Why Are Pokies Called Pokies?

why Are pokies called pokies
Why Are Pokies Called Pokies?

If you’re from New Zealand and a regular casino player, the term “pokies” likely rings familiar in your ears. It’s a common nickname for slot machines in the land of the Kiwis, and you might have wondered: why are pokies called pokies in the first place?

With a particular place in the hearts of gamblers and gaming fans in Australia and New Zealand, the phrase “pokies” is a quirky and interesting slang expression. In certain areas, the name “pokies” is frequently used to refer to pokies machines, giving the gaming industry a distinctive appeal.

History of the word Pokie

history of online pokies
History of Online Pokies

If you’re familiar with Australia or have explored online casino websites, the term “pokie” might have caught your attention. Often used to refer to slot machines, particularly Down Under, the story behind this nickname is both interesting and culturally rich.

Learn more – Gambling is not a New Phenomenon, it Existed Since Centuries

Origins of “Pokies”

The term “pokies” has become synonymous with slot machines, and it’s a popular term in Australia and New Zealand. This word derives from “poker machines,” which were the earliest form of gambling machines. These machines gained immediate popularity among Australian gamers in the early days of digital entertainment.

Aristocrat Leisure’s Influence

The journey of “pokies” is intertwined with Aristocrat Leisure, an Australian company founded in 1953. This company played a significant role in introducing these gambling machines to Australia, making them a household name. Despite the evolution of slot games, the term “pokies” has remained, even though the connection to “poker” has diminished.

Evolution and Recognition

While video slots have largely replaced traditional poker machines, Australians continue to affectionately refer to them as “pokies.” This term’s staying power speaks to its cultural significance. The history of “pokies” in New Zealand reveals that they arrived in 1987 and quickly gained popularity. The machines originally featured poker suits, bells, horseshoes, and fruit symbols. It was the poker symbols that stood out, leading to the birth of the term “pokies.”

A Cultural Shortening

The shorthand reference of “pokies” for slot machines emerged from taking the recognizable “pok-” from “poker” and making it into slang. This linguistic evolution reflects the unique and enduring connection between Australian culture and the world of casino gaming.

Relationship to Poker Machines

  • Connection to the poker game: The term “pokie” is thought to come from the word “poker machine“. The first type of slot machine to be introduced to Australia in the early 1900s was called a “poker machine” because the winning combinations were based on poker hands. Over time, the term “poker machine” was shortened to “pokie”.
  • Evolution of gaming machines and their association with “pokies”: The first pokies machines were invented in the late 1800s in the United States. They were originally called “fruit machines” because they featured symbols of fruits such as cherries, lemons, and oranges. Slot machines were introduced to Australia in the early 1900s. The first slot machines in Australia were called “poker machines” because the winning combinations were based on poker hands. Over time, the term “poker machine” was shortened to “pokie”.

Connection to the Poker Game

The first slot machines in Australia were called “poker machines” because the winning combinations were based on poker hands. The most common winning combinations were the same as those in five-card poker, such as a royal flush, a straight flush, and a full house. This connection to the poker game is why pokies are still called pokies today, even though the winning combinations on modern pokies are not always based on poker hands.

Evolution of Gaming Machines and Their Association with “Pokies”

Since the first pokies were introduced in Australia, the machines have evolved significantly. Modern pokies now feature a wider variety of symbols and winning combinations, and they often have bonus features such as free spins and multipliers. However, the term “pokie” has remained the same, and it is now the most common term used to refer to slot machines in Australia and New Zealand.

The association between pokies and poker machines is likely to continue for many years to come. The term “pokie” is now firmly established in Australian and New Zealand culture and it is a reminder of the history of slot machines in these countries.

Introduction to Online Pokies

Introduction to Online Pokie
Introduction to Online Pokies

Before the world worried about the new millennium, the online gambling industry, known as iGaming, was already making its mark. As early as 1994, Microgaming pioneered the creation of real-money virtual pokie machines, setting the stage for what was to come. Other companies like Playtech followed, but during this era, UK developers held a dominant position, as websites mainly hosted games from a single supplier.

By 2004, even before the game-changing iPhone emerged in 2007, Microgaming had already developed the first mobile casino software. During the same year, they introduced the original licensed slot game, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” which later spawned a successful sequel titled “Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs.” Mobile gaming gained prominence, leading developers like NetEnt to prioritize a mobile-first, touch-optimized approach.

Thanks to iGaming pioneers, online slots have become widely accessible to people worldwide, including those in New Zealand. The online pokies market in New Zealand is fiercely competitive, with various international developers vying for attention. This competition continually pushes the boundaries, introducing innovative features to engage Kiwi players.

