What do they mean by Pokies in Australia?

Gambling games are hugely popular to play and are therefore chosen by many gamers. These games are not known by the same name in every country. In Australia, for example, they are called Pokies, but what exactly does that mean?

Maybe you have never heard of this name but in the following text you can read what it is exactly.


The word Pokies can have several (even less positive) meanings that a speaker of the English language will know. However, these have nothing at all to do with the meaning the Australians attach to it. They mean nothing more than the gambling games you can play on slot machines or slot machines or the slot machine itself. Whether online or in an actual casino.

Explanation why they call it that

Why are these games called that, you may ask? It is thought that this is because the first slot machines that appeared around 1900 were Poker machines. This explanation is probably not entirely true, but what it is exactly will always remain unclear. When the machines became more popular, the name was already so well known in the country that the Australians continued to use it for convenience and everyone knew what it meant.

Preference for abbreviations

It should be noted that Australians love abbreviating words. Pokie can simply be a shortened version of Poker. The language has a distinctive accent but the population is also not exactly strange to abbreviate many words or corrupt them into something else. So not only Pokie is a well-known word but there are many more like Cuppa (cup of tea) or Lappy, which stands for laptop. So there are many more words to name which they themselves have given a special twist. Just think of Ozzie (Australian) for example.

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A Pokie is a slot machine

As a player today, you can assume that a Pokie machine is the same as a slot machine or fruit machine. This last name you will encounter regularly, especially in the United Kingdom.

The name originates from the time that the machines were turned with a handle and you had to try to get as many of the same fruits as possible to appear next to each other. In Scotland the name Puggy is also used.

Learn the terms used if you want to gamble in Australia

Planning to travel to Australia and maybe visit a casino or more than one? If so, read up on the terms used in the gambling world there.

These may seem a bit strange or even completely unknown to you as a foreign gamer or gambler Down Under. Admittedly, the name Pokies sounds cozy right? And it makes you want to try your luck if the opportunity arises.

A quick summary of everything

Let’s get everything straight.

  • Pokies is the Australian name for slot machines and games. It really doesn’t mean anything else there.
  • Pokies are played by spinning the machine (online is also possible and it doesn’t always have to be done with a handle like before) and hoping that luck is on your side. There are often separate rules for each game and what you can win can vary.
  • Luck is the most important thing in a game on a slot machine.
  • The term Pokie(s) is used in both Australia and New Zealand.
  • In all likelihood, the term refers to the Poker machines that were so called by the locals in earlier times. The word can mean much more but Down Under it only refers to the game and nothing else.