Playing the pokies

What are the chances of winning on the Pokies?

The pokies are simply a form of entertainment. However, sometimes people play the pokies for the wrong reasons, often spending more money or time than they can afford. If you think that you can beat the pokies, think again. You cannot change the fact that the odds are stacked against you.

The longer you play a poker machine, the more likely you are to lose all the money you have put in the machine.

The poker machine is the winner.

Think about these facts:

  • Each poker machine has a computer program. Pokies are programmed so that in the end the machine will win. Nothing you do changes that
  • Pokies are not designed to provide you with extra income. They are designed to make profit for others
  • Like other forms of entertainment, you pay to play the pokies. The more you play, the more you pay
  • You can't influence the machines. Nothing you do can influence the machines
  • The outcome is independent of previous plays. If there is a win, you get paid credits. If not, the poker machine waits for the button to be pressed again
  • The machine is never ‘due' to payout. You can never predict how each play will end. None of these factors makes a difference:
    • The last time the machine paid out
    • Anything you or anyone else does to the machine
    • How much you bet or how many lines you play
    • How long you have been playing
    • Past and future plays
    • The time of day

Poker machines are programmed to pay out less than you put into them, so the odds are you will lose.

Losing money this time doesn't increase your chances of winning next time. You may have smaller wins but over time you can expect that these will not cover what you put in.

When playing a game like Black Rhinos, to have a 50 per cent chance of getting five rhinos, playing one line at a time, it would take 6.7 million button presses and cost nearly $330,000.

The Real Chance of Winning
Prize value in credits Chance of a prize in a single play line (including scatters)
  One chance in
More than 500 credits
200 to 499 credits
100 to 199 credits
50 to 99 credits
20 to 49 credits
10 to 19 credits
5 to 9 credits
1 to 4 credits
Prize type in Symbol Combination Chance of combination occurring in a single play line
  One chance in
5 of a kind
4 of a kind
3 of a kind
2 of a kind

At these odds you have to play seven games in a row to have a 50:50 chance of winning four credits. But you have to play more than 7,000 games in a row to have the same chance of winning 500 credits. In the end the machines will win.  

The poker machine always has the advantage.


Inside the pokies - player guide 

This guide explains how pokies actually work and why, in the long run, you will lose money.

This brochure, available in venues, explains how to use the Player Information Display function on pokie machines to show you:

  • The rules of play for this machine
  • Your chance of a win or loss
  • How to track the money you spend on this machine
  • How long you play on this machine


Your stories

Sad gambler

It started as a trip before my shift started to play the pokies at the casino... 22 years ago.. I have been 3 days clean.. I have no money In my bank account yet earn a good wage.


When I was younger I would watch my mum play the pokies at family functions and miss half of the fun by gambling.


well I have done it again I keep saying im not going to go back again im going to leave these machines alone yet today was a bust for me and a big one.

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