12 Pokie Machine Secrets Casinos Would Never Let You Know

12 Pokie Machine Secrets the Casinos would Never Let you Know
Poker Machine Secrets the Casinos Don’t Want You to Know

Casinos have more pokie machines than all the other games. But unlike many casino games, the pokies still have some secrets. In this article, we’re peeling back the curtain to reveal 12 closely guarded secrets of pokie machines – insights that casinos might prefer to keep under wraps.

These secrets offer a new perspective on this popular pastime, from payout strategies to the psychology behind their designs. Whether you’re a casual player or a pokie enthusiast, these revelations will intrigue and perhaps even empower you the next time you decide to try your luck.

12 Poker Machine Secrets

1. Some pokies pay out more than others

Some pokies pay out more than others
Some pokies pay out more than others

Not all pokies are equal, meaning they don’t pay at the same rate.

Pokies pay less than classic reel pokies. This is because reel pokies are cheaper to run and maintain and less appealing to the player than the pokies.

Video pokies are now extravagant and have pop-culture themes, which attract more players. Due to this, the casinos can dial down the payout rate.

Alternatively, the classic pokies aren’t as popular or appealing anymore, so the casinos will dial up the payout rate to attract more players and keep you at the pokies longer.

I suggest you search the internet about pokies payout rates as this information is widely available, particularly for popular gaming locations.

2. Pokies placement isn’t unplanned

Pokies placement isn’t unplanned
Pokies placement isn’t unplanned.

Although casinos would like you to think that everything on the floor is in a random process for ease of access and aesthetics, this certainly isn’t the case.

Every square foot of the casino is under planning by the casino gaming department. They monitor the traffic patterns and their value for some regions of the casino to determine which pokies or games to place in that area.

Usually, the highest-yield pokies are available in the most popular locations in the casino. On top of this, the most popular pokies you can find in these areas attract players to the casino to play.

So now you know that the most prominent and visible pokies make the most money for the casino, which means they’re also the most disadvantageous for the player. Head towards the back of the casino next time you want to play pokie machines to find a better value.

3. You can’t win at pokies in the long run

You can’t win at pokies in the long run
You can’t win at pokies in the long run

People do win at pokies all the time. They have big wins and small wins; the issue is that on a long enough timeline, it’s impossible to win consistenly.

See also: Big Wins in the Casino History of New Zealand.

Pokies are manufactured and programmed to ensure that they only pay back a certain percentage of the money placed on them by players. Usually, this is in the bracket of 70-90%, but it can be far worse or better, depending on where you’re playing.

No one would ever play occasionally if you didn’t win, so this is also built into the machines. Some casinos would not want you to know this, and in some US states, they don’t even have to tell you the payout rate. Fortunately, many states provide it to players, and I highly recommend using that information.

Although it’s quite common these days for players to know that you can’t win in the long run, some still don’t know, and those who are oblivious to this fact are the target of casinos.

4. The pokies club doesn’t exist to reward you

The pokies club doesn’t exist to reward you
The Pokies Club doesn’t exist to reward you

This is one of the biggest cons of the gambling industry. How do the casinos promote themselves by rewarding you for your play? This is all a lie.

It is not like you won’t get some free play credits, access to promotions, and other comps for being a part of the pokies or player’s club, but this isn’t why it exists. It exists to provide the casino marketing department with player data so that they can attract and retain you as a customer.

Yes, that’s right. All the free money and comps you get from the casino are from the marketing department. They will analyze your play, movement, likes, dislikes, and betting patterns to determine the best way to market themselves to you so that you return.

The Pokies Club is a powerful marketing tool, and while it’s always a good idea to join and use your card whenever you play, don’t fool yourself into thinking that this is all done to reward you.

5. Max betting is the best option

Max betting is the best option
Max betting is the best option

This one may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true. On most pokies, max betting activates all the bonuses and jackpots and increases your odds of getting lucky and winning, which makes it the best option for players.

Although it doesn’t make too much of a difference, it still creates more favourable conditions for the player. The casinos don’t want you to know this; they want you to bet small and more often at a worse payout rate, making them more money in the long run.

One thing you certainly don’t want to do, though, is bet the maximum above your bankroll and burn through more money than you plan to. Playing more than you can afford to lose is playing right into the casino’s hands.

If you can’t afford the max bet on a game, drop down in denominations or move to a machine where the max bet is smaller and works within your bankroll.

6. Video pokies pay out less than classic pokies

Video pokies pay out less than classic pokies
Video pokies pay out less than classic pokies

Big fancy video pokies will almost always pay less than classic reel pokies. This is because they’re more entertaining, draw more players and action, and cost the casinos a lot more to run and maintain.

These are big machines. They often take up two to three times the amount of space compared to classic pokies and also cost the casinos a lot more to keep them running. To maximize profits, the casinos will dial down the payout rate on these machines so they still make enough money.

