Table of Contents
- What kind of bonuses can you get for real money online pokies?
- What is the difference between Pokies and Slots?
- Which online New Zealand Casinos have the best Pokies range?
- The Evolution of Online Pokies
- Megaways Pokies: The Most Popular Format
- Starburst Pokie – the Most Popular Slot Game
- The most popular pokies online
- Which pokies software companies are the most popular?
- How do Online Pokies Work?
- What are the biggest online pokies wins?
- What do online pokies RTP mean and, what does it mean for players?
- Online Pokies can be life-changing – the biggest wins
- Which online Pokies have the biggest jackpots?
- Online Pokies FAQs
What kind of bonuses can you get for real money online pokies?
No matter which online casino brand you decide will be your operator of choice, there is a high likelihood that you will be offered a range of highly lucrative bonuses.
You can view these gifts from a variety of angles. Normally this depends on how trusting you are.
On one hand, you can thank your lucky stars that you have come across a pokies provider that is happy for you to line your pockets with their cash. Alternatively, you can be a bit sceptical and wonder why your casino is directing you to play pokie x,y, or z as soon as your registration has been completed.
I must say that I sit on the fence a little bit when it comes to this debate. Hence, the splinters!
But I do see many of the bonuses that online casinos develop as being your opportunity to earn some decent wins. The house edge is substantially reduced when they are giving something away.
At the same time, I often get the feeling that casinos would ideally like me to be playing on a certain type of slot, and I am sure that this guidance is not for my benefit. So as long as chasing a bonus does not mean that you are playing on any products that you normally wouldn’t, then I royally approve.
One way in which there is no chance of you being conflicted in any way is when the reward that your online casino offers come in the form of a no deposit bonus. Leo Vegas Casino, Casumo Casino, G’day Casino, and Dunder Casino are among the biggest names in the New Zealand market that regularly give its customers the chance to try pokies before requesting a deposit. No deposit bonuses are generally a no brainer!
When a freebie like this is being advertised it is quite obvious what the motive of the casino is, they want you to enjoy your gaming session so that you are happy to make an initial deposit to their platform. So long as both parties are aware of this transparent marketing strategy, then I for one, have no problem in recommending that you should take advantage of these schemes at any reputable operator.
Welcome Bonuses bring both extra rewards and extra risk. Online casinos such as Jackpot City Casino, offer huge matched deposit bonuses. In the case of Jackpot City Casino, at the time of writing, a welcome pokies bonus of up to NZ $1600 was being advertised on the site. Through anyone’s eyes, this is an enticing prospect.
But as with everything that is connected to betting at online casinos, it is worth taking a minute to read the attached terms and conditions. Wagering requirements are attached to this (and most other) welcome bonuses. Therefore, you must place bets on qualifying products that amount to 70X the bonus that you have initially accrued. For those who use Jackpot City Casinos offer to its fullest extent, this would mean placing bets of NZ $112,000 before you can withdraw any profits.
If you have an additional NZ $1600 in your bankroll, provided at no extra cost to yourself, there is every chance that you will land enough big winners to be able to meet these wagering commitments and withdraw a tidy sum. But this is not always guaranteed. As every fan of casino products knows, the house normally wins. And this is sometimes the case even when the house gives you an NZ $1600 head start.
What is the difference between Pokies and Slots?
On first inspection of content that any online casino hosts, one term may appear unfamiliar and a little out of place. So what is ‘the pokie’ and how has it become a term that is seared onto the psyche of all gamblers across New Zealand and Australia?
A pokie and a slot machine are the same things.
So why is it that players in the Southern hemisphere often refer to computerised gambling games as Pokies?
One theory suggests that ‘a pokie’ is an abbreviation for a poker machine. I am a particular fan of this explanation. As all gambling historians may already know, one of the first gambling machines, invented by Sittman and Pitt in 1887, was the Poker Machine. The contraption in question looked very much like a gaming machine that you would expect to find in a traditional amusement arcade. But instead of icons being a colourful assortment of all of your favourite fruits, symbols were a selection of cards from a deck.
How the term Poker Machine became pokie in modern parlance is a bit less certain. But as with many things in Australia, the names of items get shortened. It does not take too much imagination to work out that some original players of this mechanised betting product decided that poker machine was too much of a mouthful and that pokie might be a much more efficient term. However pokies got their name, it is a phrase that has stuck and one that is now synonymous with the gambling industry in Australia and New Zealand.
Which online New Zealand Casinos have the best Pokies range?
The range of pokies that online casinos serving the New Zealand market offer are often diverse. There are betting sites that provide a near monopoly to software producers such as Microgaming or Playtech. There are certainly reasons for sites being run in this way. By employing just one or two developers, website owners can minimise the costs of running a site and therefore offer their customers more bonuses, make extra profits, or both. Although this approach might be good for the operators of online casinos in New Zealand, it may leave players on these sites feeling somewhat short-changed. With an average pokies mix totalling around 400 titles, these platforms can quickly become a bit boring. For a website that should be bringing pazazz and razzmatazz, this is not a good look.
Fortunately, for Kiwi fans of pokies, many casinos operate at the other end of the spectrum. Casumo Casino, William Hill Casino, and Leo Vegas Casino act as virtual display cabinets for everything innovative about gaming software in the modern age.
When you take a glance at the software mix that these sites support, you will quickly realise why these brands can be considered as being stellar names in their industry.
Casumo Casino has amassed a range of 1600 betting titles. Many of these have been programmed by the biggest names in the software community such as Big Time Gaming, Pragmatic Play and NETENT. As a result, if you choose to sign up as a member you can be assured that you will have a library of branded pokies at your fingertips to play any time, day or night.
The Evolution of Online Pokies
If you are reading this page then it is highly likely that you have at least some interest in playing pokies. It is not a surprise that you might feel this way, after all, pokies provide the opportunity for you to win life-changing sums of money quickly and simply. In recent times though, the popularity of pokies has led to an explosion of new game types hitting the market.
But just what do these innovations offer?
If you have yet to immerse yourself in the thrills that are provided by slots that come with a plethora of win-lines, features, and gamble opportunities, this guide is one for you.
