How to Win on Pokie Machines: Complete Guide for NZ Players

How to play pokies and win

Imagine the euphoria of watching the reels spin, the anticipation building with every tick, and the heart-pounding moment when those coveted symbols align perfectly. It’s a sensation that has captivated millions across the globe, and it’s all thanks to the world of pokies – the dazzling, dynamic, and undeniably alluring slot machines that have become a mainstay in casinos, both brick-and-mortar and online.

Intriguingly, pokies account for a staggering 70-80% of casino revenue in some regions, a testament to their enduring popularity. The allure lies not just in the potential for life-changing jackpots but in the hypnotic dance of lights, sounds, and symbols that beckon players to try their luck. Yet, beneath the surface of this thrilling pastime lies a realm of strategy, understanding, and calculated risk.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of pokies, equipping you with the knowledge and strategies necessary to increase your chances of winning. From unraveling the secrets of these spinning wonders to mastering the art of responsible gaming, we’ll explore it all. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to play pokies and win, fasten your seatbelt, because the adventure begins here. Let’s embark on a journey to maximize your winnings and elevate your pokie-playing experience to a whole new level.

Understanding Pokies: Unveiling the Mechanics of Slot Machines

What Are Pokies?

Pokies, often referred to as slot machines, are a cornerstone of the gambling world. These captivating devices are designed to offer an exhilarating mix of luck, entertainment, and potential fortune. At their core, pokies are games of chance that involve spinning a set of reels with various symbols in the hopes of achieving specific combinations that yield payouts. The concept is simple, but the intricacies behind the flashing lights and spinning reels are what make pokies endlessly fascinating.

A Glimpse into the History of Pokies

To truly appreciate the modern pokie, it’s essential to take a journey back in time. The roots of these beloved machines can be traced to the late 19th century when the first mechanical slot machines emerged. These early contraptions featured three spinning reels with simple symbols like bells and horseshoes. Payouts were typically awarded in the form of cigars, drinks, or other small prizes, as monetary rewards were often prohibited. However, it wasn’t long before the allure of cash prizes transformed the landscape of pokies, leading to their evolution into the lucrative machines we know today.

Types of Pokies

Pokies have evolved significantly since their inception, giving rise to several distinct categories. Understanding these variations is crucial for selecting the right machine to play:

  1. Classic Pokies: These are the nostalgic icons of the gambling world, characterized by their three reels and traditional symbols such as fruits, bars, and lucky sevens. Classic pokies evoke a sense of nostalgia and simplicity, making them a favorite among purists.
  2. Video Pokies: The digital age ushered in a revolution in pokie design. Video pokies feature vivid graphics, immersive themes, and multiple paylines, often with five reels or more. These machines are known for their engaging bonus rounds and special features, making each spin a cinematic experience.
  3. Progressive Pokies: If you’ve ever dreamt of winning a life-changing jackpot, progressive pokies are where those dreams can come true. These machines are linked across a network, with a portion of each bet contributing to a constantly growing jackpot.

The Role of Random Number Generators (RNGs)

A critical aspect of pokies that often goes unnoticed is the Random Number Generator (RNG). RNGs are the digital brains behind every spin, ensuring that the outcome is entirely random and fair. They use complex algorithms to generate a sequence of numbers at a rapid pace, determining the symbols that appear on the reels. This ensures that each spin is independent of the previous one, debunking the myth of “hot” or “cold” machines. RNGs are rigorously tested and regulated to maintain the integrity of the game and guarantee fairness to players.

Understanding the diverse world of pokies, from their historical origins to the intricate mechanisms that govern online pokies, is the first step toward becoming a more informed and successful player. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the enticing array of pokies and, hopefully, improve your chances of winning.

Bankroll Management: Your Key to Responsible and Successful Slot Play

Slot machines, or pokies, are undoubtedly thrilling, but they also have the potential to be voracious when it comes to gobbling up your money. That’s why mastering the art of bankroll management is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to enjoy the excitement of playing slots without risking financial distress. In this section, we’ll delve into the intricacies of bankroll management, providing valuable insights to ensure you get the most out of your pokie-playing experience.

