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How Do Pokie Machines Work in NZ

How Do Pokie Machines Work in NZ

Curious as to whether you are able to beat or cheat the modern pokies system? Well, the first step to finding out is learning exactly how Pokies machines do or don’t work.

A modern pokies machine is simply a computer that has been programmed to look and act like an old style machine. The only difference is that you are playing with real money. Simply decide on how many lines you want to play, and how much you want to bet on each line. The machine spins and works out if you have, or haven’t won.

How Do Pokie Machines Work in NZ
How Do Pokie Machines Work in NZ

What method is used?

What method is used
What method is used

Similar to a lotto draw, the random number generator (RNG), is what the computer uses to pick the symbol from each of the reels. Using a numbered ball for each position on the reel, the balls are shaken around and picked at random. The number displayed on the ball is then matched up with the same number displayed next to a symbol, and that symbol would then be displayed. This same method is repeated for each of the reels in the game.

Steps to play pokies

Steps to play pokies
Steps to play pokies
  1. You press the button.
  2. The central computer checks the computer inside the machine and confirms that everything is working properly.
  3. The computer starts ‘spinning the reels’
  4. A ball is picked at random out of a ‘bucket’ that contains all the numbered balls for reel 1.
  5. Reel 1 is stopped by the computer at the number on the ball pulled out of the bucket.
  6. Another ball is pulled at random out of another bucket that contains reel 2’s balls.
  7. Reel 2 is stopped by the computer at the number on the ball pulled out of the bucket.
  8. Reel 3, 4, and 5 repeat the process while using separate buckets for each reel.
  9. Once all reels stop, the computer determines whether there are any wins on the lines you have gambled on.
  10. The computer pays out the wins, if there are any, otherwise, you lose. All the balls go back into their buckets and the computer waits for you to press the button again.

Pokies are random

You may be inclined to feel that after playing the same game for hours on end, you are due to win or receive a payout. But Jackpot rates are based upon hundreds of thousands or even millions of spins. Every spin is at random. Nothing you do to the machine will improve your chances of winning, no matter what you might think. The machine does not have any memory, and each spin is completely unrelated to the last.

Pokies usually have three reels but sometimes also have five reels. The reel is the image that spins in the front of the machine. It has multiple symbols on it, and if you line up certain combinations of symbols, you win money. The less likely it is to line up a particular set of symbols, the higher the payout on that particular combination.

As now pokies machines are powered by computers, they’re more often just images on a video screen. Even in the case of pokies machines with actual reels, the outcome is determined by the random number generator inside the computer.

Where those reels stop are called, naturally, “stops”. Reels can stop on a symbol or on a blank space between those symbols. So you might have a cherry on a reel that comes up on average once every 50 spins, while an orange might come up on average once every 5 spins, or any other combination you can think of.


There is no such thing as a lucky machine

Pokie machines don’t know if you are wearing your lucky shirt, lucky necklace, or that they are your lucky machine.

All the machines are built and designed the same way, and you have the same likelihood of any outcome, on any machine you choose to play on.

Improving the odds

There are no outside factors, such as the time of day, how much money you bet, or how lucky you feel, that will have any influence on the outcome. Winning a pokie game, only ever happens by ‘choice’, of the machine, and not by chance. When playing pokies, it is important to know how much your credits are worth in real money. It is always better to cash out after a small win, rather than investing more money and increasing your chances of losing. Remember, you are able to cash out your credits at any time.

Not convinced?

If you have any doubts about the way numbers are selected, and what the odds are, why not test the theory.

  • Before the bet, make a note about your prediction for the bet
  • Write down the actual outcome
  • Do this at least 10 times, to see if any of your predictions were accurate.