How to Play Pokies

New Zealand online gambling players love pokies because slot machines are a familiar sight at clubs, pubs and land-based casinos. Online pokies therefore appeal to everyone too.

Pokies are what New Zealanders (and Australians) affectionately call slot machines. This name was originally short for ‘poker machines’, because some of the symbols on the machines and corresponded to poker hands. Today there is a wide variety of colourful symbols, but the name has stuck. Our recommended site Spin Palace offers many different online pokies to entertain New Zealand enthusiasts.

  • Our top trusted online pokies sites offer great sign-up bonuses and lots of special prizes and promotions.
  • The recommended sites offer a range of payment options that are convenient to Kiwi players, where you can also have your winnings paid out in New Zealand dollars.
  • You don’t need to worry about safety – our trusted online pokies sites have encrypted security to keep your personal data safe.
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How it works

Playing pokies online is easy and this game is also perfect for beginners.

  • You simply choose a machine, decide how much to bet on a spin of the reels and push the button (or click on the button). At land-based pokies machines there is still sometimes a lever on the side to pull – the levers led to the machines also being called ‘one arm bandits’ because they ‘stole’ your money.
  • There are many different kinds of pokies. Traditionally all had three reels, but today there are pokies with four or five reels. The symbols used still include flowers, fruit, letters, numbers and card symbols as in the past, but today there are also many other kinds of pictures. Online pokies operators make their machines as colourful and interesting as possible to attract more people.
  • The reels will stop and land on a central strip (horizontal line), showing a strip of symbols, pictures, or words.
  • Various combinations will pay out different amounts, and there will also be a big jackpot to be won if all the columns land on the special symbols for the jackpot (these differ from machine to machine). Many online pokies also pay out winnings in various combinations on more than one line, as well as diagonally. Some larger machines have more than 240 possible winning combinations.
  • You can keep betting for as long as you want. Gambling with pokies online does not need dealers or other players. It is a one-person game of pure chance.
  • The amounts you can bet differ from game to game. It could start at a dollar or less per spin, or it could be a hundred dollars or more on a single per spin at the very big machines.
  • Generally, it is a good idea to start by betting smaller amounts on one strip at a time.
  • You can normally also change the value of your bets after every spin of the wheel.
  • Because there are many opportunities to win, you will probably win many smaller amounts at New Zealand gambling pokies. Most people let those winnings build up a credit until they are ready for one pay-out or have played long enough.
  • Every pokies machine will also build up to a progressive jackpot: every time someone plays (every turn) that amount increases by a little bit. There are also progressive jackpots that are linked to a series of pokies machines. Operators keep online gambling pokies games interesting with these progressive jackpots, but you have to remember that the odds of winning one of those are extremely small.

Our top picks of the best sites offer lots of interesting online gambling games like pokies. Pokies can be a great and fun way to learn how online gambling works. Of course, you also stand a chance of winning some big amounts of real cash in New Zealand dollars. Enjoy the thrill of playing the different variations of everybody’s favourite online gaming choice!

Pokies Site Features To Look Out For

When it comes to online gambling, pokies are phenomenally popular – particularly in Australia and New Zealand – so players are spoilt for choice when they look for a new site where they can hit the slots, and there are plenty of things to watch out for that can help you figure out whether or not a site is legit.

Once you know that a site is safe and honest, the next important thing to look at is the range of games they offer. The more online pokies they have in their library, the longer you can play in a single casino without getting bored! A wide range of games also indicates that a site is keeping on top of recent developments and using great software.

On the financial side of things, you'll also want to check that a site offers quick payouts, accepts NZD (as well as various other currencies) and allows you to make deposits/withdrawals in a number of different ways. All of these factors indicate that a site is doing well financially, plus that it cares about giving its customers a good time.

Don't forget to check for a mobile option if you're hoping to hit the pokies while you're on the move!

An Overview Of The Leading Software Providers

We couldn't hope to talk about every single casino software producer out there – there are so many of them! – but we have come up with a quick overview of some names that will become very familiar to you if you spend some time playing pokies on the web:


On the market for more than two decades, NetEnt has around 150 titles and offers a range of 3D games that are making waves in the world of pokies gambling.

Notable games: Aliens, Gonzo's Quest, Jack and the Beanstalk, South Park


Thanks to its impressive range of instantly recognizable slots, IGT remains popular today despite the fact that it was founded back in the 1980s.

Notable games: Cleopatra, Wolf Run, Wheel of Fortune, Star Trek


With around 600 titles, Microgaming is the largest casino software provider in the world. Their focus is on offering some of the most attractive titles, often branded tie-ins, you'll find anywhere on the web.

Notable games: Bridesmaids, Jurassic Park, Playboy, Thunderstruck II


Regarded by some as a bit of an underdog in the casino software space, NextGen can still hold its own with plenty of very popular titles available.

Notable games: 300 Shields, Psycho, Merlin's Millions, Medusa


Although Playtech has plenty of its own games (around 300, in fact), it's best known for working with Marvel to release a range of comic book themed slots that often boast staggering jackpots.

Notable games: Iron Man, X-Men, Blade, Fantastic Four


Well known for its range of classic titles, you may recognise some of Aristocrat's pokies if you've ever spent time in a land-based casino.

Notable games: 50 Lions, Queen of the Nile, Where's The Gold, Choy Sun Doa

Head To A Pokies Gambling Site Now

For fans of gambling, online pokies continue to be some of the most popular games on the market even though there are table games out there with better odds. With that in mind, it's incredibly important to make sure that you only play at the best possible sites to make the most of your bankroll and your valuable time.

When we rate and review casino sites we look at everything from the basics – such as whether or not they allow Kiwi players and accept NZD – to more in depth factors like the size of (and ease of unlocking) their welcome bonus, the range of games they have on offer and how friendly their support team is.

Any of the links on this page will take you to one of the top-rated pokies gambling sites that we've found for players in New Zealand.


How popular are online pokies in New Zealand?

In a word, very. Australia might have more of a reputation for loving online pokies, but the slots are still one of the most popular (if not THE most popular) ways to pass the time in a casino online for Kiwi players.

Where can I start playing?

The sites we've listed on this page are a great place to start – they all accept New Zealanders, have a generous bonus and will serve up plenty of games for you to try. And, more importantly, you can breathe easy when you play because you know that they're safe and secure.

What are the best games to try?

If you're all about huge cash jackpots, you'll definitely want to try some progressive jackpot games as they have grand prizes that are often worth millions of NZD. In terms of standard games, it's difficult to recommend specific titles because players have such different playing styles that they will inevitably prefer different games.

Can I play in a no download casino?

Absolutely. Most pokies are available in no download/instant play casinos as well as in their corresponding downloadable clients. There's really no big advantage of one over the other, so you're free to enjoy pokies gambling however you prefer.

Where can I find a great welcome bonus?

All of the sites listed on this page balance a generous welcome bonus with fair wagering requirements that give players a real shot at actually unlocking the bonus in the amount of time they have to do so. That's why they've made it onto our list of top-rated sites!

Do I have to use real money?

No! Almost all of the best casinos offer an option to play their games for fun, without depositing any cash, which is a great way to enjoy some pokies action if you want to take a new game for a test drive without risking any of your bankroll or just aren't ready to make a deposit yet.

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