We all know that each land and culture comes with its very own specificities and variations of words you are accustomed to hearing or knowing to mean one thing, only to find them with a totally unexpected or mind-boggling meaning only a short flight away from home. This is the case with the word “pokie” and its significance in some parts of the globe. The name pokies have at least been seen by almost everyone who has been on an online casino or heard by anyone who has travelled to places like Australia or New Zealand and you might be wondering what on earth that means.

What is a “pokie”?

The term pokie refers to slots in Australia and New Zealand too. Some suggestions claim that this name might have originated from ‘pok’, in the poker machine and finally evolving to the name “pokie”, that is more of a slang word. Most pokies in Australia currently use video screens just as other gaming machines in the world, rather than the real spinning wheels used these days, and are common in clubs and pubs too. 

Origin of the term

People of Australia are fond of abbreviating almost all words and it is no wonder that they shortened the term poker machine to simply ‘pokie’. However, many still wonder why the machines for this game were referred to as poker machines even when they are not so similar to video poker games. This is a reason for having the name thus cannot be explained to date. The same is the case with advertisements, which have for the longest time referred to this game as pokies. Well, no one really knows for sure regarding the first, and some people have tried to speculate that in the early 1900s when the machines were first introduced to the locals, they were, in fact, poker machines. This would be what the rest of the world has known as video poker machines. Very swiftly after that, with their close proximity to the rest of the variety of machines, it simply became easier for the residents of Australia and New Zealand as well to call them all “pokies”.

The difference between Video poker and Pokies

Even though these games fall under the same category in these countries, once you begin to play then you will find they are in fact completely different. The first major difference is that while video poker depends on poker rules, pokies seek out combinations from left to right using different symbols.

Pokies have become the more popular choice for casino players but remains a game of chance as there is no skill involved when it comes to results. On the other hand, video poker actually allows the player to have an effect on the end result of each round.

While in video poker, there are two rounds, which begins with five cards appearing on your screen. The player can then choose any number of these cards to be held in place while the others are replaced with new cards in the next round. Only often the second round, is the hand compared for any poker related combinations. These combinations do not have to appear from left to right and the game does not include any payline to reward. Therefore, the betting options and methods are also completely different as in pokies you would wager on each individual payline while in video poker you would bet per round.

Pokie Vs. others

Knowing now that pokies in Australia are not similar to the traditional card poker games, you can imagine why people have a hard time understanding what a “pokie” is.With the number of Australians going to each side of the world, it would not be surprising if this term began to be used in other parts of the world too. There  are a plethora of great UK sites too where you can spend a bit of your free time on your favourite digital pokie machines.