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Why Slots are Named Pokies in New Zealand

The most popular casino games across the world are pokies. In many regions, they are known as slot machines, puggy and other names. The name “pokies” is widely popular in Australia and New Zealand. So, if you happen to visit these countries, you will see that there is no difference between slots and pokies. The term “pokies” is widely used at brick-and-mortar NZ casinos as well as at casino sites that cater to online kiwi players. But how slots got the name pokies?

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There are a number of online casinos in New Zealand that offer pokies. Practically, all gaming sites that we recommend on our website offer to play online pokies. So, choose the best casino that suits your preferences and play pokies for real money.

Origin of the Name “Pokie”

People from Australia and New Zealand like giving abbreviations and short names to the common words. So, it isn’t difficult to assume that the term “pokies” is short for poker machine games. But poker and slots are different things. Still, in the early 1900s, when players visited only land-based casino venues, there were two types of gambling machines: with slots and with poker. Both machines were pretty similar technically, so it didn’t make a difference to players how to call these machines.

With the rise of gambling in these countries, brick-and-mortar casinos used to place poker machines next to slot machines. It’s important to mention that in New Zealand poker machine games were introduced before slot machines. So, when slots appeared, many gamblers confused these two types of machine games. And they started calling both of them just pokies. Nowadays, this term is only used to name slots in New Zealand, Australia, and some European countries.

There is another version of how the term “pokie” originated in New Zealand. To play slot machines at malls or land-based venues, players needed to insert coins. And when they won, the machine would pop out coins and players collected them. But as the technology was not as developed as today, the slot machines were slow to pop out the coins. Meanwhile, excited players would poke their fingers into the machine. So, the term “pokie” could come from the phenomenon of poking a slot machine.

Are There Differences Between Pokies and Slots?

New players who have never gambled before often take pokies and slots for different things. But in fact, they are completely the same. The difference is in how people from different regions call it. Kiwis call them pokies, while the UK players call them slots. Gamblers from North America will be definitely confused with the term “pokie” taking it for a poker game.

Regardless of where you play pokies in New Zealand, at a land-based or online casino, the game rules remain the same. Before playing pokies for real money, you need to make a deposit or buy casino coins. Then, you just open your favorite pokie and make some spins. If the result is great and you win a sum of money that overtop your initial bet multiple times, you can cash out these winnings.

In any part of the world, playing online or offline, pokies or slots are games powered by the technology of random number generators. It ensures honest play and fair results.

How to Choose Online Pokies Right

Many players and as many tastes. So, the first criterion to choose a pokie game is your preference. If you enjoy classic fruit-themed pokies, choose one of them. If you prefer something modern with Egypt or space theme, then decide on this type of game. And only then get to choose a pokie by other criteria.

Pokie’s payback

All casino games have a certain return to player. This is called the RTP percentage. It doesn’t have an impact on your current winnings, but in the long run, you can take a percentage of your bets back. The higher the RTP, the more bets you can return. So, choose pokies that have a higher RTP percentage of more than 95%. You can check it in the game rules section.

Special features

Most pokies have many in-game features and symbols. The most common are wild and scatter symbols. But there are advanced pokies that also have bonus games with free spins, cascading reels, gamble games, bonus re-trigger function, buy bonus feature, and so on. The more features, the better because they multiply your wins by several times.

Ways to win

There are pokies that have only 5 or 10 pay-lines. And there are pokies with thousands and millions of ways to win. The latter is way better for players as their winnings can come from various winning combinations. And all of them are different at each spin. Most old version pokies have just a few ways to win. Besides, players can adjust the number of available pay-lines, which decreases or increases their odds of winning. But in this case, the bet itself also fluctuates.

Betting limits

Some pokies may have low or high betting limits. Depending on your bankroll, you can choose pokies with low betting limits or high betting limits. For example, if you play with low or medium stakes, it’s better to choose pokies with low minimum bet limits. On the other hand, if you are a high-roller, we recommend choosing high minimum bet limits.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about the history of the most popular casino games in New Zealand. Pokies are a type of game that is widely played all around the world. But kiwis pay them special attention. If you want to play fair pokies and get real money winnings, simply follow our recommendations about the best pokies casinos. And don’t forget to choose pokies right according to certain criteria.

Why Slots are Named Pokies in New Zealand
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To ensure that we are thinking about one and the same thing, let me clarify the differences between the real gambling sites and fake ones.

A real online casino is a gambling platform operated by an officially registered company. The owner takes responsibility for the good customer-oriented reputation of its casino which is achieved by following the strict regulations.

On the other hand, a fake online casino also has an owner. But this owner is a fraud who has never actually created a company, and the more so, haven’t registered it officially. He is just a smart person with excellent computer skills. He can make a fishing site within a day, put it crudely. Later, he only waits for the naive people who fall for the easy-made site and deposit without reading terms.

Real Online Casino Checklist

As we can see, apart from the fraudulent gambling sites, there are also real online casinos that provide appropriate service to the customers. They follow regulations issued by the gambling authority license, which is, by the way, a proof of the real and legitimate existence of an online casino.

Let’s sum up what you need to know about real online casinos. Before you sign up, review the casino for the following points.

  • License. The casino site must be licensed. The top licensees are Malta GA and the UK Gambling Commission.
  • Official data is transparent. The online casino that takes care of its reputation should place the information about the company registration and licenses right on the main webpage, or at least in the ‘About us’ section.
  • Appropriate terms. The golden rule of all gamblers is to read the T&Cs very carefully. If you see something that prompts doubtful thoughts, don’t sign up. The same is applied to the bonus T&Cs.
  • RNG certificate. The so-called Random Number Generator usually powers all the games in the lobby. The proof for the randomized games is a certificate. The most reputable one is issued by eCOGRA. The Independent Auditors sign also is accepted as the testing certificate.
  • Comments. The last but also very important thing to check is the comments section. The feedback given by the real players is the #1 indicator of the real online casino. The fact is that frauds can just add the info, license and certificate signs to the webpage to deceive users. To avoid this experience, try to find the real comments on the online casino that you select.

Luckily, you have an opportunity to figure out the casino’s structure. To be aware of casinos that manipulate with players’ money and provide unfair activities. It’s important to realize the security system, welcome offers and payment methods. There are, actually, few casinos that support all necessary requirements to pay out the most. The real problem comes when you start to search for good platforms and hardly identify the legality and the payoffs process. However, we will show you the main principles of how to find the casino that pays out the most.

Check the important factors

Firstly, look at the ratings and find the ones you think are suitable for you. The ratings are built with strict scores of each category. When we create a rating, we always include the following categories: security, support, welcome offers, game selections, deposits and withdrawals, legality of activities and the interface convenience.

There are few casinos that really payout:

Jackpot City – top casino that pays out really well with a high RTP rate. In fact, RTP stands for Return to Player rate, which means how much money will return back in the long run. The higher the percentage, the higher the amount that will return. Jackpot City has a really high RTP of 95,77%. Moreover, the casino follows all criteria, which we discussed above, including high security, bonuses, fast payment methods and excellent support.


Knowing the main principles of how a casino pays out, you may take all advantages out of that. In addition, don’t forget to check the RTP of a certain game, in order to have a higher chance to win. However, more importantly, check the legality part of the platform. In other cases, you would win nothing.

It is possible, but not for everyone. Do not be lazy to check the legality of gambling sites and the reputation of online casinos in the gambling community.

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