Discover Hundreds of Online Pokies!

Inspired by the one-armed bandits that dominated entire floors of land-based casinos, online pokies are a response to a new, highly digitalized world. Pokies are at the heart of most online casinos, often making up the largest portion of a casino’s game collection. Players from New Zealand will find a diversified selection of online pokies to suit all tastes, with popular titles that will hook them right away to new slots released on a weekly basis.

Best online pokies in New Zealand 2021

If you simply love spinning the reels of online pokies, then read on! We have put together this article to serve as a comprehensive guide to where Kiwi players can find everything they need to know about online pokies, bonuses and free spins for pokie players. So keep on reading to discover our list of online casinos in NZ featuring the best online pokies and to find out how to increase your chances of winning more as you play these games!

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What are Online Pokies?

Just like land-based slot machines, online pokies consist of reels, symbols and pay lines. Playing an online pokie requires players to spin the symbols in the hope of getting a match and win. But how are wins triggered? Are they fair?

Online pokies programming is taken very seriously by both game developers and gambling jurisdictions. Each online pokie is connected to a Random Number Generator (RNG) to create random sequences of number (each of which is linked to a specific combination of slot machine symbols) that deliver a fair and random result. Winning combinations determine the payout of the game which might vary from just a few dollars to millions. 

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Why play pokies online?

There is plenty of fun to be had while playing online pokies. Their simple mechanism makes them ideal for beginners and for anyone who wants to simply sit back and relax while trying his or her luck. The variety of games available and the possibilities online pokies present bring to the players anything from slots with immersive storylines, slot machine inspired pokies and interactive variants that require more than just a spin of a button. And all of this fun comes with plenty of rewards too!

How to play online pokies

Playing online pokies is literally as easy as eating cake! It simply requires the press of a button to send the reels churning in search of that winning combination. Of course, just like eating cake requires it to be sliced and plated, playing online pokies comes with at least two steps. The first of which requires the creation of an account with the online casino of your choice, followed by choosing a game and placing the first bet.

Each online pokie has its own minimum bet and maximum bet, often varying from a few cents to a few hundred dollars. With a spectrum that touches both sides, it offers all kinds of players the option to bet as much as they can afford. The bet amount placed will also determine the payout received. The smaller the bet the smaller the payout will be and vice versa. Although we play to win, it is important to keep in mind that lady luck is not always on our side. While playing high RTP games (more on this further down below) might win us favours with the elusive lady, games of chances are highly depended on luck, which means that not all rounds will prove fruitful. 

How to win online pokies

How to win at online pokies

Winning at the pokies may not be as elusive as some might imagine. It all comes down to winning favours with lady luck and below we shall share a few tips on how to do just that!

  • Hunt for the pokies with the highest RTP - The Return To Players percentage or RTP will determine how much of your bets you make back. This does not involve in any way chasing after your loses but merely choosing those games with an RTP higher than 95%. The percentage indicates how much you can expect to make back from a game and the possible losses. 
  • Claim a no deposit free spins bonus - Who doesn’t like freebies! They’re free rounds from the casino often awarded simply for registering for an account. The best are those that come with no wagering requirements or at least with low wagering terms. They are a perfect way of playing for real money without the need to stake any of our own money. 
  • High, medium or low variance? - are you willing to sacrifice high payouts in exchange for frequent wins? Or do you prefer to engage on a more frequent losing streak in the hope of hitting the jackpot? If you are on a budget, we suggest sticking to a low or medium variance slot. The frequent payouts will keep you rolling and who’s to say you can’t win a small jackpot nonetheless!
  • Play pokies for free to practice - online pokies are not exactly the kind of games that require practice. After all, there is no skill or strategy involved. Still playing the demo version of a particular slot can give you a good idea of the hit frequency and features. In short, it’s a great way to determine which online pokies are worth betting on. 
  • Participate in slot tournaments - online pokies competitions are a great way to win some great prizes in the shape of cash, holidays and even tech gadgets. Some casinos even hand out a number of free spins to be used on one particular slot only, rewarding the player who hits the biggest win on a single spin. 

Slot RTP & volatility

We’ve already mentioned RTP and volatility, but what are these? How are they related? What is the difference between them? Where do they fit in when choosing an online pokie to play? RTP and volatility are two completely different things, even though they work hand in hand when determining the payout and hit frequency of a particular game. But let us take a closer look at each one and see what their role is in the vast online pokies world!

