Why Slots Are Called Pokies In New Zealand

Tia Winter | 14 October 2021

When you’re playing casino games, you’ll constantly come across huge selections of slots. Given that these once exclusively land-based machines featured a slot for a coin, the name makes perfect sense. But then, head to Australia and New Zealand and a new word becomes the standard; pokies. But how on earth did this become the accepted local term?

First and foremost, there is absolutely no difference between a slot game and a pokies game. They are the exact same thing with no difference whatsoever. It’s only the name that is different, so New Zealand and Australian players need not worry that they are missing out on some other form of entertainment. Plus, of course, the land-based, online and mobile casino NZ versions are all referred to by the same alternate name.

The Casino King

Next, it is well known that New Zealanders and Australians love their reel spinning, but the extent of that love cannot be overstated. Reel spinning is by far the most popular form of gambling in these countries, far surpassing all other forms of play. Plus, that love has easily carried over to the online world, meaning that the mobile casino NZ world is expanding rapidly. Of course, mobile pokies, available on just about any mobile device that features an internet connection are a huge hit.

It need not be mentioned that mobile pokies are also the same as online slots, just in case there was any confusion. They are all the same software with the same bonuses and even the same payouts.

But the question still remains; where did the name pokies come from?

Enter The Poker Machine

There is actually a distinct difference between a Poker machine game and a slot, with varying rules and differing payout potential. Early 1900s Australians and New Zealanders, however, didn’t think so. Since the games were all placed side by side, the names quickly became synonymous, with all cabinets that looked the same being referred to as pokies.

The name stuck and has since carried over into the modern era, including in the mobile casino NZ world, with few now even thinking that the original term was originally meant for Poker machines. Though, as the philosophy goes; if enough people in a group call something by a specific name, then that word is that thing’s name. In the case of the colloquialism pokies, this proves the point!

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