The Evolution of Free Spins Pokies at the Casino Sites


Pokies have existed for a couple of centuries. They were first introduced in the 80s and were hardly popular then. We can hardly blame people who didn’t enjoy pokies as they were far from what we have today.

A traditional slot machine used to look like a simple three-reel device that provided little to no fun. However, we will be surprised if we compare old pokies with the game selection available at the best payout online casino. Pokies have come a long way and have gradually increased not only their popularity but also their payouts. The payment for the grand jackpot can now reach thousands of dollars, if not millions. Naturally, it is no wonder why online casinos are so popular nowadays. 

However, with the development of technologies, we also started to witness a rapid growth of variations in pokies. It is something that started as a relatively simple device and quickly grew to inherit some popular games, including free spins. The modern interpretations of free spins pokies offer players several free rounds as a part of their bonus features. It doesn’t mean that free spins only limit your choice. There are quite a few intriguing games that you can enjoy. Nevertheless, free spins are one of the oldest relations and thus the most popular. So today, we are talking more about the development of pokies, their popularity, mathematical models, probability theory, and the basics of bonus games, including free spins. 

Types of Bonuses and Free Spins Pokies

There are quite a few bonuses available for you when you play online. Pokies started as a relatively simple game with three reels. However, we will get to this point a little bit later. Right now, we want to highlight that dozens of different bonus games are available when you enjoy online casinos and pokies. The majority of them are rather traditional and partially old-fashioned. They haven’t changed much as most gamblers prefer to see the 90s nostalgia than experience new games. That is why free spins are so popular after several decades. It was the first ever bonus game to be created, yet it is still the most popular and widely known one. 

Let’s discover what we mean by free spins and how to ensure you find the game with free rounds. First and foremost, some online pokies lets players play extra matches for free. These free spins are added to the game instead of taking up another spin as it would in a traditional slot. Some casinos give free spins as a bonus or promotion. Free spins can be a no deposit bonus or as part of a deposit bonus package. They are an effective marketing tool that online casinos use to attract new players. Some casino sites offer free spins bonuses so players can try out the prize without putting their own money on the line. It’s good to be aware of any bonus terms before claiming a bonus. 

Extra Features, Bonus Games, and Additions

There are quite a few options for bonus games in pokies. Everything initially started with a payline, yet free spins and other bonuses were added slightly later. So we have come up with a quick rundown of basic features without focusing too much on the math and combinatorics behind them. For example, you can get free spins at your current bet amount during a bonus. If you win during the free spins, the winnings are yours, and you can’t lose money during the bonus. You can also get re-spins with extra Bonus Symbols. Nevertheless, the selection doesn’t end with free spins, even if they are the most popular and relatively easy to calculate.

For instance, some slot games offer a minor game on the second screen, like picking which prizes you’ll win. This mini-game is called a Pick-em bonus game. The second screen game usually has the same theme as the original game and can even include some symbols from the original game. Some slot games offer multiple bonus levels, and a player must complete each before moving on to the next. On the bonus screen, a player must pick several options. Some of these options are prizes, and some of them end the bonus game. Players can win extra spins, free spins, or even prize multipliers by collecting certain items in this bonus game.

Other variations can also include games with Wild symbols or other options of Pick-em bonus. Here players click either side of a coin. If they are correct, their prize is doubled. Sometimes the chance of guessing correctly is higher; other times, it is lower. Some companies or developers like to have a wheel have a 50% chance of landing on each side, while other times, they prefer a 65% chance that the wheel will land on the right side and a 35% chance that it will land on the wrong side.

Bonus Free Spins

If your particular casino doesn’t offer free spins through pokies, it will probably do so through promotions. However, bonuses and promotions at online casinos are likely to meet specific requirements. Often, free spins have their own bonus promotion that must be met. Winnings from the free spins are yours to keep, but the bonus might require that you play the games included in the promo by a specific date or only allow you to use the free spins on the games featured in the bonus promotion. Most online casino bonuses have wagering requirements, meaning nearly all extras have some playthrough requirement. An online casino bonus has a wagering requirement that the player has to meet before they can cash out their winnings as real money. The bonus amount is the total of the free spins or free rounds that it offers. In our example, if the bonus were 50 free rounds at a 0.10 per spin requirement, the total compensation would be 50×0.10=$5.

