??Online Pokies in New Zealand
G’day from Down Under, and welcome to the online casino portal created with NZ players in mind. Here, in New Zealand, we love slot machines so much that we have a special name for them.
If you are new to this form of entertainment, you should know that we call them pokies. According to one theory, the term comes from a poker machine, also known as video poker in other parts of the world.
It is believed that slot and poker machines stood next to each other in gaming halls and that’s how the term pokie got to be used for both types of casino games.
Without further ado, let’s learn more about pokies, the best software providers available in the NZ market and our favourite pokie games you can play at the moment.
? Best Kiwi Casinos for Pokies
Our 5 Favourite Online Pokies You Must Try
Before we say hoooroo from sunny ‘Straya, let’s have a Captain Cook at our favourite pokie titles you should consider trying out at the best online casinos accepting Kiwis.
#1 Wolf Treasure (IGTech)
Powered by iGTech, Wolf Treasure is a 5-reel, 25-payline pokie themed on the Wild West and wolves.
If you are into wildlife, you will love to meet buffalos, horses, wildcats and eagles on the reels along with wolves acting as Wilds that will complete your winning combos.
The biggest attraction of the game is the free spins feature, where you are granted 5 free turns.
As you play free spins, three central reels can show a giant 3×3 symbol, which can result in big wins. Land 3 Scatters on the reels 1, 3 and 5, and you will secure more freebies with no limits.
Besides, landing Money symbols represented as the full Moon triggers the bonus round with three fixed jackpots on offer. The maximum payout is 1,000x the bet.
#2 Book Of Doom (Belatra)
Brought to you by Belatra, Book of Doom is another take on the legendary Novomatic Book of Ra pokie.
Once again, you are taken to Ancient Egypt on 5 reels and 10 paylines. This is a high volatility slot with the Valley of Kings in sunset featured in its backdrop and a set of familiar theme-related icons populating its reels.
The game benefits from the Book symbol acting as Wild and Scatter at the same time. Land 3 of these and you will unlock the free spins feature awarding 10 freebies.
Before free games commence, one of the regular symbols will be chosen to act as the super symbol that expands to cover the reel entirely, thus helping you create more winning combos.
The feature can be retriggered. If you get lucky, you can win up to 5,000x the stake.
#3 It's a Joker (Felix Gaming)
Horror buffs rejoice as Felix Gaming comes with a spooky 3-reeler that will send shivers down your spine that pays prize across 5 variable paylines. Being a fruit machine with a horror twist, the game features a creepy Joker character assuming the role of Wild along with fruits and other traditional symbols.
On either side of the reels, you will notice two more positions that can award bonus features. The position on the left side can award up to 5 freebies, while the one on the right-hand side features up to 25x multiplier.
The bonus features can be activated on every spin, which makes the game highly exciting. Its variance is on the lower side, though, so you need to rely on multipliers for bigger prizes. With no multipliers applied, the maximum potential payout is 80x the bet.
#4 Black Horse Deluxe (Wazdan)
Once again, we travel to the Wild West with the Black Horse Deluxe pokie by Wazdan. Your companions on the quest for hidden treasures will be a black stallion that will complete your winning combos across 6 reels and 20 paylines.
Other symbols on the reels are a combination of fruits and theme-related icons, which is a pretty odd mix. In the main game, you will benefit from Cascading Reels and up to 4x multipliers.
The game offers two bonus features – free spins and Black Horse Spins. The former awards up to 25 freebies during which your payouts can be subject to up to 8x multiplier.
As for the latter, you need to collect 10 gold coins in the meter and draw 2 coins in one spin. During the bonus round, only gold coins are in play ad they pay prizes according to the pay-table.
Players can choose the volatility of the game themselves and the top prize is 950x the wager.
#5 Fire Lightning (BGaming)
Themed on Ancient Greek, BGaming’s Fire Lightning is a 5-reel slot played at 20 adjustable paylines.
The game boasts a modern design with theme-related symbols landing on the transparent reels set against the starry skies.
The reels are home to high-paying deity icons and low-paying shields featuring letters of the Greek alphabet. The main selling point of the game is the free spins round granting 10 freebies along with up to 100x the bet.
Once in, you will see Wilds being locked in their place and staying there for the duration of the feature.
That’s where you can hit the top prize of 20,000x the bet.
The Gamble feature is available after every win, allowing you to double or quadruple your wins by guessing the colour or suit of a mystery card.
❓The Basics Of Online Pokies
Pokies are a game of pure chance, meaning that you don’t have to learn complex strategies before you start playing them, which is a bloody ripper!
