPs of your favorite pokies. These bodies evaluate and calculate the payout percentages of the games and the information is then made available to all the players who may be interested. On the other hand, it is quite difficult to get information about the pokies in a land-based casino. As a result, it becomes hard to tell whether the game has a high RTP or not. It’s no wonder why many Australians who gamble in brick and mortar casinos rely on the staff’s word of mouth or positioning of the game in the gaming lobby.
5. Developers and Manufacturers
Online pokies use software to provide their games and services while land-based titles use a combination of hardware and some software to operate their machines. In Australia, most providers like IGT, Aristocrat and Rival and create both mechanical and online versions while others opt to stick to exclusively creating mechanical titles or online pokies alone. An excellent example of a provider that majors on mechanical machines in Australia is Ainsworth, while the likes of Betsoft focus on creating pokies software that brings the land-based excitement online.
6. Bonuses and Rewards
While both online and offline pokies feature bonus features like free spins, multipliers, wilds, scatters, and even progressive jackpots, Australian online casino bonuses make things juicier for online gamers.
Brick-and-mortar gaming facilities hardly ever have welcome bonuses to usher in the newest members of the house. Online pokies casinos, on the other hand, tend to be quite generous with sign-up and ongoing pokies promotions that include free spins and bonus cash to offer you more betting money. Some online casinos even offer free games where you can even win real money without spending a dime!
When it comes to fairness and legitimacy of the online pokies games many Aussie gamers are often worried about bias. Well if you’ve ever had any concerns, you’ll be happy to know that online pokies from reputable developers use Random Number Generators to ensure fair play. This is essentially a complex mathematical algorithm that assigns numbers to different symbols by random shuffling and background shuffling. And this outcome cannot be influenced by any third parties to reduce or increase the rate at which the game pays out.
Mechanical pokes on the other hand use EPROM, which is a microchip technology fitted into the cabinet to instruct the game how it should pay out. These chips are programmed by the cabinet manufacturers to pay out according to the laws of specific Australian states that they will be situated. In case you are curious, most Aussie states only allow pokies with an RTP of at least 83% to offer gaming services to the residents.
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Both are great. It all depends on your preferences and how much time you have in your hands and the kind of money you are willing to spend. Generally, it will cost you more time and money to play mechanical machines. And on average, online pokies have higher RTPs.
Some of the most immersive online pokies include Gypsy Rose, Cleopatra’s Gold, Major Moolah, Megasaur, and Enchanted Garden