Any guide for online pokies needs to take you back to the origins of the gambling game. The genesis of pokies took place in the late 19th century when gambling machines were introduced as an additional revenue stream in saloons and bars in North America. The Liberty Bell ‘Poker’ or ‘pokie’ machine, as it became to be affectionately known by Kiwis, was an early example. Designed by Charles Fey in the 1890s, this betting game introduced symbols to portray cards from within a deck. If you landed three ‘Liberty Bells’ on the single win line, you would be paid out with the right royal sum of 50 cents!
It was, however, some time before these simple versions of the ‘money in the slot’ betting game appeared in New Zealand. Pokies were finally made legal in the country in 1987, nearly one hundred years after these games took hold in North America. Even though three-reel pokies are the simplest genre of pokie, these games have been tweaked over time.
I’m sure that many of you will remember games that have offered nudge features and skill stop bonuses.
The nudge is designed as a method to improve the combination of icons that appears on the win line of your pokie. Spinning two bells onto your win line more often means that your bet is a loser. However, this combination allied with multiple nudges, where you have control over the movement of the reels, might lead to a jackpot result being hit.
Skill stops are another way that traditional pokie makers sought to add excitement to three-reel machines. A flashing phrase would often appear adjacent to the reels, with some form of the bonus being accrued when this was lit in full.
Although many pokies enthusiasts enjoy playing these simple games, some aspects of them are a little off-putting. For starters, three-reel pokies have quite a high variance. By this, I mean that you may have to invest in a sizable number of spins before you ever land a decent win. For some players this is fine. But for others it can be demoralising, and potentially bankrupting, to have to wait for extended periods to recoup your losses. In addition to this, 3-reel pokies can be viewed as being a bit dull. Admittedly, all pokies are likely to keep your interest for at least five minutes. But spinning simple reels, that produce similar icons every time, can get tiresome after a while. It is not a surprise that the 3-reel slot has been usurped by more exhilarating products.
In the internet age, a three-reel slot just doesn’t cut it. The tech-savvy generation of today expects instant entertainment. It is entirely unsurprising then that the development of pokies has taken many diverse and exhilarating pathways.
One of the first makeovers that pokies experienced in the digital era were an expansion of win lines. 5-reel pokies became all the rage.
The transition to 5-reel variants opened up a world of possibilities in the eyes of games developers. Instead of one win line, and on occasions twenty-seven win lines when all icons in view qualified for a payout, multiple pay lines could be introduced on every game. By doing this the volatility of pokies was instantly reduced. As you could expect some form of return on most spins. New features have also been added to these slots. Among the most common and ‘Wilds’ and ‘free spin’ rewards.
Wild symbols, in most situations, count as any of the other icons that appear within a franchise. The idea of these bonus squares is to give you more opportunities to win every time you click or press the spin button. The appearance of ‘Wilds’ certainly enhances the thrill that you receive when you play 5-reel titles. However, this excitement also has to be tempered by the fact that you might win, but also lose! Multiple win lines are great, but they also allow pokies sites to charge multiple stakes.
For example, on a 5-reel pokie that hosts twenty win lines, a $0.10 stake means that your spin total will be $2. Therefore, you might be elated if a ‘wild’ drops into view and provides you with a $1 win, but you would still lose $1 on the spin in total. Be careful of the psychology that these games bring with them.
Free spins, however, are always a welcome sight. It is the norm that free spins are awarded on 5-reel versions, when a qualifying symbol lands in reels one, three, and five. When this situation arises you really can be on to a winner. Up to 100 free spins can be awarded on some games, with your bankroll rising with every win that is accrued during this feature. Often additional free spins can be earned while this process is continuing and extra features can be opened as you go. Huge wins, and even jackpots, often result in this way.
It used to be the case that playing on a pokie was merely a battle between you and the machine. Not any more. In the age of instant connectivity, you can also be battling against other players in the pursuit of a progressive jackpot prize.
The idea of this range of pokies is that some of your stakes are added to an external ‘progressive jackpot’ and that this pot can be won by you or anyone else who is playing that game at any one time. These games bring with them additional costs and potentially huge rewards. To qualify for a progressive pot you are often required to increase your stake to the maximum limit. If you hit a good win, or even the pot itself, this will seem like an excellent idea. But many players of these products will be quick to tell you how easy it is for bankrolls to become depleted when the end of the rainbow never arrives.
But whether you are a traditionalist or a cutting-edge operator, you will be able to find a pokie that suits your playing style at dozens of online casinos that serve the New Zealand market at this time.
Megaways Pokies: The Most Popular Format
Why do we like to gamble?
From my experience, I take great satisfaction when I win, and I love to be entertained while I’m doing so.
Winning is not always possible, as you all know the house has an in-built edge on all of the products that they bring to the market. But I see no reason why I shouldn’t be entertained while I am chasing my dream.
Megaways pokies are created exactly to fill this gap.
Many Megaways titles offer huge top prizes, but whatever the final result, you are guaranteed to be entertained while you are playing these slots.
There is just so much happening on these pokies!
So, what are the key attractions that Megaways slots offer?
- Up to 117,649 ways to win
- Avalanche Feature
- Free spin opportunities
- Bonus game opportunities
- 96% + RTP
When Big Time Gaming (BTG) first dreamt up the idea of Megaways slots, they struck upon an innovative way of embedding RNG technology to keep players of the game guessing at all times. Every spin provides a different combination of winning opportunities. The reason for this is that the random number generator (RNG) that powers these products, performs two simultaneous functions. First, it is decided how big each of the six reels that make up the play windows is going to be, and then it computes which symbols will appear on the board that is in play.
Each reel can expand to display up to seven icons on every spin. In extreme circumstances, where seven icons are accommodated on each of the six reels, this means that (7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7) 117,649 win lines are in play. No doubt Charles Fey would consider this to be a mind-boggling proposition!
The use of perms in this way on a pokies game is relatively novel. By perm, I mean that each of the icons that are in view on reel one can form a chain with any of the icons that appear on reel two, and so on. On occasions where the same icon appears on each of the first three reels, you score a win. But on Megaways games one win does not necessarily mean that the game is over. The avalanche feature, another variable that sets Megaways products apart from traditional slots, ensures that new icons are dropped into reels to replace items that have formed previous wins. So one win can quickly escalate into two, three, four, five or more wins, all for one lot of stake.
