Without a doubt the most popular form of online casino games are video pokies.
Ever since making their way online late in the 90s, these games have grown both in popularity and complexity. Customers are no longer limited to single paylines and the same fruit symbols in every slot. These days you can expect to find cutting-edge graphics, compelling storylines and many exciting bonus features featured in online pokies. In the following article, we will provide a quick overview of different video pokies available and look at some of the most popular casino games in New Zealand.
Types of casino games
While most of these games fall under the same big umbrella (online casino games), their differences are still significant. Below we’ll detail a small sample of the most common types.
These games resemble the physical pokies you find in brick and mortar casinos like in Las Vegas and shopping malls and entertainment venues worldwide. These games are typically characterised by simplicity: more often than not, they offer 3 reels and 3 rows and rarely more than one payline.
You’ve undoubtedly seen most of the symbols before, too: bells, cherries, lemons, BARs and 7s is pretty standard stuff. Matching 3 identical symbols along a payline usually results in a modest win. These pokies are perfectly suited for casual players looking for some entertainment online.
While there are several games in this category that offer a more modern design and more features, most games are simple offerings.
Modern video pokies
This category might spring to mind when you think of online pokies.
While these games draw on the same base mechanics as classic pokies, they are generally more complex. These games are usually played across 4-6 reels, while offering modern-day graphic design and audio tracks. What sets these games apart, though, is the wide variety of bonus features they offer.
You usually find a Wild symbol and a Scatter symbol as a bare minimum in games like this. More often than not, you will also find a Free Spins bonus, complete with additional features not found in the base game. The modern offerings coming out these days include even more bonus features and exciting mechanics like MegaWays and Grid Play, as opposed to the traditional reel configuration.
Another increasingly popular form of online casino games is the Live Casino category. These games replicate an authentic casino experience in purpose-built studios, with real dealers and croupiers handling the games in real-time over a video feed.
You find all classic table games such as Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat in a Live Casino. Alongside the enormous technological development of this millennium, this game category has significantly progressed. Nowadays, you find games like Monopoly Live and Dream Catcher that are so technologically advanced that they couldn’t possibly be recreated in a physical casino.
Live Casino is perfect for the players looking for an authentic experience without leaving their own home (or to suit up).
What casino games have the best odds?
As a casino player, you are naturally interested in knowing which games pay the most. After all, the overriding goal of playing pokies online is to make some money. To answer this question, we should look at the concept of Return-To-Player and Random Number Generators.
Random Number Generator (RNG)
Every online pokie has deeply vetted random number generators built into them. In short, these are complicated, computerised algorithms that ensure fairness in all games. The RNG is a requisite to obtaining a gaming license, and they cannot be tampered with in any way. The algorithms guarantee true randomness on every spin or hand that is dealt. They do, however, come with a built-in house advantage, which leads us to the concept of Return-to-Player.
Usually shortened to RTP, this refers to the theoretical payout from a game over time. For online pokies, this number averages around 96%. Popular table games like Blackjack might have an RTP of up to 99% – representing superior value for the player over your average online slot.
What this means is that you can expect a return of $96 per every $100 you wager on a video pokie in the long run. The concept of RTP is no exact science and counts the average for a massive amount of wagers. In the short run, it is more than possible that you defy the odds and win 10-fold the $100 you bet. Just as you could, theoretically, lose it all.
The best odds on online casino games will therefore be table games such as Blackjack, where you are most likely to recoup your stake and win in both the short and long term. However, these kinds of games have a low volatility score, which means it’s more of a low-risk, low-reward game type.
This helps explain why online pokies are so popular. In most of these games, and especially in the jackpot games, the odds of winning are still pretty good, while the top prizes on offer are generally a lot higher.
Most popular pokies in New Zealand
Kiwis get to enjoy a wide variety of different online casino games. The industry has been steadily growing for years, and the game selection is getting better every month. Casino players in New Zealand can sample games from world-famous game providers such as NetEnt and Microgaming.
Popular games such as Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and the progressive jackpot game Mega Moolah are also available. These games have proven just as popular in New Zealand as they have in Europe.
Play’n GO is another leading provider who has experienced incredible growth in popularity over the years, mainly thanks to their iconic video pokie Book of Dead. Set in Ancient Egypt, this is one of the most popular online casino games ever produced. The game’s renowned Free Spins bonus round draws players in large numbers centered around a random expanding symbol that can award up to 5,000x your bet.
Browse our site to learn more about popular pokies in New Zealand. You can also learn more about the casino industry in general and how you safely deposit, play and withdraw money.