They are all about spinning the reels to match as many symbols as possible across paylines.
Lately, we have seen other engines as well, though. Once, there were fruit machines only. Today, whether you play pokies at brick-and-mortar or online casinos, you can choose from a variety of themes.
They come with captivating visuals and soundtracks that will keep you engaged for hours. But, let’s find out how online pokies function first.
RTP (Return To Play)
This is one of the terms related to pokies that you have to understand, as it can come in handy when choosing the best ones to play. Some providers reveal RTP percentages directly in their games.
More often, you will come across an RTP when reading a pokie review, which we highly recommend. To put it simply, an RTP represents an average percentage of bets paid back to the player. However, you should not take it for granted as an RTP is calculated over 1 million spins at least.
Hence, it is not applicable to a regular gaming session. You should bear in mind that an RTP is a theoretical calculation, so if a pokie has an RTP of 96%, it does not mean that you will get AU$96 for every AU$100 wagered.
Sometimes you can win much more than that, and sometimes you can lose it all. It is all about luck.
The industry average sits at around 96%, meaning you should choose those pokies with an RTP of the same percentage or higher.
This is one of the terms related to pokies that you have to understand, as it can come in handy when choosing the best ones to play. Some providers reveal RTP percentages directly in their games.
More often, you will come across an RTP when reading a pokie review, which we highly recommend. To put it simply, an RTP represents an average percentage of bets paid back to the player.
However, you should not take it for granted as an RTP is calculated over 1 million spins at least. Hence, it is not applicable to a regular gaming session.
You should bear in mind that an RTP is a theoretical calculation, so if a pokie has an RTP of 96%, it does not mean that you will get AU$96 for every AU$100 wagered.
Sometimes you can win much more than that, and sometimes you can lose it all. It is all about luck. The industry average sits at around 96%, meaning you should choose those pokies with an RTP of the same percentage or higher.
It all started with so-called classic pokies, which refers to slot machines played at 3 reels and a small number of lines, usually 1 or 3.
This type of pokies offers straightforward gameplay without many bonus features or modifiers. You need to cover a paying line entirely with matching symbols to get paid.
Some classic pokies offer Wilds which replace regular icons to help you complete a winning line or free spins, but it is pretty much all you can get from them.
They are still popular with casino players online and offline as they are no brainers and can pay massive jackpots.
Fairness Of Games
One of the things that bother potential online casino players is whether games, including pokies, are fair.
The good news is that most online pokies are provably fair, at least those developed and powered by reputable providers.
Their products undergo comprehensive testing by external, independent auditors and get certified if they prove to be fair.
Each slot machine is run by RNG (Random Number Generator), which guarantees that each spin will give an unbiased, random result.
To be absolutely sure that you will be treated fairly while playing pokies, always choose gambling sites regulated and licensed by trustworthy gaming authorities.
Free vs Real Money
Most online casinos today provide their customers with an opportunity to give pokies a try without risking their hard-earned cash.
This is known as free-play, practice or demo mode.
While you can try out the pokie to your liking with all its features for free, playing the game in demo mode cannot earn you real money winnings.
That’s the biggest difference between playing for free and with real money.
Although pokies require no skill or experience, if you are a newbie to this form of entertainment, it is highly recommended to try them out with no risk involved.
Progressive jackpots are prizes paid by so-called progressive pokies. The main difference between them and fixed jackpots is in the fact that progressive jackpots increase with every bet placed on the games connected to these.
Once the jackpot is hit, the amount resets to a figure set by the provider. There are two types of progressive jackpots – local and networked. Local jackpots are exclusive to a single gaming establishment and keep increasing until a progressive jackpot is won.
On the other hand, networked jackpots are fed by all stakes placed on the progressive pokie across all the casinos from the network. That’s why they can grow to life-changing amounts worth millions of NZD.
In most cases, progressive jackpots are won at random, but there are also pokies where you need to place certain symbols on the reels to trigger them. Typically, each progressive pokie has two or three jackpots ticking away.
Bonus Rounds & Spins
Bonus features are what makes pokies highly exciting. These include free spins, bonus rounds and more, and vary from game to game.
As for free spins, or free games, it’s all in the name of this bonus.
Once you trigger the feature, you are granted a number of free turns where you can win prizes without risking your own dollarydoos.
Bonus rounds may come in all shapes and sizes, and they are mainly designed in the format of a bonus game.
You may be asked to shoot or pick some objects, or complete other tasks for a chance to win instant prizes.
