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Multi-Payline Pokies Explained: Maximising Wins with Multiple Betting Options

Benjamin Mitchell


January 3, 2024
Table of Contents

Understanding Multi-Payline Pokies

Multi-payline pokies are gaming machines that feature multiple lines of potential winning combinations, as opposed to the traditional single payline in classic slots. These paylines run across the reels in various patterns — horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or even zigzagged.

Key Characteristics:

  • Reels and Symbols: They usually consist of 5 reels displaying a range of symbols.
  • Variable Paylines: Players can choose how many paylines to activate, often ranging from a handful to over 100.
  • Bet Flexibility: Bets can be adjusted per payline, influencing both total bet and potential winnings.

Payline Patterns:

  • Straight lines can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal across the reels.
  • Zigzagged lines crisscross the reels in a variety of shapes.

The fundamental principle is that a player wins by matching symbols on active paylines. The more paylines a player chooses to activate, the higher the chance of forming winning combinations, but this increases the total bet amount per spin. Paytables illustrate the specific patterns and payout rates for winning combinations.

Complexity and Strategy:
Multi-payline pokies offer more complex and engaging gameplay compared to single-line slots. Players have the opportunity to develop strategic betting patterns that align with their playing budgets and risk preferences.

Understanding the structure and function of multi-payline pokies enhances player experience, providing a thrilling and dynamic gaming environment with numerous chances to win.

Types of Multi-Payline Pokies

Types of Multi-Payline Pokies

Multi-payline pokies are a staple in the online casino world, offering players numerous ways to win. They differ in layout, gameplay features, and jackpot opportunities.

Five-Reel Pokies

Five-reel pokies typically offer between 25 and 50 paylines, providing a balance of traditional gameplay with the excitement of multiple betting options. These games often feature a variety of themes and bonus features such as free spins and special symbols that enhance the experience.

Progressive Jackpot Pokies

Progressive jackpot pokies stand out for the ever-increasing prize pool that accumulates with each bet placed by players. These pokies can have multiple paylines, and the jackpot is usually triggered through a combination of symbols or a bonus game.

3D Pokies

3D pokies bring a visually immersive experience, utilising advanced graphics to create a three-dimensional effect. These pokies tend to have multiple paylines and are crafted to offer a more engaging story-like experience, complete with animations and interactive bonus rounds.

Betting Options and Strategies

Betting Options and Strategies

In multi-payline pokies, players confront an assortment of betting options. One can determine the number of paylines they wish to bet on, and the coin value for each line. A player’s total bet is the coin value multiplied by the number of active paylines.

Bet Maximum for Jackpot Chances: It’s often recommended to bet the maximum number of paylines to increase the odds of hitting a jackpot. However, players should balance this against their total stake and manage their bankroll accordingly.

Betting Strategies:

  • Conservative Betting: Players with smaller bankrolls may opt for fewer paylines and a lower coin value to extend their play session.
  • Aggressive Betting: Alternatively, those with larger bankrolls might choose to activate all paylines and increase the coin value, aiming for higher payouts.

Payline Selection:

  • Fixed Paylines: Some pokies have fixed paylines, which means players must bet on all lines.
  • Variable Paylines: Others offer variable paylines, providing the choice of how many lines to play.

Adapting to the Game: Players should familiarise themselves with the specific pokie’s rules and paylines to make informed betting decisions. Multi-payline slots often feature enhanced gameplay mechanics, such as bonuses and free spins, which could affect the betting strategy.

Bankroll Management:

  • Establish a budget before playing.
  • Adjust coin value and paylines to match the session budget.
  • Avoid chasing losses with higher bets.

Careful consideration of these factors can lead to a more enjoyable and potentially rewarding pokies experience.

Payout Structures and Paytables

Payout Structures and Paytables

Multi-payline pokies offer a diverse range of payout structures that can enhance a player’s chances of winning. Each game has a unique paytable that players should consult to understand the potential payouts for different symbol combinations on active paylines.

Paylines: These are the lines on which matching symbols must land for a player to score a win. The number of paylines in multi-payline pokies can vary, often ranging from 9 to over 200. Games with a higher number of paylines typically provide more opportunities to win with each spin.

