The world of pokies is as deep as an infinite ocean yet it is not that hard to break down the pokies into categories based on some common features, for example, the number of reels, overall design or availability of bonuses and special symbols. In addition to a widely applicable division of pokies based on the number of reels, there are also classic pokies, video pokies and progressive pokies.
Typically, classic pokies have a three-reel layout and mimic authentic one-armed bandits with a lever and fruit symbols. Classic pokies have a few fixed or adjustable paylines (usually, up to 5) and a fairly low maximum bet that rarely goes over $100 per spin. Three-reel pokies are often made to resemble a mechanical pokie in the way it looks, that is why they can feature a legacy lever, big buttons, original sound effects and retro-style symbols (dollar signs, bells, cherries, BARs and sevens). Most three-reelers have few bonus features; for example, a wild symbol and a scatter. Yet some of them (e.g., 3-reel slots by Microgaming) are equipped with the Nudge and Hold features that are typical for AWP (Amusement With Prize) slots originated in Great Britain. Anyway, classic pokies can be the best and most appropriate solution for beginners who lack experience and pokie gaming skills.
Video pokies normally have a 5×3 layout, many paylines and a plenty of bonus features. Design-wise, they look much like video games with 3D effects, stunning graphics and impressive sounds. While the sweeping majority of 5-reel pokies are based on a payline model with a certain number of preset winning patterns, there are “ways to win” pokies that have no paylines; instead, they pay out if two (three) or more matching symbols land anywhere on adjoining reels. The versatility of video pokies in terms of design, amounts they pay and bonus features make them an ideal choice for players of all budgets and interests.
A “regular” pokie has fixed payouts, and their size is determined by a winning combination that has been formed on the reels, and a bet size placed by the player. Anyway, you always know the maximum amount of coins that any given pokie awards. Progressive pokies have a progressive jackpot that grows with every stake placed on the game until somebody hits it. The amount of progressive jackpot has no theoretical top limit and it can increase to staggering sums. For example, the Arabian Nights pokie (Net Entertainment) that awarded over €8.6 million in November 2012 (one of the biggest jackpots in history) is won every 11 weeks, with the average jackpot amount of €1.6 million. Progressive pokies give you the chance to win an amazing jackpot with small bankrolls and become an instant millionaire.