What Percentage Do Pokies Payout in New Zealand?

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

Pokies are the most sought 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, you will find games offer around the 90% mark or above although you will never know it as individual gambling sessions will vary widely which is actually a good thing. Let’s find out what percentage pokies payout.

The percentages that you find listed in games at casinos actually 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 to note is that there are no pokies with a payback set to over 100%. This means that the longer you play the more you are likely to lose. There is no way to consistently win on the pokies.

See also Fastest 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 that a game or casino is expected to pay out to players as winnings. Payout percentages are calculated by dividing the total amount of winnings by the total amount of bets and expressing it as a percentage.

Importance of Payout Percentages for Players

Payout percentages are important for players as they provide insight into the potential profitability of a game or casino. Higher payout percentages indicate that a larger portion of bets is returned to players as winnings. This information helps players make informed decisions about which games or casinos to choose, as higher payout percentages increase the likelihood of winning and maximizing their gambling experience.

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 compared to games with higher house edges, like slot machines.
  2. Game Variations – Different variations of a game may have varying payout percentages. For example, different slot machines or versions of blackjack may have different odds and payouts.
  3. Casino Policies – Each casino sets its own 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 based on the game provider. Some game providers are known for offering higher RTP games compared to others.
  5. Random Number Generators (RNG) – The use of 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 the factors that influence them helps players make informed decisions when selecting games or casinos. It is important for players to choose games with higher payout percentages to maximize their chances of winning and enjoying a favourable gambling experience.

What Percentage Do Pokies Payout?

Pokies, also known as slot machines or electronic gaming machines, are a popular form of 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, there are regulations, industry standards, and best practices that 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 at least 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 greater payout rates.

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

Operators of gaming machines are obligated to show the payout % on the machines to maintain fairness and openness. Based on their preferences and prospective payout rates, this enables players to make educated selections about which machines to play.

The Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand also oversees and audits the gaming sector to make sure that 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.

Also learn: How often do pokies payout?

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 but instead, in a pokies game RTP is determined by the way the symbols are positioned on the reels. Note that 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 will get some wins.

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

All RTP are less than 100%

A game’s RTP is never going to 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 an individual gaming session, some players will win, some will lose and some might break even.

One fact that cannot be avoided is the fact that all pokies RTPs are less than 100% which means if you played for millions of spins you are 100% guaranteed to lose all money 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 any casino banner boasting a 95 per cent payback what this is saying is that “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 quite low compared to the games you can play online. This is due to the fact that traditional gaming venues have higher overheads compared to online casinos.

On an average level, the online pokies payout percentage is around 94% which is a good 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 it certainly cannot hurt to play games with higher RTP’s. Over the very long term, you should get more action for your money. Considering playing pokies is all about entertainment this gives playing online an advantage over playing offline.

Read: Best Payout Games On Jackpot City

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 two things: 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 that is when you lose), could be 2x your stake which can be a small win, or could be 10.000x your stake, a jackpot, and everything in between.

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 highest 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 a Return to Player 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. In 34.1% of the spins, there will be no winning combination (300,000/878,526).

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

Based on the outcome, the pokie shows a visual representation on the screen. 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 the other way around!

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, kind of like a giant tombola. The moment you push the spin button, the RNG stops at a random number. This number is paired with the outcome 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.

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 payout?

Unfortunately, you can’t. The RNG is totally 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 a lot of winning spins. Other times, you might have a larger amount of losing spins.

The best is to enjoy your wins and always know that every spin is new and random. Do not go chasing losses en never think a pokie machine is due for a big jackpot. It just doesn’t work that way.

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

Transparency and Information for Players

Disclosure of Payout Percentages by Pokie Operators: To promote transparency and provide essential information to players, pokie operators should disclose the payout percentages of their games. 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 in place to ensure the accurate and timely disclosure of payout percentages.

Accessing Payout Percentage Information: Pokie operators should make payout percentage information easily 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. Providing clear instructions on how players can access the payout percentage information helps 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

When it comes to 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 types of pokie machines can have varying payout percentages. From classic mechanical reel machines to flashy video slots or electronic gaming machines, each has its own payout dynamics. The design, mechanics, and programming of the machine play a role in determining the overall payout percentage.
  2. The number of players – 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? Because when there’s a larger crowd playing, there’s a greater pool of wagers contributing to the payouts. It’s like a lively party where everyone gets a chance to taste victory.
  3. The amount of money that is wagered – Money talks, especially in the world of pokies. The total amount of money wagered on a machine can sway its payout percentage. Machines that attract a higher volume of wagers often distribute more winnings. As the cash flows in, the machine accumulates funds to dish out as prizes. 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 is likely to be. It represents the percentage of all wagered money that the machine is expected to pay back to players over time. Picture it as a friendly gesture from the machine, promising to return a portion 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 greater your chances of grabbing some sweet winnings.

Remember, these factors aren’t the only players in the payout game. The specific game rules, bonus features, and programmed algorithms of the machine 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 just 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 percentage, the greater the likelihood of the machine paying out winnings over time. Keep an eye out for machines that proudly display their generous payout rates and give them a spin 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? Because a bustling crowd means more wagers being placed, which in turn contributes 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 have an impact on potential winnings. By placing higher bets, you’re increasing the amount of 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 make the most of 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 compared to games like slot machines or roulette.

The skill element involved in certain table games allows players to make strategic decisions that can influence their chances of winning and the overall payout percentage. It’s essential for players to consider the specific game they are playing and it’s associated payout percentage when compared with other forms of gambling.

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.

Sports betting, on the other hand, offers variable payout percentages depending on the specific bets made and the outcome of the sporting event. 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 world of pokies, the 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 the generosity of a machine. By choosing machines with higher payout percentages, playing during peak times, wagering more strategically, and employing responsible gambling practices, players can increase their chances of winning.

Remember, pokies are games of chance, and luck plays a significant role. So, embrace the excitement, play responsibly, and may your pokie adventures be filled with thrilling wins and unforgettable moments.

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika is a vivacious young writer from Auckland, with a fresh perspective on today's digital landscape. Combining her passion for storytelling with her love for cutting-edge technology, she delivers compelling content that captivates and informs readers.