8 Helpful Tips to Play and Win on Pokie Machines

8 Helpful Tips to Play and Win on Pokie Machines

Kia Ora Kiwi punters! The rest of the world calls them slots, but we call them pokies.

Maybe the one-armed bandit. Maybe the labourer’s piano. Whatever you call them, the pokies are usually the first thing punters go for whether it’s at the pub, a bricks-and-mortar casino, or at one of the best NZ online casinos.

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Some people just like to spin the reels and see what happens, while others reckon they have a foolproof strategy to win the jackpot. These days though, particularly with the explosion of online pokies, there are so many games available. With so many ways to win, it can be hard to figure out how to best play any given pokie game.

Of course, all pokies are a game of chance, and there is no way to guarantee a win. But we reckon there are a few things you can do that will at least give you a decent crack at getting a win more often than you usually would.

Let’s take a look at helpful tips for Kiwis, whether it's online pokies, down at your local, or at a casino.

1. Play Higher Denominations

This isn't quite "Go big or go home", but it's definitely about risking a bit more to win a bit more. As you might expect, betting more means payouts that are bigger than what you'd get by making smaller bets.

Yes, the risks are higher, but it doesn't necessarily mean you'll miss out on the fun. Let's say you have a budget of $20. Instead of making 100 20c bets, why not make 10 $2 bets? Yes, you won't be at the machine for as long, but the spins will definitely be more exciting!

And hey, we're here for a good time not a long time, right?


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2. Bet the Maximum

You've seen those pokies that offer life-changing amounts of money right? We're talking "I'm not coming to work on Monday" kinds of money. What a lot of people don't know however, is that most pokies will only let you win the biggest jackpots if you bet the maximum bet allowed.

Lower staking spins will let get the same stake multiplier as larger stakes, but the payout will be much less. Again, yes, you'll go through your bankroll quicker, but for some people, that's worth the chance to win big.

3. The More Complicated the Game, the Lower Your Odds

Some pokies can look attractive because they have a ton of paylines, bonuses, or other ways to win. So surely that's the way to go right? Well sure, it might sound more fun, but as a rule of thumb, complicated pokies with heaps of paylines, multipliers, and bonuses usually have lower odds of winning.

That means that the simpler the game, the higher the odds, and the higher the winnings, simply because there are fewer chances of winning.

On the other hand, of course, it does mean you're likely to get smaller wins more often. It's all down to personal preference. Have a go on all sorts of pokies and see what you like best - and why not check out our list of the best pokie games?

4. Test the Games You Play (For Free!)

This doesn't really apply to bricks-and-mortar casinos and pokies, but more so for online pokies. These days, plenty of online casinos have pokies with free spins on sign up, that let you have a crack at pokie games without actually using real money.

This means you won't be able to win real money of course, but it's a great way to learn a new game without having to cough up your own cash. Even if you don't know much about a game, you can play plenty of spins before putting real money up. Once you do put in your own money, you'll know the game inside-out.

5. Don't Chase Your Losses

In the long run, it's much better to accept your losses than to chase them. For example, let's say you're playing a pokie where you can only win big if you bet the maximum amount.

You get to the bonus round, and are pretty confident about winning, but you miss the win. Instead of, say, betting $10 (which is all you have left) on the spin to try and make up for your losses, look at it like this:

If you lose, then that's now another $10 down. And if you keep chasing your losses, then that leaves an even bigger hole in your bankroll for when the inevitable happens. Accept the game is over, and move on - having a punt is meant to be fun!

Also, don't forget about casino games with the lowest house edge - finding these games will help your chances of winning.


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6. Avoid Thinking of ‘Due’ Payouts

It's a super-easy trap to fall into - you've been playing for ages, and it feels like you've gone a hundred spins without a win. So surely you're due for a payout, right?

Well, unfortunately, no. Pokies don't work like that - they're random and completely unpredictable. So even if you think you're on a losing streak...well you're not. Every time you spin the reels, it's an entirely new spin with new, random chances of winning - or losing.

The pokie machine is just that - a machine it doesn't care whether you win or lose. So next time you see someone insisting they reserve a machine - well, have a quiet laugh to yourself and find another machine - it's just as likely to pay out.

7. Play With Coins

Let's say you're playing a 20-line pokie game. If you use 100 coins worth 1c each, you can play all of the paylines with multiple 5c wagers, all while spending only $5. Betting this way can improve your pokie strategy, meaning better value compared to the typical strategy of paying $1 for a single payline.

Not only will it increase your chances of winning with each spin, it also increases the chances of a larger payout, because you could have 20 winning lines on a single spin. Better living everyone!

8. Know When to Stop

This is really a golden rule for any situation, not just pokies. If you're playing in a casino and feel the bulge in your wallet getting smaller...walk away.

The same goes when you're playing with an online pokie - losing can be frustrating, but it's not worth developing a bad gambling habit.

If you find yourself reaching for your wallet every time your bankroll is $0, this may be a good warning sign that you should take a break. It's easy to think "just one more spin", but if it means spending all of your money - it's not worth the quick thrill.

If you're online, look to an online casino's responsible gambling tools if you are in need of help.

At the end of the day, play around until you find what works for you. There's no real right or wrong way to play pokies, as long as you're gambling responsibly and you're having fun, you're golden.

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