Payouts: The payout of a pokie machine is determined by the combination of symbols that appear on the paylines. The values for each winning combination are outlined in the paytable. The paytable details the number of credits won when specific symbols align on an active payline.

  • Symbols: Typically, pokie games have a mix of low-paying symbols, which are often card ranks or numbers, and high-paying thematic symbols.
  • Special Symbols: These may include wilds, which substitute for other symbols to create wins, and scatters, which can trigger bonus features and sometimes offer payouts irrespective of paylines.

Paytables: They are usually accessed via a button on the game screen. They include information on:

  • Payline patterns
  • Symbol values
  • Bonus features
  • Any jackpots available

Understanding the payout structure and the paytable is crucial as it influences the betting strategy and helps players recognise the most lucrative opportunities in the game.

Bonus Features and Free Spins

In multi-payline pokies, players often encounter various bonus features that enhance the gameplay. These include special symbols like wilds and scatters, as well as multipliers that can significantly increase winnings.

Wild Symbols

Wild symbols are a crucial element in pokies. They have the ability to substitute for other symbols, helping players form winning combinations. In some games, wilds come with additional properties, such as expanding to cover entire reels or carrying multipliers to boost the payout of any line they complete.

Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols are uniquely beneficial as they are not bound to paylines to award wins. They often serve as the key to unlocking bonus features, predominantly free spins. Players typically need to land a certain number of scatter symbols on the reels to trigger this bonus round, which can lead to a flurry of spins at no extra cost.


Multipliers directly increase a player’s winnings by a specified factor. These can be applied to wins during both the base game and bonus rounds, which include free spins. They range widely, with some multipliers offering a 2x increase to payouts, while others can escalate the winnings up to 50x. Multipliers can be attached to wilds or specific winning combinations, making them a highly anticipated feature on pokies.

RTP and Volatility in Multi-Payline Pokies

Understanding the Return to Player (RTP) and volatility of multi-payline pokies is essential for players looking to engage with online slots.

RTP, or Return to Player, is a percentage indicating the average amount of money a pokie machine is programmed to return to players over time. For instance, a pokie with an RTP of 98% is expected to return $98 for every $100 wagered. Generally, a higher RTP suggests a better return on investment for the player.

Volatility refers to how often and how much a pokie pays out. High-volatility games tend to award larger payouts but less frequently. Conversely, low-volatility pokies offer smaller payouts more often.

Volatility LevelFrequency of WinsSize of Wins
HighLess frequentLarger
LowMore frequentSmaller

Players seeking thrilling gameplay may gravitate towards high-volatility pokies. These games can produce long streaks without wins, but the potential for substantial rewards remains.

Multi-payline pokies introduce a complex dimension to RTP and volatility. With more ways to win, these games often feature intricate mechanics that can influence the volatility. Strategies vary, but it is commonly accepted that multiple paylines increase the chances of hitting a winning combination.

In conclusion, when choosing multi-payline pokies, players should consider the RTP and volatility as key factors in their gaming experience. Opting for a game that aligns with one’s risk tolerance and playing style is advisable for an enjoyable session.

The evolution of online pokies has led to the development of games with multiple paylines, offering a plethora of winning combinations. Leading this innovative field are developers renowned for their cutting-edge software and dynamic gaming experiences.


Microgaming stands as a pioneer in the online casino industry, reputed for their extensive range of pokies with multiple payline options. They offer titles with intricate themes and diverse structures, ensuring an engaging experience for pokie enthusiasts.


NetEnt is recognised for their visually stunning and innovative pokie games, which frequently push the boundaries of traditional payline concepts. Their creations are characterised by unique bonus features and engaging gameplay mechanics, appealing to a wide demographic of players.


Aristocrat’s pedigree in the realm of pokie machines translates seamlessly to the digital domain, where their multi-payline pokies continue to garner a loyal following. They are celebrated for integrating familiar land-based pokie features with the advantages of online play.

