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Slot machines have multiple names: one-armed bandits, pokies, fruit machines, and a few others. They are loved by players from all corners of the world and it is not surprising that different countries want to contribute and invent their names for this entertaining and fast game.

The pokie is a common name among Kiwis and Aussie players, and not a slang title for a cigarette as some of you might think. In this article, we will discuss the meaning of this title, as well as the main difference between pokie machines and slots.

The first slot machine

Nowadays, you can find the best online slots for mobile users simply by making a few clicks. And it is hard to believe that some time ago fruit machines occupied entire rooms. The first pokie was invented by Charles August Fey in 1894. At that time, he worked as a mechanic in San Francisco.

The machine was a success and he soon opened a small factory. In 1898, Charles Fey created the Card Bell with three reels and automatic payouts. In 1899, the Liberty Bell was introduced. It had bells and horseshoes on the reels and made a real splash.

What are pokies?

If you head to the Urban Dictionary, you may find multiple variations of the word pokie which shouldn’t be mentioned when talking to your parents or teachers. It can mean prison, cigarette, or even a nipple that seeps through a shirt. Fortunately, if you go to New Zealand and Australia, you can use this word without any fear. The definition is rather simple: pokie comes from the poker machine and means all-time favourite slots.

Pokies, as slot machines across the world, have screens and are available not only in online casinos but in clubs and pubs across Australia and New Zealand.

Where the name comes from?

Pokie slots are a good example of a rather popular habit among Australians: to abbreviate everything. They say g’day instead of a good day and mozzie instead of mosquito. Thus, along poker machine turned into pokie. But why these machines were called poker ones even though they looked like slot ones?

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer and you may find several theories. One of the most common says that at the beginning of the 20th-century poker machines were extremely popular. When slots arrived in Australia, they were placed next to the poker machines and locals started referring to the game rooms as pokies. No matter what the background is, the word pokie was so popular and common that nowadays it is used for online gambling. Developers, casino owners, and players prefer saying pokies instead of slots and you can also notice this change if choosing localized language versions at online platforms.

Slots vs Pokies

There are no significant differences between slot machines in New Zealand or Australia and in other parts of the world. They look the same and the rules don’t differ. However, if you decide to stop in Vegas, it is better to say slot machines because locals may be puzzled to hear something like ‘Where can I get a pokie?’

But considering how popular gambling among Australians and Kiwis is, it’s not surprising that often you can hear the word pokie in different casinos across the world. Who knows, maybe one day it will be as wide-spread as slots.

The most popular casino game ever

It doesn’t matter whether you are from Australia, UK, or Canada – pokies remain the most popular casino game ever and millions of gamblers spin the wheel day after day. With thousands of variations, you don’t even need to go to a land-based casino because all the games are available on a personal computer or even a smartphone.

After reading this article you know the difference between slots and pokies, and can show your proficiency in gambling.