Is There Any Difference Between Slots and Pokies?

If you have played pokies at least once, you are probably wondering if they differ from slots. Is there any distinction between poker machines and slot machines? Both of them are gambling machines. Both of them are available at online casinos, as well as at their land-based counterparts. However, the question that interests us is — are they essentially the same thing?

Casino Game of Luck

Slot machines are the gaming devices with a certain number of reels (usually five). The reels have staples on them which depict particular objects, characters, or both, depending on the slot’s theme. These pictures are called symbols. On top of that, most slot machines have a wild and a scatter symbol, and each of them is of different value. Wild symbols usually act as substitutes for all other ones, except for scatters. Additionally, scatter symbols can trigger bonus features such as free spins, regardless of their position on the reels.

Slot machines

As opposed to table games, such as poker or roulette, slot games do not require any special skills or practice. Slots are the game the lucky players play because it is based entirely on chance. However, you need to read the instructions because they may differ from one machine to the other, but the game itself does not imply any particular knowledge. Just enter an established and reliable casino and choose a machine that appeals to you the most based on its theme and design. Although, you should also pay attention to the slot’s features and some other characteristics, but I will get to that part later.

Online Gambling vs Traditional Gambling

You may be the old-school type of gambler who likes to go to a land-based casino and feel the unique atmosphere that goes hand in hand with it. On the other hand, you may prefer spinning the reels of online slots to being surrounded by many people when you gamble. Either way, these two forms of gambling have similarities, as well as differences. I will make sure to point them out to you so you can choose the one that suits you best if you haven’t done that already.

Online Gambling vs Traditional Gambling

And in case you have, you may want to try out something new and mix things up. Whatever the case, it can be both interesting and useful to learn some new pieces of information about the game you like to play.


When it comes to the traditional form of gambling, gambling places are scarce in comparison to the online form. On top of that, there are more restrictions to land-based gambling than to the virtual type. Take the United States of America for example. The gambling laws differ from one place to another, as each individual state controls this activity according to its laws. You must have heard of Las Vegas, Nevada. Gambling there is regulated by the state in the way that all forms of gambling, with the exception of lotteries and racetracks, are permitted. In fact, the state allows playing casino games anywhere within its territory. On the other hand, New Jersey limits this type of gambling only to Atlantic City.

As for Australia, slot machines are available at casinos, as well as pubs and clubs. However, I advise you to trust only licensed venues with your funds. In conclusion, conform to the laws of the state you live in and gamble responsibly because that is the only way to make the most out of the activity.

Details and Features

In order to make sure your chances of winning are as high as they could possibly be, do your research. This is the primary pokies strategy which can help you win. Pay attention to RTP, which is the acronym for return to player, sometimes referred to as the return rate or the payout percentage. The higher it is, the more likely it is that you will win. In addition to that, make sure the machine you have chosen offers the possibility of landing the progressive jackpot. This feature can be triggered after any game and can provide you with big winnings, as it grows every time a player places a bet at that slot. Moreover, other features, such as free spins, can also prove to be lucrative, so be on a lookout for them as well.

Etymology and History

Now that we have gone through the forms of slot machines and differences between them, it has finally come the time to reveal the answer to the question. What is the difference between slots and pokies? Brace yourselves… there is absolutely no difference between the two. Pokies are the slang expression used in the Land Down Under to refer to slot machines. There is no difference between the electronic form and the land-based one either. Pokies are slots, regardless of whether you play them online or at a casino, pub, or a club. There are variations when it comes to the number of reels and paylines, as well as the RTP rates and features. However, those variations do not affect the name.

Nevertheless, you are probably curious about the reason why us Aussies and our fellows Kiwis are the only people who use the word pokies for slot machines. What caused the term to become so popular and so widely used? Why is it that the Land Down Under is the only place in the world where that word can be commonly heard? Most importantly, how and when did the expression come to be and who introduced it to the gambling community?


In Australia, it is common to shorten words in everyday speech. There are many colloquialisms that many people around the world would not understand, and they have originated as a form of abbreviation. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that pokies are a shorter and simpler term for poker machine. However, why do they use the expression “poker machine” for a game that resembles slots more than it does video poker?

Well, when gambling first appeared in Australia, all that was available were the slot machines with cards as their symbols. Due to the Aussie habit of shortening words, the game became known as pokies. Soon after, other slot machines started gaining in popularity, and the term “pokies” stuck to them as well. And when the Information Age began, online gambling started to expand, and the name “pokies” entered that world. And since almost every gambling website has slot games, now, you can hear “pokies” more often than back in the days when the term was created.

Erase the Question Mark

As you can see, the difference between the terms slots and pokies is purely geographical. People who come to Australia from the other parts of the world cannot encounter any problems gambling, as everyone is able to understand them when they ask to play slots. However, Aussies may face some puzzled looks if they search for pokies in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. However, given that we often travel to casino resorts elsewhere in the world, our slang term is likely to spread.

Other Words for the Game

And while we’re on the subject of different names for this entertaining game of chance, I will provide you with some other words for it. Some of them are electronic gaming machines (EGM), fruit machines or fruities, or even pub fruities. Puggys, commonly used in Scotland, amusement with prizes machines, tragamonedas (used in Spain, meaning coin-swallowers), and mangiasoldi (an Italian word that means money-eaters). Also, old-school gamblers like the term one-armed bandits, which is exactly how these machines look. So there you go, now you can travel around the globe and gamble in different countries using the appropriate slang term for this game.

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