Setting a Budget: The Foundation of Responsible Play

Before you even step into a casino or log into an online gambling platform, the first and most crucial step is to establish a clear budget. This budget should reflect the amount of money you’re willing and able to spend on pokies without adversely affecting your finances or daily life. Setting a budget serves several important purposes:

  • Financial Control: A budget prevents you from overspending, ensuring that you only gamble with money you can afford to lose.
  • Emotional Stability: Knowing your limits in advance helps you maintain emotional composure while playing, reducing the risk of chasing losses.
  • Enhanced Enjoyment: A well-defined budget allows you to savor the thrill of the game without anxiety or regret.

Determining Betting Limits: How Much to Wager Per Spin

Once you’ve set a budget, the next step is to determine your betting limits for each spin. This decision involves two critical components:

  1. Bet Per Line: Most modern pokies offer the flexibility to adjust the bet amount per line. It’s essential to strike a balance between larger bets, which offer the potential for more significant wins, and smaller bets, which prolong your playing time. Consider your bankroll size when choosing your bet per line.
  2. Coin Denomination: Coin denomination refers to the value of each coin you wager. Higher coin denominations result in larger bets. Choose a denomination that aligns with your budget and risk tolerance. Remember that some pokies require a minimum bet per line, so factor this into your decision.

Sticking to Your Limits: The Discipline Factor

Establishing betting limits is only part of the equation; sticking to them is equally crucial. Temptation can be powerful, especially when you’re chasing a big win or experiencing a losing streak. Here are some strategies to help you maintain discipline:

  • Set Time Limits: Decide in advance how long you’ll play. When your allotted time is up, walk away, regardless of the outcome.
  • Use Loss Limits: Consider setting a maximum loss limit for your session. If you reach this limit, it’s time to call it a day.
  • Celebrate Wins and Walk Away: If you hit a substantial win, don’t be tempted to reinvest it all. Consider cashing out a portion of your winnings and enjoying the fruits of your luck.
  • Stay Mindful: Keep track of your spending during your session. Many pokies display your current balance, helping you stay aware of your progress.

Bankroll management is the bedrock of responsible gambling. By setting a budget, determining your betting limits, and maintaining discipline, you’ll not only enhance your enjoyment of pokies but also safeguard your financial well-being. Remember, the goal is to have fun and, with the right approach, potentially land a memorable win along the way.

Choosing the Right Pokie Game: Unveiling the Path to Winning

In the realm of pokies (slot machines), your journey to success begins with a crucial decision: choosing the right pokie game. The selection you make can profoundly influence your gaming experience and the likelihood of winning. In this section, we’ll delve into the significance of selecting the appropriate pokie machine, explain the differences between high and low volatility pokies, and provide strategies for finding pokies with better odds.

The Significance of Pokie Game Selection

Pokies come in a dazzling array of themes, features, and designs, each with its unique characteristics. Choosing the right pokie game goes beyond aesthetics – it impacts your potential for both enjoyment and profit. Here’s why game selection matters:

  • Volatility and Risk: Different pokies have varying levels of volatility, affecting how frequently and how much they pay out. Understanding your risk tolerance is key to selecting a game that aligns with your preferences.
  • Theme and Immersion: The theme of a pokie can significantly impact your engagement. Whether it’s ancient civilizations, adventure quests, or classic fruit symbols, picking a theme that resonates with you enhances the overall experience.
  • Bonus Features: Some pokies offer exciting bonus rounds, free spins, and multipliers. These can boost your chances of winning and make the game more entertaining.

High vs. Low Volatility Pokies

One of the key factors in pokie game selection is volatility, often referred to as variance. It’s crucial to understand the concept of volatility when making your choice. Here’s a breakdown of high and low volatility pokies:

  • High Volatility Pokies: These pokies are known for their infrequent but substantial payouts. Wins on high volatility pokies tend to be larger, but they occur less often. These games are suitable for players with larger bankrolls and the patience to endure potential dry spells.
  • Low Volatility Pokies: Low volatility pokies, on the other hand, offer more frequent but smaller payouts. They are less risky, making them ideal for players with limited budgets or those who prefer a steady stream of wins, even if they are smaller.

