How pokies work and RSG/RGS


When working as a gaming employee on licensed premises in Queensland it is important to understand how a poker machine works so you can deliver SITHGAM001 Provide Responsible Gambling Services (RSG/RGS).

Poker machines have come a long way since the days of the old. These days, poker machines are electronic and generally referred to as electronic gaming machines (EGMs) or video gaming machines (VGMs) or pokies. The modern pokies at your venue will have a video screen that displays the game. You play the game by pushing external buttons or by using a touch-screen menu.

Internally, there are very few mechanical moving parts. It is similar to the inside of your home computer with a few additional components for cash and ticket handling.

Each poker machine has a computer program which is programmed to act randomly every time you press the button. After the button is pressed, the poker machines takes the credits you have bet then it randomly determines the outcome of that play. The outcome of each play is independent of previous plays. If there is a win, you get paid credits. If you don’t win, the poker machine waits for the button to be pressed again.


Strategies for winning on the pokies

There are no strategies for winning on a poker machine as you can never predict how each play will end. None of these factors will make a difference:

  • The last time the machine paid out
  • How much the last player bet
  • How much you bet
  • How long you have been playing
  • The age of the machine
  • The time of day


Making money on pokies?

In Queensland the poker machines in hotels and clubs are programmed to return between 85% and 92% of the amount bet back to the gambler. This is in accordance with government regulations.

An 85% return really means that for every dollar bet on a poker machine, approximately 85 cents is returned to the gambler. This return is achieved over the life of the machine (usually 3 to 4 years) so you can’t expect to receive 85 cents for every dollar you bet in a single gaming session.

If you think about gambling as a business where you buy milk for $1 and sell it for 85 cents or where you buy cars for $10,000 and sell them for $8,500. How long do you think a business like this could stay profitable?

Gaming employees working at licensed venues in Queensland are expected to deliver responsible service of gambling. A part of this responsibility is being able to explain to gamblers the odds and likelihood of winning on various gambling activities such as poker machines.


Need some more information about RSG/RGS?

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