Immersive video pokies are a moneymaker for the casino, so you don’t have the same chance of winning on them as you do on traditional old-school pokies. Stick to the classic ones if you want better chances to win on poker machines.

7. Class 2 pokies aren’t pokies at all

Class 2 pokies aren’t pokies at all
Class 2 pokies aren’t pokies at all

Sometimes, you’ll stumble upon pokies classified as class 2. You can find these on native Indian reservations or racinos in the United States.

These aren’t traditional pokies like what you would find in Las Vegas. Vegas pokies are Class 3 pokies and are proper pokies machine games.

Class 2 pokies are pre-programmed bingo games that present a pokies face for entertainment. Class 3 pokies are usually illegal in the jurisdictions with these pokies bingo games, so game manufacturers and casinos combined their forces to develop this alternative.

Sometimes, you’ll see a small bingo card on the bottom corner of the screen, which will tell you that this is a class 2 pokie machine. So, be aware that these machines are not pokies, and you’ll effectively play computer bingo when you start spinning on them.

8. Pokies are entirely random

Pokies are completely random
Pokies are completely random.

Casinos don’t want you to know this, but pokies are completely random. Although they are there to pay out at a specific rate, this is still in line with the randomness of results that a pokie will produce.

Each spin is completely independent of the previous spin. For instance, if you were to win the jackpot on one spin, then the likelihood of winning the jackpot on the next spin is the same. No previous events impact future events. This isn’t how they work.

Casinos would never disclose this because they want you to think pokies are “hot” or “cold”. After all, that will cloud your judgment regarding how much you play and gamble. This works out better for them in the long run, so they are happy for these myths to grow and spread.

9. All of your play is tracked

All of your play is tracked
All of your play is tracked

From the time you start playing a pokie and enter your player card and cash, every movement of your casino monitors. Pokie machines are now networked and have high-end hardware and software to track everything you do.

Casinos collect and evaluate this information and develop insight reports to the casino marketing department so they can work out the best possible way to market their casino and pokies to you so that you keep coming back and playing more.

If you don’t want your games monitored, don’t use your player’s card, but you won’t get any casino comps.

This is a bit scary. If you play online, everything is tracked under your player account, so it’s easier for online casinos to know what you do in this respect.

10. Pokie arms don’t exist as much anymore because they slow downplay

Pokie arms don’t exist as much anymore because they slow downplay
Pokie arms don’t exist as much anymore because they slow play

Back in the day, almost every pokie machine had an arm, or lever, that you pull to activate the spin. These days, it’s much harder to find machines that have these.

While there are a few reasons for this, the main reason, and the one the casinos don’t want you to know, is that using a lever is much slower than pressing a button. Casinos want you to play as quickly as possible on pokies because the more you spin, the more the odds move in their favour.

So, with buttons instead of levers, the game moves much faster. Some may even say they’ve removed the lever so people don’t refer to pokie machines as one-armed bandits anymore, but that may be hearsay.

Interesting read: Top 10 Online Pokies NZ For Real Money.

11. Games are designed to be played as fast as possible

Games are designed to be played as fast as possible
Games are created to be played as fast as possible

As discussed in the previous secret, casinos want you to play whatever game you’re on as quickly as possible. While one of the primary measurements on a pokie is the time you spend playing, they also want you to play as soon as possible.

This increases the casino’s yield on the machine, meaning they make more money. Consider this: if you have a bank of widely popular pokies that many people want to play, and it takes 20 seconds per spin, that’s quite a lot of time.

If a spin takes five seconds, you get four times the amount of play on that machine, leading to more money passing through. So, the casinos are always trying to think of ways to make games happen much faster.

They don’t want you playing slowly, so take your time next time you sit at a pokie. After all, the more time you play, the more entertainment value you get.

12. Pokies sounds and graphics are designed to make you feel happy

Pokies sounds and graphics are designed to make you feel happy
Pokies sound and graphics are designed to make you feel happy

Casinos certainly don’t want you to know that pokie machine manufacturers have teams of psychologists and researchers who advise players on what sounds, colours, movements, and graphics to use in games to make them feel as happy as possible.

This is both good and bad. Firstly, it’s good if you’re playing for entertainment’s sake and know your limits regarding how much money you’re willing to play with. If this is the case, then why not play a game that’s available to make you feel happy?

Moreover, it’s terrible for problem gamblers who don’t know when to stop and are chasing that happy feeling the games give them. So this is a two-way street, that’s for sure. Casinos probably don’t want you to know this because it isn’t a great look.


Pokies are a complex interplay of psychology, technology, and mathematics, carefully crafted to provide an engaging – and, at times, captivating – experience. Casinos are there to make money, just like any business. The pokie machines are a big piece of the profit puzzle, so the casinos do everything they can to make them more profitable.

Now that you have these secrets about poker machines, you are more informed. If you love pokies, there’s no reason to stop playing, but you should know these secrets before you play again.

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.