Video slots, or video pokies as we in New Zealand fondly call them, are like pokies on steroids. It’s still the same idea of spinning reels and matching symbols, but video slots are packed with more paylines, in all sorts of exciting animated themes, and with all sorts of bonus features. We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular video slots, and you can give them all a shot at casinos recommended on this site.
What are Video Slot Games?
Video slots, which make up the majority of games you’ll find at online casinos, have 5 reels instead of the 3 in classic slots. Video slots also have more paylines, which means you can still when your symbols aren’t in the center. Typically, you’ll find games with 9, 15, or 20 paylines – and sometimes even more. Then there are the special features. On top of wilds, you’ll find scatters that can unlock free spins, bonus games and multipliers. Often, these special features will take over your screen and transport you away from the “base game” to the secret bonus game’s setting. Bonus games can include uncovering treasures, increasing multipliers to boost your win, or extra Wilds to form that winning payline.
Types of Video Slots
Video slots come in a few varieties, although the game play is very similar, but it’s always a good idea to be familiar with the different terms:
This is just another way to refer to video slots. But sometimes you can also find more classic fruit machine pokies with 2 extra reels added.
243 ways-to-win means 243 paylines. And they are active all the time. Because of the many lines you have to bet on all the time, these slots are not for the budget player.
This is mostly in reference to the 3D graphics. The pokie’s theme uses 3D graphics to create a more popping and dynamic effect in the game. The software company Betsoft first coined the term, but all major slot developers, including NetEnt and Microgaming make slots like these nowadays.
Most casinos and players will think of progressive jackpots as a separate breed from video pokies. But from a formal perspective they are very similar – the only difference is backend. A progressive jackpot is a networked game, with many players pooling towards the same jackpot. Check out the Progressive Jackpots page for more details.
Popular Video Slots
If you’re ready to get spinning, but not sure which to start with, try out these three video slots. These games are both popular with the Kiwi player base, as well as with other gaming fans around the world:
Thunderstruck II: This is an older game from Microgaming with Nordic mythology as its theme. It’s a 243 ways to win game, and famous for its numerous free spin special features.
Twin Spin: A relatively simple looking video slot with a space and jewels theme by NetEnt. But don’t judge a pokie by its covers, Twin Spin always has 2 matching reels – which can expand to cover all 5 reels for an ultimate win.
Guns N’ Roses: A 5 reel 20 payline game by NetEnt, featuring the band of the same name. The soundtrack is composed of Guns N’ Roses most popular hits, like November Rain and Welcome to the Jungle.
How to Play Video Slots
The basics aren’t so different from a regular pokie. Place your bet and hit the Spin button. However, because there are more paylines, you need to pay attention to that when setting your bet size. Some games will let you choose the number of lines you want to bet on, while others have all paylines active. So if you have a game with 50 active paylines, even if your coin size is $0.01, that’s $0.50 per spin. The mechanics can vary between each game, so until you get the hang of it all, keep an eye on your final Bet Size – the game will usually display this at the bottom of its menu. Another thing to consider with video pokies is the Level of your bet, which is the number of coins per line. Some slots’ paytables pay to a multiple of your bet size, so your Level has a direct effect on what you win, so it’s a good idea to go for a higher level. Again, using the example of 50 active paylines, and a coin size of $0.01, if you bet at level 10, then you’re going at $5 per spin. But be careful because not everyone can afford going at that rate. Once you’ve figured out your bet size, you’re good to go. The game play is very intuitive and don’t feel overwhelmed by the large number of paylines. The slot will automatically light up when you spin a winning one!