Online Pokies in New Zealand

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.

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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.

Different Types of Online Pokies in New Zealand

Gone are the days of staring at simple fruit machines in your local land based casinos. Technology has made it possible to provide online pokies that differ from one another. The difference could be due to gameplay, graphics or sound which ultimately gives rise to the following types of online pokies.

3 Reel Pokies


The simplest forms of pokies that you can enjoy. The pokies consist of three columns and three rows of symbols. The middle row is known as the pay line. Once you hit that spin button, it is in your interest for a winning combination of symbols to appear on the pay line.

These slots are perfect if you are starting out your casino journey. Once you are confident with the gameplay you can then progress to the next type of pokies.

5 Reel pokies


A more elaborate version of the 3 reel pokies, 5 reel pokies can have pay lines that can go as high as 100! The increase in pay lines means that you have a great chance of hitting that winning combination.

5 reel slots also include special features such as wild and scatter symbols that guess what…give you even more chances at winning.

You do need to keep in mind that betting on a 5 reel slot can get a bit complex. A $0.10 stake will cost you $5 per spin if you decide to choose all 50 lines.

3D Pokies


It was only a matter of time before online pokies got a taste of 3D technology. These slots are the same the 5 reel ones but introduce 3D animated characters. For those that love a good storyline when playing casino games, need to look no further.

Progressive Jackpots


When playing a slot game, you will notice a jackpot associated with that game. The more you play the bigger the jackpot gets.

With progressive slots, regardless of where you are playing the game, you are contributing to an increasing jackpot. You could be playing Mega Moolah at Voodoo Dreams while your friend could be playing it at Platinum Play. Both will be contributing to the size of the jackpot!

As a result, you can potentially make a lot more money when playing progressive slots. Don’t believe us?

How about the story of a British soldier who put a 25p stake in Mega Moolah only to win a whopping 13 million pounds!  All he had to do was register an account at Betway and spin the button!

Terms Used in Online Pokies

As a golden rule, it is always best to familiarise yourself with key terms of the casino game that you are looking to play. Here are some of the main terms used when playing online pokies.

Fruit Machine

A name you have most likely come across in land based casinos, a fruit machine is a name used to describe a standard three or five real slot machine.

Classic Pokies

An old slot machine that was found in land based casinos with three reels and one payline.

That is an old school slot machine that was used in land-based casinos. Classic pokies have three reels and one pay line. It was with fruits and bonuses. It was very popular back in the days.

Big Bertha

An imposing machine due to its size with nine reels that attracted a huge crowd in land based casinos.

Coin Hopper

A bowl found at the bottom of a slot machine that would collect your winnings. The iconic sound of coins hitting the bowl would alert players around you of your good fortune.

One-Armed Bandit

Nickname given to an old-style slot machine which required you to pull a lever to spin the reels.


Each slot game you play will have a specific theme. The artwork you see on each tile is what is referred to as a symbol.

Pay line

A line of matching symbols is referred to as a pay line. In a three reel slot game, the pay line is designated by the middle row.


The return on every bet you place on a slot machine. Online pokies will display the stakes so that you know exactly how much you can win on each play.

Basic Slot

A bare bones slot game with no fancy extras. These games do not have pay lines or bonus rounds.


Call it lazy but online pokies give you the option of setting the spin feature to auto. This means you do not have to hit the play button every time you are ready to spin the reels.


Symbols get rearranged when you get this. This is normally used as a graphic effect.


These symbols give the gambler exactly what they need to have the winning combination.

Bet per line

The total amount that you are willing to bet on each line. If there are 5 lines and we bet NZ $0.20 per line, then a total of NZ $1 will be removed from our balance per spin.

Bet Max

The maximum number of money that can be bet on each spin. This takes into account the total number of lines available in a slot game and the most that can be bet per line.

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 endeavour 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. You can also discover exciting features that come with each 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.


How do I play online pokies?

Are there any tactics I can use?

What are progressive slots?

What are the best online pokies?

Are all pokies the same?