The process might not even stop there. On games like Cops N’ Robbers Megaways, where three robbers need to appear in view for one of the bonus features to be triggered, the avalanche reward gives you numerous opportunities to land a lucrative balance booster every time. So even the most mediocre-looking wins can quickly be transformed into a situation where landing the jackpot is not out of the question. Something difficult to achieve with more basic forms of pokie.
As with anything, there are costs and benefits to playing Megaways games. Due to the high number of win-lines, wins are recorded regularly. However, the magnitude of wins in this style of game is often relatively small, especially when compared to progressive slots. As Megaways games require multiple stakes, this means that stakes often dwarf returns, even when winning combinations are generated. Aside from this potential downside, there is very little that you can be critical of the 190 plus titles that have currently been produced in this format.
The sights and sounds of every individual spin on a Megaways game is an attack on the sensors. If keeping up with the play in High Definition on all seven reels is becoming bamboozling, then a pleasing soundtrack should alert you to what is happening. On variants where additional free spins can be activated, or where ‘wilds’ can add to the drama, there is inevitably a sound effect that has been designed to raise the tension until a euphoric or slightly disappointing outcome is achieved.
In testing, Megaways pokies are competitive against other brands when it comes to the return to players (RTP) that can be expected. Although the exact RTP varies from title to title, Big Time Gaming suggest that between NZ $96 to NZ $97 out of every NZ $100 that is bet on these products should be returned to the players pocket. With this being the case, it is suggested that Megaways games have low volatility. You have some degree of confidence that you will net a regular win when you are betting on Megaways terminals. For the regular punter, this is ideal. Although the dream of landing a massive jackpot is always a cheery prospect, being able to maintain your bankroll is also important.
One of the particularly pleasing things about Megaways pokies is that all of your favourite branded slots tend to undergo this transformation at some point. Even though it was Big Time Gaming that set the wheels in motion, collaboration with other software houses means that massive hits like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Megaways, Donkey Kong Megaways, and Cops N’ Robbers Megaways have been born.
So what is there not to like?
Megaways give you the chance to win thousands of times on every spin, they return a high percentage of stakes to needy punters, and all of the top games now appear in this format.
Starburst Pokie – the Most Popular Slot Game
Starburst has developed as one of the casino industry's leading lights in recent years. But this has come as a surprise to many as it doesn’t come with all of the belts and whistles that are attached to pokies brands, such as the eponymous Megaways. It is therefore suggested that simplicity still has a place when it comes to pokies content that we all want to play.
Starburst is an unlikely phenomenon. Created by NETENT, Starburst is a delight for the senses Icons whizz through the screen that covers a wide range of the spectrum. Ensuring that the black backdrop is enlivened by a splash of colour at all times. The soundtrack is also uplifting as jewels drop into view with a satisfying tinkle. The backdrop to the game is also quite understated. In some games, this might be perceived as being negative. But in the case of Starburst, its lack of visual distractions mean that it has a universal appeal. For instance, men and women are both likely to be equally at home when playing this title, which is something that perhaps cannot be said about a lot of content that finds itself placed in pokies lobbies on several websites.
How the developers of the game have mixed old and new potentially offers an insight into why this particular offering has gained such a cult following. I’m sure that many of you have grown up with the vision of a traditional pokie being filled with BAR and Lucky 7’s. NETENT has made a nod to this history by using these same icons on Starburst. In doing so, Starburst instantly becomes recognisable to most online players, even those who may be new to gambling in this way. But Starburst is also brought right up to date with cutting edge sound, crisp graphics and imaginative gameplay.
Unlike pokies of the past, Starburst operates on a ten win line basis. In my eyes, I think ten win lines hit the sweet spot. A ten win line game gives you more opportunity to land a win, and the substantial bonuses that Starburst offers, but it is not too excessive. So that stakes can be kept respectable.
The wilds bonus feature that is incorporated within the Starburst game also adds to the simplicity that is a thread that links the entire package. When the Starburst Wild symbol appears in view, this ensures that one of the reels is expanded with similar icons. Players are also awarded a free spin so that there is a chance for a winning combination to be formed while the wild symbol is in place.
It is always possible for pokies to be improved. And it would be interesting to play Starburst if there was also a possibility of collecting a free spin bonus or an invite to an additional bonus feature. However, such tinkering may well detach from the characteristics that make the game so popular in the first place.
In conclusion, the timeless qualities that Starburst holds in abundance are likely to ensure its popularity for years to come, even though new in-game features are being created at an ever-increasing rate.
The most popular pokies online
The popularity of pokies at online casinos is largely dependent on the audience that a game is aimed at. Asia is often considered to lie at the centre of the gaming universe, so it is not a surprise that online casinos are particularly keen to develop pokies that have an Asian backdrop. Kiwis are not necessarily sparked by such themes, and therefore it is quite understandable that the list of popular pokies in New Zealand is influenced by local cultural traits. However, some pokies titles truly have a universal appeal. Some of the best are discussed in the following section.
Book of Dead
Book of Dead, created by Play n’ GO, has been developed with to-die-for graphics. With an Egyptian theme, this classic pokie comes with the promise of huge wins. You can, when the ancient gods agree, land prizes of up to 5000x your stake. As such riches are on offer, this makes Book of Dead a highly volatile pokie and one for players with the deepest of pockets.
Huge wins come as a result of filling the game board with Rich Wilde icons. Although this feat can be achieved during standard gameplay, the chance of this happening is vastly improved once you have triggered the Free Spins feature. For a high variance game, the projected RTP rate of 96.21% seems reasonable, and the graphics and sounds that are associated with this slot will keep you entertained, even if the gods aren’t smiling!
Cleopatra is another pokie that can trace its backstory to ancient North Africa. An invention from IGT, this pokie comes with five reels and twenty win lines. With a top prize that equates to 10,000 x your stake, Cleopatra also has to be considered a high variance offer.
