What Are Pokies in Online Casinos?

While countless people have spent a lot of time at online casinos across many different game types, the term “pokies” is not always one that immediately springs to mind. In fact, if you do not have any Australian or Kiwi friends and do not live in that area of the world yourself, you might never have heard of it at all.

But what are Pokies, and where did the term come from? More importantly, is it something you would need to know if you are looking at more online casino options in the near future?

What are Pokies?

In simple terms, Pokies are slot machines: your typical reel-based slot that uses multiple reels to spin up potentially winning combinations. If you are already familiar with them, this should be enough to know what they are. If not, then a quick breakdown can help.

For new players, slot games use vertical reels (either three or five, most of the time) with an assortment of symbols on them. These reels are spun, and the symbols are lined up into paylines, with winning combinations offering winnings.

Alongside this are your usual bonus features, like Scatters and Wilds, that do different things depending on the game you are playing. Jackpots, meanwhile, keep an ongoing tally of money that can eventually be won by whichever player gets the winning combination first.


Where Did The Term “Pokies” Come From?

“Pokies” is definitely an odd way to refer to slot machines for people who are not used to the word, especially since the obvious connection to poker games does not really apply. The exact origin of the word is not really clear, but there are some theories.

As you will see in this Dice Dealer Pokies article, the most likely source is the fact that the first Australian casinos generally focused on video poker machines. When slots began to overtake them, the shorthand stuck since all of the machines were placed in the same areas anyway.

If this is true, it means that “pokies” is technically a shorthand for any gambling machine or any online gambling game – but realistically, it has come to mean slot machines. With video poker machines being slightly less common, that original connection is not nearly as popular.


Are Pokies Any Different From Other Slot Machines?

Pokies are just slot machines under another colloquial name, meaning that everything that applies to one applies to the other. However, it is important to know this terminology if you live somewhere that would use it frequently or live abroad but are holidaying somewhere with casinos that use this term.

This is because it is easy to make the assumption that it still refers to poker, which is not generally true. Like a lot of slang, knowing this makes it much easier to find the slot machines if you want them and removes a lot of the confusion that could come with asking for them.

Of course, every country has its own language-specific and slang-specific terms for things like this, not just Australia. If you are planning to play at casinos that might rely on local slang, always try to research things like this beforehand, just to be safe.