Slot RTP

What is slot RTP?

RTP or Return to Player is calculated as a percentage. It is the statistic used by casinos to describe how much a game is expected to pay back to players over time. The best games are those with a high RTP, ideally no less than 95%. In terms that can be understood, if for example a $100 are staked on the game, the game can be expected to pay out $95. This is simply an example and projections are usually calculated in the long term. This means that just because you’ve staked $100, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will receive back exactly $95. 

It is important to remember to always stake up money you can afford to bet. Remember, chance is the online concrete thing when it comes to casino games and thus you shouldn’t bet money you are not prepared to lose. 

What is volatility?

If you’ve ever had anything to do with investments, you would have heard the word volatility a number of times. In the casino context just like in investments, it describes the risk involved. Thus, high volatility pokies mean high risk, low volatility slots mean low risk. Low volatility games have more frequent wins, however, payouts are on the small side. On the other hand, high volatility pokies will pay out much less frequently but will typically offer bigger wins once a player lands on a winning combination. The choice of one or the other is up to each individual player and their respective risk appetite.

Types of Online Pokies

We’ve mentioned a few times what a varied choice of online pokies, Kiwi players can find at an online casino. But what exactly are we talking about? Does this have anything to do with the volatility or RTP? Just to answer one question, the latter answers to no. Just to be clear, volatility and RTP do offer variety, however, in this section, we are going to take a took at the design and features that distinguish one group of online pokies from another. 

jurassic world slot

Video Slots

Video slots are recognized mainly from their superb design and detailed animations. Some come with their own immersive stories too, complete with symbols that come to life with every hit.

Apart from the exceptional design that sets them apart from any other online casino game, video slots are famous for the number of features that are often incorporated into the gameplay. These involve scatter symbols, different types of wilds, bonus rounds and even free spins. With video slots, the scatter symbol is the one you should look out for as landing 3 or more, often triggers the bonus rounds or the free spins round. Of course, different providers enjoy coming up with new innovations all the time, thus we highly encourage our Kiwi players to try out newly released pokies for a first-hand experience of any new features. 

Best Video Slots

Below we have put together a shortlist of popular video slots that are often available at most online casinos: 

Gonzo's quest slot

Progressive jackpot slots

Progressive slots or progressive jackpot slots are renowned for their life-changing prizes. But how can one jackpot run up to millions? These kinds of online pokies are known as progressives because the jackpot is shared amongst a network of online pokies. A small portion of the bets from each of these pokies is pooled into a single pot, causing the jackpot to reach astronomical numbers over time. Payouts from such pokies tend to be less frequent but with good reason. After all, every cent is needed to build up the impressive jackpots. The higher the jackpot, the higher the number of players engaged in the game, often causing the jackpot to grow faster and bigger. Eventually, one lucky player hits the right winning combination, becoming a millionaire overnight. For the rest of us left behind, the new jackpot is still too small to attempt to conquer it, and a long wait may be ahead of us before it is brimming once more with riches.

Best Progressive Slots

If you are feeling lucky and want to try out some of the best known progressive jackpot pokies, the below are great options to try out your luck: 

mega moolah slot

Classic slots

Ah! The classics! So reminiscent of the first slot machines found in brick and mortar casinos or at the local pub! Classic pokies follow the originals in design, and most of them come with a 3-reel set-up. When it comes to features, they left those for the video slots, maintaining instead a simple gameplay just like the original pokie machines. Even the symbols are often similar, transporting us back in time when the first machines were set up in saloons. 

Best Classic Slots

If you are in search of some classic online pokies, the below are a great example of what the classics are all about: 

  • Twin Spin
  • Deco Diamonds
  • Mega Joker
  • Joker Stacks
  • Sevens & Fruits
  • Mystery Joker 6000
  • Jokerizer

Megaways Slots

The Megaways slots were invented back in 2016 by Australian software developer Big Time Gaming. They become instantly a huge success, mainly due to the million ways to win. At the heart of the Megaways game engine are shape-shifting reels specifically designed to produce a random number of symbols at every spin. This innovative gameplay creates a different number of ways to win at every spin unlocking at the same time the staggering potential to win up to 50,000 times your bet. The Megaways slots became an instant phenomenon and Big Time Gaming licensed the game engine allowing other game providers to produce Megaways pokies as well. 