The jackpot prize can be landed on this title when the Cleopatra Bonus feature is activated. If you are lucky enough to qualify for this additional reward there is the opportunity to earn up to 180 Free Spins. Not only this but a trebling multiplier can also be unlocked that helps to instantly send wins into the stratosphere. If wins are incurred during the free spins feature that includes a wild symbol, then the multiplier instantly doubles in value.
Eye of Horus
Who doesn’t love Ancient Egypt? Software developers certainly seem to have a fascination with this era, which is further illustrated on the Eye of Horus pokie.
The brainchild of Blueprint Gaming, this game features five reels and a total of ten win lines. Just like Starburst, I think that ten win-line games have many advantages. These products come with plenty of chances to drag a return, while also allowing you to keep stakes at a relatively low level.
One of the most obvious benefits of Eye of Horus is the regular appearance of expanding wilds. The appearance of these loot bearing pharaohs means that wins can be accrued at a regular rate. Because of this, Eye of Horus can be considered as being a low variance game. You should be able to play on this title for an extended period before your bankroll becomes pressurised.
If ten win lines are not quite enough for you, perhaps 117,649 will hit the spot. That is the extraordinary amount of chances that you receive on selected spins. Designed by Big Time Gaming, Bonanza belongs in the Megaways stable of pokies. Megaways is rapidly becoming one of the most popular slots brands across the casino industry and it is easy to see why.
Bonanza boasts six reels, with each of these reels expanding to allow up to seven icons to be housed. Every icon in view has the potential to contribute towards a winning combination as part of a perm-type bet. If a win is collected, the fun often continues. Icons continue to cascade until winning results can no longer be created. Often three, four, or five wins can be derived from one spin. Because you can achieve regular wins on Bonanza, this is considered to be a low variance slot. However, if bonus symbols appear in-view, which allow you to take your chance on the bonus feature, win’s of up to 10000 x your stake can be gained.
Fluffy Favourites is a pokies masterpiece that has evolved in the hands of Eyecon.
As is common, this pokie boasts five reels and twenty-five pay lines.
If cute animals are your thing then Fluffy Favourites may well be a title for you. However, you should be warned that Fluffy Favourites is a high volatility game. Big wins can be built up if you can advance through to the Free Games feature, but you may find that you will have to invest a substantial sum until progress to this point is gained. When it is considered that up to 400 free spins are up for grabs, this is not a surprise. Your bankroll may receive a boost if you qualify for the Toybox pick feature, prizes of up to 100 x your stake can be achieved with this bonus.
The Goonies is an exhilarating pokie that is based on the feature film of the same name.
Developed by Blueprint Gaming, this slot boasts five reels and twenty win lines. However, the Goonies cannot be considered as being a run-of-the-mill effort. Blueprint, have thrown the kitchen sink at this pokie. If the icons drop in the right combination, you can qualify for up to twelve bonus features. The addition of expanding wilds means that you do have a reasonable shot at landing a regular prize of up to 500x your stake. Due to the numerous win routes on this game, The Goonies is considered to be a low variance pokie.
If Ancient Egypt doesn’t provide the backdrop to your favourite pokie, then the seven seas just might. In recent years there has been a proliferation of fishy-related features to fire the imagination of jackpot anglers everywhere. Fishin Frenzy is one of the best to hit the waters in recent times.
Emanating from the Blueprint Gaming stable, Fishing Frenzy comes equipped with twenty-five win lines embedded within five reels that contain three rows of icons. Big wins are landed when the fisherman is in view, as all of the catch is hauled in and converted into cash. The free-spin feature can be particularly lucrative as bigger cash prizes are awarded and additional free spins can be won.
As winning on Fishing Frenzy relies on the features being unlocked, Fishin Frenzy is thought of as being high-variance.
Ted, the pokie, is an off-shoot of the 2012 feature film containing the eponymous foul-mouthed bear. As film-related slots go, this is a good effort. The boffins at Blueprint Gaming have sought to make Ted equally as entertaining as the on-screen depiction. By using the five-reel format, Blueprint has injected twenty win lines and dozens of features to give you a winning chance on every occasion.
As random modifiers and triggered bonus features are hit with regularity, Ted the pokie is considered to be low variance. Small punters should be able to maintain their stake over a sustained period whilst they are playing on this title.
Big Banker is a pokies title that is aimed at high rollers. All of the icons that appear on this game are related to extreme symbols of wealth, with diamonds and safe symbols being particularly lucrative.
As an example of the skills that are on offer at Blueprint Gaming, Big Banker comes to the market with five-reels, three-rows, and a total of ten pay lines. Offering a 94% RTP, Big Banker is a high volatility game where the biggest wins are gained by unlocking the Bank Banker and Super Big Banker bonuses. These extras are available by landing three Big Banker icons in view on reels one, three, and five.
Action Bank is something of a hybrid, its combination of features often sees this pokie being described as being of medium variance.
Created by the team at Barcrest, Action Bank is a five-reel, three-row slot that boasts twenty pay lines. Players do not even have to activate the features on this title to land a bankroll busting win. Gains of up to 500 x a player's stake can be achieved in the basic game. However, these sums can be quickly enhanced as you move through the bonus rounds. The free spins offer is particularly rewarding. When players enter this part of the game wins up to 675 times the stake can be paid. A nice earner in anyone's language.
Big Bad Wolf
One of the top pokies titles from Quickspin in recent years must be Big Bad Wolf.
The standard format of this game belies some rather entertaining extras. Big Bad Wolf consists of five reels and twenty-five win lines. This make-up is a bit of a double-edged sword, wins are relatively easy to come by one this title, but the stakes required to achieve them are sizable.
In keeping with the fairytale of the three little pigs, you hope to save the bacon of the little hogs. In this format, the little pigs are rescued when their icons are turned into wild symbols. Once enough wilds are in view, the game proceeds with its free spin feature. Players can be awarded up to twenty free spins and the chance to build up a sizable winning pot. The Blowing Down the House feature can also be lucrative, with free spins and multipliers being added to the reels.
Due to the inconsistent win opportunities provided by this game, Big Bad Wolf is considered to be of medium variance.
