Free Online Pokies

Gambling is something that has taken place for a number of centuries, potentially even millennia. However, it only made its way into the online world in the late 90s, and back then, games weren’t quite as advanced as they are today. Yet, they soon grew in popularity for online gamers, being found at more and more online casinos.

One type of casino game that is loved within Australia is pokies. In fact, it’s quite synonymous with the gaming community in the country, especially considering that it hosts more pokies per capita than any other major country in the world. That is, in a land-based scenario. But what about the online sector? Well, they remain just as popular, despite the introduction of laws that essentially make online gambling illegal for most verticals.

Yet, fans of pokies can still locate them at multiple offshore sites, ensuring that they don’t have to go through life without a dose of their favourite titles. These can also be found in freeplay modes, providing players with the opportunity to access demo versions of the pokies before using their own real money on such games. But, let’s take a little look back into how Australia got to where it is today in terms of gambling on pokies.

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History of Pokies

So, where did it all begin for pokies in Australia? Well, as it happens, it is pretty difficult to find any information on when the word ‘pokies’ was originally used to describe the games. Some argue that the explanation is due to the introduction of video poker machines at the same time as fruit machines. Shortening the name of those from video poker machines to pokies could be a logical explanation, which has just been used so much that it went on to encompass slots as well.

While fruit machines and the like took a hold within land-based establishments, it wasn’t until the 1980s that video pokies became an entity. While these had the same sort of workings as a standard fruit machine, they did have newfangled buttons and arcade sounds to heighten the entertainment factor of such games. Once the internet became something that people had to have in their households, online versions of pokies started popping up as well.

This was something that started in the late 90s, although it became a lot more of a popular pastime for people to participate in from their homes throughout the 2000s. Today, there are masses of online pokies to access, with many also being accessible from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, due to the laws of the country, real money games for Australian players aren’t provided in an online setting. Freeplay games aren’t really encouraged either, but it isn’t considered to be a criminal offence for someone to spend their time spinning the reels of pokies, even though it is actually an illegal activity.

How to Find Free Online Pokies

Being a resident of Australia who wants to play pokies, will usually mean stepping outside of the box, so to speak. By this, we mean that you’ll usually find free online pokies at an offshore online casino, rather than an Australian one. Again, due to the laws of the country, online gambling is not something that is possible for the time being. Therefore, any operator deciding to set up a gambling platform within Australia’s borders is likely to be prosecuted for such.

Yet, locating a foreign-based site that provides access to Australians isn’t difficult. Many casinos will readily welcome players from Australia, allowing them to register, deposit and play the games without issue.

Of course, it’s important that you find a platform that is reliable and fully licensed to operate such options. Make sure that whichever casino or casinos you do join, possess at least one gambling licence to ensure that fair gaming is in operation, and that you aren’t going to be taken advantage of as a player there. Be sure to read some reviews of the casinos you’re looking at, too. If anything negative flags up on several reviews, then it’s always advisable to steer clear of those locations.

Additionally, you may want to check into whether or not the platform you’re signing up to actually offers free versions of their pokies to players. Some casinos do and others don’t. You can usually find this information out by visiting the game lobby. There, information on freeplay modes of pokies should be on display. Playing for free means exactly what it says – so you shouldn’t be required to use any of your money on demo versions of pokies.

Best Software Providers Catering to the Australian Market

There are plenty of online software developers that cater to the Australian pokies market, although some of them are better than others. There are several Australian-friendly casinos that incorporate games from these developers as well, ensuring that you’re able to find your favourite pokies at various platforms.

The first of these developers is Microgaming, operating as one of the industry leaders when it comes to online pokies. This brand brings quality and huge variety of pokies to the forefront. There are even progressive pokies in its catalogue of titles, providing players with the chance of winning large amounts. Microgaming has a massive collection of pokies to access, and these often feature innovative special features and themes. Then again, what would you expect from a brand that has been providing games to the online sphere since 1998?

Playtech is another brand that brings high-quality pokies to the online world, and it’s one of the largest software developers around the globe. The company’s library of pokies extends way beyond 350 and it is known for providing some of the most-loved options to gamers. This is another brand that has been operating in the online sphere for a long time, since way back in 1999 actually. Playtech always brings quality to its pokies, incorporating high-quality graphics, entertaining bonus features and wonderful soundtracks to accompany your gameplay.

You won’t want to miss an online casino that provides free Netent pokies, either. Known from north to south, east to west as being one of the finest software developers in existence, the quality of this developer’s pokies is second to none. Basing itself out of Stockholm, Sweden, but holding offices in various other locations around the world, the company has been active since 1996. Its games can be found in a mass of online casinos, many of which accept players from Australia.

