What Percentage Do Pokies Payout in New Zealand?

What Percentage do Pokies Payout?
What percentage of pokies payout?

Pokies are the most sought-after games at both online and land casinos. Every player wants to know how much the pokies game will pay back to the player.

Also known as RTP or Return to Player, most pokies pay 87% or higher. In most cases, games offer around the 90% mark or above, although you will never know it as individual gambling sessions will vary widely, which is good. Let’s find out what percentage of pokies payout.

The percentages you find listed in games at casinos refer to the long-term theoretical performance of the machine. This means that over a long time or after, you can say, millions of spins, a machine with a 90% setting will return 90% of the money gambled.

One of the most important points is that no pokies have a payback over 100%. This means that the longer you play, the more likely you lose. There is no way to win on the pokies consistently.

See alsoFastest Payout Online Casinos in New Zealand.

Understanding Payout Percentages

Payout percentage, also known as return to player (RTP), is a metric used in gambling to indicate the amount of money returned to players over time. It represents the percentage of total wagers a game or casino is expected to pay out to players as winnings.

Payout percentages are calculated by dividing the total winning amount by the total bet amount and expressing it as a percentage.

Importance of Payout Percentages for Players

Payout percentages are important for players as they provide insight into a game or casino’s potential profitability. Higher payout percentages indicate that more bets are returned to players as winnings.

This information helps players decide which games or casinos to choose, as higher payout percentages increase the likelihood of winning and maximizing their gambling experience.

Check this outHow Often Do Pokies Payout?

Several factors influence payout percentages in gambling

  1. Game Design – The design and rules of a game affect its payout percentage. Games with lower house edges, such as blackjack or video poker, tend to have higher payout percentages than games with higher house edges, like slot machines.
  2. Game Variations – Different variations of a game may have varying payout percentages. For example, different machines or versions of blackjack may have different odds and payouts.
  3. Casino Policies – Each casino sets its payout percentages, which can vary from one establishment to another. Casinos may adjust their payout percentages to attract players or optimize their profits.
  4. Game Providers – Payout percentages can also vary depending on the game provider. Some providers are known for offering higher RTP games than others.
  5. Random Number Generators (RNG) – Using random number generators in games ensures fair outcomes and can influence payout percentages. RNGs ensure that game results are random and not influenced by external factors.

Understanding payout percentages and their influencing factors helps players make informed decisions when selecting games or casinos. Players must choose games with higher payout percentages to maximize their chances of playing and winning the gambling experience.

What Percentage Do Pokies Payout?

Pokies, or slot machines or electronic gaming machines, are popular gambling entertainment in New Zealand. One common question among players is what percentage of the money wagered on pokies is paid out as winnings.

While the exact payout percentage can vary, regulations, industry standards, and best practices govern the minimum payout requirements for pokies in New Zealand.

The Gambling Act of 2003 in New Zealand specifies minimum payment standards for pokie machines. This implies that gamblers must get profits equal to 78% of the total bets made on poker machines over time. This is a minimal requirement; thus, it’s crucial to remember that some machines or locations could have better payout rates.

The Gambling Act 2003 requires societies operating pokies to distribute a minimum of 40% of their proceeds to “authorised purposes” (community projects).

Although 78% is the minimum payout requirement, many pokie machines in New Zealand pay more than this amount. The nation’s gaming sector has embraced best practices and strives to provide better payout percentages to increase player happiness. Pokies with payout percentages between 85% and 92%, or even higher in some circumstances, are frequent.

Operators of gaming machines are obligated to show the payout percentage on the machines to maintain fairness and openness. This lets players choose which machines to play based on their preferences and prospective payout rates.

The Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand also oversees and audits the gaming sector to ensure it complies with rules on minimum payouts and other matters. The integrity of pokies is maintained by routine audits and inspections, giving players a fair opportunity to win.

How the Pokies’ RTPs are Determined?

How the Pokies’ RTPs are Determined
How the Pokies’ RTPs are Determined

RTPs are not calculated on the individual spins; in pokies, they are determined by how the symbols are positioned on the reels. The RTP refers to money gambled, not money put into the machine.

For example, if you put a $20 note in a machine and play at 20c per spin, you will get more than 100 spins as you get some wins.

The game payout percentages on poker machines are only determined by the symbol positions. They are not affected by any other aspect, including the money put into the machine.

All RTPs are less than 100%

A game’s RTP will never be reflected in individual gaming sessions. This is a good thing as it would not be too entertaining if you always lost money when playing the pokies. In a gaming session, some players will win, some will lose, and some might break even.

One fact that cannot be avoided is that all pokie’s RTPs are less than 100%, which means that if you play for millions of spins, you are 100% guaranteed to lose all the money you put into the machine.

The manufacturers program the payback percentage into the machines, and some games can be adjusted depending on how a casino wants its games set up.