If you are a fan of Egyptian-themed slots, perhaps Chilli Heat might also be a game that will pique your enthusiasm. Inspired by the Mexican fiesta, Chill Heat is an assault on the senses. Its colourful backdrop is only eclipsed by its catchy soundtrack. But aside from delivering aesthetically, its content is also captivating.
As a game developed by Pragmatic Play, it is not surprising that Chilli Heat is jam-packed with bonus features. The Money Respin offer is a good example of this. When this part of the game is triggered, players can collect bags full of cash which are added to the bankroll. If bags are collected to fill all fifteen gaps on the game grid, a 1000 x stake payout is awarded. The free spins bonus, where all low-value icons are eliminated, can also be a money-spinner.
Chilli Heat is considered to be a medium variance game.
Game designers must love a whirlwind tour of the world. If it isn't Egypt or Mexico that inspires new pokies, then it is the Mayan civilizations of Central America.
NETENT has taken this influence and ran with it when developing Gonzo’s Quest pokie.
Gonzo’s Quest comes with the standard five-reels and twenty pay lines. Huge wins can snowball on this title as the Avalanche Reels feature kicks into gear. Following a series of wins, the value of payouts begins to be multiplied. Wins can be increased by a factor of five in this way. The Free Falls feature offers a similar style reward. When this bonus is triggered, a series of wins can see payouts multiplied 15x, this process can potentially continue until a win totalling 37,500 times a player's stake has been reached.
Given the fact that wins are massively increased when bonuses are activated on this title, it is suggested that Gonzo’s Quest is a high variance pokie that is most suited to those who have large bankrolls.
If ancient cultures aren’t your thing, perhaps a game based on vampires will entice you to invest your cash.
Microgaming have thrown their creative weight behind the development of the Immortal Romance pokie. Although this title boasts the regular five-reels, it is certainly abnormal in terms of the win lines that it offers. Players can potentially win 243 times on every spin! The permed nature of the reels means that all three icons that arrive in view on reel one can link with symbols on reels two, three, four, and five, to build up massive wins.
The Chamber of Spins feature provides you with an additional route to accessing a massive win with four different free spin features potentially being kicked off when this feature is triggered. Multipliers that are attached to free spin wins give up the chance for players to hit a win of up to 12,150 times the initial stake.
Which pokies software companies are the most popular?
Fans of pokies have never had it so good. The software industry has become so competitive that online casinos everywhere stock some wonderful titles with many of the latest features cleverly embedded. But which companies in this crowded market should you be looking out for when you are looking for a truly thrilling pokie?
The name Net Entertainment (NetEnt) is well known to casino enthusiasts everywhere. Unsurprisingly, this is the case as NetEnt have continued to deliver popular pokies for well over two decades.
With a back catalogue of over 200 titles, NetEnt games are characterised by stunning graphics and cutting-edge coding, meaning that this firm can easily bring to life games that are based on a wide cross-section of themes.
Some of the most popular titles in the NetEnt catalogue include:
- Arabian Nights
- Mega Fortune
- Gonzo's Quest
- Dead or Alive
Many of these games boast fascinating bonus levels as well as high RTP rates. Indeed games such as Blood Suckers offer RTP rates of 98%. Such a high return to player percentage is always going to be crowd-pleasing, which may well be one of the reasons why casinos such as Dunder Casino, and William Hill Casino have made NetEnt one of their first software providers when they have amassed their pokies library.
Pragmatic Play is another software firm that provides games to all of the leading online casinos that serve the New Zealand population today.
The clamour for content from this firm is to be expected. Not only does Pragmatic Play deliver video slots of the highest order, but they have also turned their hand to developing live dealer, video poker and bingo content. The all-around nature of Pragmatic Play’s skill set makes them a favourite amongst leaders in the New Zealand online casino community. Some of the titles that these casinos are keen to acquire includes:
- John Hunter and the Book of Tut
- John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen
- Da Vinci's Treasure
- Jurassic Giant
As a veteran maker of over 180 pokies titles, Pragmatic Play possesses all the ingredients to deliver a product that allies big wins with big thrills. Slots made by Pragmatic Play can be found at Casino Gods Casino.
Play N Go
Play n’ Go has been a popular name in the world of software development since the 1990s. During this period Play n’ Go have built up all of the skills that are required to deliver epic gaming content. You only need to look at some of the titles that Play n’ Go have released in recent years to understand just how exceptional the creators at this hub truly are.
Among the smash hits that hail from the vaults at Play n’ Go are staples of most big casinos including:
- Book of Dead
- Aztec Princess
- Fire Joker
- 7 Sins
With average RTP rates of around 96%. Most pokies that Play n’ Go develop can be considered as being medium volatility, and therefore, suited to all types of players. Content by this firm is easy to locate at Playzee Casino.
Reel Kingdom is a fairly new name in software producer circles. However, this lack of experience does not mean that this business is incapable of creating a blockbuster pokie. A casino would not be a casino if it didn’t host games that Reel Kingdom’s team of professionals had touched. Included in its list of perfect pokies are:
- Big Bass Bonanza
- Bigger Bass Bonanza
- Hot to Burn
- Return of the Dead
As any of you that has played Big Bass Bonanza will know, Reel Kingdom products come with the opportunity of walking away with a big win. However, as most of the big prizes are won in the bonus levels and the RTP for this game is calculated at just above 95%, these games are perhaps best left to higher-rollers. Big Bass Bonanza can be played at Mr Play Casino among many outlets.
Output by Red Tiger Gaming is becoming an increasingly regular sight at several big-name online casinos. Based in the Isle of Man, Red Tiger Gaming comes complete with an excellent pedigree. The raison d'etre of this organisation is to deliver content that combines stellar graphics, exquisite audio, and cutting-edge features, but to do so in a way that is attractive to all types of slots players.
The range of pokies that Red Tiger Gaming has developed in its short time as a viable entity is truly staggering. Some of the titles that I am sure that you will be familiar with includes:
- Lucky Wizard
- Magic Gate
- Dragons Luck
- Temple of Gold
Pokies that have been made to the Red Tiger Gaming blueprint often allow players to build up regular wins or the chance to access exciting bonus levels. For this reason alone, novice casino bettors are likely to enjoy Red Tiger products.