Don’t forget about the International Game Technology (IGT) brand when you’re browsing through pokies at an online casino. This company began in the land-based fruit machines business back in the 1950s before expanding to the online world decades later. Experience is what IGT brings to the table, but it’s also got a strong selection of enthralling pokies featuring a variety of themes and perks.

If you visit an online casino that focuses solely on providing gaming to Australian residents, then you may find that Real Time Gaming (RTG) is one of the major providers at such. Pokies are the prime focus for this company, meaning that there’s plenty of these games on hand for you to get spinning. It’s also taken a step or two into the progressive jackpot pool, giving players opportunities to win big from these.

Finally, it would be wrong of us to not mention the Betsoft brand, because this developer’s games can often be found at online casinos catering to the Australian market. It’s a well-known company, thanks to its decision to make use of wonderful 3D graphics within its games. And while Betsoft, like several other developers, doesn’t focus solely on providing pokies, these are its biggest draw for gamers.

Best Free Online Pokies

So, with such a huge range of pokies available to choose from, how do you know which ones are the best and most-appealing? Well, that’s what we’re here for, of course. We’ve put together a selection of the very best free online pokies for you to check out. These games are the ones that we think say the most about their developers, but also provide you with a great experience. From stunning graphics through to amazing inbuilt bonus features and entertaining setups, let’s take a look at the best free online pokies.

  • Starburst by Netent. This is perhaps the most-popular game that Netent has ever released, and it’s quite basic when you get down to it. The graphics are of the usual quality that should be expected from the developer, but you’re able to form winning combinations from both sides of the reels. Additionally, there’s the inclusion of Starburst Wilds for you to benefit from, which expand to cover the entirety of the reel they show up on.
  • Queen of the Nile II by Aristocrat. Ancient Egypt may be a theme that appears in masses of online pokies, but perhaps none of them provide as entertaining a time as this Aristocrat offering. It’s one of the brand’s signature games, incorporating imagery of Cleopatra, pyramids, scarab beetles and more on its reels. Wilds are also present in the game, which will double any pay-out they’re a part of.
  • Robin Hood: Shifting Riches by Netent. If you fancy reliving the tale of Robin Hood, then you can do in this enthralling pokie, which depicts him robbing from the rich to give to…you! As usual, Netent has imbued the game with its high-quality graphics, while during gameplay, you can activate a number of features. These include the Shifting Reels that trigger following any win and the free spins round coming from four Money Bags appearing in a chest.
  • The Incredible Hulk by Playtech. You don’t need to be a genius to realise that this game bases itself on the superhero of the same name. Playtech presents a truly magnificent pokie with this offering, which also incorporates several progressive jackpot totals that you have the chance to win. The Hulk himself serves as the game’s wild symbol, while the game logo is its scatter addition. And watch out for the arrival of The Smash Bonus as well.
  • Jungle Jim – El Dorado by Microgaming. Make sure that you’re prepared for a journey into the unknown with Jungle Jim. He’s heading to El Dorado to find lost treasures, and you’ll be able to help him, with increasing multipliers assisting you with this. It’s a five-reel, 25 payline slot, which also incorporates Rolling Reels and the Trail Feature, ensuring that you go on a real adventure with this one.
  • Fishin’ Frenzy by Real Time Gaming. You don’t need to be a professional angler to involve yourself in some fishing, thanks to RTG. With up to 2,000 coins able to be won during gameplay, Fishin’ Frenzy brings bonus features to the surface, including a free spins round, a scatter symbol and a gamble round that activates whenever you form a winning combination in the main game.
  • Alkemor’s Tower by Betsoft. The graphics within this slot are truly magnificent, bringing the theme of alchemy and wizardry to your screen. Cast amazing elemental spells with Alkemor, play through various free spin levels and benefit from Doubling Up your bet across the 243 ways to win. Get ready to witness magic in its best form under the watchful eye of your wizard master.
  • Bar Bar Black Sheep by Microgaming. How about a little bit of farm life? The sheep have all escaped in this pokie, with symbols on the reels depicting their favourite food – which pretty much amounts to anything from corn through to aubergines! Wild symbols will appear on its five reels, helping you to form wins, while the game’s bonus feature allows you to win up to 999x your in-play stake!
Doug Holmes

Doug is a passionate Slot fan and an expert in the gaming industry and has written extensively about online slot games and various other related information pertaining to online slots. In his spare time, he enjoys time with friends and family, reading, travelling, and of course, playing the slots.

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