The Basic History Behind Slot Machines

Slot machines have been in casinos for a long time. The first modern-looking ones were created in the eighties. The first slot machines were made by Charles Fey in San Francisco, California, in 1894. The Liberty Bell had three spinning reels, a single pay line, and a fully automated payout system. Since then, pokies have added many more winning combinations but still look similar to their original version. Slot machines have been around for a long time, first appearing in 1907 with the addition of fruit symbols on the reels. Before that, cards and suits were used on the reels. Currently, slot machines usually have 5 reels and 40 win lines. The first electromechanical slot machine was released in 1963 by Bally. In the 1920s, Mills Novelty Co. invented a feature on games called Skill Stop buttons. This feature stops the reels on the game when pressed and allows the player to attempt to win the game. This feature is still used in Illinois video gambling machines today.

The first online casino website launched in 1994, featuring video pokies as its main game. The nickname One-Armed Bandit came about because the old machines had a lever that started the reels spinning. Although Money Honey was a great addition, the user had to hit the lever to get the reels going. Later on, models were created with a button instead of a lever, and in 1976 there was the very first video slot machine (the Illinois Video Gaming Terminal). 

New and improved bingo slot machines have been available for a few years, but video gaming machines have been in the casino business for much longer. Video pokies used to be much bulkier and less impressive than they are today, with 3D and HD imaging. Only after several decades of remarkable development did consumers gain a chance to play on video gaming terminals, which are a higher level of slot machine technology. Only Class II casinos can offer bingo, but with machines that operate as bingo games do by displaying results on a reel, they can also offer traditional slot machines.

Mathematical Models Behind Pokies


Some people believe that if someone is playing a slot machine, and another person joins their game and then wins a big prize, the person playing the machine first would think that the win could have been theirs. However, this is not true. The computers in the slot machines generate hundreds of numbers per second for each spin and pick one number that determines the outcome. The player who was playing before can’t know which number will be selected, and therefore can’t believe that the win was theirs.

The original player would have to hit spin simultaneously as the new player to get the same results on a slot machine. The wheel has different weights on each symbol, and when the computer determines which characters are visible on the screen, it does so by assigning a number to how many times the reels spun. In a game with 20 symbols on each reel, the lower-value symbols are more likely to appear on one of the reels than the higher-value ones. The probability of a character being on a particular reel is about 1 in 20 (completely random).

Digital Pokies and Their First Versions

The first slot machines were entirely mechanical. In 1984, a Norwegian scientist named Inge Telnaes came up with a new engine version, making them fully electronic. Telnaes’ machine is present in most slot machines, including the ones played at the online casinos. Slot machines have become more focused on math in the last few years, thanks to probability theory, statistics, topology, and combinatorics. These elements are used in gambling games, both by people trying to find an advantage against the casino and by casinos, who use more advanced algorithms and tools to draw players into their building. Unfortunately, since mechanical slot machines are hard to work on and tune, and because the more reels a machine has, the fewer people believe they will win, they are not very popular.

How Volatility Came to Be

Games that have big wins, or lots of risks, have games that payout very often or have high losses close together. Games with long dry spells and infrequent huge payouts are also considered risky games. There are many levels of slot machine risk: the lowest pokies usually offer multiple paylines but not a lot of money. Medium-volatile pokies, high-volatile pokies, bonus pokies, and jackpot pokies are also available. Take a look below at our quick explanation of different kinds of volatility. It is a good idea to find the one for you, depending on your experience, budget, and preferences. 

  1. Low volatility: On games that have smaller payouts, the player risks less. The prizes are smaller but more frequent. Big wins are unlikely in these games, but players can expect to win small amounts more often.
  2. Medium volatility: Players who like to gamble can play games that have a higher risk level. These games are popular among players who don’t want to put too much at risk with their bankroll.
  3. High volatility: Slots with high payout variability are favored by people with a big bankroll and can play for a long time. These pokies have huge wins but not many winning combinations.

First Jackpots and Randomization

A computer program called a random number generator can be used to make it seem as though the reels have stopped at random, Telnaes suggested. The casino would prefer the jackpot to be around 1700 dollars (for a bet of 1 dollar) if three cherries appear on the reels. Adding another reel would get close to 20,000 dollars, which would not be acceptable for players. People who can calculate numbers have a disadvantage when gambling, as they have to trick people into thinking they can win while actually ensuring the odds are in their favor. Gambling has a history of myths stating that the only way to earn money by gambling is to trick people. It’s also a myth that people who can do math would have an advantage over those who can’t.