Strategies for Finding Pokies with Better Odds

To increase your chances of winning and enjoying a rewarding gaming experience, consider the following strategies for selecting pokie games:

  1. Check the RTP (Return to Player) Percentage: RTP is a crucial factor in evaluating a pokie’s potential payouts. Look for games with higher RTP percentages, as they are theoretically more generous over time.
  2. Read Reviews and Player Feedback: Research online reviews and player feedback to gain insights into a game’s performance. Choose pokies that consistently receive positive reviews for their payouts and entertainment value.
  3. Try Free Play: Many online casinos offer free versions of pokies. Test a game in demo mode before committing real money to see if it aligns with your preferences.
  4. Match Volatility to Your Bankroll: Align the volatility of the pokie with your bankroll. If you have a limited budget, opt for low volatility games to extend your playtime.
  5. Progressive Jackpot Games: Consider playing progressive jackpot pokies if you’re aiming for life-changing wins. Keep in mind that the odds of hitting the jackpot are slim, but the potential rewards are enormous.

Choosing the right pokie game is the foundational step in optimizing your chances of winning and ensuring an enjoyable gaming adventure. By understanding the significance of your choice, grasping the concept of volatility, and implementing effective strategies, you can embark on a pokie journey with confidence, excitement, and the potential for significant rewards.

Understanding Paylines and Symbols: Deciphering the Pokie Magic

In the world of pokies (slot machines), mastering the art of understanding paylines and symbols is akin to wielding a magic wand. These elements hold the key to your potential for winning and unlocking the secrets hidden within the spinning reels. In this section, we will unravel the mysteries of paylines and symbols, explaining how they influence your chances of winning, the significance of different symbols, and tips on recognizing special symbols like wilds and scatters.

Paylines: The Path to Payouts

Paylines are the crucial pathways across the reels where winning combinations are formed. Understanding paylines is essential for deciphering how wins are calculated in a pokie. Here’s how they work:

  • Basic Paylines: Classic pokies often feature a single, horizontal payline across the middle row of symbols. However, modern pokies can have multiple paylines, running in various directions – horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or even in zigzags.
  • More Paylines, More Chances: The more paylines a pokie has, the more opportunities you have to win. Betting on more paylines increases your chances of hitting winning combinations.
  • Adjustable Paylines: Many pokies allow you to choose how many paylines to bet on. While betting on all available paylines maximizes your winning potential, it also increases your total bet amount.

Symbols: Unraveling the Mystique

Symbols are the building blocks of pokies, and each one carries its significance, offering varying payouts based on their combination. Here’s a glimpse into the meaning of different symbols:

  • Low-Paying Symbols: These symbols often include traditional card symbols like Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks. They yield smaller payouts when part of a winning combination.
  • High-Paying Symbols: These symbols are often thematically linked to the game and offer more substantial payouts. They can include characters, objects, or themed symbols, and landing them in winning combinations can result in more significant rewards.
  • Special Symbols: Some symbols are exceptional and can significantly impact your gameplay. Two of the most critical special symbols are Wilds and Scatters.

Recognizing Special Symbols: Wilds and Scatters

Special symbols can be your allies in the world of pokies, enhancing your chances of winning and unlocking bonus features. Here’s how to spot and use these symbols effectively:

  • Wild Symbols: Wilds act as substitutes for other symbols (except Scatters) to create winning combinations. They can turn a near-miss into a triumphant spin. Recognize them by unique designs like “Wild” text, symbols matching the theme, or distinct animations.
  • Scatter Symbols: Scatters are your ticket to bonus rounds, free spins, or other special features. They don’t need to align on a specific payline; instead, they can appear anywhere on the reels. Scatters often have distinct designs, and they frequently trigger exciting bonus games when you land enough of them.

