Comparing Classic & Video Pokies

There’s always going to be arguments for and against each of the different kinds of pokies games. Many New Zealanders will only play video pokies games on their smartphones or tablets due to the bonus features and higher amount of paylines that offer more chances to win. In contrast, other players prefer the classic pokies that keep things simple with just 3 reels and between 1 and 5 paylines.

You will easily be able to find a range of both classic and video pokies games at online casinos catering for players from New Zealand, and, once you have finished reading this article about which type of games you’re more likely to enjoy, you can make a selection from the best of these right here. The online and mobile casinos we recommend all features an incredible array of video and classic pokies games, ready and waiting for you to enjoy!

If you’re debating which type to enjoy on your mobile, reading this comparison may help you get into your preferred game quickly and easily.

What are Classic 3 Reel Pokies?

3 reel pokies are perfect for beginners looking for an introduction into the world of online pokies, or for those who particularly enjoy classic online casino games. These online games are based on the original machines that existed before the digital age, and often feature a single payline only, making them a far simpler option.

The Advantages Of 3 Reel Pokies:

What are 5 Reel Pokies?

While 3 reels may be a little too retro for some Kiwi players, 5 reel online pokies have advanced well beyond a novelty and are now the most popular choice. Since the extra reels increase the playing area, more opportunities for wins are created and many games feature upwards of 25 paylines.

The Advantages Of 5 Reel Pokies:

How 3 and 5 Reel Pokies Differ

Take a look at the fundamental differences of each type of reel spinning game:

Bonus Games on Offer

Bonus games are far more prevalent in video pokies, with classic pokies not being designed to incorporate special features. There are some classics that offer bonuses or have included special symbols, but these are far and few between, and the manner in which these bonuses play out will be very basic. Usually these bonuses will be a Wild symbol or free spin, as opposed to the elaborate rewards that video pokies’ bonus rounds provide.

Jackpot Payouts

There is a huge array of video and classic pokies games that feature progressive jackpots, so there is not so much of a discernible difference between the 2 types in this category.

However, since most online games will only allow players to try for the progressive jackpot with a maximum bet on all paylines active, video pokies may indeed offer a greater chance of a win. This is due to the fact that there are simply more chances of landing a winning combination on the reels thanks to the increased amount of paylines these games offer.

Payout Percentages

You will very quickly notice enormous variations when it comes to the payout percentages for video and classic pokies. It is always recommended that you do as much research as you can on this topic before you play. The higher the RTP, or return to player payout percentage, the greater your chances of a win.

Our experts have included RTP information in many of the reviews published on this site, so you can make an informed decision. Alternatively, you can check the games’ paytable before you start playing.

Payline Structures

Pokies games have always paid out according to paylines. When specific symbols line up in specific positions on the reels, they are said to be lining up along a payline. Classic reel games usually have only 1 or 3, and detailed video pokies can have far more. You can choose how many paylines you want to activate by betting on as many or as few as you wish to, unless you’re playing a game with fixed paylines. In a fixed payline game, you are required to bet on each payline with every spin.

A new breed of reel spinning game, however, has been introduced in the past few years. Rather than the typical paylines, the payout structures of these games are called “Ways to Win”. You’ll see a game with 243, 720, 1024 or even 3125 Ways to Win. In other words, there are 243, 720 or 1024 symbol combinations that can result in a payout.

Flexibility Levels

Both types of pokies games usually require at least 3 specific symbols to be involved in a winning combination. The big difference is that pokies with structured paylines require that each symbol fall in a specific reel position, and that the combination runs from left to right. Ways to Win games, on the other hand, accept far more combinations.

There are almost always 5 reels in a Ways to Win game, and each reel has certain spots which will pay out when a certain symbol land on it. If only 1 of these positions is filled with its winning symbol, you win less than if 2 are filled, and so on. In a 720 Ways to Win game, there are usually 3 spots on the first reel, 4 spots on the second, 5 spots on the third, 4 spots on the fourth and 3 possible winning spots on the fifth reel. This creates 720 possible payouts: 3x4x4x4x5 = 720. Similar structures are seen in other Ways to Win games; 1024 Ways to Win games have 4 spots on each reel: 4x4x4x4x4 = 1024.

