The name pokie can be a bit misleading for players from Europe and other parts of the world. They might confuse it with poker or assume that it is closely related to a game of cards and has little to do with slots. New Zealanders know all too well that a pokies machine is a slot, as they’ve been using this name for more than a century. The same goes for their neighbours in Australia, as both countries refer to slots as pokies in both land-based and online casinos.

A particular name for poker machines

More than a century ago when the first slot machines were created, they could only be found in bars and similar venues. The games were very basic and used simplified mechanics, to deliver a fun experience for the patrons. The themes were also basic but they differ across the world, with two of them being particularly popular. Some slots use fruits as symbols, while others chose to adorn the reels with images that evoke memories of poker games.
Apparently, in New Zealand and Australia, poker-inspired slots were more popular and that’s why players used to refer to them as poker machines. Pokies is just a simplified version of the name, which players use colloquially when referring to the game and it stuck. Fast-forward more than a century later and online slots are the dominant genre internationally, so Internet pokies are now popular in New Zealand. Players have far more options nowadays both online and in land-based venues.

A brief history of pokies

The first game of this time was developed at the beginning of the 20th century and it used basic engineering to create a fun game. On both sides of the Atlantic, slots gained traction and eventually, they found their way further south. In Australia and New Zealand, the versions that became more popular had a decided poker theme, hence the name of pokie. Over the years, modern creations reached New Zealand shores and many of them had nothing to do with the poker theme. However, the name didn’t change, and players continue to refer to them as pokies.

Today, you can play the games online for free at popular places like the FruityKing online pokies website or the best real currency, if you fancy your chances at winning real money. Pokies also carry progressive jackpots, which can be won locally or shared with other casinos across the entire network. The latter is more difficult to hit, but lucky players walk away with huge amounts, which explains the lasting popularity of these games.

Technology is also improving the gaming experience, with virtual reality making pokies more fun. Software developers for online casinos have realized the tremendous potential of pokies and dedicate ample resources to come up with new and exciting titles. This means that New Zealanders are entitled to be optimistic, as the future of pokies looks bright.