How to Win at Online Pokies: Strategies and Tips for Success

September 21, 2023

Pokies, or slots as they’re known internationally, have always been a favourite among casino enthusiasts. Their blend of bright graphics, exciting themes, and the promise of big payouts have made them a staple in both physical and online casinos.

However, while the thrill of the spin is undeniable, every player wants to know: how can you increase your chances of walking away a winner? Let’s dive into some strategies and tips on how to win at online pokies.

Understand the Basics: RTP and Volatility

Before you jump into playing, it’s essential to grasp two key concepts:

Return to Player (RTP)

The Return to Player, commonly abbreviated as RTP, is a crucial number to consider when selecting pokies to play. This percentage gives you a glimpse into the long-term performance of a game.

It essentially tells you:

how much of the total wagers placed on a game will be returned to players as winnings over an extended period.

So, if a pokie has an RTP of 96%, this suggests that for every NZ$100 wagered, NZ$96 is expected to be returned to players in the form of wins. Naturally, the higher the RTP, the more favourable it is for the player. Always look for pokies with an RTP closer to 100% as it hints at better winning potential.


Volatility, sometimes referred to as variance, is a term that describes the risk and reward balance in pokies. Think of it as a game’s temperament:

  • High Volatility: These are the games that are akin to a roller coaster ride. They might have you on a dry spell for a while, but when they pay out, it’s often substantial. High volatility pokies are for those who have the patience and budget to weather the lean periods in anticipation of significant wins.
  • Low Volatility: On the other end of the spectrum, low volatility pokies are like a gentle boat ride on a calm lake. Wins come more frequently, but they are generally smaller in size. They’re best suited for players who enjoy the thrill of regular wins and prefer a steadier experience.

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Start with Free Versions

Most online casinos offer free versions of their pokies. You can even play huge jackpot slots in demo mode. Use these to practice, get familiar with a game’s mechanics, and identify patterns before playing at a real money casino.

You can also play free online pokies here at onlinecasinolabs!

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Before spinning the reels, decide on a budget. Determine the maximum amount you’re willing to spend and stick to it. This discipline ensures you don’t chase losses and spiral into significant debts.

Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions

Online casinos often offer bonuses, like free spins or matched deposits, to entice players.

These promotions can provide additional playing time or increase your chances of winning without extra costs.

Always read the terms and conditions, though, to understand wagering requirements.

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Choose Pokies with Multiple Paylines

More paylines often mean more chances to win. While it might cost more to play multiple paylines, the increased odds of winning can justify the additional investment.

Here is a short list of some of the best NZ online pokies to get you started:

  • Mega Moolah – Boasting 25 paylines, this progressive slot is known for its life-changing jackpots.
  • Starburst – A visually appealing game with 10 paylines and expanding wilds.
  • Gonzo’s Quest – This game offers 20 paylines and introduces the unique Avalanche feature.
  • Thunderstruck II – A sequel to the original Thunderstruck with 243 ways to win.
  • Immortal Romance – A slot game with a dark theme offering 243 ways to win.
  • Book of Ra Deluxe – An Egyptian-themed slot with 10 paylines.
  • Twin Spin – Combines classic slot symbols with 243 ways to win.
  • Dead or Alive – A wild west-themed game with 9 paylines but high volatility.

Know When to Call it a Day

Whether you’re on a winning streak or facing a series of losses, know when to stop. Setting limits, both on wins and losses, ensures you walk away when the time is right, protecting your bankroll and ensuring the game remains enjoyable.

Stay Updated

Game developers constantly release new pokies with different themes, features, and winning potentials. Stay updated with the latest releases and give them a try. These new games might suit your playing style more or offer better payouts.

Play at Reputable Casinos

Last but certainly not least, always play at legitimate and well-reviewed online casinos. This ensures fair play, security for your personal and financial data, and timely payouts.

In Conclusion

While there’s no guaranteed way on how to win at online pokies – they are, after all, games of chance – these strategies can enhance your gameplay, extend your playtime, and maximise your winning potential. Remember, the primary purpose of playing is to have fun. Play responsibly, and may the reels be ever in your favour!

Author Matt

Writer, journalist, and on-air host focusing on sports betting and casino gambling. Work has been featured on Forbes, Yahoo Finance, SportsIntel,, BeInCrypto, and Outkick.