Video Pokies in NZ: A List of Hidden Gems to Play in 2024

Matt Bastock

Updated by

Matt Bastock

Editor

Lee James Gwilliam

Fact Checked by

Lee James Gwilliam

Senior Vice-President

Last Updated on 22nd February 2024, 01:23 PM

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Video pokies are some of the most thrilling and fast-paced games currently available at real money online casinos. There are thousands of these hugely popular games available, so I get it if picking the best ones seems daunting. 

On the following page, I will introduce New Zealand casino players to the best online pokies and the top pokie sites to play them. Moreover, I, as an industry expert, am on hand to provide the top tips and information to help you make the most of playing the best online video poker in NZ.

Affiliate disclosure: At Casinos.com, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. This means that if you visit a website through our link and make a deposit, Casinos.com will receive a commission payment at no extra cost to you.
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Guide to Online Video Pokies in New Zealand

There are thousands of online video pokies available at NZ online casinos on desktop and online casino apps. My comprehensive guide will help you understand what video pokies are, how they work and how to find the best ones.

What Are Video Pokies?

In simplest terms, video pokies are pokie machines that feature a video screen instead of mechanical reels. This differentiation was born in land-based casinos, where video pokie machines first rose to prominence in the 1980s. In this setting, video pokies provided the clear advantage of faster gameplay over traditional slot machines with reels. 

When you play online pokies for real money, you are technically always playing a video pokie because all games are digital without mechanical parts.

Even so, people often use the term “video pokies” to classify regular online pokies, while other categories get their own names, such as jackpot pokies or classic pokies.

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Best Video Pokies at Online Casinos

If you’re looking for the best New Zealander pokies online, this is the page for you. My recommended online casinos provide access to the best online pokie games of all time. 

There are thousands of pokies available, so choosing a list of the absolute best is entirely subjective. Even so, the following popular games will give you an amazing time playing video slots online.

Here are my top 10 video pokie picks for 2024:

Blood Suckers Megaways – Red Tiger

NetEnt’s vampire-themed Blood Suckers has been impressing players since 2009 and remains an outstanding pokie game. 14 years later, Red Tiger came back with the improved version, Blood Suckers Megaways. With 6 reels and 117,649 ways to win, this game has features such as bonus spins with multipliers and a Coffin Picking feature. However, this game is all about that 97.66% RTP, which puts Blood Suckers Megaways in the top bracket of best payout pokies. 

Reactoonz – Play'n GO

Known for its bouncy cartoon design, Reactoonz from Play’n GO is a fun-looking video pokie that uses an animated alien theme to good effect. It has a dynamic base game where each win charges a meter to potentially land one of the five Quantum features (transforming wilds, low-value symbol upgrades, low-value symbol removals, and Gargantoon wilds). Using a 7x7 grid with cascading symbols, Reactoonz is constantly exciting.

Thunderstruck Stormchaser – Games Global

Since 2010, Microgaming’s Thunderstruck II has been the ultimate Norse mythology-themed pokie that has spawned many imitators. It's an all-time classic with a fantastic math model, above-average RTP, and high variance.

In 2023, Games Global, the company that acquired Microgaming, released Thunderstruck Stormchaser, an improved video pokie with an RTP of 96.10% and a highly volatile gaming model. The video pokie offers free spins with multipliers and a bonus round with a random number of Wildstorm tokens and scatters. You can also buy your way into the bonus round for 50x the bet.

Starburst – NetEnt

Proof that video pokies do not need to be complicated to be successful, Starburst is a simple game that wows users with its visuals and slick gameplay. NetEnt’s game is a bona fide classic and the most popular online pokie ever made. 

Much of that success comes from the flexibility of Starburst, which offers something for all players. Spin over five reels and 10 paylines and soak in the space-style arcade theme. Starburst Wilds are your ticket to the big prizes, providing three re-spins and wild reels. 

Book of Ra Deluxe – Novomatic

As the name suggests, this is the deluxe version of Novomatic’s Book of Ra, perhaps the best adventure-themed pokie of all time. You get the standard “Book of...” set up of five reels and 10 paylines as you attempt to plunder the treasures of ancient Egypt. 

Don’t be put off by that below-average RTP, although the extreme volatility means this is the kind of pokie where you bet all or nothing. If you’re willing to take the risk, Book of Ra Deluxe delivers the excellent Free Games feature that offers expanding symbols for big wins.

Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways – Blueprint Gaming

Cast off and see if you can reel in a big prize with Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways, a popular Blueprint Gaming video pokie game with a unique theme. Since arriving in 2019, the game has remained popular thanks to its simple gameplay and BTG's Megaways engine.