More recently, the evolution of online and mobile casinos has transformed pokies into live casino games. Looking ahead, the future of pokies might involve virtual reality, providing an exciting prospect for a potential VR pokies experience.

How do Pokies Work?

how do pokies work
How Do Pokies Work

Whether you’re playing slot machines at local venues across New Zealand or trying your luck with online slots at virtual casinos, the basic mechanics of how these games operate are quite similar.

Contrary to common misconceptions, slot machines are entirely based on chance. The outcome of each spin is determined by a computer as soon as you hit the spin button. While futuristic ideas like advanced technology might influence slots in the future, they remain distant possibilities for now.

It’s important to note that every slot machine is designed to give players back less than the total amount it takes in over time. This characteristic ensures that, in the long run, players will inevitably lose funds.

Most online slots have Return-to-Player (RTP) rates exceeding 95%, making them more generous compared to their land-based counterparts. However, even with a typical loss rate of 3% to 4% for online slots, it’s significant.

Each slot machine is equipped with a built-in computer program capable of generating numerous random outcomes every second. When you press the spin button, the machine selects one random outcome from this vast pool. This process repeats continuously, generating new options every second, day and night. Since slot machines lack the ability to think or remember, the results are always fair.

Upon placing your bet, the machine generates an outcome featuring symbols on the display. Importantly, this outcome is entirely independent of previous or upcoming game results. If the machine declares you a winner, you’ll receive your credits.

Popularity of Pokies in New Zealand

popular pokies in new zealand
Popular Pokies in New Zealand

Pokies are a popular form of gambling in New Zealand. In fact, they are the most popular type of casino game in the country. According to the New Zealand Gambling Commission, pokies accounted for 46.1% of total gambling expenditure in 2020.

There are a number of reasons why pokies are so popular in New Zealand:

  • They are easy to play and understand. Pokies are a relatively simple game to play, and the rules are easy to learn. This makes them a popular choice for people who are new to gambling.
  • They offer the potential for big wins. Pokies can pay out large jackpots, which can be very appealing to gamblers. In fact, the largest-ever jackpot paid out on a pokie machine was in New Zealand, in 2016. The jackpot was worth NZ$30.7 million.
  • They are widely available. Pokies can be found in pubs, clubs, and casinos all over New Zealand. This makes them a convenient and accessible form of gambling for many people.
  • They are seen as a form of entertainment and social activity. Pokies are often seen as a way to socialize with friends and family. This can make them a more appealing option than other forms of gambling, which can be seen as more isolating.

However, it is important to remember that pokies can be addictive and that there is always the risk of losing money. If you are considering playing pokies, it is important to gamble responsibly and to set a budget before you start playing.

Pokies are extremely popular in New Zealand, as seen by the huge number of machines that are dispersed around the nation and the active online communities of players.

  • Book of Dead by Play’n GO: This pokie game is based on the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. It has five reels and ten paylines, and it features a number of bonus features, including free spins and a gambling feature.
  • Mega Moolah by Microgaming: This pokie game is a progressive jackpot pokie, which means that the jackpot grows larger and larger until it is won. It has five reels and twenty paylines, and it features a number of bonus features, including free spins and a progressive jackpot.
  • Starburst by NetEnt: This pokie game is a classic pokie game with simple but addictive gameplay. It has five reels and ten paylines, and it has a colourful and attractive design.
  • Big Bass Bonanza by Pragmatic Play: This pokie game is based on fishing. It has five reels and twenty paylines, and it features a number of bonus features, including free spins and a respin feature.
  • Jurassic Park by Microgaming: This pokie game is based on the popular movie franchise Jurassic Park. It has five reels and twenty-five paylines, and it features a number of bonus features, including free spins and a multiplier feature.

These are just a few of the many popular pokies games that are available in New Zealand. If you are looking for a fun and exciting way to gamble, pokies are a great option.

Choose your place to play pokies in NZ

Conclusion – Why are Pokies called Pokies

The reason pokies are called “pokies” is a neat adventure in gaming and language. It started with poker machines, tied to card games we love. This cool nickname is stuck in Australia and New Zealand. Even as games got fancier, “pokies” stayed, reminding us of excitement, luck, and casino fun.

It’s a name that shows the cool history and culture of these places. Whether you’re playing in a casino or online at home, “pokies” is a cool word that reminds us of the good times and interesting past of these awesome gaming machines.

Whether you’re spinning the reels in a lively casino or enjoying online pokies from the comfort of your home, the name “pokies” is a delightful reminder of the enduring popularity and captivating history of these beloved gaming machines.