Big Time Gaming
Even though Big Time Gaming is one of the smaller names involved in software creation for the casino industry, it has certainly left its mark. The Australian content connoisseurs will always be synonymous with punters through the Megaways range of pokies that they have brought to the world stage.
Megaways pokies, if not a revolution, is certainly an evolution in how pokies can be played. For those of you who have never played a Megaways title, this game includes six reels. Each of these reels can expand to accommodate seven different icons. Wins are amassed when an icon that appears on reel one is matched on reels two and three. Due to the way that Megaways variants are designed, players have a staggering 117,649 chances to win with every spin.
However, Big Time Gaming is not a one-trick pony by any means. Slots including:
- Mr Multiplier Reactor
- Lucky Streak
- Tumbling Treasures
- Queen of Riches
Regularly appear on the popular pokies list of casinos that serve New Zealand, casino goers.
Playtech is a big deal in the gaming world. Indeed, this firm has been amongst the industry's leading lights ever since its inception in 1999. It is not a surprise that Playtech, a constituent member of the London Stock Exchange should be valued at nearly NZ $2 Billion.
Growth at Playtech has underpinned the company's ability to seek out new opportunities in a diverse set of industries. Playtech is not only a household name when it comes to the creation of pokies content, but it is also involved in the creation of software solutions that are used daily in both the retail and the bingo sectors. When it is considered that Playtech technology also powers sportsbooks and virtual gaming platforms, it is easy to see why its services are seen as being indispensable in the casino world.
When a list of Playtech’s greatest pokies hits is written down it is easy to see how the firm has built up the following that it has. Kiwis can access Playtech content at several casino sites that operate with New Zealand,
- Iron Man 2
- The Mummy
- Ghost Rider
Are some of my personal favourites that have been released from the Playtech stable. But you can make up your mind by accessing Playtech software at Dunder Casino.
Microgaming is a software company that is hosted on nearly all casino sites in every jurisdiction across the world. The popularity of its products is unrivalled. Based in the Isle of Man, Microgaming has created a product mix that includes over 600 pokies products, and around 400 Roulette, Video Poker and Video Slots variants. Some of Microgaming’s efforts are ranked amongst the best pokies ever. These include:
- Thunderstruck 2
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Immortal Romance
- Burning Desire
Such is the impact that Microgaming has had on the casino industry, it is not only games that the firm is asked to design, but whole gambling platforms. Many of today’s online casinos rely almost exclusively on content and technology that Microgaming’s experts have invented.
Blueprint Gaming has a great deal of heritage behind it. As part of the Gauselmann Group, Blueprint Gaming has existed for over 50 years in one guise or another. In its first life, Blueprint Gaming was primarily responsible for providing pokies to pubs, clubs, and gaming arcades across the United Kingdom. However, with the advent of the digital age, Blueprint Gaming has sought to diversify its operations.
Games designed by Blueprint Gaming are heavily loaded with bonus features that are designed to entertain at all times. Games such as:
- Worms reloaded
- Casper's Mystery Mirror
- Cleopatra's Gold
All have their quirks, but also show how good Blueprint is at developing diverse content. The difference between Winstar and a game such as Worms reloaded cannot be understated and shows just how creative the software engineers that Blueprint has on its books have become.
Pokies by this traditional name are available at several casinos that are accessible to Kiwis.
Blueprint Gaming might have the history behind it, but at least one name in the software industry can be even more boastful in this respect. IGT (International Game Technology) has been in the business of relieving its customers from their cash since 1951. The experience that they have picked up over the intervening seven decades has come to the fore in its present-day operations.
Initially, IGT created gambling products for bricks and mortar casino sites, and this experience can be seen to have rubbed off on some of the content that IGT has released online in recent years. The requirement of any product that takes its place in a real-world casino, is that it keeps the crowds happy. A similar philosophy appears to guide its digital dealings with IGT bringing some of the most entertaining pokies to the market in recent times. You cannot fail to be entertained when you are playing:
- Star Trek
- Wheel of Fortune
All of the arcade versions of these classic brands have received an IGT makeover. But IGT is not just available to put the finishing touches on established formats.
- Siberian Storm
- Noah's Ark
- Crown of Egypt
Show just how adept IGT is at delivering original pokies gameplay to the masses.
Rarestone Gaming is a rare breed indeed in the developing world, as the firm was founded in Sydney, Australia, some way away from the traditional Eurocentric locations that many of the sector's biggest names reside. Indeed the success of Rarestone Gaming became so obvious, that by 2018 a list of larger names was queuing up to make a bid for the independent enterprise. At the end of the process, Playtech became the new owners of the business, however, in a move that must be greatly applauded, allowed Rarestone creators to continue to work with the autonomy that drove the companies initial successes.
With Rarestone Gaming, it is not so much their content that sets it apart from rivals, but the features that the developers have embedded in its products. Playtech executives were particularly keen on acquiring the knowledge behind the Hold & Respin feature that Rarestone has included in several games that it has created in the past.
Top games from the Rarestone stable include:
- Fire Blaze: Sky Queen
- Blue Wizard
- Epic Troy
These games and many others are available on platforms where Playtech content is supported.
Greentube is another software house that has a long history. Founded in 1988, Greentube is truly a multi-national enterprise. Although Greentube’s head office is listed as being in Vienna, the firm also works from locations in Malta, the United Kingdom, Alderney, Gibraltar, Latvia, Spain, Belgium, and Italy. Having a worldview that is influenced by so many different cultures, it is not a surprise that Greentube has developed an eclectic poky back catalogue. Some of the titles that Greentube have helped to create are universally recognized, these mega-hits include:
- Reel King
- Gold Runner
- Arriva Arriva
- Golden Sevens Deluxe
The traditional nature of games such as Reel King means that some of these titles can be classed as being high variance, making them especially suitable for those of you with big bankrolls.
How do Online Pokies Work?
The result of individual online pokie spins is determined by the random number generating (RNG) technology. Essentially the RNG is equivalent to a digital roll of the dice, with winners being determined when the RNG hits the winning number. However, this is not the whole story. Even though the outcome of individual spins on a pokie may well be random, slots creators utilise psychology to ensure that the dwell time of players is increased at all times.
