INTRODUCTION

Slots are one of the most popular categories at an online casino. Known in New Zealand as pokies, there are thousands of different games available, with a wide range of software providers producing multiple themes.

Online pokies are generally easy to understand, but they provide players with a thrilling online gambling experience.

We will help you find the most reliable online casino sites, the best games and help you to understand the different rules.

Slot machines require luck to win, although there are strategies you can employ to increase your chances of winning real money.

Check out our comprehensive guide to find out everything you need to know about playing pokies online.

POPULAR GAMES

The top casino operators have a vast array of online pokies to choose from to suit every possible taste. Here is a brief summary of the different types of pokies casino games:

Classic 3-reels

The aim of the game is to simply line up three matching symbols along one pay-line. Playing this design in the free play area of a casino will help you get to grips with online pokies.

5-reel pokies

Ramp up the excitement by adding two extra reels to your online slots. Multiple pay-lines give players even more opportunities to win, although the stakes tend to be higher.

Video pokies

Additional graphics on this type of game enhance the gameplay experience. Video pokies include animations, different symbols and additional bonus levels.

Progressive Jackpots

Progressive slot games feature a jackpot that keeps rising until someone wins. The amounts on offer are often six or even seven figure returns.

GAME RULES

If you have already visited a land-based physical casino, the format of online pokies will feel very familiar. Your keyboard or mouse replaces the traditional lever to activate the reels on the screen.

The player must choose the number of pay lines he/she wishes to activate. After deciding on their stake, the player starts the game and if they match specific sets of symbols they are paid out accordingly.

A single online slots game requires players to match symbols in one row, while multi-line games offer winning opportunities in multiple angles, including diagonally and horizontally.

Many games also feature bonus levels which can increase your potential payout. Selected symbols trigger bonus games that require you to make a series of quick decisions.

As you travel through the bonus level you can choose to collect at any time or gamble for the chance to win an even higher amount of real money. However, make the wrong decision and you risk losing what you’ve accumulated.

Some pokies also have nudge and hold features. These allow you to move a reel up or down or hold a symbol or symbols to create winning combinations or trigger bonus features.

HOW TO PLAY LIKE A PROFESSIONAL: BEST GAME TIPS

Slot games are a game of chance, but there are various ways you can boost your chances of securing a big win. Here are some of our best game tips:

Play for free

Before playing for real money, test out the games in the free play area of your chosen casino. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with the different games and find one you enjoy playing.

Try different casinos

Don’t limit yourself to just one type of online slots. Signing up with different operators will give you access to a variety of offers and promotions. In addition, you will be widening the choice of pokies you can play.

Check the payment percentage

A good online casino will offer players a prize rate of around 95%. Check the terms of the online pokies game in the corresponding section of your chosen casino.

HOW TO WIN/BEST STRATEGIES

Winning at online pokies requires a good degree of luck, so utilising certain strategies can maximise your chances of being successful. Check out our handy guide:

Leave the game when you win big

Whilst it is possible for a jackpot to be paid out twice in a row, the law of averages suggests it is unlikely that a game will keep paying out, so switch to another once you’ve secured a big pot.

Stick to your budget

It can be tempting to try and play up your winnings, but it is important to stick to your betting budget. Withdraw any profit as soon as possible and don’t fall into the trap of ploughing it back into the game.

Learn the game

Read the instructions of your chosen game so you fully understand all its features. This will help you make better decisions during gameplay.

PAYOUT

Gambling operators implement a system called Return to Player (RTP) that determines the percentage of wagered money that will be paid back to players from online pokies. Playing a game with a higher RTP will increase your chances of a winning return.

GLOSSARY

Here are some key terms related to betting on online pokies:

  • Bankroll: The amount of money a player chooses to gamble with
  • Bet: The amount wagered on the game
  • Bet Max: Wager the maximum amount possible on the game
  • Bonus Feature: An additional feature that offers players different ways to win
  • Cashier: The area where you deposit and withdraw funds from your account
  • Characters/Symbols: The images on the reels
  • Classic Pokies: Traditional games usually featuring three reels
  • Fixed Jackpot: The top prize in a pokies game with an amount that remains unchanged
  • Multi-Line: An online slots game that has more than one pay-line
  • Payout Percentage: The rate that a pokies game pays out to players
  • Payment Line: The images must be aligned on this line for the player to win
  • Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot that keeps growing each time players make a wager on the machine. A small amount of the bet funds the jackpot which continues to increase until it is won
  • Random Prize: A random bonus available in online pokies that can enable a new feature or bonus in the game
  • Reels: Virtual ‘barrels’ on which the slot game’s symbols are located, which spin until they come to a stop to reveal any payouts
  • Scatter Pay: A random bonus payout found in video pokies which could trigger another bonus feature or game
  • Sign-Up/Welcome Bonus: Offered to new customers when they join a casino
  • VIP: A high-value player that typically gets special treatment from a casino
  • Wagering Requirements: The amount of money that must be wagered at an online casino in order to either earn a bonus or release a bonus to be withdrawn
  • Wild Symbol: A designated symbol in the game that substitutes for other symbols to form winning combinations
  • Wildcard Multiplier: Wild symbol (see above) that also multiplies the prize when you win
  • Winning combinations: The number of ways in which a player can win real money

INTERESTING FACTS

Charles Fey built the first ever slot machine – the Liberty Bell – in the late 1800s. Here are a few more interesting facts about pokies:

  • Land-based pokies in New Zealand are operated by charitable foundations and are mostly placed in hotels and bars
  • In 2013, the NZ government allowed a casino operator to install an additional 230 pokie machines and 40 new gambling tables, in exchange for a $402 million convention centre
  • The largest slot machine was the Super Big Bertha. It was 2.5 metres high and cost the equivalent of $1.2 million in today’s money to make
  • Las Vegas has around 200,000 slot machines – that is one slot for every eight people living there
  • The biggest amount won on a slot machine was nearly $40 million at the Excalibur in 2003
  • Slot machines make up around 85% of the average casino’s revenues
  • A US woman thought she had won nearly $43 million on a slot machine in 2010. Gambling regulators found it was an error and should have been $20
  • A UK man won over €17 million in an online slot machine game in 2015 – the largest jackpot payout ever

You are now armed with all you need to know to enjoy a successful time playing online pokies. Keep an eye on CasinoBillions.com as we bring you all the latest information, bonuses and promotions from across the casino industry.