Tips for Success

To leverage paylines and symbols effectively, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Study the Paytable: Every pokie has a paytable that explains the value of symbols and how paylines work. Familiarize yourself with it before you play.
  2. Bet Strategically: Consider your budget and choose the number of paylines that best align with your strategy. Betting on all paylines is not always necessary.
  3. Keep an Eye on Special Symbols: Watch for Wilds and Scatters, as they can turn a mediocre spin into a game-changing moment.
  4. Practice Makes Perfect: Play free versions of pokies to get a feel for how different symbols and paylines interact. This can improve your understanding and strategy.

Understanding paylines and symbols is the key to unlocking the potential treasures hidden within pokie machines. By grasping their significance, recognizing the power of special symbols, and implementing strategic gameplay, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the magic of the reels and enhancing your chances of winning.

Playing Strategies in Pokies: Unveiling the Winning Tactics

Playing pokies (slot machines) is not merely a game of chance; it’s a world where strategy can tip the scales in your favor. In this section, we’ll explore various pokie playing strategies, including the Martingale system, bankroll preservation techniques, and maximizing free spins and bonus rounds. We’ll also highlight the pros and cons of each strategy, helping you make informed decisions in your quest for pokie success.

The Martingale System: Chasing Wins

The Martingale system is a progressive betting strategy. Start with a small bet, and double your wager each time you lose until you win. When you win, revert to your initial bet.


  • Potential for Quick Recovery: The Martingale system can recover losses with a single win.
  • Simple to Implement: The strategy is easy to understand and apply.


  • Risk of Rapid Losses: Doubling bets after each loss can quickly deplete your bankroll.
  • No Guaranteed Wins: Pokies are still games of chance, and there’s no guarantee that a win will occur within your budget.

Bankroll Preservation Techniques: Playing It Safe

Focus on extending your gameplay rather than chasing big wins. Choose low volatility pokies, bet conservatively, and set loss limits to protect your bankroll.


  • Longer Playtime: Bankroll preservation strategies allow you to enjoy more spins and entertainment.
  • Lower Risk: Reduced risk of substantial losses, making it a safer approach.


  • Smaller Wins: Betting conservatively may result in smaller, less frequent wins.
  • Limited Jackpot Potential: Lower bets on low volatility pokies reduce the chance of winning significant jackpots.

Maximizing Free Spins and Bonus Rounds: Capitalizing on Extras 

Focus on pokies with lucrative free spins and bonus rounds. Maximize your bets when you enter these features to increase your potential rewards.


  • Enhanced Winning Potential: Free spins and bonus rounds often come with multipliers or additional wilds, boosting your chances of winning big.
  • Entertainment Value: These features can make your gaming experience more exciting.


  • Higher Bet Requirements: Betting more during bonus rounds may require a larger bankroll.
  • No Guarantees: Even with bonus features, outcomes remain subject to chance.

Strategy Selection

The choice of strategy in pokies depends on your risk tolerance, bankroll, and gaming goals. Here’s a brief summary of each strategy:

  • Martingale System: High-risk, high-reward strategy. Can be effective for quick recovery but poses the risk of substantial losses.
  • Bankroll Preservation Techniques: Low-risk, conservative approach that extends gameplay but may result in smaller wins.
  • Maximizing Free Spins and Bonus Rounds: Balanced strategy that combines entertainment value with the potential for significant wins.

Remember that pokies are primarily games of chance, and no strategy can guarantee consistent winnings. Each approach has its pros and cons, so it’s essential to choose the strategy that aligns with your preferences and objectives. Always gamble responsibly, set clear limits, and enjoy the excitement of pokies while keeping your gaming experience enjoyable and within your means.

Maximizing Bonuses and Promotions: Unlocking Extra Value in Your Pokie Adventure

In the world of online gambling, bonuses and promotions are the hidden treasures that savvy players use to boost their bankrolls and extend their gaming enjoyment. In this section, we will explore how to take full advantage of casino bonuses and promotions, the critical importance of understanding their terms and conditions, and strategies for finding pokie-specific bonuses.