Best Megaways Slots

If the many ways to win has enticed you enough to want to give them a try, the below are some online pokies featuring the Megaways phenomenon: 

  • Bonanza
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Megaways slot
  • Extra Chilli megaways slot
  • Fortunes Megaway
  • Dragon Born
Pokie providers

Online Slot Providers

With online pokies so much in high demand, it is to be expected that there would be a whole other world behind the scenes. Some of the game developers in the industry go back a long way, to a time when the internet was an undiscovered world and gambling was mainly relegated to casinos. Back then, they designed and build the traditional slot machines, eventually branching out to the virtual world, discovering a whole new dimension. With such a long history, it is no surprise that some of them have earned an excellent reputation amongst both players and operators. After all, they are the ones behind all of the ideas, innovations and fun. Below we have compiled a small list of game providers currently at the top of the market. Their games are often featured at the best online gambling platforms. 

Best Slots Provides

  • Microgaming
  • NetEnt
  • Big Time Gaming
  • Play ‘n’ Go
  • Bally Technology
  • Pragmatic Play 
  • Yggdrasil 
  • IGT
  • Play Tech
  • BetSoft
  • iSoftBet
  • Red Tiger

How to choose which online pokies to play

Online pokies represent a market that not only allows for constant innovation but throughout the years has grown enough to cater for every kind of player. There is literary anything you can imagine from classic pokies, progressive slots, video slots, low variance pokies, high volatility pokies and many more. Choosing an online pokie to play, depends on what you are looking for. If you want a game with simple gameplay, then a classic might be the right choice. The same applies to those who seek something more interactive and exciting. In such a case, a video pokie with an immersive storyline and a bonus round that requires more than the press of a button might be just the thing. Volatility should be taken into consideration as it will determine the risks involved. 

If you are still unsure what your preference is, don’t forget that you can try a number of pokies for free by playing the demo version. In this way, you can see what interests you, how much risk you are willing to take and what kind of wins you are after.

How to choose the best pokies online

As we have previously stated, the choice of online pokies to play is right down to personal preference. That is why we have compiled a list of factors to keep in mind when choosing the right online slot to play:

  • RTP
  • Volatility
  • Type of Slot
  • Hit Rate 
  • Features 
  • Sounds and graphics
  • Budget

In our online pokie reviews, we address all of these aspects in relation to individual slots, to let you know exactly what to expect before you play a new online pokie.

Best online pokies that payout

If you want to play online pokies with the intention of earning a decent return, then you’d want to know which are the pokies that payout the most. As we have said, earlier in this guide, RTP can give us an indication of what to expect in terms of wins. The higher the RTP the higher the chance of winning. Thus below we have compiled a list of pokies featuring some of the best RTPs out there.

  • Mega Joker - NetEnt - 99%
  • Jackpot 6000 - NetEn - 98.9%
  • Dr. Jekull Goes Wild - Barcrest - 98.2%
  • Jokerizer - Yggdrasil - 98%
  • Ragnarok - Genesis Gaming - 98%
  • Blood Suckers  - NetEnt - 98%

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How to play slots for free

Playing online pokies only gets better if you are playing for free. Although some might be a little sceptical, this is still a possibility with the best online casinos. There is so much competition online, that online gambling platforms try to outdo each other in their attempts to attract players to their site. One way of doing so is by putting together generous bonus packages that often involve bonus money or free spins. Almost all online casinos offer a welcome package to new players and this is an excellent resource for new customers to try out the casino’s games for free while still maintaining the possibility of winning real money. Claiming one of these bonuses is easy and below we shall break out the process to enable you to play free online pokies at your favourite online casino.

  1. Visit an online casino 
  2. Register for an account
  3. Claim the welcome bonus
  4. Read the terms and conditions
  5. Visit the online pokies collection 
  6. Choose a game
  7. Place your first bet if you are playing with bonus money or just choose to play with free spins if any are awarded. 
  8. Spin and hope Lady luck is on your side!

Where to find free slots

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What are the best free online pokies?