If you find a casino banner boasting a 95% payback, it says, “You put in $100, and we’ll give you back $95.” This isn’t a literal determination of a player’s actual winnings.

Online and Land Casino Payout in Pokies

Online and Land Casino Payout in Pokies
Online and Land Casino Payout in Pokies

Pokies in pubs, clubs, and casinos in New Zealand have a minimum RTP of 87%, which is low compared to the games you can play online. This is because traditional gaming venues have higher overheads compared to online casinos.

On average, the payout percentage for online pokies is around 94%, 7% higher than the minimum you get at your local gaming venue or land casinos.

Of course, these higher payback rates do not guarantee you’ll win more online, but playing games with higher RTPs certainly cannot hurt. Over the long term, you should get more action for your money. Considering that playing pokies is all about entertainment, this gives online games an advantage over offline games.

Read more on Online Pokies vs. Real Pokies.

The Possible Combinations of a Pokie Machine

The Possible Combinations of a Pokie Machine
The Possible Combinations of a Pokie Machine

The pokie machine decides what to pay out and when based on the possible combinations and the Random Number Generator (RNG).

Every pokie has thousands, if not millions, of possible outcomes. These outcomes represent a certain payout. The payout could be zero (when you lose), 2x your stake, which can be a small win, or 10.000x your stake, a jackpot, and everything in between.

For most of the spins, you will not win everything; sometimes, you will win a small amount (2-5 times your stake), and once in a while, you will win a big prize. It may take you 5 years to win the jackpot payout.

If you divide all the possible payouts by the number of combinations, you have calculated the Return to Player percentage. Here is a simplified representation of how this percentage is calculated.

Calculation Of RTP

 Number of credits won  Number of  combinations
 0  300.000
 1-5  400.000
 6-10  100.000
 11-50  50.000
 51-100  20.000
 101-500  5.000
 501-1.000  2.000
 1.001 – 5.000  1.000
 5.001 – 10.000  500
 10.001 – 50.000  5
 100.000  1
 Total  878.526 combinations
How a Return to Player percentage is calculated

In this example, there are 878,526 possible outcomes or spins. There will be no winning combination in 34.1% of the spins (300,000/878,526).

In 45.5% of the spins, there will be a payout between 1 and 5 credits (400,000/878,526), etc. The jackpot of 100,000 credits will only occur once in every 878,525 spins on average.

The pokie visually represents the screen based on the outcome. For instance, one spin could win you 5x your stake with 5 lemons on a pay line.

The outcome of that particular spin is a win of 5x your stake; the visual representation is the 5 lemons on a pay line. So, the outcome determines what is shown on the screen, not vice versa!

How Does The Pokie Determine Which Outcome Will Be Won By The Player?

How does the pokie determine which outcome will be won by the player?
How does the pokie determine which outcome will be won by the player?

That is when the Random Number Generator (RNG) comes into place. The RNG is the heart of every pokie. It determines which combination is picked. The RNG is constantly spinning all the possible outcomes around like a giant tombola. The RNG stops at a random number when you push the spin button. This number is paired with the result of the spin.

So, effectively, you are stopping the RNG yourself without knowing which number it will stop. This guarantees randomness and fairness, and you cannot affect the outcome of the RNG.

More on How Pokies Work.

But How Do You Know When a Pokie Is Going To Pay Out?

But how do you know when a pokie is going to pay out?
But how do you know when a pokie is going to pay out?

Unfortunately, you can’t. The RNG is random, has no memory, and cannot be influenced. The RNG has no idea whether you are winning or losing or rich or poor. It does not know what your current casino balance is, and it does not know if a big payment is “due”.

But because the RNG is random and cannot base future outcomes on past results, sometimes you will have many winning spins, and other times, you might have a larger number of losing spins.

The best way to play is to know that every spin is new and random. Do not chase losses; never think a pokie machine is due for a big jackpot. It just doesn’t work that way.

If you want to increase your odds of winning, play pokies with the highest possible RTP. Pokies from top gaming providers like NetEnt often have RTPs of around 97% or higher.

Transparency and Information for Players

Disclosure of Payout Percentages by Pokie Operators: Pokie operators should disclose the payout percentages of their games to promote transparency and provide essential information to players.

This disclosure helps players make informed decisions about their gambling activities and allows them to assess the potential returns on their wagers. Pokie operators should have clear policies and practices to ensure the accurate and timely disclosure of payout percentages.

Accessing Payout Percentage Information: Pokie operators should make payout percentage information accessible to players. This can be done through various means, such as displaying the information on the pokie machine itself, publishing it on the operator’s website, or making it available upon request. Clear instructions on how players can access the payout percentage information help foster transparency and trust.

Player Education and Awareness: Promoting player education and awareness is crucial to ensure players understand the significance of payout percentages and how they can impact their gambling experience. Operators should provide educational resources and information about payout percentages, explaining how they are calculated and their implications for players. This empowers players to make informed decisions and manage their gambling activities responsibly.