Taking Advantage of Casino Bonuses and Promotions

Casino bonuses and promotions come in various forms, from welcome bonuses for new players to ongoing offers for loyal customers. These incentives can significantly enhance your pokie-playing experience. Here’s how to make the most of them:

  1. Welcome Bonuses: Sign up at reputable online casinos that offer generous welcome bonuses. These typically include matched deposits or free spins, giving you extra funds to play with from the start.
  2. Deposit Bonuses: Look out for deposit bonuses that match a percentage of your deposit amount. For example, a 100% deposit bonus doubles your initial deposit.
  3. Free Spins: Free spins are a common bonus for pokie enthusiasts. They allow you to spin the reels without using your own money, giving you a chance to win real prizes.
  4. Reload Bonuses: Many casinos offer reload bonuses for existing players. These are similar to welcome bonuses and provide additional funds when you make subsequent deposits.
  5. VIP and Loyalty Programs: Join loyalty programs or VIP clubs offered by casinos. These often provide exclusive bonuses, cashback rewards, and personalized promotions.
  6. Refer-a-Friend: Some casinos offer bonuses for referring friends. If you introduce others to the casino, you can earn rewards when they sign up and play.

Understanding Terms and Conditions: The Devil in the Details

While bonuses and promotions can be enticing, it’s crucial to read and understand the terms and conditions (T&Cs) attached to them. The T&Cs outline the rules and requirements for claiming and using bonuses. Here’s why they are vital:

  • Wagering Requirements: T&Cs often include wagering or playthrough requirements. This specifies how many times you must wager the bonus amount before you can withdraw winnings. Understanding these requirements is crucial to avoid disappointment.
  • Time Limits: Some bonuses have expiration dates, so be aware of the timeframe in which you must meet the requirements.
  • Eligible Games: Check which pokies are eligible for bonus use. Some bonuses may restrict you to specific games, so choose your pokies wisely.
  • Maximum Bet Limits: T&Cs may limit the maximum bet you can place while using bonus funds.
  • Withdrawal Restrictions: Some bonuses have withdrawal restrictions, meaning you can only cash out a portion of your winnings until certain criteria are met.

Finding Pokie-Specific Bonuses

To maximize your pokie gaming experience, consider these strategies for finding pokie-specific bonuses:

  1. Special Promotions: Keep an eye on casino promotions specifically tailored to pokie players. These may include free spin offers or pokie tournaments with cash prizes.
  2. Pokie-Focused Casinos: Some online casinos cater specifically to pokie enthusiasts and offer exclusive bonuses and promotions for these games.
  3. Bonus Codes: Look for bonus codes in casino newsletters, websites, or forums. These codes may unlock unique pokie bonuses.
  4. VIP and Loyalty Programs: Join loyalty programs at casinos that prioritize pokie players. They often offer regular pokie-related rewards.
  5. Refer to Casino Support: If you can’t find pokie-specific bonuses, don’t hesitate to contact casino customer support. They may be able to provide you with customized offers.

By capitalizing on casino bonuses and promotions, understanding their terms and conditions, and seeking out pokie-specific offers, you can add extra excitement and value to your pokie gaming sessions. However, always gamble responsibly and stay within your budget to ensure a positive and enjoyable gaming experience.

Responsible Gambling: Ensuring a Safe and Enjoyable Gaming Experience

Gambling, including playing pokies (slot machines), can be an exhilarating form of entertainment. However, it’s crucial to approach it with a responsible mindset to ensure it remains a source of enjoyment without negative consequences. In this section, we’ll emphasize the importance of responsible gambling, discuss the signs of problem gambling, and provide resources for seeking help and support when needed.

The Importance of Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is not only about having fun but also about maintaining control and making informed decisions while participating in any form of gambling. Here’s why it matters:

  1. Preventing Financial Hardship: Gambling should never jeopardize your financial stability or lead to financial hardship. Responsible gambling helps you set limits and stick to them, ensuring your finances are protected.
  2. Protecting Mental Health: Gambling should not negatively impact your mental well-being. Responsible gambling involves being aware of the potential risks and avoiding behaviors that may lead to addiction or stress.
  3. Maintaining Relationships: Uncontrolled gambling can strain relationships with family and friends. Responsible gambling allows you to balance your leisure activities with your social responsibilities.
  4. Ensuring Fair Play: Responsible gamblers play with integrity and fairness. This helps maintain the integrity of the gambling industry as a whole.