Mobile Compatibility and Gaming Experience

Mobile compatibility is a critical factor for online pokies in Australia. With a significant shift towards mobile gaming, developers ensure that pokies are optimised for smaller screens without compromising on the gaming experience. The integration of HTML5 technology has been pivotal, allowing fluid and responsive design across various devices—be it smartphones or tablets.

Key Aspects of Mobile Pokies:

  • User Interface (UI): Simple and intuitive UIs are crucial for mobile play, ensuring seamless navigation and gameplay.
  • Graphics: Developers employ scalable vector graphics to maintain high-quality visuals on all screen sizes.
  • Accessibility: Games are designed to be accessible with touch controls, which is a natural fit for mobile devices.

Performance on Mobile Devices:

  • Processor Load: Pokies are optimised to be light on processor usage, ensuring smooth gameplay on most modern mobile devices.
  • Battery Consumption: Games are tailored to minimise battery drain, allowing for longer gaming sessions.

Players frequently encounter a variety of themes and paylines in mobile pokies. Multi-payline slots offer numerous winning combinations, increasing the chances of a payout. Games like Wolf Treasure exemplify this with their 25-payline structure, providing players with an engaging experience coupled with the convenience of mobile play.

Gaming Experience:
Mobile pokies are designed with speed in mind, offering fast-loading times and quick transitions between games. Online casinos often update their portfolio regularly to include both traditional and advanced pokies, catering to diverse player preferences. Mobile gamers can expect a blend of classic and modern pokies, ensuring a varied and enjoyable gaming environment.

Licensing, Regulation, and Fair Play

In Australia, the gaming industry, including multi-payline pokies, falls under stringent regulations to ensure fair play and consumer protection. Licensing is a critical component, with both federal and state/territory governments involved. The federal framework sets the baseline for gambling activity regulations, while states and territories refine it as per their specific requirements.

Regulation plays a pivotal role in overseeing the operations of multi-payline pokies. Venues offering pokies must adhere to mandatory closure periods, as Victoria will implement for all machine areas from 4am to 10am by mid-2024, Crown Casino Melbourne being an exception.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is tasked with monitoring online gambling activities and taking action against illegal providers. This includes both domestic and offshore operators, aiming to protect Australians from unlicensed gambling services.

To guarantee fair play, licensed operators in Australia use Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure the random outcomes of spins on multi-payline pokies. These machines and their software must pass rigorous testing by authorities to ensure compliance with fairness and integrity standards.

  • Key Aspects of Fair Play for Multi-Payline Pokies:
    • Use of certified RNGs.
    • Regular audits by regulatory bodies.
    • Compliance with federal and state legislations.

With these regulations in place, they are designed to create a safe and reliable gaming environment for players while also attempting to mitigate the risks associated with gambling.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following addresses common queries related to multi-payline pokies, offering insight into strategies, benefits, and considerations for optimal gameplay.

How does one determine the number of paylines to play for the best results?

The number of paylines a player should engage depends on their budget and playing style. Those seeking more winning combinations might opt for more paylines, understanding this requires a larger bet.

What are the advantages of playing multiple paylines in pokies?

Playing multiple paylines increases one’s chances of hitting a winning combination. More paylines can also trigger additional features and bonuses, enhancing the gaming experience.

What strategies should be employed when playing multi-payline slot machines?

Players should consider a balanced approach, keeping their total bet in line with their budget while activating enough paylines to increase win potential. Betting maximum coins on fewer paylines is not always advisable.

How can one ascertain the payout potential of a specific poker machine?

The payout potential can often be gauged by the paytable and the game’s specific rules, which outline symbol values and the mechanics of bonus features. Payout percentages, if available, can also be indicative of potential returns.

Are there any benefits to playing online slots with various themes and features?

Slots with various themes and features keep gameplay engaging, and diverse features can introduce different ways to win, including free spins, bonus rounds, and multipliers.

What should a player consider when choosing between free and real money slot games?

Choosing between free and real money games depends on one’s objectives. Free games allow for risk-free exploration of game mechanics and entertainment, while real money games offer the possibility of tangible rewards and often access to a broader range of game features.