What are Pokies?
In Australian gaming slang, pokies are manual or electronic gambling machines commonly found in casinos and arcades. While the term is a shortened form of video poker or poker machine, the name is actually more commonly applied to slot machines – old-style fruit machines and modern video slot games. Other terms for pokies include gamblers and fruities.
When a gambler says that they are playing the pokies, they are referring to a form of gaming machine such as a slot game or a video poker machine. The phrase is Australian slang but it has also spread to other parts of the world and might be heard in British and American casinos as well.
Pokies are usually slot games. Other names include fruit machines, slot machines and gamblers. They are reel-based games which players pull a handle or press a button to operate. The reels spin and eventually land in a way that displays a set of symbols. Matching combinations of symbols pay out some predetermined multiplier value of the original spin bet. Pokies can be manual – like the old-style ‘one-armed bandits‘ or the more modern press-and-win games – or they can be electronic versions of the game, played on digital screens and with a host of additional features.
The term pokies actually implies a shortened form of poker games and the phrase is often attached to video poker machines as well. Video poker is a game played against a computer’s random hand generator: players wager on their draw, have a choice to hold or draw any of the cards in their hand and then aim to make a winning hand with their final five cards. The qualifying odds and the level of payout vary across different forms of pokies, but the general concept of the game is always the same.
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