Signs of Problem Gambling and Seeking Help

Recognizing the signs of problem gambling is essential for addressing issues before they escalate. Some common signs include:

  1. Chasing Losses: Continually increasing bets to recover previous losses.
  2. Neglecting Responsibilities: Prioritizing gambling over work, family, or social commitments.
  3. Losing Control: Being unable to stop gambling or cut down on the frequency and amount wagered.
  4. Hiding Gambling Habits: Keeping gambling activities a secret from loved ones.
  5. Borrowing Money: Borrowing money to finance gambling or cover debts.
  6. Irritability and Restlessness: Experiencing irritability or restlessness when not gambling.
  7. Escalating Bets: Betting larger sums of money to achieve the same level of excitement.

If you or someone you know exhibits these signs, seeking help is crucial. Many resources and support systems are available to assist with problem gambling:

  • National Helplines: Most countries have dedicated gambling helplines that provide confidential assistance and guidance.
  • Support Groups: Joining a support group, either in person or online, can connect you with others facing similar challenges.
  • Therapy and Counseling: Professional therapists and counselors specializing in addiction and gambling disorders can offer valuable support.
  • Self-Exclusion Programs: Many casinos and gambling websites offer self-exclusion programs that allow you to voluntarily ban yourself from their premises or online platforms.

Practice and Patience: The Virtues of Pokie Play

In the world of pokies (slot machines), it’s essential to recognize that these games are primarily games of chance. While the prospect of winning big can be enticing, it’s equally crucial to understand that outcomes are determined by random number generators, making every spin an independent event. In this section, we’ll emphasize the importance of practicing patience and persistence while playing pokies and share stories of successful players who achieved their goals by sticking to their strategies.

Understanding the Role of Chance

Pokies are designed to be games of chance, where the outcome of each spin is determined by a complex algorithm known as a Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG ensures that every spin is entirely random and independent of the previous one. This means that no amount of skill, strategy, or timing can guarantee a win. Recognizing the role of chance is the first step in adopting a patient and realistic approach to pokie play.

Encouraging Patience and Persistence

In the face of randomness, patience and persistence become your most valuable allies when playing pokies:

  1. Patience: Patience is the art of waiting calmly for the right opportunities. In the context of pokie play, it means not succumbing to the temptation of chasing losses or making impulsive bets. Patience allows you to savor the gaming experience without anxiety.
  2. Persistence: Persistence is the determination to continue playing with a clear strategy, even when faced with setbacks. It involves setting limits, managing your bankroll wisely, and sticking to your chosen approach. Persistence means not giving up easily but also knowing when to walk away.

Success Stories of Patient Pokie Players

Many successful pokie players have achieved remarkable results through patience and persistence. Here are a couple of inspiring stories:

  1. The Megabucks Millionaire: In 2003, a software engineer named Elmer Sherwin won a life-changing $4.6 million jackpot on a Megabucks pokie in Las Vegas. What makes his story extraordinary is that he had previously won $4.8 million on the same pokie machine 16 years earlier. Sherwin’s patience and persistent belief in the game paid off not once, but twice.
  2. The Methodical Mathematician: A retired mathematics professor known as “Mr. B” used his analytical skills to develop a strategy for playing pokies. He chose machines with low volatility and moderate payouts and played them consistently over time. While his winnings were not as spectacular as some, his disciplined approach allowed him to enjoy a steady stream of smaller wins.

While pokies may be games of chance, practicing patience and persistence can significantly enhance your gaming experience. Remember that enjoyment should be the primary goal, and the occasional win is a delightful bonus. By adopting a balanced approach, setting limits, and appreciating the thrill of the game itself, you can maximize your enjoyment of pokie play while maintaining a responsible and sustainable approach to gambling.