Which Style is More Profitable?

The symbol combinations in a Ways to Win game still need to run on adjacent reels, as they do in a game with a conventional payline structure, but they can fall in many more positions on the reels to trigger a win and can often run from right to left as well as from left to right. More than 1 of the same symbols on each real multiplies the wins for even bigger payouts, and since they are multiplied, Wild Symbols generate a lot more wins than they do in conventional games.

The huge degree of flexibility means that Ways to Win games often pay out more than traditionally paying pokies games. This means that you can win a lot of money without betting the maximum amount. You also don’t have to face the frustration of seeing a winning combination on an inactive payline and missing the reward.

The advantage of old-school paylines is that, though they pay out less often, they also pay out much more money. You also have a lot more control of your betting and your bankroll. So which option should you choose? It depends what you want from the games; for small, frequent wins choose the Ways games, and for larger, rarer payouts go traditional.

Since you’re thinking less about your bankroll and you have to bet less to win, as a very general rule of thumb the Ways to Win titles are better for beginning players. As you get more experienced at managing funds and learn to appreciate the spinning reels more, you may make like many other seasoned players and opt for conventional payline pokies. A lot of people also mix them up, according to their mood – and budget!

How Do Pokies Odds Work?

Online pokies results are determined by random number generators (RNG) and there really is no way of guaranteeing a game will end in your favour. But you can play smart and shop amongst the best games to increase the chances of you having a more profitable outcome.

Pokies are games of chance and rely on luck, which means you do not need any skill to play. The selection is simply mind blowing and varying with all types offering various bonus and jackpot features. The most important thing to look for when choosing a more potentially profitable title is to look for those with high return to player rates. This is the best chance of tilting the odds in your favour. Different types can also make the difference between having higher winning chances.

How Do Multipliers Increase Winning Odds?

Having multipliers in an online pokies game does not necessarily mean you are guaranteed a win but what it does mean is that any win could be multiplied to make it even larger. Multipliers can range up to 100x the bet for certain bonus symbols or combinations on active paylines, so it is beneficial to play games with multipliers if the payout percentage is high too.

Multipliers vary between all of the games, but they tend to be some sort of bonus reward during free spins, rewards for landing bonus symbols or they can increase with respins and so on.

The Odds of Winning Progressive Pokies

Progressive jackpot pokies are quite enticing because their payouts tend to amount to massive sums of money. The progressive jackpots start at a fixed amount and increase with every bet placed within the network for that specific jackpot. The amount increases until a player wins at which time the amount resumes to the original fixed jackpot amount.

There is no way of increasing the odds of winning a progressive jackpot, as a random number generator also determines the outcome of the game. The best way forward is to maintain a bankroll and play as much as possible in the hopes that the progressive jackpot is won. Fair random number generators and high payout percentages are important.

Progressive jackpots can be associated with one specific game, a variety found at one specific online casino or a whole network of online pokies from one specific developer. Some online games with progressive jackpots offer mini jackpots, medium jackpots and large jackpots too.

Odds on Multi-line Online Pokies

The selection of multi-line pokies available online is incredible, and the way in which wins are won or multiplied with these types of game is by betting more coins to activate more paylines which in turn increases the payouts or potential for landing wins on more active paylines.

These online pokies games tend to be three, five and nine payline games where an additional coin activates the next payline. Landing a win on the last payline activated means the jackpot payout is much higher as each payline has a different value. However, the lesser valued symbols will typically pay out the same regardless of which paylines the combination lands on.  

There are occasions where all paylines need to activated in order to win the smallest pay out for perhaps one or two cherry symbols.

New Game Releases

It has been a while now since a large number of new classic pokies were released by leading casino software developers, but each month several new video pokies games are launched. So, if your criteria include the latest and greatest of what is on offer, video pokies will be your best bet, since there are simply more available with more focus being put on this genre.

A number of popular films and television shows have been used as the inspiration for many modern reel spinning games. This provides players with an entirely new way of enjoying their favourite actors and characters, along with the chance to win big at the same time.

Finding the Best Pokies in NZ

So, there you have it. Hopefully we have helped you pinpoint your next favourite online casino game, and be sure to only use the mobile casinos we recommend, as they are the best in the industry!

