Video pokies is a broad term that covers a wide variety of 5 reel online slots games. The majority of slots that you’ll find in our recommended online casinos are video pokies in one form or another although, as you can see below, there is a great variety of different games types within this category, giving players exceptional gaming choices.
Why should I play Video Pokies?
Variety, in terms of the gameplay, themes and wagering options, is the main reason that video pokies are far and away the most popular games in New Zealand online casinos.
5 reel pokies feature multiple paylines, for instance, with the number ranging from as few as 10 (such as Boomanji) up to 1024 (like Secret Santa), meaning you have plenty of choice when it comes to the style of game you play. They are also packed with special features and bonus rounds that take modern video pokies to new levels of entertainment and engagement, as do the increasingly sophisticated graphics and soundtracks that developers are now bringing to their games.
The wide variety of themes is also one of the great appeals of playing video pokies. Some of the most popular online pokies themes include games based on TV shows and movies (anything from Britain’s Got Talent to Game of Thrones), sport and computer games (Tomb Raider and Hitman are popular examples), while there are also many different game genres — slots based on stories and characters from Ancient Egypt and Rome are always favourites, for instance, as are Viking-themed slots (like Thunderstruck 1 and 2) and games with vampire themes (such as Immortal Romance). There are also many popular video pokies that have unique themes, characters and looks that are entirely original, and come from the imagination of the producers.
There are also plenty of wagering options available on most 5 reel slots games, making them very accessible. With multiple paylines, a large variety of coin sizes and the ability to change how many coins you bet per line, you always have control over how much you’re playing for per spin — whether it’s a couple of cents or hundreds of dollars, video poker machine games give you the choice to play for as little or as much as you like.
How to play Video Slots?
Video pokies have introduced an enormous range of new and innovative features that have enhanced online slots gameplay, although the actual business of playing a game has remained largely unchanged.
Once you’ve selected the game you want to play, you need to weigh up your wagering options. How much you choose to bet on any spin is determined by the game’s paylines, the coin sizes available and the number of coins you play on each line.
As the number of paylines on a video slots can range from 10 to 1024, this will naturally affect the overall size of your wager. A good rule of thumb is to remember that you should always aim to bet the maximum number of paylines and coins, as this gives you the most chances to win and access to bonus rounds, so whenever possible select a coin size that enables you to do this. For instance, if you decide that you want to play for $2 a spin on a 20 payline video slot that lets you wager up to ten coins per line, then your coin size should be 1c (1c x 10 coins = 10c x 20 lines = $2.00).
Playing video pokies is so enjoyable because the variety of symbols and special features means that the gameplay is always engaging and there are increased opportunities for winning spins. Some of the many features and symbols you’ll find in video slots games include:
- Wild symbols —These can take the place of most other symbols on the reels and in doing so create winning spins. Wilds are also often multipliers, increasing the size of the payout when they feature in a winning spin. Hitting wild symbols can also be the way in which bonus rounds and feee spins are accessed.
- Expanding wild symbols — Rather than just occupying one slot in the reel, expanding wilds will expand to take up the entire reel when they land, and in this way they increase the chances of hitting a winning spin.
- Sticky wild symbols — In video slots featuring sticky wilds, when you hit a wild symbol and it features in a winning spin, it remains in place for the next spin as well, increasing the number of wilds potentially in play.
- Scatter symbols — The name comes from the fact that in most video pokies, scatter symbols don’t have to appear on a payline to create a win — instead, if you hit 3 or more anywhere on the reels, you will land a payout. In addition, hitting a certain number of scatter symbols is often the key to free spins and other bonus features.
- Rolling reels — This feature, also known as Avalanche or Tumbling Reels, gives you the opportunity to pick up multiple wins from a single spin. After you hit a winning combination, those symbols disappear from the reels and are replaced; if the new symbols also create a win, then you get that payout as well, and then this repeats until there are no more winning paylines.
When it comes to video pokies bonus features, these are changing and developing all the time, with producers always looking for new ways to enhance their gameplay. In many 5 reel slots, the bonus round is an entirely separate game, while in others it is progressive i.e., each time you trigger the bonus feature, you carry on from where you left off, attempting over time to complete all of the levels. Some bonus rounds can also be very simple (e.g., pick a box to reveal a multiplier).
However, the most popular and commonly used bonus feature is the free spins bonus. In some video pokies, a free spin bonus round will be randomly triggered, while in others it is the reward for a winning spin. It is very often the scatter symbol that will trigger free spins, with the number of spins you receive dependent on how many scatter symbols you hit. Free spin bonus rounds often also include multipliers and can lead to some huge jackpot wins.
Popular Video Slots Games
With so many exciting and lucrative video pokies to choose from at our recommended online casinos, it’s almost impossible to single one out any one as a favourite, but the games below give a taste of what players are choosing at our listed casinos:
- Thunderstruck 2 — Microgaming’s Thunderstruck 2, released in 2010, is a hugely popular 243 ways-to-win video pokie that includes the progressive Great Hall of Spins bonus feature, rolling reels, and a jackpot prize worth up to $600,000.
- Gladiator — Based on the 2000 film starring Russell Crowe, Playtech’s Gladiator is unusual in that it can be played both as a progressive jackpot or stand alone video slot. The progressive jackpot starts at $50,000 but there is no limit as to how large it can grow.
- Game of Thrones — The Game of Thrones video pokie by Microgaming can be played in both 15 payline and 243 ways-to-win versions. The popularity of the game is down to the free spin bonus feature, as well as the outstanding graphics and soundtrack that faithfully replicate the original cult TV favourite.
- Guns N’ Roses — NetEnt’s Guns N’ Roses video pokie has been one of the most popular games of recent years. Released in 2016, it has a variety of bonus features, like the Crowd-Pleaser Bonus Game and Encore Free Spins, and includes the band performing five of its classic hits as a soundtrack.
Best video pokies
Video Pokies in Pop Culture
Themed video slots — games bases on other media or icons from popular culture — are undoubtedly one of the most popular varieties of 5 reel pokies at New Zealand online casinos. Many sources are used as the inspiration for these games, with some of the most popular including:
- TV shows — Many different varieties of TV programmes have been used as a theme in video pokies. These range from cult series like The Sopranos and Game of Thrones, animated series such as Family Guy and South Park, to more surprising choices, like Britain’s Got Talent and The Love Boat.
- Movies — Films have also been a popular source of inspiration for games developers. Gladiator, The Incredible Hulk, Kong: Eight Wonder of the World, Jurassic Park, Aliens and Terminator 2 have all been developed into very popular video pokies.
- Superheroes — Games producers have used comic book superheroes as the basis for video pokies many times, and the fact that they keep doing so shows how popular this variety of game is. Both Marvel and DC Comics superheroes have been the inspiration for online pokies, including Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, The X-Men, Wolverine, The Fantastic Four, Captain America and many more.
- Video games — A number of smash hit video and computer games have also been turned into very popular online slots, with the most notable of these being Lara Croft : Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider : The Secret of the Sword, and Hitman.
Video pokies are the most popular games at New Zealand online casinos for good reasons — the gameplay variety, the special features, the range of wagering options and the sheer diversity of the themes they use mean that players are spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying high quality gaming entertainment.
Our lists and reviews of recommended online casinos show you where to go to enjoy a huge range of the very best video pokies.