An Introduction to Pokies

Pokies, or slots as they are known in other parts of the world, are undoubtedly the world’s favourite casino games. There’s nothing to beat the feeling of holding your breath while the reels spin, and then winning a big payout.

The first machines were seen in the bars of Brooklyn and San Francisco, near the beginning of the 20th century. Then they found their way to Las Vegas in the 1960s, and have just been getting better ever since. They first landed on New Zealand’s shores in the 1990s, and immediately became a national pastime.

They’re popular in every format, and are the first thing player’s look at when playing at a casino online or in a brick and mortar establishment. If you’re new to playing, you’re in for a treat! Learn a little more about them below, and then get to playing at some of the casinos recommended by us.

How The Games Work

Whether you’re playing land-based or online pokies, the basic principles are the same. A set of reels baring various symbols is spun. When it comes to rest, the patterns that the symbols form are checked. If they are lined up in pre-set ways, known as paylines, you win a payout.

Early machines used physical reels, but today everything is done using graphics and software, whether you are playing land-based, desktop or mobile pokies. Wide betting ranges accommodate different betting budgets, and there are 3 basic categories: Classic, Video and progressive jackpot.

Classic Gameplay

These look a lot like the brick-and-mortar machines of the past. They feature vintage-style graphics, and usually have only 3 reels and a single payline. There are very few special features or bonus games; the focus is on the pure pleasure of spinning the reels. Play these when you want to slow your gaming pace down a little, or when you are just getting started and learning about slots.

Video Pokies

With detailed themes and storylines, these games are really immersive. This is where playing online pokies can actually be a lot better than playing on land. You’ll have so much more choice at your fingertips, and the themes on these reels can literally be about anything.

You’ll see branded slots such as Guns ‘n Roses, Planet of the Apes and even Nitro Circus, as well as every kind of original content. Popular themes include fairy tales, adventure, Ancient Egypt, myths and legends from different parts of the world, and sporting events. The only limit is the developers’ imagination, especially if you playing at a casino online!

These games also usually feature Bonus Rounds, involving Free Spins or requiring players to complete a simple task. Both Classic and Video pokies can be very rewarding; it depends what kind of experience you want. Choose the Video option when you want to completely lose yourself in the action on your screen.

Progressive Jackpots

Of course, when it comes to really rewarding spins, nothing can touch progressive jackpots! These can be attached to Classic and Video variants. The games play out as normal, but you have the added excitement of knowing a prize worth millions could be triggered at any moment. The jackpot is created by adding a portion of every bet from every player on the network to the central prize, until someone is lucky enough to win it. If this happens to you, your life will never be the same!

Start Spinning to Get Winning

We hope we’ve managed to explain a little about just how engaging, entertaining and rewarding desktop and mobile pokies can be. If you’re ready to try a few out yourself, you’re in the right place. Check out the sites we review, starting with the no-deposit options. By trying these free slots, NZ players can find the titles they really enjoy, and then get busy wagering real money; and winning big!