Types of Jackpots and Their Development

A jackpot that gets bigger each day (or even each second, depending on the popularity of pokies) is called a progressive jackpot. A static jackpot is one that remains at a set amount and doesn’t change. The original amount of the jackpot is called the base amount. Slot machines have the highest jackpot payout of any game in a casino, yet the chances of getting it are around 0.000001% (or less). There are two types of jackpots: progressive and static. Progressive jackpots can increase in size depending on how many bets are in the pool and pay out the same amount each time they occur. Games that have progressive jackpots or don’t have progressive jackpots are incredibly profitable, as the game makers work hard to develop machines that have jackpots that get bigger over time.

The Megabucks machine was the first progressive jackpot machine, developed by IGT back in the eighties. Players who play for a long time have a higher chance of winning a bigger prize, at least, it is a common belief. However, the opportunities are equal whether you have played for a long time or just started. The payouts, however, are subject to change. Slot machines and all the games on them use fantastic technology. Which jackpot do players have a higher chance of winning: progressive jackpots or non-progressive jackpots? Both are rather expensive, even if the progressive one is much harder in the development process as the jackpots on progressive pokies can be increased quickly, which is impressive.

Bonus Symbols and Their Development

Slot machines have a symbol called a Scatter aka the Bonus Symbols. This symbol can be found on any of the reels, not just the payline, and can award a win when the player finds them in a specific configuration. Scatters usually are not found in structures of more scatters. Players need to check the pay table to see how the game handles Scatter, as they are essential to know. Some pokies have bonus games if three scatter symbols appear on the screen, and many also let players know what the scatter symbol is targeting. Scatter symbols can increase your win across the reels, and in some games, 3 of them (or more) can launch a different game within the slot. Some of them use a combination of scatter symbols to award 15 free spins with a 3x win multiplier or something along these lines. Scatter symbols can be found on many 5-reel pokies, as well as bonus pokies, jackpot games, 7-reel pokies, and any other type of slot machine. 3-reel machines often don’t have to scatter symbols.

There are also Wild symbols. They rarely act as bonus symbols, yet they still have some unique features. In some pokies, the wild symbols have no value or payout listed in the paytable. Instead, it is akin to a joker in a deck of cards. Essentially, it can be paired with any other symbol on the reels to create a winning line. The wild card is a rare icon and can replace any additional bonus or scatter symbol (it is a sporadic case, though) on the reels to create a line that wins, even if that line would not have existed otherwise. The wild icon can be placed on any reel, as long as there is a symbol in the same bar. Nevertheless, wild symbols rarely trigger bonus games. This job is generally reserved for the Scatters and other bonus symbols, depending on your particular game. 

Current Popularity and Celebrities Who Enjoy Pokies at Online Casinos

Considering the brief history that we have started today, it was almost impossible to imagine several decades ago that pokies and slot machines would become so famous. Nevertheless, now, it is beyond apparent that many people reach for online casinos as they are the primary source of entertainment and even secondary profit. The same can be said about famous celebrities who definitely don’t highway from spending their thousands if not millions of dollars on online casinos. If you have ever wondered where all of those millions go, we have a couple of suggestions for you. 

Many celebrities, including Ben Affleck and his fellow co-stars, often spend weekends at the most luxurious and famous casinos in Las Vegas. Naturally, it is hard to judge precisely how much they spend on such weekends. However, we do know what types of games they enjoy. The majority of celebrities, surprisingly enough, prefer to play online poker much more than any other game. It is a shaky yet entertaining and fun activity that many famous actors, players, and wealthy individuals reach for. There are even rumors that Ben Affleck, along with several of his favorite friends, including Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, has regular poker tournaments either in casinos or in their own houses. We don’t know about you, but we would definitely like to witness one of the aforementioned tournaments on our own. Imagine having such a fun time with Batman himself. 

Bottom Line

It is clear that online casinos are rather popular now, and pokies have come a long way since the first slot machine was created. Some see gambling as a great entertainment option, while others see it as a potential way to earn income. Regardless of the reason, online casinos are popular these days. Gambling can be great, as long as you are responsible with it. Nevertheless, the first slot machine was undoubtedly far from the pokies now. It was a simple device that only later grew to offer several games, including free spins and different variations of progressive or static jackpots. Even though gambling is regarded as a rather old-fashioned industry, there is no denying that it keeps up with the latest advancement and trends. Overall, we can expect to continue seeing free spins as the best and the most reliable bonus game for pokies.