There’s no shortage of online pokies games. I think we can all agree on that. Microgaming alone has over 700 in its portfolio. Playtech‘s collection isn’t far behind that. NetEnt, IGT, Aristocrat – all of these companies (and so many more) are pushing out digital poker machines faster than forks from a plastics factory.
The vast majority of these games have a lot in common. They have 5 reels, an assortment of paylines, and an attractive graphic display to draw players in. While the themes vary immensely, some of the symbols on the reels rarely do.
I’m talking about the gross over-use of playing card values. The ever-present “10 thru Ace”. Some online pokies games will even start as low as 9, meaning there are six symbols on the reels that required absolutely no imagination from the design team.
Numeric Values in Online Pokies Games
Sure, these numeric values are cloaked with some type of decoration to fit the theme. They may be chiseled out of stone for an Aztec theme, or have colorful butterflies perched on them in a Sci-Fi fairy theme. But all in all, they are just filler, like putting beans in a pot of chili.
Any veteran player of online pokies games knows they don’t have much value, either. Numeric symbols are always the lowest of the low in terms of payouts. Lining up three of them won’t even come close to awarding back the amount you paid to spin the reels. More often than not, lining up all 5 will barely do that.
So why is it that pokies makers keep using these boring playing card values to fill the reels? Can’t they be just a little bit more creative? How long does it take to design a little square graphic that fits the theme? Are design teams really so pressed for time that they can’t brainstorm for a few more thematic symbols?
That’s actually not the case at all. Well, most of the time it’s not. The truth is, there’s a logical reason why so many online pokies games carry these dull, lifeless icons. And it’s the same reason there are oh-so-many more poker machines than there are any other games in a land-based or online casino.
Pokies Players Don’t Want To Think
It’s true. If people wanted to think about their gambling endeavors, they wouldn’t be playing online pokies games in the first place. They would be playing blackjack, incorporating perfect strategy and attempting to keep a count of all cards played. This provides a higher win-loss ratio than any poker machine.
We play pokies because they are more fun. There’s no stressful thinking involved – no wrong decisions to be made. They offer more entertainment and excitement. They provide a chance to win a life-altering amount of money. A strictly-strategic blackjack game has none of that.
Pokies players don’t want to think. They just want to press a few buttons, cross their fingers and have a good time. This is exactly why 99% of all online pokies games have numeric symbols as their low-paying combinations.
Responsible players will always check the pay table to see what symbol is wild, and which are scatters or bonus-generating images, and of course which offer the highest payouts. But if there’s 12 or more standard, thematic symbols, we’re not going to remember all that.
The games’ developers keep everything as simple as possible. Numeric values pay low, everything else pays high. It’s a simple design for a simple game that anyone can understand and enjoy.