Pokies Terminology

When it comes to talking about pokies there are quite a few terms that you may not be familiar with. Below we outline all of the terminology relating to poker machines that is used both on this site and on the games.


All Ways
A term used to describe games where the Ways format is used. Most commonly games have 243 ways to win.
Bonus Feature
An extra way to win on top of the regular spins. The most common bonus feature is free spins.
A name given to video poker machines which were available in pubs before the modern style pokies took over.
Cascading Wins
A feature where winning combinations are paid and then the symbols are replaced with new symbols.
(Online) The term used for credits when playing online. See Credits.
Short for complimentary. Covers all additional benefits offered by casinos to players such as extra credits or gifts.
The units that money is converted into when inserted into a machine. For example on a 1 cent machine $1 buys 100 credits.
Double Feature
Winning the bonus again while on the bonus.
Double Up
The gamble feature on pokies where you can double your winnings by correctly choosing red or black.
Short for Electronic Gaming Machine - another term used to describe pokies.
(Offline) Stands for Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory and contains all of the game programming.
Expanding Wild
A wild substitute that expands to fill the entire reel it appears on.
Extra Bet
An option bet that unlocks extra features such as bigger multipliers or more free games.
A shortened version of bonus feature used to describe the bonus game.
A feature where you can try to increase your wins by picking either red or black or the suits.
Half Gamble
An option on some pokies where you can double half of your win while keeping the other half safe.
Another word used by players for spins. For example "I'm playing $5 hits".
(Offline) The area where coins are stored and paid out from inside the machine.
Instant Play
(Online) The opposite of a download version. Instant play pokies typically use Flash although they can also use Java, HTML or HTML5.
The highest possible win on a poker machine.
Jackpot Link
A progressive jackpot that is connected to multiple machines in one location or many locations.
Also known as Pay Lines. The lines are the positions where you need to line up the symbols to win.
Max Bet
The maximum possible bet per spin in credits.
(Offline) A single gaming machine that features multiple games that players can choose from.
The amount a win is multiplied by. Most commonly seen on free spins.
Pay Table
The area on the game where all of the winning combinations, prizes and game rules are displayed.
Payout Percentage
The theoretical percentage that a game will pay out to players.
Poker Machines
The extended version of the word pokies. Covers all Australian style slot machines.
The word used to describe Australian style slot machines.
Progressive Contribution
The amount of each bet that is added to a progressive jackpot.
Progressive Jackpot
A jackpot that grows by adding a percentage of each bet to the top prize.
Random Feature
A bonus feature that is awarded independently of anything on the reels. For example the "You are Lucky" feature on More Chilli or Lucky 88.
Random Jackpot
A jackpot that is awarded independently of anything on the reels.
Random Number Generator (RNG)
The program used to decide the random numbers that determine where the symbols will appear on the screen.
A feature where some symbols are held and the others spin again.
The vertical strips of symbols that spin when you press play. Most pokies have five reels although some six reel games are starting to appear.
Stands for Return to Player (See Payout Percentage)
A symbol that pays anywhere on the screen. For example the Pyramid symbols on Queen of the Nile are the scatters.
Second Chance Feature
A bonus where you get another chance to win if you're not happy with the result. First seen on King of the Nile from Aristocrat.
A term some players use to describe playing pokies. For example "I'm having a slap on the pokies".
Stacked Wild
Used when wild symbols appear stacked on top of each other on the reels.
Sticky Wild
A wild symbol that is held in place for additional spins.
The playing card categories (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades). Found on the gamble feature - picking the correct suit quadruples your win.
The individual images that are stacked to make up the reels. Lining up the symbols award the various prizes.
(Offline) Stands for "Ticket In - Ticket Out" and is a method of removing and adding funds to a machine that uses printed tickets.
Trailing Wild
A wild symbol that is held and expands on symbol position down the screen on subsequent spins.
Video Poker
An electronic gaming machine based on five card draw. The term is sometimes confused with poker machines which are slots and not video poker games as the name might suggest.
An alternative to lines. Games with ways pay as long as symbols are anywhere aligned left to right on the screen.
Wild Multiplier
A wild symbol that also multiplies wins it is a part of. For example the Cleopatra symbol on Queen of the Nile doubles all wins.
Wild Symbol
A symbol that substitutes for other symbols.