Gambling is deeply rooted in Australian culture and has been for the better part of the last century. According to recent surveys, roughly 80% of the country’s adult population engages in some form of betting money.
Slot machines are the most popular form of gambling in the country. You might ask, what do pokies mean in Australia? This article will help you understand offline and online pokies and their significance to the community.
What Are Pokies?
Pokies refer to an Australian slang commonly used to refer to a slot machine. Pokies consist of a screen that displays various symbols and buttons or a touchscreen that a player can use to place bets and spin the reels.
Over time, pokie machines have also become slang used to describe online slots common in most virtual casinos. Online pokies are similar to their physical counterparts in many ways and feature symbols and reels. However, these virtual Aussie pokies also offer special bonuses and rewards to Australian players.
History and Origin of the Term Pokie
The history of the term ‘pokie’ has generated lots of debates since it became popular in the early 1950s. According to some researchers, the word was coined from poker machines, which were the name for slot machines when they first appeared in Australia. At the time, most of the devices featured video poker card symbols, so it’s rumoured that the term pokie was shortened from poker machines.
Others have argued that the word originated from the Australian word pokey, which is used to describe something cramped and small. The initial slot machines introduced in the country were said to be little and compact devices, so it’s possible that people began to refer to them as ‘pokeys’, which later evolved to ‘pokies’.
There are also theories that the term came from the Scottish word ‘pok,’ which referred to small coins that were used in gambling. Some theorists claim that Scottish immigrants brought the term into Australia and that it later evolved into pokie.
Regardless of its origin, the word has become an iconic part of Australia’s vocabulary. It is now used also to describe slots at the various real money online casinos available in the country.
Beyond Poker Machines: Fascinating Global Names for Slots
Slot machines are the most popular game in online casinos worldwide. They bear different names based on the country’s local language, culture, and the game’s perception. Here are some popular slang terms for slots around the world:
- Pokies are called fruit machines in the UK and Ireland due to fruit symbols.
- In Japan, pokies are referred to as pachisuro or pahislo in relation to the traditional Japanese game, pachinko.
- In Spain and Latin America, pokies are called tragamonedas, which means ‘money swallowers.’
- They are called macchinetta mangiasoldi in Italy, translating to ‘coin eater machine.’
The Colorful World of Aussie Casino Slangs
Australia is a country with a very rich gambling culture, and this has sprung up many casino slang expressions in the country. Here are some of the most common examples:
- The punt – This is a general term used to describe gambling in Australia. Having a punt is basically placing a bet, and a person who does this is called a punter.
- Standoff – In Australia, a standoff describes a situation when a player and a dealer have the same hand in a card game like baccarat or pontoon, which is Australian blackjack.
- Dough – This is slang used to describe money.
- Toke – This word describes a tip given to the dealer or any other casino staff.
- Jacks or Better – It is a name for a type of video poker where players either have a pair of jacks or lose.
The Mechanics Behind Pokies
Pokies operate on a very simple system and use random number generators to ensure everything is fair. There’s a slot for the players to insert their money and an option to select the amount they want to bet with. This opportunity is also available in any online casino that offers free spins to play pokies.
Then, the punter presses a button on the screen or pulls a lever to spin the reels, and the random number generator produces a sequence of numbers that determines the symbols and their location on the reels. If the icons are arranged in a winning combo, the player wins, and the pokie pays out. If they don’t, the machine keeps the money, and the player has to go for another round.