Are there any pokies with skill-based elements in Australia?

Are there any pokies with skill-based elements in Australia?

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When it comes to gambling in Australia, pokies are a popular choice for many players. These electronic gaming machines, also known as slot machines, have long been a staple of casinos and pubs across the country. Traditionally, the outcome of playing a pokie has been based purely on luck and chance, leaving many players wondering if there is any skill involved at all.

Recently, there has been a growing interest in skill-based pokies, which aim to incorporate elements of player skill into the gameplay. The idea behind these machines is to provide a more interactive and engaging experience for players, allowing them to influence the outcome of the game through their own decision-making and abilities.

However, the question remains: are skill-based pokies a reality in Australia, or are they simply a myth? While the concept may sound appealing, the current regulatory environment poses some challenges for the introduction of these machines. Australian gambling laws place strict limitations on the design and operation of pokies, with a focus on ensuring the fairness and integrity of the games.

The Concept of Skill-Based Pokies

Skill-based pokies are a new and innovative approach to traditional slot machines in Australia. Unlike traditional pokies, which rely solely on chance and luck, skill-based pokies incorporate an element of player skill in determining the outcome of the game. This concept is a departure from the traditional “set it and forget it” style of gambling, where players simply insert their money and watch the reels spin.

In skill-based pokies, players have the opportunity to influence the outcome of the game through their strategic decisions and actions. This can include choosing when to hold or discard cards, making decisions based on the displayed symbols, or even engaging in mini-games that require manual dexterity. By incorporating skill into the gameplay, these pokies aim to provide a more interactive and engaging experience for players.

One of the key advantages of skill-based pokies is that they offer a sense of control and agency to players. Instead of relying solely on luck, players can use their skills and knowledge to improve their chances of winning. This adds an extra layer of excitement and challenge to the game, making it more appealing to a wider range of players.

However, it is important to note that skill-based pokies are still subject to regulations and restrictions imposed by gambling authorities. These machines must still meet certain criteria and standards in terms of fairness, randomness, and player protection. The incorporation of skill does not mean that the outcomes are predetermined or manipulated in any way.

While skill-based pokies offer a promising alternative to traditional slot machines, their availability and popularity in Australia are still relatively limited. It may take some time for these machines to become more widely accepted and integrated into the gambling industry. Nonetheless, the concept of skill-based pokies presents an exciting and potentially lucrative opportunity for both players and operators in the Australian market.

Australia has a complex legal landscape when it comes to gambling, including the regulation of skill-based pokies. Each state and territory in Australia has its own set of laws and regulations regarding gambling, which can make it difficult for operators and players to navigate.

In general, all forms of gambling in Australia are regulated and controlled by the individual states and territories. This includes both land-based and online gambling activities. Most states and territories have specific legislation in place that governs the operation of pokies machines, including the use of skill-based elements.

However, the legality of skill-based pokies can vary depending on the jurisdiction. Some states and territories have strict regulations in place that prohibit or restrict the use of skill-based elements in pokies machines. These jurisdictions typically require that pokies outcomes be based purely on chance, rather than skill.

Other jurisdictions, on the other hand, may have more relaxed regulations that allow for the use of skill-based elements in pokies machines. These jurisdictions may require operators to obtain special licenses or permits to offer skill-based pokies, and may have additional regulations in place to ensure fairness and player protection.

It’s important for operators and players to familiarize themselves with the specific laws and regulations in their jurisdiction when it comes to skill-based pokies. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense, and operators and players who are found to be in violation of the regulations can face fines, penalties, and even criminal charges.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Skill-Based Pokies


  • Increased player engagement: Skill-based pokies offer a more interactive experience for players, allowing them to feel a greater sense of control and accomplishment.
  • Strategic gameplay: By incorporating skill-based elements, players have the opportunity to use their decision-making and problem-solving skills to potentially increase their chances of winning.
  • Appeals to a wider audience: Skill-based pokies attract a different demographic of players who may be more interested in games that require skill and strategy, rather than relying solely on luck. This helps to diversify the casino gaming landscape.
  • Potential for higher payouts: Since skill-based pokies award winnings based on player performance, there is a possibility for higher payouts compared to traditional pokies where winnings are determined by chance.


  • Learning curve: Skill-based pokies may have a steep learning curve, especially for players who are used to traditional pokies that are purely luck-based. This could potentially discourage some players from trying these games.
  • Time commitment: Skill-based pokies require more time and attention from players due to their gameplay mechanics. This could be a disadvantage for players looking for a quick and easy gambling experience.
  • Potential for frustration: If players feel that their skill is not rewarded or that the game is unfair, it could lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.
  • Inherent risk: Despite the skill-based elements, there is still an inherent risk of losing money in skill-based pokies. The outcome is not solely based on player skill, but still influenced by chance.

Real-Life Examples in Australia

One example of skill-based pokies in Australia is the game called “Dolphin’s Luck”. In this game, players can utilize their skills and strategic thinking to increase their chances of winning. They have to navigate a virtual ocean and collect various items while avoiding obstacles. The higher the level they reach, the bigger the potential cash prizes.

Another example is the game “Blazing Eights”. This game requires players to use their quick thinking and memory skills to match a series of cards in a certain order. Each successful match rewards them with points, and the more points they accumulate, the higher their chances of winning a cash prize.

“Crazy Cash” is another skill-based pokie found in Australia. In this game, players have to complete various tasks within a given time limit to earn virtual coins. The coins can then be redeemed for real cash prizes. The tasks range from solving puzzles to answering trivia questions, requiring players to have a wide range of skills.

The game “Fruit Ninja” is a popular example of a skill-based pokie that has gained a lot of popularity in Australia. Players have to slice through flying fruits using their fingers on a touch screen, aiming to achieve the highest score possible. The better their slicing and timing skills, the more points they can accumulate and the higher their chances of winning.

There are also skill-based pokies that incorporate elements of popular video games, such as “Call of Duty” or “Fortnite”. These games allow players to compete against each other in virtual battles, and the winners can receive cash prizes or other rewards. These games require players to have a high level of skill and strategy to outperform their opponents.

The Future of Skill-Based Pokies in Australia

The future of skill-based pokies in Australia is still uncertain, but there is a growing interest in incorporating more skill-based elements into traditional pokie games. As technology continues to advance, game developers are exploring ways to make pokie games more interactive and engaging for players.

One potential future for skill-based pokies is the integration of arcade-style games within pokie machines. This would allow players to use their gaming skills to influence the outcome of the game, rather than relying solely on luck. For example, players may be able to play a mini-game where they have to navigate through a maze or shoot targets to win additional prizes.

Another possibility for skill-based pokies is the introduction of multiplayer features. This would allow players to compete against each other in real-time, adding an extra layer of excitement and skill to the game. Players could challenge their friends or compete in tournaments to see who can achieve the highest score or win the most prizes.

While the concept of skill-based pokies is still relatively new, it is clear that there is a demand for more interactive and skill-based gaming experiences. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more skill-based elements incorporated into pokie games, providing players with a new and exciting way to enjoy their favorite casino games.

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