Yet, the high volatility means there is always excitement around the corner. Spin on five reels and bet on up to 15,625 paylines, with the bonus spins feature being your gateway to the fish-catching bonus round. 

The Wizard of Oz – WMS

The Wizard of Oz by WMS is a popular video pokie available at many New Zealand casinos. It takes a hugely popular theme and applies slick visuals and dynamic gameplay for an all-around solid video pokies experience. With five reels and 30 paylines, Wizard of Oz has several bonus features, such as the Winged Monkey and Emerald City. 

The Goonies Return – Blueprint Gaming

Some of the best online video pokies of all time are based on well-known TV shows or movies, and The Goonies Return is among the greatest. Blueprint Gaming has taken a cult classic 80s film and turned it into a thrill ride of a pokie with a massive 12 bonus features. On the five reels and 20 paylines, you get stacked wilds alongside the ability to trigger a bonus feature, such as free spins, multipliers, win spins, and more. 

Book of Dead – Play'n GO

Book of Dead is the flagship pokie from Play’n GO and one of the most popular video pokies ever. You take control of Rich Wilde as he seeks ancient Egyptian treasures in an adventure setting. 

The five reels and 10 paylines point to a basic game, but Book of Dead is surprisingly flexible thanks to its free spins, which can be triggered an unlimited number of times.

Big Bass Splash – Pragmatic Play

Pragmatic Play's Big Bass Bonanza is likely the most successful fishing-themed pokie of all time. It's no surprise that numerous sequels followed suit. The most popular among them is the Big Bass Splash video pokie, which was released in 2022. This highly volatile fishing bonanza offers free spins, an RTP of 96.71%, and a tantalizing maximum winning potential of $1,250,000.00.

How Do Video Pokies Work?

Video pokies boast many of the same gameplay elements as other online pokie games. Players place a bet and spin reels featuring symbols of varying values. Wins come from landing winning combinations of those symbols or by triggering bonus rounds. Understanding the following core elements of the best video pokie online games will enhance your experience further:

  • RNG: Online pokie sites use random number generator (RNG) technology to decide the outcome of spins. This means all spins are decided by random chance, with no influence from the provider, the casino or the player.
  • Amount of Reels/Paylines: Video pokies come in various configurations, which include the number of reels, rows, and paylines available. Standard configurations include five reels, three to five rows, and between 10 and 25 paylines.
  • Symbols: On each reel, you will find various symbols that each have a value from a low value (card symbols) to a high value (scatters, wilds, bonus, jackpot). Wins happen in a video pokie game when pre-determined combinations of these symbols land on the reels.
  • House Edge: This is the weighting on pokie games that determines how much profit the casino makes off players on average. If a game has a house edge of 3%, the casino will take 3% in profits over time.
  • RTP: Return to Player (RTP) is one of the determining factors of the house edge. It is a number that highlights how much video slots online pay back to players on average. In theory, games with a higher RTP will pay out more to players than a game with a low RTP.

Popular Video Pokie Bonuses

At New Zealand video pokies casinos, you might be looking for the best casino bonus to get you started. These are some of the video pokies bonuses you can expect to find:

  • Welcome bonus: when you sign up at a video pokies casino, you can usually claim a sign-up bonus, which might consist of free spins on a video pokie. This kind of bonus is often known as a deposit bonus. In the bonus terms and conditions, it will highlight which pokies you can play to fulfil any bonus wagering requirements. Deposit bonus slots often include big-name games like the Book of Dead slot.
  • No Deposit bonus: this is a rare bonus type that doesn't require you to make an initial real money deposit. Check the terms, though, because you might be expected to bet through the no deposit bonus amount several times before you can withdraw any actual bonus cash.
  • Cashback bonus: some video pokie casinos reward players for playing – if you lose cash betting during the week, the casino might give you a percentage of those losses back, either as cash or as casino funds you can use to bet with. Alternatively, you can get cashback simply based on how much you bet, such as 10% on everything you bet during the week or month. In this case, you might need to bet a minimum amount to get any reward.

Choosing the Best Video Pokies Online

While all games are decided by random chance (except for live table games), having a fundamental knowledge of video pokies may help you keep your bankroll longer. Below you can read my overview detailing the basics of the best online pokies in NZ:

  • Paytable: All pokies have a graphic information section known as a paytable where you can see details of the game, winning symbol combinations, bet limits, available features, and the jackpot.
  • Coins/Bets (budget): All NZ online casino games have a specific bet limit showing the minimum and maximum you can bet on each payline per spin.
  • Type Of Pokies: As well as the best online video pokies, you can also choose to play jackpot pokies, progressive jackpot pokies, and classic pokies at the online casinos I recommend.
  • Jackpots: Jackpot pokie amounts vary greatly. Some video pokies will have a large jackpot, while others will have a more modest top prize. Video pokies are fixed jackpot games, meaning the top prize never changes.

