What are pokies?

In New Zealand and Australia a pokie is the word for a gambling machine with reels, or slot machine. It is guessed that the term "pokie machine" originally was shortened from 'poker machine' and has devolved into the slang word, 'pokie'. In Australia and New Zealand, these pokie machines are not only found in casinos but are also found in certain pubs (bars) and clubs. In other countries like ENgland, slot machines are referred to aas fruit machines and in Scotland they are referred to as 'puggys'. Online, the term used is slots or video slots but you can search for fopg games as well.

Types of pokies

Over the years, the visual interface of online slot games or pokies have evolved for the better. From the clunky three fruit reels from the mid 1990s to the modern five reel versions of today, game studios are using innovative technology to the desktop and mobile screens. As more markets adopt online gambling, the player base is increasing and players are demanding the latest and greatest from their pokies. The game features have increased and so also the bonus features that the games offer. The addition of progressive pokies allow players to aim for huge networked jackpot prizes.

  1. Wild Symbols
  2. Scatter Symbols
  3. Multipliers

These days, pokies feature a variety of features such as wild symbols, scatter symbols and multipliers. In addition to the standard symbols that are normally dictated by the pokie's theme, these features improve the player's winning chances and add variety to the game. Wild Symbols can be substituted for other symbols which could turn a random selection of icons on a reel into a winning reel. Scatter symbols do not always have to appear on the payline to be activated. On some pokie games, when three, four or even five scatter symbols appear, a bonus payout can be generated. Multipliers allow players to progress to increase their winnings.

Other pokie features

Before you attempt to play online pokies in New Zealand, there are some useful terms to learn and to know in addition to the above features so that you can maximise your pokie experience. Some basic terms to know are reels, paylines, free spins and bonus rounds. The pokie's reels are the scrollable vertical rows on which there are symbols common to the pokie's main theme. Paylines are the winning combinations that the reels appear in. The most basic payline is a horisontal line with three similar elements. A bonus round is a paid round with higher payouts and free spins is similar but will feature no multipliers.

  • Paylines
  • Reels
  • Free spins
  • Bonus rounds

Most of the best New Zealand online casino sites allow you to play free pokies. Some sites allow you to play for free even before you sign up while others allow you to play for free even if you have already made a deposit with the casino. THe latter is good to know if you have reached your monthly money limit or if you want to take a break from playing for real money. Free pokies are also a good way to learn new games to to see what an online casino or online games provider is all about.