For New Zealand online casino players, pokies are the most popular games at the sites we recommend. The reasons for this are pretty simple — pokies are straightforward to play, you can play on your own at any time, and there are no complicated rules or strategies that you need to know. Players also love the fun and variety you get with online pokies, with new developments in technology and design meaning that gameplay is increasingly complex and themes more detailed, while new games are released all the time so there’s plenty of variety. However, the main reason why New Zealand online pokies are so popular is that, unlike most casino games, you can win huge jackpots on a single spin.
Since pokies first came to New Zealand pubs and clubs in 1991 and the legalizing of land-based casinos in 1994, slots have become one of the most popular forms of gaming across the country. As the accessibility and ease of online gaming has increased, online pokies have naturally been a huge growth area as well. That’s why we’ve created pokies-online.co.nz — to help New Zealand online pokies players to find the best online casino sites and most popular games.
Our Recommended Slots Casinos
At pokies-online.co.nz, we want you to have a great gaming experience and so we only recommend high quality, reputable sites that offer you the best online pokies.
888 online casino is an award-winning international gaming brand with online pokies by a variety of different developers, a high RTP, plus generous signup bonuses and special offers.
Featuring a great range of Microgaming online pokies and progressive jackpot slots, Royal Vegas is a well-established brand that offers a secure gaming environment, a well-designed site and good RTP.
One of the most innovative online casino brands around, Mr Green has a huge selection of online pokies by a range of different developers. You can also take advantage of fun and lucrative promotions.
With online pokies by Playtech and others, William Hill offers a huge gaming selection, including progressive jackpot slots. You can play pokies via the free casino software download or directly in the browser of any device.
A well-established online pokies casino, Spin Palace has an outstanding range of Microgaming slots and progressive jackpot games. Pokies are available in all categories, so you get real variety and choice.
Our recommended slot games
The range of online pokies offered by our listed online casinos is huge, but here are three of the most popular titles that we recommend:
Probably the best-known online pokie in the world, the fame of Microgaming’s Mega Moolah is a result of the staggering size of its jackpot payouts. Since its release in 2006, it has paid out more than $940 million in prizes and, with a four-tier jackpot where the largest starts at $1 million, the legend continues to grow.
Microgaming’s Immortal Romance, released in 2012, is a hugely popular pokie that takes gameplay to new levels. The modern vampire theme, combined with progressive free spin bonus rounds and huge jackpots, make this 243 ways-to-win game a great example of the best online pokies.
A 5 reel, 20 payline online slot that has been one of NetEnt’s flagship games since its release in 2010, Gonzo’s Quest is notable for its 3D graphics and innovative gameplay, such as falling reels and the Avalanche feature where every winning spin can be multiplied.
3-Reel Online Pokies
The classic 3-reel pokie is still the sort of game most people think of when they hear the words poker machine. Although they have largely been superseded, there are still many players who prefer their straightforward gameplay and so you will always find plenty of online 3 reel pokies in the casinos we recommend.
Usually featuring 1, 3 or 5 paylines, 3 reel pokies tend to be limited when it comes to coin size and number, and so the potential for big jackpot wins is not as great as games with more wagering options. The design of 3 reel slots also tends to be simpler, so there are fewer distractions and faster gameplay i.e., more spins per minute.
5-Reel online Pokies
The dominant version of the game, 5-reel pokies (often called video slots) feature a range of gaming styles, themes and complexity, and whether it’s the number of paylines, coin size, or bonus features, there is enormous variety, so everyone can find a game that suits their playing style. One of the most popular types of video slot are ways-to-win games, where there are no pre-defined paylines and instead you hit a winning spin when three or more symbols appear left to right on the reels in any order. Games with three rows of symbols offer 243 ways-to-win, while games with four symbol rows give you 1024 ways-to-win.
For many New Zealand online pokies players, progressive jackpot slots are the real draw. The payouts they offer can be truly life changing, and these games have created many millionaires over the years.
The gameplay on progressive jackpot slots is largely the same as most other online pokies, with paylines, a variety of coin sizes and wins for hitting pre-determined combinations of symbols. However, there is one significant difference — a percentage of every losing spin, wherever in the world the game is played, goes into the jackpot prize pool. This means that the jackpots grow very quickly and can reach astronomical sums. It doesn’t cost any more to play progressive jackpot slots, with coin sizes being very affordable, but to get a crack at the jackpot you generally have to be betting the maximum number of coins and paylines.
How you get access to the progressive jackpot differs
In some games, the jackpot bonus feature is randomly triggered, while in others you land the jackpot by hitting 5 symbols on a particular payline. The most popular progressive jackpot slot remains Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, although all of the major developers have their own networks. Other popular titles include Playtech’s Gladiator and Beach Life, along with their new range of DC comic superhero progressive jackpot slots. NetEnt’s Mega Fortune series is also popular, while their other titles like Arabian Nights and Geisha Wonders are also played regularly in New Zealand online casinos. Newer developers also have their own progressive jackpot networks, although the payouts have not quite reached the epic proportions of the more established brands. If you’ve never played a progressive jackpot pokie, we throughly recommend that you have a punt. You’ll enjoy high quality gameplay with affordable coin sizes and, best of all, you’ll be in the running for a jackpot win that could completely transform your life.