Wilds are staples in pokies. Also known as substitutes, Wilds are symbols that help you complete more winnings combos by replacing regular icons.
Besides regular Wilds, you can benefit from various Wild features as well.
Some pokies offer expanding Wilds that spread through a reel to fill all positions on it.
Others have so-called sticky Wilds that remain in their positions for a certain number of spins or the duration of a feature.
We also have Walking Wilds, Overlay Wilds, Raining Wilds and more.
Another form of substitutes can appear in are Multiplier Wilds that carry multipliers that will boost your payouts.
Tier 1 Online Pokie Suppliers
A common misconception is that online casinos create their own games and thus have control over the outcome in the pokies games offered on their website.
This is untrue in almost all cases, as any legitimate online casino will work with top game studios that focus on creating these games.
Below we’ve provided an overview as well as our opinion on the top companies that create online pokies.
Coming straight from ‘Straya, Aristocrat is a software developer behind some of the most popular pokies Down Under.
The company has been in the business for more than 60 years and has heaps of experience under its belt.
You can stumble upon Aristocrat pokies in NZ land-based and online casinos.
Most of their titles are land-based pokies optimised for desktop and mobile play, so you can expect rudimentary graphics and sounds and some real casino action while playing them.
Ainsworth is another reputable NZ software developer specialised in the production of pokie machines.
They have been present in the market since the 1960s, creating initially slot cabinets for brick-and-mortar casinos. Today they offer their products across all platforms.
When it comes to the gaming experience Ainsworth pokies provide you with, you will enjoy loads of excitement thanks to engaging bonus features incorporated in their titles.
Again, visuals and sounds may seem dated when compared with modern pokies developed originally for online casinos. Still, they guarantee a genuine casino experience from the comfort of your home or on the go.
Microgaming is one of the leading software providers globally, credited for setting up the first online casino ever back in the 1990s.
Its portfolio boasts hundreds of pokie titles available on desktop and mobile devices, along with progressive slots, namely Mega Moolah that has made more than 60 millionaires.
In the past few years, Microgaming has partnered with independent game studios that develop pokies exclusively for their online gaming platform.
This has enabled the Isle of Man-based provider to offer top-notch pokies with innovative bonus features every month.
Another industry behemoth comes from Sweden and stands behind some of the most popular online pokies ever, like Starburst or Gonzo’s Quest.
Some of the bonus features they incorporated in their titles have changed the way pokies play and taken the gameplay to another level.
NetEnt puts a lot of effort in their new releases, trying to elevate the gaming experience and provide its players with aesthetically and functionally innovative content.
Besides standard classic and video pokies, the Stockholm-based developer also offers progressives.
Being a relatively young developer founded in 2014, Red Tiger Gaming has established itself in the market thanks to pokies that offer daily jackpots.
In 2019, the Isle of Man-based developer was acquired by NetEnt, which ensured that their titles would be available to a broader audience.
The features that make Red Tiger pokies stand out from the crowd include progressive jackpots that are guaranteed to trigger before they reach a specified value and daily jackpots guaranteed to pay out every day before a set time.
Originally dedicated to the production of pokie machines for land-based casinos, Blueprint operates as a part of the Gauselmann Group, a German gaming company.
From UK brick-and-mortar casinos, Blueprint has come to some of the biggest online casinos catering to the international public.
Kiwis who would like to try out Blueprint pokies can expect impressive visuals and sound effects as well as exciting bonus features and hefty payouts.
In its portfolio, you will find several branded slots as well, such as Ted, The Naked Gun and The Goonies.
Big Time Gaming
Another software developer coming from Down Under is responsible for a groundbreaking engine we often see today in pokies created by various studios.
Bonanza and Extra Chilli are among some of the most popular pokies at online casinos featuring BTG titles.
While they may seem a bit dated in terms of appearance, pokies by Big Time boast highly innovative bonus features.
Besides, they are mostly highly volatile, offering some massive wins.
Pokies coming from the creative kitchen of the Malta-based provider seem to be present in every online casino we have visited lately.
It comes as no surprise knowing that Pragmatic Play has established itself in the market and earned an excellent reputation among pokie enthusiasts.
It mainly happened thanks to the engaging gameplay its titles guarantee.
With new releases being launched every month, Pragmatic Play caters to true slot aficionados with a variety of themes, crisp visuals and exciting bonus features that can help players win big.
Being one of the first software developers who entered the mobile arena, Play’n Go is another successful gaming company from Sweden.