Bonus Rounds: Video pokies are differentiated from classic pokies with bonus rounds and features. Check the paytable to see which bonus feature your selected game has and how you can trigger the bonuses.

Top 5 Video Pokies Online

Big Bass Splash Game Logo
Software Provider Pragmatic Play Logo
RTP 96.71%
Volatility High
Maximum win NZ$1,250,000
Razor Returns Game Logo
Software Provider Push Gaming Logo
RTP 96.55%
Volatility High
Maximum win NZ$10
Money Train 3 Game Logo
Software Provider Relax Gaming Logo
RTP 96.10%
Volatility High
Maximum win NZ$1,000,000
Gonzo’s Quest Game Logo
Software Provider NetEnt Logo
RTP 95.97%
Volatility Medium
Maximum win NZ$125,000
Sweet Bonanza Game Logo
Software Provider Pragmatic Play Logo
RTP 96.48%
Volatility Medium
Maximum win NZ$2,110,000

Video Pokies vs Classic Pokie Machines

In the land-based casino pokie industry, differentiating between video slots online and a classic pokie machine is easy. Video pokies use a digital screen, while a classic pokie machine is a mechanical device. However, in the online industry, all NZ online casino games are digital/virtual, so the differentiation is less obvious. 

Technically, all NZ online pokies are video pokies. However, players and casinos still categorize video slots online and classic pokies differently. 

Classic NZ pokies typically have basic, traditional gameplay and a much simpler structure. For example, fewer reels, fewer paylines, and mostly no bonus features like free spin, scatters and wilds. They are often based on familiar fruit machines.

That makes them an ideal choice for beginners to online pokies or players who like fast-paced, simple gameplay. 

However, classic pokies do lack the dynamic elements that make video pokies so popular. One area where there is a clear difference between the two is in terms of design, audio, and theme. 

Online video pokies have rich themes with impressive graphics and immersive soundtracks. On the other hand, classic NZ pokies do not have immersive designs, animations, or audio. 

How to Find the Best Online Video Pokies

I select only the most reputable and respected and the best new online casinos to recommend to my readers. Still, thousands of video pokies are available, so choosing the best online pokie for you can be a little more challenging. With the tips below, you will be able to apply some knowledge to help you pick the best video slots online. 

  • Searching for online casinos: game collections change from casino to casino, so comparing multiple sites is the best way to find the games you enjoy. And by selecting one of my recommended sites, you're guaranteed a trustworthy and top-quality brand.
  • Try the pokie in demo mode: when you choose an online pokie, give it some spins in demo mode. Casinos provide free access to games. While you cannot win real money, demos to play free pokies online are great for getting to know a new game and practising.
  • Reading video pokies reviews: Found a game and like how it looks? Reading reviews will help you understand if your first impressions are good or whether the pokie may not be as incredible as you first thought.

New Video Pokies 2024

Video pokies are the most popular category at real money online casinos, so providers are constantly rolling out new games. Below are some of the best real money pokies I picked recently that made their debut recently:

Chronicles of Olympus II - Hades – Alchemy Gaming

Alchemy Gaming, in partnership with Games Global, has decided that it's time to expand the Chronicles of Olympus series with a brand new video pokie, Chronicles of Olympus II - Hades. This time, the action is happening underground, naturally, because we are dealing with Hades, the king of the underworld in Greek mythology. The video pokie is packed with bonus features, including Scatter, X-Up, Upsizer, Free Spins, and Bonus Buy. It also offers an RTP of 96.05%, 1,024 paylines, with a chance to land a maximum win of 5,000x your bet.

Shamrock Saints – Push Gaming

Remember The Boondock Saints, a 1999 American action movie featuring two Irish-American twin brothers who went after an underground criminal syndicate? This year, developers at Push Gaming released a pokie that bears some resemblance to the former. Not in a direct way, but it still features an Irish-themed action happening in the Shamrock Saints' tavern, which has been taken over by playfully violent imps. It's a colourful video pokie with medium to high volatility, an RTP of 96.30%, and a maximum win of 10,000x your bet.

