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Why Are Pokies Called Pokies & Not Slots?

Your first time in Australian casinos might be strange if you keep asking for slot machines. That is because Australian gamblers call slot games pokies and not slots. Slot machines are some of the most popular casino games in the region, but why are pokies called pokies & not slots?

What Are Pokies?

Pokies are the term Australian punters use for slot machines. Players also use the name in New Zealand.

Why Are Slots Called Pokies?

If you’ve met Australians before, you know they use short terms for most things. So, for example, they call surfers ‘surfies’, mosquitoes ‘mozzies’, and video poker machines (slot machines) ‘pokies’.

Where Did The Name Pokie Come From?

It’s difficult to say where pokie came from because we can’t trace its exact history. However, most people assume that Australian punters coined the word from poker machines, which is just another name for a slot machine. Pokies seem like a catchier name and less cumbersome.

Some gamblers theorise that ‘pokies’ came from the poking motion some punters made when they tried to make old poker machines spill coins randomly.

If you ask players in an Australian casino where the pokies are, they’ll direct you to the slot machine section. In addition, if you ask them where the slot games are, they’ll direct you to the same section. 


There’s no difference between pokies and slots. It depends on where you’re based. It’s the same as calling slot machines “fruit machines” in English casinos. Pokies is just a fun term Australian punters use.