In their ever-growing portfolio, you will find all kinds of pokies that play smoothly on all devices.
One of the most popular high volatility pokies ever, Book of Dead, is a Play’n Go title.
Still, you won’t leave a casino disappointed if you choose any other game powered by this company.
Each new release comes with improved features that the previous one, granting loads of fun to the players.
Thanks to liberal online gambling regulations, Malta is home to many providers and casino operators.
Betsoft is one of the providers situated in Malta that creates high-quality pokies for audience worldwide, including Kiwis.
Striking 3D visuals that guarantee a cinematic gaming experience set Betsoft apart from other developers.
While they have been more into classic pokies lately, the titles like Slotfather, Good Girl Bad Girl and At the Copa will always be a good choice and among players’ favourites.
IGT is yet another industry giant that was originally well-known as the provider of land-based cabinets. Based in Nevada, USA, the company is today one of the leading names in the online gaming industry as well with an extensive portfolio.
Its most popular title Cleopatra has quickly found its way to players’ hearts with straightforward gameplay and massive payouts.
Besides video pokies sporting a variety of themes, IGT is the name behind a wide range of branded slots like American Guy, Jeopardy!, Ghostbusters and Wheel of Fortune series.
Another provider coming from Nevada also excels in the development of branded slots with unique bonus features.
WMS made a smooth transition from the world of brick-and-mortar casinos to gambling sites with titles like The Price Is Right, The Flintstones and Monopoly on offer.
One of their biggest innovations is the Colossal Reels engine allowing players to place their bets across 100 paying lines for more chances to win.
A-Z List Of Online Pokie Suppliers
Gaming Tech, or shortly iGTech, is an Italian gaming company that partners with other developers to offer pokies in the NZ market. Lately, they have joined forces with Pragmatic Play and Betsoft.
Once you start browsing their portfolio, you will notice that iGTech pokies resemble ones created by Pragmatic Play, which is the result of the partnership.
Most iGTech pokies have medium volatility, meaning that they can be a great option for all kinds of players.
One of their most popular titles in ‘Straya is Wolf Treasure, which is practically a re-skinned version of Pragmatic Play’s popular title Wolf Gold.
While playing iGTech slots, you will benefit from exciting bonus features that can boost your odds on every spin.
RTG (Real Time Gaming) Pokies
Based in Georgia, USA, Real Time Gaming (RTG) is present in New Zealand-facing online casinos with their pokies and table games.
While their titles may not be the best in the market, they attract many players due to a genuine casino experience they provide.
Over the years, RTG has improved their products in terms of both aesthetic and functionality, so you can expect some eye-pleasing graphics, engaging sounds and potentially lucrative bonus features.
Besides classic and video pokies, RTG also has a number of progressives in its library, like Megasaur and Aztec’s Millions.
How To Win at Pokies?
There is no magic formula to winning at pokies, we have to admit. It all comes down to luck.
What you can do is choose slots with a higher RTP, as they theoretically pay better. Also, keep in mind that higher volatility means more risk, so it may be an iffy business to play them.
Besides, the house will always win in the long run. So if Lady Luck smiles upon you, grab your winnings and call it a day.
Playing pokies is all about self-discipline and moderation, so you have to manage your bankroll and set your win and loss limits.
Chasing losses or trying to hit that huge elusive jackpot is not something you should do.
Instead, be modest and stick to the limits you have set to keep your budget safe.
Today, you can take your favourite pokies with you wherever you go.
Providers have made them optimised for mobile play keeping all their features intact. If you opt to play the mobile version of the game, the only difference will be in the size of the screen.
That’s why tablets may be a better option for mobile play. Yet, even if you play your favourite pokie on your smartphone, you can rest assured that it will look as good as its desktop version.
Some developers make their games playable in portrait mode, which fit the screens of mobile devices perfectly.
Playing Pokies Online in 2021
Pokies have come a long way from Liberty Bell created by Charles Fey back in the 19th century. But we don’t have to go far back in time to see how our favourite casino games have changed.
Only a decade ago, we had to download software and install it on our computer to access an online casino and play pokies.
Today, we can play them directly in our browser as long as we have a stable internet connection, on our desktop or handheld device.
Online pokies come with loads of bonus features and modifiers that will keep you engaged and enhance your winning chances.
Lately, certain developers have added various gamification elements to online pokies, so they feel more like video games while offering players an opportunity to win real money prizes.
Needless to say, a variety of themes delivered in an artistic way with outstanding visuals and crystal-clear sounds guarantee an overall enjoyable experience.