Take your pick between 3 reel pokies or enjoy a spin in a 5 reel game and discover a world of winnings and great entertainment on your mobile!

Most Popular 3 Reel Pokies

Magnificent 777’s is a great option for a playful yet uncomplicated 3 reel online pokie and it will keep players entertained for hours with its Wild West theme. The single payline and simple graphics and sound effects make this 3 reeler the definition of classic cool, and players will have to match 7’s and sheriff badges to win lucrative payouts.

Wheel of Plenty is a welcome departure from standard 3 reel fare, and while it only has a single payline, this unique title is packed with bonus features to increase the chances of success. The circus theme and some impactful highlights make it perfect for players looking for simple fun with a few special touches.

Most Popular 5 Reel Pokies

Mega Moolah is arguably the most well-known 5 reel pokies game and it’s also of the progressive variety which offers players the opportunity to win an almost unfathomable amount of money. Packed full of bonus features, the Mega Moolah jackpot often reaches over $10 million.

Thunderstruck II is the immensely popular follow-up to Thunderstruck, which was a cult classic in the early days of online casino gambling. The main reason for Thunderstruck II’s popularity is the four different free spins rounds that players have to attempt to unlock.

Top Online Video Pokies

Below, we’ve listed the other online video pokies that you have to check out, and explained why they’re must-play games:

Heart of Vegas

Aristocrat’s Heart of Vegas brings all the glitz, glam and bright lights of Sin City to life. A return to player rate of 97% and a dedicated “high rollers’ room” level make this video pokie really engaging, no matter what desktop, tablet or smartphone you are using to play.

Lil Wayne Slots

Get ready for 5 reels and 3 rows of utterly fabulous bling! Icons inspired by Lil Wayne (real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr) include a microphone, a buxom beauty, a fleur de lis, a car and the main man himself. Pimped-out playing cards are used for the lower-paying symbols on the reels.

Super Party

Super Jackpot Party is packed with fun-filled icons such as disco balls, presents, balloons and dancers getting down to the jaunty background soundtrack. Bright colours, innovative special features and a wide betting rate make this WMS release a fantastic game that players working with every budget can enjoy.

Pharaoh’s Way

Ancient Egypt is hardly a new theme, but it’s never been done better than it is here. Novomatic blends incredible graphics, sounds, game mechanics and extra features to create something really special. You’ll love spinning your way through the 6 levels, unlocking additional side games as you go.

Super Monopoly Money

Relive your childhood boardgame memories with Super Monopoly Money. The symbols on the reels include the familiar characters from the game, including the dog, the top hat and the car. The background is the River Thames, along with Big Ben and other iconic British landmarks. Payouts make the nostalgia even sweeter!

Best Casinos for Video Pokies

The following casinos are the top recommendations for New Zealanders who want to play video pokies:

All Slots Casino

Fast payouts, 24-hour customer service and a mobile-friendly design make this casino a great option for all players. The sheer range of video pokies will attract enthusiasts, no matter how new or experienced they are! Every theme imaginable is covered, and the generous welcome bonus allows you to explore each title.

Jackpot Village Casino

High-quality titles from various renowned developers, including NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, Revolver Gaming, Leander, Games Inc., Quickspin, Nolimit City and other top brands ensure this casino has one of the most diverse ranges of video pokies available in New Zealand. Although it was only established in 2019, this is already an operator to watch.

LuckLand Casino

The first thing you’ll notice about LuckLand Casino is how easy it is to navigate. You’ll have no problems finding the pokies or any other games that you feel like playing. Instant assistance at all times, plus perfect compatibility with virtually all tablets and smartphones, make this the mobile player’s obvious choice.

Ruby Fortune Casino

Ruby Fortune is an online casino that has stood the test of time. Established in 2003, the operating team has well over a decade’s experience in giving players what they want. They’re known for doing exactly that, and when you see their range of award-winning Microgaming video pokies and their generous bonuses, you’ll understand why.

LeoVegas Casino

LeoVegas was initially launched as a mobile casino only, and it is still one of the top mobile options available to players in New Zealand. Hundreds of pokies are available for completely instant play, and each well-executed game is licensed by several trusted regulators. Enjoy total peace of mind as you spin!