Online Pokies

 What are Online Pokies

The term ‘online pokies’ is simply another way to describe online slots in New Zealand and Australia. There is an abundance of online pokies with the most popular variant being the 5 reel and multi-pay line machines.

Why are slot games called Online Pokies

Australians have a habit of abbreviating everything (Good day to g’day , Australia to straya) and the poker machine was a victim to such a practice as well. While there is no concrete evidence to suggest why slot machines were referred to as poker machines, the widely accepted theory is that one of the first games in Australian casinos was in fact a poker machine. As more games were added and placed next to these machines, it simply became easier to refer to all gaming machines as pokies. This is why in New Zealand and Australia the term online pokies refers to online slots. Just be careful not to use the term ‘online pokies’ when visiting Las Vegas as you might end up getting a few funny looks.

History of Slot Machines in New Zealand

Slot machines were first developed in the late 19th century. According to most reliable sources, the first pokies were developed within years of each other in two American cities.

First, Charles Fey of San Francisco unveiled a three-reel poker machine that featured a handful of symbols. The most valuable of them was the images of the Liberty Bell, which is why the bell remains a classic symbol in digital pokies and online pokies to this day. It’s popularity quickly spread through California and then several other neighbouring states.

Around the same time, in 1891, Sittman and Pitt developed a five-reel poker machine, featuring the images of ten standard deck cards on each reel. The objective of players was to reach a winning poker hand.

These machines were places across bars and pubs, where the proprietors determined the prizes. The value of these rewards were determined by the strength of the hands

However, since these pokies were mechanical in nature, the three-reel games became more popular as it was the easier one to service and repair. With no moving parts, the five reel format has become more popular with online slots developers. Not only does that offer more permutations and combinations but also more room to fit exciting bonus onto.

What Are Free Slots?

Free Slots is a relatively new concept that has gained traction due to the increased competitiveness of the online gambling industry. Before the advent of the internet, if you wanted to play slots for free then the only option you had was to buy your own gaming machine. Not only would this endeavor prove to be very expensive but you would need a lot physical space if you were to house multiple machines.
Free slots cover all variations of the game that you can think of. This includes 3 reel slots, video slots, bonus slots and classic slots. With a decent internet connection, you can enjoy these casino games from the comfort of your home either on a desktop or mobile device. Gone are the days where you would be required to download a dedicated software to play the free slots.

Why Play Free Slots Online?

Would anyone want to play slots for free given that placing a real money wager is what brings about the thrill of gambling? The simple answer is yes. There are tons online casinos available to players in New Zealand with each bringing its own set of strengths and weaknesses to the table. By playing free slots you familiarise yourself with the casino and can make an educated guess on which casino to start your real money gambling journey. By playing free slots you can also discover the exciting features associated with each slot game. Best of all you can do this without investing any real money!

This is by far the biggest benefit that online casinos have to offer compared to their land based counterparts. You can try out hundreds of online pokies, play them at a time that is convenient for you. With land based casinos you need to have a hefty budget if you plan on trying every slot game present on the premises.

New Online Slots

New online slots are being released daily. Microgaming, the behemoth South African software provider releases an average of 4 online pokies every day! However, this is not to say that every online slot that comes out is worth playing. Here is our list of the top 5 online slots for 2019 that Kiwis can enjoy 

Battle Royal

This online slot by Play’n Go based on the glory days of the Tudor monarchs. More specifically it focuses on King Henry the 8th and his infamous six wives. Fun fact for my fellow kiwis is that King Henry was an avid gambler and famous for being married six times and even more infamous for beheading two of his wives, plot detail that is central to this online slot. This online slot provides a max win potential of 5000 times the stake which the player has a 1 in 100,000,000 of landing. Even if those odds seem nearly impossible the casino game at least provides a bit of fun and excitement with its top notch design and graphics.

