How Slots Got the Name Pokies in New Zealand

Pokies are among the most popular casino games worldwide. They are known as slots, fruit machines, puggy, and several other names in many regions. The term ‘pokies’ is popular, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. There is no difference in the game, but if you happen to visit New Zealand or its neighbour Australia, you have to know Pokies and Slots are the same. Similar to the land-based platform, the pokies term is also used at online casinos available for kiwi players.

Pokies games are so popular in New Zealand that most casinos offer exciting welcome bonuses and incentives with such games. Thus, you need to choose a casino that offers such advantageous offers. There are specialty sites like kiwigambler that provide detailed reviews and information about digital casinos with attractive promotional offers. However, before playing pokies with incentives, it is important to know why slot machine games are popular in New Zealand as pokies. Here, we have gathered all the essential information you should know about our title topic.

How Slots Got the Name Pokies in New Zealand

Origin of the Term “Pokie”

If you are from Australia or New Zealand, you might be familiar with the fact that people from these countries often abbreviate the names of all common words. Therefore, it is pretty simple to assume that “pokies” is short for poker machine games. There are several differences between poker machines and slot machine games, but many players from New Zealand considered them similar in the early 1900s.

When the gambling in New Zealandand Australia was developing, most casinos used to place poker machine games and slots next to each other. Since poker machine games were introduced before slots in these countries and most players used to get confused between these games, they started calling both of them pokies. Now pokies term is widely used for slots games only. Even at online casinos, pokies term is used for online slots in some European countries. Several online players use this term for video poker games as well.

There is also another story about the origin of the term pokies in New Zealand. Players needed to insert coins in slot machines to play at malls or casinos. When any player wins, the machine will pop out coins for players so that they can collect them. However, old machines used to take few seconds to pop out coins, and meanwhile, players often poke their fingers into the slot machine in excitement. This phenomenon of poking a machine can also be a reason for the term pokies.

What Are Differences Between Pokies and Slots?

To many new players, pokies and slots seem different games, but they are totally the same when it some to rules and entertainment. There are no potential differences apart from the name. Kiwis call them pokies, while players from other regions call them slots or slot machine games. Players from the USA or Asia might get confused pokies as a table game as its name is related to the poker game. In a nutshell, we can say that pokies and slots are the same game type.  

Whether you play at online casinos or land-based casinos in New Zealand, the gameplay and rules are the same. You have to insert a coin or buy spins online to spin reels. The RNG technology will help to determine random numbers on the screen. If you get a winning combination of symbols or numbers on display, you could win a lot of money. Thus, you would not observe differences in pokies in NZ from slot machine games in other parts of the world.

Nevertheless, you need to be familiar with the fact that at several casinos in New Zealand and Australia, players call all machine games “pokies.” Thus, you need to check a machine before a staff member at a casino direct you to a video poker machine when you ask for pokies.


Thus, now you know how this popular gambling game got its new name in New Zealand. Aussies might be the ones who gave this name to slot machine games, but it is more popular in New Zealand. This game has also conquered online casino platforms with mobile pokies and online pokies. Most digital operators provide free spins and use interesting themes to enhance the gameplay experience.

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