As growing numbers of online casinos move towards browser-based games (as opposed to playing pokies via a software download), this has meant that there are more opportunities to enjoy free slots. This is because the shift in technology has made more games accessible in practice or demo mode, allowing you to play pokies games in your browser for free. In most cases, it’s not even necessary to have an account with a casino to play free pokies — simply go to the casino, choose the game, select Practice Play and start spinning!
Why do casinos offer free games?
While the technological changes have no doubt contributed to there being greater numbers of free pokies games online available, casinos aren’t doing this entirely out of the goodness of their hearts! Instead, they want to showcase their site and games to you, in the hope of encouraging you to choose their casino over another. Free slots games therefore act as a form of advertising.
This is especially important for new casinos who are working to establish a foothold in the industry. Offering free online pokies in Practice Play is a way of enticing you over to look at their site in the hope that you may decide to play there.
Taking advantage of free pokies
Whatever a casino’s reasons for offering you the chance to play free online pokies, you should definitely take it! For a start, playing a game for free lets you discover whether it’s right for you in terms of theme and gameplay without it costing you anything. This is especially valuable when new online pokies are released, but it’s also a good way to get to know that classic game you haven’t got around to playing yet.
Always bet the max
Playing free slots games also gives you the opportunity to bet the maximum coin size, number of coins and paylines on every spin. With most online pokies, the frequency with which bonus rounds and special features are triggered is usually dependent on you betting the max, so when you play for free you can do this on games where it might otherwise be beyond your reach. When you play a pokies game in demo mode, you therefore have more of an opportunity to see all of the game’s features without it doing any damage to your bankroll.
Discover new games producers
Although the production of online pokies games remains largely dominated by the big three — Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt — there are new developers emerging onto the scene all the time. Some players might be hesitant to try out the slots of an unknown developer if they are having to bet real money, but playing for free means you can check out the new boys’ games thoroughly for no charge. And who knows — you may discover that your perfect slots game comes from a producer you have never heard of before.
Free Pokies Guide
How to play free casino games
At our recommended online New Zealand casinos, it’s very simple and straightforward to play free pokies games directly in the browser of your device, even if you don’t have a real money slots account at that casino. Although the exact steps will vary a little from operator to operator, the process for playing slots for free will go something like this:
- Click on the Casino menu tab.
- Click on the Games and/or Slots Tab.
- Select the game you want to play by hovering over it.
- Click the button marked either ‘Practice Play’ , ’Demo’ or ‘Play for Free’ (or something similar).
- The game should begin to load straight away (this can take between 10-15 seconds).
Your free slots game will then open and you can see how many demo credits you’ve been awarded. The amount you get will vary, but it will certainly be enough for you to enjoy plenty of free spins while betting the max. In some games, when you adjust the coin size and number, the demo credit amount changes to reflect this.
Just as when you’re playing for real money, your demo credit balance goes down when you make a wager, and then goes up after a winning spin.
What free pokies games can you play?
Our recommended online casinos enable you to play all categories of slots games for free except progressive jackpot pokies (this is because you have to contribute to the prize pool in order to be able to trigger the progressive jackpot). This means that whether it’s an old-school, Vegas style 3-reel pokie, a themed video slot, a 243 or 1024 ways to win game, or the latest new release 5 reel slots game, you can play them as free pokies at most of our casinos listed here.
Popular free pokies games
There are so many great online pokies that are available to play for free, it’s impossible to name them all, but here are a few favourites, old and new:
- Gold Factory (Microgaming) — Released in 2011, this 50 payline pokie with a wacky theme features a free spin bonus round, a multi-level bonus feature, and a jackpot prize worth up to $619,000.
- Hitman (Microgaming) — When it was first released in 2007, Hitman broke the mould when it came to elaborate gameplay and bonus rounds, and with its haunting film noir theme it remains a firm favourite. The RTP is 95.8% and the biggest jackpot on offer is worth up to $135,000.
- Starburst (NetEnt) — One of the biggest hits NetEnt has ever produced, 2012’s Starburst is a 10 payline pokie game that was one of the first to feature an expanding wild, and it also includes a free spin bonus round where the jackpot is worth up to $50,000.
- Frog Grog (Thunderkick) — Although not the most lucrative online pokies game out there, we enjoy Frog Grog because it’s unusual (you son’t see 23 payline games very often) and has some fun and innovative features, like dropping symbols and a mystery game.
- Gonzo’s Quest (NetEnt) — Released in 2010, Gonzo’s Quest was ground-breaking in its introduction of 3D visuals to online slots games. A 20 payline pokie, Gonzo’s Quest has ‘falling’ rather than spinning reels, a RTP of 96% and biggest payout prize of $93,750,
Where can I find free slots games?
If you want to play the free slots games listed above, or any free online pokies, check out the table below of our recommended casinos where you can play games for free in practice mode.
We always recommend that you take advantage of the chance to play free slots games. Of course, it doesn’t match the excitement you get when playing for real money, but it does give you the chance to bet the max on every spin, try new release slots, sample the games of unknown developers, and check out the functionality and features when a new casino comes online.