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Video Pokies

If you’ve ever played pokies at an online casino, congratulations: you’re familiar with video pokies, the most common form of poker machine on the market today. Even in live casinos and clubs, the majority of machines today are video pokies, as they tend to offer more interesting gameplay for customers and are easier to maintain and modify for operators.

While some online pokies might try to emulate older mechanical and electronic poker machines, the fact that you are playing them on a device that shows the results graphically rather than using any physical reels means you are playing a video pokie. Here’s a look at exactly what video pokies are, as well as the history of how they became the standard for poker machines everywhere.

How Did Video Pokies Become So Common?

The first poker machines didn’t have any video in them: after all, they appeared in the late 1800s. In the early days, all pokies were mechanical in nature, and the lever on the side—which is now just there for show on almost all live pokies—was necessary to set the reels in motion.

These games were fun, but they definitely had their share of issues. Because there were many mechanical parts involved, there were plenty of things that could go wrong: if one part malfunctioned, the whole machine might go down, frustrating the machine’s owner and players alike. Perhaps even worse for the operators was the fact that these machines could sometimes be gamed by cheating players or accidentally pay out too much. This was also less than ideal for players, as operators had to give themselves a bigger edge to compensate for potential problems.

By the 1960s, the first electronic poker machines were being developed. These games had several advantages over the mechanical pokies: they could process payouts automatically in most cases, and the inner workings were more reliable, leading to machines that lasted longer and were more predictable for operators. However, everything in the machines was still physical: each reel still spun, though the odds could be more easily manipulated and controlled since manufacturers could make some stops more likely to hit than others.

But while electronic machines were a step up from mechanical ones, video slots were a massive leap. Beginning in the late 1970s, these pokies started to appear in casinos and quickly became extremely popular among players. In a video pokie, there are no physical reels; instead, the “reels” are represented graphically on a monitor. This means that there were even fewer parts to worry about, and much more customization available to operators.

Advantages of Video Pokies

Video pokies offer way more customization than any other form of poker machine. Because they are controlled by a computer chip, the odds can be adjusted between different casinos: the same game might offer a better payout at one venue than another, entirely based on what the owners of each casino think is best for them and their customers.

These games also allow for more interesting features and bonuses than traditional pokies. While electronic slots sometimes had bonus features, they were always part of an attached device, such as the wheel of prizes at the top of the popular Wheel of Fortune machine. However, video pokies allow for “second screen” bonus rounds, in which the game screen graphics are replaced with other visuals during the special feature. Video pokies can also add in special video clips, sounds and graphics to make the games more engrossing by adding storylines or clips from popular movies or television programs.

Video pokies are also more secure for operators, making it much harder for players to cheat or manipulate the results of a machine. They’re also the entire basis of online casinos: after all, there’s no way you would be able to spin physical reels through your computer screen!

Play Video Pokies Online

It is almost impossible to give you a list of the best online video pokies, since—as we’ve already said—every online poker machine is a video pokie. We should note that if you prefer the older, more traditional pokies, there are plenty of online casino games that try to emulate this style by offering a limited payline, three-reel experience just like the machines that were once commonplace in clubs and casinos.

Whether you want to win a progressive jackpot, enjoy the latest in 3D graphics, or just try to play on a traditional fruit machine, you’ll be able to find plenty of options at Internet gambling sites. If you want to play video slots, it is as simply as signing up for any of our recommended online casinos today!

NetEnt's Aliens Pokie is one of the most popular Video Pokies with Shoot Em' Up style bonus rounds.

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