Banana Rock

Play’n Go features for the second time on the list with a high variance slot with maximum wins of 2,500 times your stake from the Encore Spin. If that is not good enough then how about the fact that the player can win big in the Free Spins feature due to the multipliers for the various band members. As far as music themed online pokies go, this one is right up there with the likes of IGT’s Shamrockers Eire to Rock.

lekaffeebar-onlineslotLe Kaffee Bar

Deviating from Play’nGo, this next online slot is provided by Microgaming and is a casino game for coffee lovers (in case the title did not give that away already!) This online slot game is slated for  an April 2019 release and will surely continue the trend of high quality slot games by the software provider.


laracroft-onlineslotLara Croft : Temple and Tombs

Lara Croft is no stranger to the world of online gambling with the first title being released by Microgaming nearly 15 years ago. Microgaming will once again offer a new online slot based on this popular video game property which will no doubt become a future classic on its own.


neptunerising-onlineslotNeptune Rising

Last online slot on the list comes from a collaboration between Plank Gaming and Microgaming. Plank Gaming will be developing the online slot while Microgaming will get exclusivity to use it across their portfolio of online casinos. The game promises to offer high volatility, decent RTP and some nice features for the free spins.

Best Online Pokies in New Zealand

Here is our list of the top online slots that can be enjoyed by players in New Zealand.


Book of Dead 

The first online slot on the list is one that is being heavily in the welcome offers from online casinos in New Zealand. Omnia Casino is giving away 100 Spins on this online pokie! Rich Wilde is the central figure in the online slot with the theme of the casino game being based on Ancient Egypt offering the players a 5 reel, 10 payline game across all devices. Keen eyed punters will see the similarity to the Novomatic’s Book of Ra Deluxe but this online slot boasts better graphics and animations not mention this slot is highly volatile returning a maximum win per spin of 5000 times the stake! If you like the theme, Play ‘N Go also offer you Riches of Ra and Leprechaun Goes Egypt.

riseofolympus-onlineslotRise of Olympus 

Moon Princess was an online slot released by Play’n Go not too long ago that was well received by the gambling community. Based on its reception, Play’nGO has gone ahead to create a very similar online slot that replaces the Manga theme with Greek Gods. Rise of Olympus is a 5×5 grid online slot that can be enjoyed on all devices.  It is delivered to online casinos with a decent RTP of 96.5%. However given that Play’n Go allows the RTP settings to be adjusted, it is always advisable for the player to see what version of the game they are playing. All in all, it is a solid casino game with the exact same math model as Moon Princess which means it will likely go down as a classic in the future.

megamoolah-onlineslotMega Moolah 

One of the most popular progressive jackpots ever made, Mega Moolah is a regular feature of many online casinos. Designed to cater to casual gamblers with cute graphics and an even cuter music theme it provides the player with four different progressive jackpots. Add 25 paylines, extremely low coin price and minimum bet and you have an online slot that can be picked up by wide audience. The non-jackpot prizes are big enough to keep you playing but the main focus of the game is still to try and play for a long term with the hope of eventually hitting the jackpot. Despite sharing the limelight with other progressive jackpot slots such as Millionaire Genie, Mega Moolah is still the jackpot of choice and loved by online gamblers in New Zealand.


No best online pokies list is ever complete without mention this stellar casino game by Netent. An online slot with an arcade feel with beautiful graphics highlighted by the brilliantly lit jewels, this online slot even boasts a rich soundtrack. While some may be put off by the lack of a free spins feature, these players have simply not spent enough time with this special slot. Yes there is no progressive or local jackpot but players can win big, as big as 50 000 coins which is a decent number for a low variance slot. The online slot has 5 reels and 10 payout lines and the player can spin on as low as $0.10 to a $100 spin and once the Starburst Wild appear on either of the 3 middle reels, they expand over the entire reel and remain for a further 3 re spins. Happy days!

Best Online Pokies Apps in NZ

It is a challenge to downsize the contents of an online casino from desktop to a handheld device. Many online casinos have tried to replicate the gambling experience on the smaller device but with little joy.

We are happy to report that there are a few however who have perfected this, providing users with a playing experience that is fluid and entertaining.

Omnia Casino, a new entrant to the online gambling has paid great attention on its mobile product and couple this with their generous free spins offer, it is no doubt that they have made quite an impact in New Zealand.

Jackpot City and SpinPalace are two other online casinos that have put a good amount of attention on creating beautiful apps allowing their mobile users to enjoy their suite of online slot games from the comfort of their home.

Online Pokies No Deposit Bonus

There are quite a few online casinos that will not only let you try out their slot games for free but will also give you a no deposit bonus. A no deposit bonus as the name suggests is achieved when the player signs up to an online casino. LeoVegas provides 22 spins upon sign up whereas Casimba casino powered by White Hat Gaming provides a whopping 50 spins upon registration.