Tricks of the trade that pokies developers use to alter the perception of gamblers include:
- Near Misses
- Regular wins
Near misses can come in many guises. On a traditional, single pay-line pokie, this might come in the form of two jackpot symbols followed by the dreaded ‘Cherry’. When you feel that you have come so close to landing a big win it is understandable that you feel that a jackpot prize is only around the corner. However, this is unlikely to be the case. Essentially, the RNG has determined that this spin is a loser, the machine has just chosen two display this loss as involving two jackpot icons as a way of getting you to spin again. If alternatively, a ‘Cherry’, a ‘Lemon’ and a ‘grape’ was displayed, this would also be a losing spin, but would also look like you are a million miles away from landing the jackpot. It would be much more likely for you to cut your losses if this outcome was displayed.
You would normally assume that picking up a series of regular wins on a pokie could only be a good thing. After all, you only play a pokie to win, right? But a win is not always a win. On multi-line pokies, stakes may be multiplied to such a degree, that even picking up a range of small wins might not be enough to compensate players for this investment that they are making. Even worse, these small wins may also convince players that they are winning overall. The adrenalin rush that hits you when you are rewarded with a win on a pokie is much the same whether a small or a large win is returned. Therefore, you may be feeling pretty good about yourself while you are lining the pockets of the owners of your favourite online casino. The feeling of euphoria that a win generates is only amplified when the victorious sounds that accompany a success are pumped in stereo through the speakers of your laptop or smartphone device. Because of this reason, it is suggested that players turn off the sound when they are playing pokies so that they do not get carried away with the emotions that are involved in these situations.
By getting taken in by some of the traps that online casinos set for you, you play for a little bit longer than you intended to, lose a little bit more than you would have liked and boost the profits of casino executives a little bit more than you would hope for. All in all, these patterns of behaviour ensure that the house maintains its edge over its clients. As pokies are only expected to payout 90% of what is staked on them, the 10% profit that a casino makes is increased the longer you are spinning in the pokies lobby.
What are the biggest online pokies wins?
We all feel the same sense of anticipation when pressing the button to set another spin of the reels in motion, and it is not a surprise that we feel this surge of electricity. Put simply, if you place a bet on the right pokie at exactly the right time, and the RNG technology that seals your fate is in a particularly good mood, you can walk away with millions of dollars.
This is not a daily occurrence, but it does happen, and there is plenty of evidence to highlight just how often seven-figure wins are collected by casino enthusiasts.
So let us take a closer look at the biggest recorded online pokies to win ever.
The history books show that the largest win that has ever been delivered by an online pokie, amounts to NZ $34 million. Records suggest that the recipient of this mega reward was an anonymous player who hails from the cool climes of Central Finland. It will not be a surprise for those of you who regularly invest a few dollars in progressive jackpots that this amount was paid out as a result of collecting the top prize from the Mega Fortune pokie. Fans of the NETENT title are all too aware that the jackpot on this game regularly rises to an eight-figure prize.
The unnamed 40-year-old winner suggested that his huge slice of good fortune was an unexpected event. The player is normally found at the Poker table rather than in the pokies lobby, but, as is often the case when such stories are told, felt that a spin on a pokie might deliver a fortunate outcome. In this case, the Finnish national was well and truly proved right. The NZ $0.35 bet that this punter placed was instantly multiplied 100 million times over!
Mega Moolah, the progressive jackpot game that was designed by Microgaming, is also known for its fair share of eight-figure payouts. One of these wins in particular has entered folklore in gambling communities, with British Soldier Jon Heywood being the enthusiastic beneficiary.
In a similar manner to the record result that has been witnessed on the Mega Fortune pokie, Jon Heywood’s bet on Mega Moolah extended to the paltry sum of NZ $0.35. For this amount, Mr Heywood’s expectations must have been reasonably low. However, this caution was proved unnecessary in a devastating fashion as the recent Afghanistan tourist landed the NZ $28 million top prize.
As we all know, winning sums like this are unlikely if we invested hundreds of dollars on slots every day of the week. However, knowing that such fairytales do occasionally come true is heartening for the average punter and will ensure that we will keep coming back to invest an odd couple of dollars. As these results have proved, anything is possible!
What do online pokies RTP mean and, what does it mean for players?
Return to Player (RTP) is a term that you will often see in association with reviews of all gambling products. But what does this phrase mean and how can you use this information to guide your betting patterns in a way that matches your unique aversion to risk.
For any of you who have been betting at casinos for any length of time, you will be aware that the house normally wins. How much the house takes in profit from its customers over a sustained period is commonly referred to as being the house edge. But how easy is it to measure this phenomenon?
Measuring the house's edge on all of its pokies, table games, and live dealer events is precisely what the RTP figure is designed to illustrate. The RTP is delivered in the form of a percentage. If the RTP was 100% then for every dollar that is bet on a specific product, a dollar would be returned to the customers who play that game. In reality, however, most pokies tend to have an RTP of between 90-97%. In this circumstance, it is expected that the house will make a profit (the house edge) of between 3-10% for all bets that are placed on pokies. However, there are several games where the RTP slips into the 80-90% range, but there are probably good reasons for this. One of these titles is the progressive jackpot smash hit, Mega Moolah. By Microgaming, this game offers players the chance to walk away with sizable in-game prizes, but also the opportunity to collect a massive jackpot that is generated from funds that have been taken previous losing bets. In effect, Mega Moolah players are placing two bets with every spin, one on the regular and a side-bet on the jackpot. Because of this, it is not unreasonable that the RTP for this game falls below 90%.
At the other end of the spectrum, pokies such as 1429 Unchartered Seas from the all-conquering Thunderkick software house, has been calculated to have an RTP of 98.60%.
Armed with this knowledge, players can tailor their betting strategies to take on the amount of risk that is equivalent to their preferences. However, the variance of the games involved may provide a final variable to consider. Low variance pokies are games where you can generally hold on to most of your bankroll for a significant period. These games often provide small wins regularly and moderately sized jackpot prizes. A low variance game may have a lower RTP, therefore you have a good chance of maintaining your bank, but you are more likely to lose overall. However, high variance games, where your bankroll can be reduced quickly, may have a higher RTP. You may well win back most of your money overall, but you are likely to see a significant reduction in your funds before you do so. Players need to be aware of both RTP and variance so that they can play the pokies that are right for them.