Playing free online pokies is perhaps any gamblers dream and the generosity of some online casino makes it possible to do just that. The demo versions are also an excellent way to play free online pokies, however, regretfully there is no return. When it comes to playing online pokies with free spins, one thing to keep in mind is that some casinos restrict use to a specific slot only or to a specific set of online pokies. Book of Dead is a popular choice amongst casinos and many Kiwi players will discover that playing this particular slot for free is quite common amongst the online gambling community. Since Book of Dead is not the only game targeted by online casinos, we have compiled a list of the online pokies chosen by casinos as well as the ones that are worth using your bonus on. 

Book of Dead - 94.25%

Book of the Dead is an ancient Egypt themed slot by game provider Play ‘n’ Go. Released a few years ago, it is one of the most loved and played games of all times. The game features 5 reels and 10 pay lines and follows the adventure of Rich Wild on his quest to uncover the book of the dead. 

book of dead slot

Time Traveling Tigers - 96.3%

This creative pokie by Yggdrasil comes with an immersive storyline that transports us to various different eras. The graphics of the game and the animations are exceptional. This medium variance slot can take you on quite a ride while at the same time deliver a steady return. 

Serengeti Kings - 96.2%

Serengeti Kings is NetEnt’s new addition for 2020. Just like the name suggests it features the wild Serengeti of Congo together with the inhabitants of the sprawling natural park. It is slightly reminiscent of the Lion King movie, but it is one of those slots that comes packed with features, promising fun that will have you hooked for hours. 

Starburst - 96.1%

Starburst is another all-time favourite, this time by renowned provier NetEnt. This low volatility slot features colourful diamonds and traditional symbols like the Bar and the 7. It is one of the simplest slots ever designed but Kiwi players will find proudly on every popular slot games list. 

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Immortal Romance - 96.86%

Developed by Microgaming, Immortal Romance features 5 reels and 243 pay lines. Inspired by a vampire theme, interspersed with prohibited romance, the graphics deliver the story accurately without any need for words. There are plenty of interesting features, but then we’ve come to expect the best from Microgaming!

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Online Slots / Pokies terminology

  • AutoPlay - just like autopilot, it enables the game to spin unattended 
  • Base game - the 'normal' mode of a slot game, as opposed to the bonus round.
  • Bonus round - the free spins or bonus game triggered by landing on certain special symbols
  • Hit frequency - this is the frequency a machine hits a win in relation to the number of rounds played 

  • Paylines - the horizontal, diagonal or other lines mapped across the reels of a slot game that pay out wins if identical symbols land along those lines.
  • Paytable - the table showing all the paylines of a slot game.
  • Reels - the rotating barrels of the first pokies which inspired the layout of the online versions. 
  • Jackpot - The highest payout a player can win from an online pokie.
  • Free Spins - free rounds allocated by the casino or by the game itself to be used on an online slot.
  • Multiplier - a feature that multiplies winnings from certain combinations by a number (e.g. x2, x4, x10, etc)
  • Max Bet - the highest amount that can be staked on an online slot
  • Min Bet - the lowest amount to be staked
  • Symbols - symbols on the reel. When identical ones land across a payline they form a win
  • Scatter - a special symbol that triggers the bonus and/or free spins round if players land 3 or more of them following a spin.

Your turn to play Online Pokies from New Zealand!

Online Casinos in New Zealand host hundreds of online pokies for Kiwi players to choose from. We have no doubt that players can find something they will love based on their individual preferences. Furthermore, the best casinos usually have a number of bonuses tailor-made for online pokies. Online pokie bonuses are a great opportunity for players to play games for free while still having the possibility to win real money. Don’t forget to check out our lists of best online pokies to try out to find the best pokies that payout the biggest rewards!

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Nzcasino is an online casino review site focused specifically on introducing the best casinos and online games to players from New Zealand. We conduct research to determine which are those online casinos and pokie sites that offer a secure and fair gambling experience to Kiwi players, and which also reward their customers with great bonuses and rewards. Check out our guides to online pokies, table games, free spins and other bonuses to make the most of online gambling from New Zealand! 

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Playing online casino games can be incredibly fun, but remember to always keep your gambling habits in check. Be prepared to lose sometimes and only wager the amount that you prepared to lose. If you feel that you or someone else around you is in danger of developing a gambling problem, seek help immediately. You can find additional help on the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealandor by consulting our Responsible Gambling Guide.