D-Day – Nolimit City

D-Day is a video pokie that will go to my personal collection of top video pokies of all time! It has everything, from thrilling action featuring the largest seaborne invasion in the history of warfare, to exquisitely detailed graphics and sound. Nolimit City has also made sure that you will not be disappointed with the abundance of bonus features. The pokie's setup is also generous, with an RTP of 96.12% and a maximum potential win of 55,555x.

Big Bass Day at the Races – Pragmatic Play

Another day, another Big Bass Bonanza pokie clone from Pragmatic Play. But this time, our beloved fisherman ventures to the racetrack for a nice horse racing weekend getaway. So, basically, fish are replaced with horses, which isn't that bad given the fact that Pragmatic Play has been releasing fishing-themed pokies every month. The Big Bass Day at the Races video pokie has an RTP of 96.07%, a highly volatile gaming model, and a maximum payout of 10,000x your bet or a mouthwatering amount of $3,750,000.00 if you opt for the maximum bet of $375.

Banquet of Dead – Play'n GO

It seems that Play'n GO can't stop using "dead" in its pokie titles. Just remember its previous releases like Book of Dead, Ghost of Dead, and Legacy of Dead, and you'll understand what I mean. Anyway, the Banquet of Dead video pokie comes with an RTP of 96.20%, high volatility, and a maximum exposure of $700,000.00. As per usual, the pokie offers the Gamble Feature and a pack of free spins if you land at least 3 scatter symbols.

Latest Pokies Online

Banquet of Dead Game Logo
Software Provider Play'n GO Logo
Release Date 2024-03-07
RTP 96.20%
Volatility High
Big Bass Day at the Races Game Logo
Software Provider Pragmatic Play Logo
Release Date 2024-03-07
RTP 96.07%
Volatility High
Dr.FranCA$Hstein Game Logo
Software Provider Red Tiger Logo
Release Date 2024-03-06
RTP 96.04%
Volatility High
Madame of Mystic Manor Game Logo
Software Provider Blueprint Gaming Logo
Release Date 2024-03-06
RTP 96.25%
Volatility Medium
Shamrock Saints Game Logo
Software Provider Push Gaming Logo
Release Date 2024-03-05
RTP 96.30%
Volatility Medium

Benefits of Playing Video Pokies Online

NZ online gambling fans love video pokies because of their variety, quality, and gameplay. Yet, numerous other advantages and benefits come with playing video pokies over different types of pokie games, including:

  • Ease of playing: video pokie games are easy to play and understand. Even when they have complex features, you simply bet and spin the reels.
  • Mobile pokies: you can also play New Zealand mobile pokies on your device wherever you are.
  • The array of games: no other New Zealand online casino game category has as much variety as video pokies. There are thousands of games with varying themes, genres, feature sets, and budgets.
  • Exciting pokie tournaments: online casinos frequently run pokie tournaments that allow customers to play video pokies to potentially win a separate prize.
  • Game availability: while classic pokies and progressive pokies are not always widely available at online casinos, you are guaranteed to always have a large selection of video pokies at any casino you visit.
  • Rewards and incentives: NZ casino operators understand the popularity of video slots online and often centre casino bonuses and promotions around them. Video pokies are usually the only video slots online that give a 100% contribution towards a bonus wagering requirement.
  • Flexibility in stakes: unlike progressive pokies that require large stakes for potentially huge rewards, video pokies are more welcoming. Players of all budgets can play, enjoy, and possibly win a video pokie.
  • Higher payouts: while the payout rate (RTP) of video pokies varies greatly, this is the only pokie category that will offer payout rates much higher than average.
  • Access to payment methods: playing video pokies, you'll be able to use all the best casino payment methods.
  • Count to wagering requirements: video pokies usually count 100% to casino bonus wagering requirements, unlike live dealer games like blackjack and roulette.
  • Desktop and mobile excellence: whether you're playing at home on your desktop or on your phone at a mobile casino online, the quality of the game presentation will almost always be the same.

Disadvantages of Video Pokies Online

  • Not found at poker sites: video pokies are easy to find online, but they aren't found at the best online poker sites.
  • Lower RTP than live dealer games: video pokies almost always have a lower RTP than games like blackjack, so you will probably find wins harder to come by. But one good thing is, you can often find video pokies at a blackjack casino in NZ.
  • Lots of average games to navigate: although there are some excellent video pokies online, you might have to play through a few uninspiring ones to find the ones you like.

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Matt Bastock
Matt Bastock
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Matt Bastock is a Content SEO at Casinos.com. He has years of experience researching, writing and editing articles about sports and gaming, including the world of online casinos and sports betting. Matt enjoys playing many casino table games, especially poker and blackjack. He also loves watching professional sports, particularly English and European football, as well as US football, rugby and cricket.

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