Factors That Impact Payout Percentage

Regarding pokie machines, the payout percentage is influenced by various factors. Let’s explore the key elements that can affect how much you stand to win:

  1. The type of machine – Different pokie machines can have varying payout percentages. From classic mechanical reel machines to flashy video slots or electronic gaming machines, each has its payout dynamics. The machine’s design, mechanics, and programming play a role in determining the overall payout percentage.
  2. The number of players—Have you ever wondered how the number of players can affect your chances of winning? Well, it does. Pokie machines with a high player turnover tend to offer more frequent payouts. Why? A larger pool of wagers contributes to the payouts when a large crowd plays. It’s like a lively party where everyone can taste victory.
  3. The amount of money wagered—Money talks, especially in pokies. The money wagered on a machine can sway its payout percentage. Machines that attract a higher volume of wagers often distribute more winnings. The machine accumulates funds to dish out as prizes as cash flows in. So, it’s no surprise that more money means a higher potential payout percentage.
  4. Understanding Return to Player (RTP) – Return to Player (RTP) is a nifty concept that reveals how generous a pokie machine will likely be. It represents the percentage of all wagered money the machine is expected to pay back to players over time. Picture it as a gesture from the machine, promising to return some of the funds you put in. The RTP can vary across machines and is usually expressed as a percentage. So, the higher the RTP, the better your chances of grabbing some sweet winnings.

Remember, these factors aren’t the only players in the payout game. The machine’s specific game rules, bonus features, and programmed algorithms also come into play. Additionally, keep in mind that individual results can wildly differ in the short term due to the random nature of pokie machines.

Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Winning

Want to boost your winning potential on pokie machines? Here are some tips that might tip the odds in your favour:

Choose machines with high payout percentages

When selecting a pokie machine, aim for those with higher payout percentages. Remember, the higher the rate, the better the likelihood of the machine paying out winnings over time.

Look for machines that proudly display their generous payout rates and try them out for a shot at more frequent wins.

Play When There Are More Players

Timing can be everything when it comes to pokies. Try playing when there are more players around. Why? A bustling crowd means more wagers are placed, contributing to the prize pool.

With more players in the mix, there’s a higher chance of hitting a winning combination or triggering a lucrative bonus feature. So, join the pokie party during peak hours and increase your winning potential.

Wager More Money

While it’s essential to gamble responsibly and within your means, increasing your wager can impact potential winnings. Placing higher bets increases the money that can be won in each spin.

Of course, this also means you’re taking on slightly more risk. So, find a balance that suits your comfort level and consider adjusting your wager to optimize your winning opportunities.

Play Strategically

Approach pokie machines strategically to maximize your chances of winning. Set a budget for your gambling session and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses or getting caught up in the excitement. Instead, set win-and-loss limits for yourself. If you hit your win limit, consider cashing out and celebrating your victory.

And if you reach your loss limit, it’s time to walk away and live to spin another day. Strategic play keeps you in control and helps you maximise your gaming experience.

Learn More – Tips to Increase Odds of Winning

Comparison With Other Gambling Forms

When comparing payout percentages, it’s important to note that different casino games have varying payout percentages. Games like blackjack, poker, and video poker typically offer higher payout percentages than slot machines or roulette.

The skill element in certain table games allows players to make strategic decisions that influence their chances of winning and the overall payout percentage. Players must consider the specific game and its associated payout percentage compared with other gambling forms.

Lottery and sports betting are forms of gambling that differ from casino games in terms of payout structure and odds. Lotteries usually have lower overall payout percentages due to the significant jackpots involved. The odds of winning in lotteries are typically lower, but the potential rewards can be substantial.

On the other hand, sports betting offers variable payout percentages depending on the specific bets made and the sporting event’s outcome. The payout percentages in sports betting can be influenced by factors such as the odds set by the bookmaker and the accuracy of the player’s predictions.


In the pokies industry, payout percentage is a hot topic for players seeking the best returns on their wagers. While New Zealand sets a minimum payout requirement of 78% for pokie machines, the actual percentages can vary, with many machines exceeding this threshold.

The industry aims to provide higher payout percentages to enhance player satisfaction and attract more patrons.

Factors such as the type of machine, the number of players, and the amount of money wagered can all influence the payout percentage.

Understanding the concept of Return to Player (RTP) helps players gauge a machine’s generosity. Players can increase their chances of winning by choosing machines with higher payout percentages, playing during peak times, wagering more strategically, and employing responsible gambling practices.

Related Read:

How Often Do Pokies Payout?
Fastest Payout Online Casinos In New Zealand
Top Online Pokies With Instant Payouts
Do online pokies payout? How do I choose a reliable online casino in NZ [Guide]

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.