A Complete Guide to Online Pokies, Jackpots & More

Pokies are almost an integral part of Australian culture, but did you know they’re also big in New Zealand? Like our Australasian cousins, we love the rush of the reels. From classic three-reel pokies to modern progressive spinners, the NZ gaming industry is filled with high-octane options. In fact, when you look at the stats, slots dominate the offline arena. Back in 1987, NZ pokie operators turned over more than NZ$10 billion. Fast-forward to 2009 and there were 19,749 machines spread across 1,501 venues.

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With pubs and clubs starting a craze, online developers have taken the baton and run with it. Today, the leading NZ online casinos offer hundreds of weird and wonderful pokies. From old-school fruit machines and video slots to bonus-filled games, the sector is flooded with options. With that being the case, every prospective player needs to learn the ropes before they spin.

In this Guide: We’ll not only outline how these games work but direct you towards some of the best online pokies NZ has to offer. So, if you’re ready to get on board with this gaming craze, let’s go through the nuances of online pokies and more.

What Types of Pokies Are There Online?

Before you can experience free pokies and more, it’s important to understand the options that await when you ante up online:

  • 3-Reel Online Pokies: A tribute to how pokies used to be, these games are virtual representations of the machines you’d find inside your local pub or club. Naturally, they feature three reels and their symbols are often a combination of fruits, bars and sevens. Players often enjoy three-reel pokies online because they offer the fastest bets-per-hour rate.
  • 5-Reel Online Pokies: The most common online pokies, these games typically offer more symbols, paylines and, in turn, prizes than their three-reel counterparts. Aside from featuring five reels, the defining features of these games are wilds and bonuses. Because there are more ways to win, developers enliven their games with creative features and mini-games.
  • Video Pokies: In the world of NZ online pokies, video-themed games are the most numerous. Essentially a subcategory of pokies that can include three- and five-reels games, video slots often feature animations, mini-games and a specific theme. Many of the best video pokies are based on movies or TV shows and, therefore, contain familiar clips and sound effects.
  • Progressive Slots: The most lucrative type of online pokie, progressive jackpot slots have a top prize that’s always increasing. A small percentage of each player’s bet is added to a communal prize pool. This dynamic continues until someone hits the right combination. The industry’s top title is Mega Moolah which, in the past, has paid out jackpots worth more than NZ$10 million!

How to Play Online Pokies

The beauty of online pokies is that you don’t need to be an expert to play. Even though some of the themes and features are complex, the only thing you have to worry about is setting your bet and hitting the spin button. Once the reels are in motion, the software takes care of everything else.

In other words, if you line up three or more matching symbols, the software will calculate your prize. Additionally, if you roll in the right number of bonus symbols and unlock a mini-game, you’ll be told where to click and when. Put simply, you can be a complete gaming novice and win when you play pokies online.

Here’s a summary of how to play online slots:
  1. Choose your favourite pokie from the NZ online casino of your choice.
  2. Change the coin size to a level that suits you.
  3. Adjust the number of active paylines if possible.
  4. Once you’ve set your bet, hit the spin button and wait. Simple!

Note: the cost per spin is determined by your coin size and the number of active paylines. For example, if the coin size was NZ$1 and there were ten active paylines, you’d pay NZ$10 per spin.

How to Win Online Pokie Jackpots

When you play online pokies for real money or for free, everything is powered by a random number generator (RNG). This means things are 100% random at all times. Because of that, you can’t swing the results in your favour. However, what you can do is play sensibly in order to give yourself a better chance of making the right bet at the right time:

Find a Game You Love: Online pokies should be fun. By playing spinners that you really enjoy, you’ll not only have more fun but feel compelled to play more.

Play Consistently: Linking to the above tip, consistency is crucial when it comes to pokies. Because you never know when a jackpot is going to drop, playing as much as you can is the key to being in the right place at the right time.

Never Bet More than You Can Afford: Bankroll management is hugely important in all areas of online gaming. Only bet a very small percentage of your bankroll each time you spin. If you can’t afford to play, you have no chance of winning.

Online Pokie Odds: How to Read Slot RTPs

When you compare the potential return rate for pokies to table games, the top spinners stack up well. In technical terms, each game has a score known as its return to player (RTP). In general terms, the higher the RTP score, the more chance you have of winning. For example, a game with a 98% RTP should be more lucrative than one with a 95% RTP.

However, the important thing to note here is that these scores are generated over thousands of spins. In fact, in many cases, the developer will come up with an average return rate after 10,000 or 100,000 spins. Because the score is an average win rate, you can’t say that X game will be better than Y game during a single session. However, you can use RTPs as a guide to which pokies have the best long-term potential.

Playing Online Pokies for Real Money: Spin and Win for Real

Playing online pokies for real money is the only way to unlock cash jackpots. However, this luxury comes with a certain amount of risk. Yes, you’ve got to speculate to accumulate. However, you can’t spend more than you can afford.

Control the Risk: In the tips section, we said the amount you pay per spin should be a small percentage of your total bankroll. As a general rule, you should never take more than around 3% of your bankroll into a game. For example, if you had NZ$1,000 to spend on pokies, the most you’d start with is NZ$30.

Protect your Bankroll: Whatever you start with should also guide how much you bet per spin. In this example, we’d suggest staking around NZ$0.30 (giving you 100 spins). Although this may seem overly conservative, you’ll quickly find that it’s the best way to protect your bankroll when luck is against you but give you scope to make a profit when things spin your way.

Free Online Pokies: Have Fun Without the Cost

Before you check out our recommended online casinos and NZ pokies, it’s worth noting that you can play the top titles for free. Otherwise known as online pokies NZ no deposit games, these slots give you an authentic experience without the cost.

Naturally, the prizes you win won’t be converted to real cash. However, the benefit of playing free online pokies is that you can get a feel for the action, test out some new moves and see if a game tickles your fancy. Therefore, before you head off and play for real, we’d suggest taking a turn on free pokies first.

Spin Slots at the Top NZ Online Casinos

Whichever way you slice it, online pokies are fantastic. If you’re a beginner, the simplicity of these games makes it possible to join the action in seconds. Beyond that, the potential payouts far surpass anything you could win from table games. Based on those facts, it’s possible to say NZ pokies are the best way to have fun and, potentially, win a life-changing sum of money, regardless of how big your bankroll is or how skilled you are.

Best Online Pokies for New Zealand Players

To experience the rush of the reels, check out our top-rated New Zealand online pokies today!