If you’ve ever travelled to Australia, you may have heard some of the slang that flavors the Australian landscape.
Australians are known for their ability to shorten words into catchy phrases that are easy to say. The BBQ is just a “barbie”, surfers are more commonly referred to as “surfies,” and those long plastic boots we wear in the rain are simply your “wellies.”
Slot machines are no different, but in Australia, the slot machines are not the “slotties,” but the “pokies!”
Australians themselves are not sure why the shortened version of poker, “pok,” has become a term used to describe slot machines. This is something that has passed down the generations over time.
Many believe that in the early 1900s, Australia’s first casino games were machine poker games. These became very popular amongst Australians, who would naturally have referred to them as “pokies” when using classic Australian slang.
When machine poker gave way to the slot machines we know today, Australians found it easier to just continue with the established name. Today, if you travel to Australia or New Zealand you’ll find many Australians playing the “pokies,” or slot machines.
Traditionally, the “pokies” have been played in pubs. Sports, social and RSL clubs also often have a gaming machine. In Australian online casinos, the terms “pokies” and “slots” are both used interchangeably, and both terms refer to traditional slot machines. For instance, the gambling website Fair Go Casino calls this game category “pokies and slots”. In this way, this type of game is easier to find for all users.
The Australian Productivity Commission reported that Australia had 185,000 poker machines in 1999, which accounts for roughly 20% of all of the world’s slot machines.
Slot machines are popular in Queensland and Victoria, and of course, New South Wales but Australians have also started to gamble online.
Easier payment options, as well as added perks and loyalty bonuses, have caused people to play online, especially during the pandemic.
Many people also believe it’s easier to win through online casinos because the computers and algorithms offer higher percentage payouts. Online slots and pokies are also more likely to spin a completely random number than a number that favours the house.
Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources “Joe Joe.” he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.