How to win on pokie machines?

How to win on pokies is not an easy task to learn. Pokie machines are developed to have completely random outcomes, which means that no skill or strategy can help you win more often. However, you can still do something to turn the game in your favour.

If you learn more about its features, types and functions of pokie machines, there is a strong possibility that you can improve your chances of winning.

by Nick Dandalos.
Kiwi and a girl playing pokies

In this article, we’ve highlighted some of the most important things and hacks that can help you increase your winning potential on pokies.

How do pokie machines work?

Without a doubt, online pokies gaming is the most popular gambling activity among Kiwis and everyone knows how fun they are to play.

It makes no difference if you’re at your local pub, strolling around the casino floor, or simply playing from home at some online casino, you can always find a pokie to your liking and give it a try.

Even though pokies are run by a random number generator (RNG) meaning the outcome of every spin is totally random, and no strategy can help you win.

This fact tells us that regardless of whether you are a new or an experienced player, on pokies everyone has the same chance to win.

All you have to do is choose a game, set the bet size and spin the reels. If you are a brand new player then before reading this article you should familiarize yourself with the basic rules on how to play pokies.

Our best 5 tips for online pokies

Here are some tips from our casino experts to help Kiwi players win more money on pokies.

1. Pick your pokie carefully

The first thing to understand is that no two machines are the same.

Not only do different machines come with different themes, soundtracks, bonus features and symbols, but they all also have different return-to-player (RTP) rates.

It pays to choose a pokie game with a high RTP rate, so check the RTP % at the online casino before you start playing.

mega moolah

2. Play with a bonus

If you’re playing at online casinos on a limited budget the best way to increase your balance is to claim casino bonuses. If it’s a new casino for you, you will easily find a 100% match deposit welcome bonus or even more.

This way you basically double your starting balance. Why is this important? Simple. You can play more spins with $200 than you would with $100 or you can play on higher bets.

The math is clear. The higher your bets are the bigger the returns can be. With some luck, you can end up making a hefty withdrawal from the casino.  

qonzo quest

3. Test the games in fun play mode

A good strategy many experienced punters will recommend is to test the games in free mode (fun play).

Make sure to check the pay table and see what bonus features the pokie has to offer.

It’s very disappointing to start playing a pokie only to see that it doesn’t have a bonus round or that the maximum payout on the slot is 500x your bet.  

free microgaming pokies

4. Play as many spins as you can

It will take an incredible amount of luck to hit a bonus round in the first 10-20 spins on pretty much any pokie. You might think it can be a good strategy to play max bets for a few spins and hope to hit a big payout, but 99.9% of the time you will go bust. Been there, done that. Instead, you need to manage your balance and play as many spins as possible. 

The general rule is to have enough balance to play 100 spins. In reality, you need to have enough balance for at least 200 spins, to have a good chance to hit a bonus round.

So, don’t go all crazy and play the pokies based on your hunch. Yes, it can work out great sometimes, but this is a risky bet. Plan your bankroll instead and in the long run, you can end up with a hefty profit.  

mega win

5. Cash out when you’re ahead

Every experienced punter will tell you to quit while you’re ahead. You might have been lucky playing the pokies hitting big payouts one after another. This is all great, but your luck will run sooner or later.

If you’re ahead big time a great strategy is to set a maximum loss limit. For example, you started playing at the casino with $50 and now you are at $1,200. That’s a nice profit for such a small deposit. Play until your balance comes down to $1k and cash out.  

Sure, you can easily hit another big win and get it all back and more, but remember the odds are stacked against you while playing pokies. You can end up hitting one cold game after the other and you can easily lose it all. In the end, better to have $1k in your bank, than to give it all back to the casino.

coins and money

RTP percentage in pokies

In most casino games you can bump on a term called house edge, and it is used to tell the players how much advantage the house has. When it comes to pokies, we have another term that is used.

The RTP percentage or Return to Player percentage is a term used to show the house edge in pokies.

Depending on the game you choose to play the house edge or RTP rate varies.

Pokies with the winning odds

We have already stated above that unfortunately no strategy will help you win more easily when playing online pokies, but you can increase your chances of winning if you choose games with the best winning odds. If you are hoping to increase your chances of winning and cash out in a short time, our advice is to choose pokies with low volatility.

Volatility on pokie machines is divided into low, medium and high. High volatility means that the machine pays out higher amounts less often, while low volatility means that the machine will pay out smaller amounts but more often. This does not mean that pokies with low volatility can pay you big wins.

To make your search easier, we have listed below the 5 pokies with the highest chance of winning:

Pokie machineRTPVolatility
Dead or Alive96.8%Low
Big Bad Wolf97.3%Low
Ultra Fresh99%Low
Double Joker97.2%Low

How to play responsible

Gambling at online pokies or any other real money game should always be for fun, however, in some cases, it can turn out to be a problem.

If you have noticed that your gambling is becoming a problem and you spend more than you can afford, the best thing should be to take a break and talk to someone.

There is a lot of organization in New Zealand that can help you for free if you have a gambling problem. Find out more at our responsible gambling guide.