Online Pokies can be life-changing – the biggest wins
Although most of us only play online pokies for a bit of fun, in the expectation that we are more likely to lose a few dollars than win a jackpot sum, this dream still lingers at the back of most gamblers minds. In the internet age, where multiplayer gaming is a reality, perhaps you should dream more than ever. Top payouts on progressive jackpot style pokies can reach eight-figure sums. So why not imagine how your life can be changed by the spin of a pokie reel?
Although New Zealand is not considered to be the centre of the global casino community, there have still been recent occasions where Kiwis have hit the headlines for winning life-changing pokies jackpots.
In 2016, one such win resonated through the collective Kiwi conscience, when KFC worker, Rawiri Pou landed an NZ $10.1 million jackpot prize. There are several reasons why this story gained the coverage that it did. For starters, Rawiri’s win was a true rag to riches story. After all, there cannot be many multi-millionaires who work in the fast-food industry. This young man certainly broke this trend. Secondly, Mr Pou invested only a small sum to win this mega prize. The 27-year-old commented that he continued playing on the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot following an initial win of NZ $1500. Believing that his luck might be in. A few spins later, this sense of confidence was seen to be fully justified as the Kiwi player triggered the jackpot feature which duly paid out the extraordinary eight-figure prize.
Figures suggest that Rawiri Pou is not unique in New Zealand. Five payouts of a similar magnitude have made their way to the bank accounts of New Zealanders since 2006. So for all of the health warnings that need to be attached to online casinos, there is still plenty of reason to think that life-changing results can be achieved, even in cases where players restrict their wagers to relatively small sums.
Which online Pokies have the biggest jackpots?
When it comes to ascertaining which pokies have the biggest jackpots it is worth researching the internet to look for recent big wins. You might imagine that online casinos might be a little bashful about telling you when one of their clients have taken them for millions, however, the publicity that is garnered by these events can be worth their weight in gold for some casino operators.
A couple of titles, in particular, tend to pop up with regularity when reports are placed on the internet regarding huge jackpot payouts. The progressive jackpot games Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune are never far from the headlines.
To emphasise this point, let us take a quick look at recent mega payouts.
Back in 2013, the biggest online pokies jackpot prize ever was won by a fortunate Finn on the Mega Fortune game. The value of this prize totalled a whopping NZ $34 million. A win that sent shockwaves through the whole industry, and ensured that many thousands of casino enthusiasts across the world could hold on to the dream that their pastime could indeed by a route through to a life-changing sum of money.
However, over progressive jackpot titles have delivered similarly staggering results in recent decades.
A direct rival to Mega Fortune as the industry's most generous paying product is Mega Moolah. Powered by Microgaming wizardry, Mega Moolah has a penchant for doling out huge sums of cash to lucky winners.
One such event occurred in September 2018, when almost unbelievably, a fan of the slot walked away with the progressive pot of NZ $31.8 million. Even more difficult to comprehend was the stakes that this player placed to achieve this outcome. The lucky individual placed less than fifty bets, with the decisive wager costing a mere NZ $1. In 2015, Jon Heywood, a British soldier who lived in Crewe, Cheshire, arguably went one better. By placing a bet of just NZ $0.35, Jon walked away with the jackpot sum of NZ $28 million. A truly remarkable achievement.
But what are the chances of you landing the top prize on Mega Moolah yourself?
Boffins have calculated that for an NZ $4 bet, Kiwi’s have a 24.9 million to one chance of winning the top prize on the Mega Moolah game. With odds of this scale winning a multi-million dollar prize can only be a dream. However, as recent events have proven some dreams do come true!
Online Pokies FAQs
What does RTP mean in slots?
RTP means a return to the player. The RTP figure is a percentage that indicates how much you should win from every $100 that you stake on a particular product. RTP rates are ascertained from the results of thousands of spins on a pokie so that short-term volatility is eliminated from the results. If a game is fair for players, it should be expected that around 95% of all stakes should be returned to players in winnings.
What does volatility mean in slots?
Volatility refers to how predictable winning spins are on individual pokies. For example, Megaways slots, where players have up to 117,649 chances to win with every spin, provide regular wins. Although these wins may be of low value, players can be reasonably sure that a win will arrive following a low number of spins. Megaways pokies would, therefore, be characterised as being low volatility games. Alternatively, on games like progressive jackpot titles, wins are irregular but likely to be of high value. Due to the irregular nature of these wins, these games are described as having high volatility.
Why are online pokies so addictive?
Pokies are so addictive because they offer instant gratification. Wins can be hit many times a minute on these games, a period that is much shorter than for sports events, for example. Pokies are also designed to build up your adrenaline levels. Icons enter into view in a manner that suggests that a win is likely to occur soon, with lots of near misses being observed. The use of lights and sound also distracts players from thinking rationally at certain points. As a result, you can easily find that you place more bets on a pokie than you were initially wishing to make.
Are online pokies rigged?
There is no indication that pokies are rigged. However, players must be aware that, on average, all pokies pay out less in winnings than they take in stakes. Players should therefore remind themselves that the results of each pokie spin are entirely random and independent of previous results. For instance, a pokie is “never due to payout”. There is the same chance of hitting a win every time you play.
How do you win on online pokies?
Winning on online pokies is a difficult thing to achieve. The house edge on most pokies is around 10%. Therefore, players are unlikely to make consistent profits on these products. However, if players can land a sizable return on a small number of spins, this profit is likely to be worth banking.
How do you cheat online pokie machines?
Such is the amount of technology that underpins the internal workings of all online pokies, it is highly unlikely that any machine can be cheated. I certainly would love to know. Unfortunately, online casinos would soon clamp down on any cheating were it to arise.
Which pokies machines pay the best?
There are a plethora of pokies machines that advertise RTP rates over 95%. However, many titles offer players, even more, hope for turning over a profit. These include Mega Joker. The RTP on this game is advertised at 99%, with Playzee Casino being among operators in New Zealand that carry this title.