Many video pokies use popular TV shows and films, computer games, and music performers as their theme. Players enjoy the familiar characters, scenarios and soundtracks and, with the number of themed video pokies growing all the time, you get great variety too.
Some of the most popular recent releases have been NetEnt’s music-themed slots, with their Guns N’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix and Motorhead themed pokies becoming hugely successful, while Microgaming’s Game of Thrones (in both paylines and ways-to-win editions) has also been a smash hit.
How to choose a slots game
Some slots players make choices as to which games they play based on the producer. Whether they like the house style, the RTP or the variety of titles, most players have a preference for the games of one of the major developers — Microgaming, NetEnt or Playtech.
Microgaming has over the years developed a huge catalogue of online slots games and you’ll find their pokies in more than 400 online casinos. Always innovative and with games in every category, its progressive jackpot slots are what it’s best known for, producing major titles like the record-breaking Mega Moolah, King Cashalot and Major Millions.
Founded in 1996, NetEnt is a Scandinavian producer that now has more than 200 games to its credit. Known for innovative gameplay and imaginative themes, NetEnt’s most popular recent releases have been themed video slots, with notable titles including its music series featuring Guns N’ Roses, Motorhead and Jimi Hendrix.
Playtech has been producing online pokies since 1999 and has more than 500 games to its credit. It has its own DC Comics-themed progressive jackpot network, and also produces a range of popular video themed slots. Playtech online pokies feature in more than 150 casinos, including many of the sites we recommend here.
Odds: House edge – comparison to other games
The Return-to-Player percentage (RTP) in online pokies games is the amount that, theoretically at least, you could expect to get back if you were to play over an extended period of time e.g., in a game with a 95% RTP, if you wagered $10,000 you could reasonably expect to get back $9,500 (excluding big jackpot wins). That $500 that you would in theory lose is what is known as the House Edge, which in this case would be 5%.
The average RTP for most online pokies is around 95%. This is lower than many other online casino games because, unlike roulette or blackjack for instance, you have the chance to win a very large payout on a single spin. The online casino games and bets with the lowest House Edge include:
- some versions of video poker, where it can be as low as 0.5%;
- Pass Line and Don’s Pass Line bets in craps where the House Edge is 1.41% and 1.36% respectively;
- and Come Bets and Odds Bets in craps, which have no House Edge at all and so are offered at what is known as true odds.
The Gamble feature that some online pokies offer after a winning spin is also one of the few bets with no House Edge
The range of online pokies themes is truly enormous, and so whatever your passion, you’ll find a game to interest you. Online pokies based on movies and TV shows have large followings, as do slots that take video and computer games as their starting point. Sports-themed games are unsurprisingly popular with New Zealand online pokies players, as are games based on superheroes. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Vikings and Vampires are also fertile ground for slots games developers.
However, there are also many innovative and imaginative games with storylines, characters and scenarios that come purely from the producers’ imaginations, along with a fair share of titles that are just downright wacky! Try it out by playing for free first (demo games) before you play for real money. As more online casinos embrace HTML5 technology and browser-based games, this has increased the opportunities to play free online slots in demo mode. Most of the online casinos we list here let you play in practice mode for free, and this is a great way to get to know a new game or just have fun without it costing you anything.
How to place your bets
Betting on online pokies is much simpler than many other casino games, but there are still some important things to know. The number of paylines that you select will affect both the size of your bet (as you can wager a number of coins per line) as well as your potential for wins — put simply, the more paylines you play, the more chance you have of hitting a winning spin. In addition, you will need to select the coin size you play with. This can vary from a cent or two up to hundreds of dollars, and so you need to choose with care. Also, you select how many coins to wager on each line, and so if you choose to play with a coin size of 5c and play ten coins per line across 20 paylines, then your wager on each spin will be $10 in total.
The symbols in an online slot will be determined by the game’s theme, and so there is huge variety. However, many online pokies still use playing cards as symbols regardless of the theme (usually 10, J, Q, K, A), and you will still see traditional fruit and other old-school symbols on many contemporary games. In order to win, a set number of symbols need to land in a predetermined pattern (a payline) across the reels, usually from left to right, although there are some right-to-left games as well.
Online pokies games today are packed with bonus features that add to the excitement of the gameplay and increase the payout potential. The most common is a free spin bonus round, but bonus features can take many forms. In some games, the bonus rounds are played like a separate game within the game.
The way in which you gain access to bonus features varies — in some games, you get to play the bonus when you hit particular symbols on a payline (usually the scatter), while in others it can be randomly triggered.
The online pokies world is packed with variety, with games coming in many different forms and featuring a huge range of themes. This, combined with their affordability and relatively straightforward gameplay, is why online pokies are so popular at our New Zealand online casinos. Check out our list of recommended online casino brands to experience the very best online pokies and progressive jackpot slots.