The Meaning of “Pokies” in NZ and Why?

Pokies New Zealand

For many years, the popular casino game “pokies” has been an essential part of the betting industry. Like numerous casino games, it has consistently caught the attention of an impressive number of players who enjoy its user-friendly gameplay and its potential to make them winners.

Pokies are well-known in different parts of the world. In fact, most online gambling sites in different countries offer it to their customers. New Zealand (NZ) is one of these countries. In this article, we’ll not be going deeply into the subject of pokies but exploring its meaning in New Zealand and why it’s given such a translation.

Online Pokies in NZ

NZ slot providers are offering the gambling industry their best, ensuring players have the most exciting experience betting online. The outcome of this is revealed by how pokies and online pokies have become very popular in most regions of New Zealand.


In NZ, pokies are found in different places, including online casinos, land-based casinos, bars, and pubs. This is why residents who wish to explore this casino game will find it in great cities like Hamilton, Christchurch, and Auckland. In these cities, there are several traditional casinos to visit.

Do casino houses run online casinos in New Zealand? At the moment, there are no online casinos that are NZ-based. But this does not restrict gamblers from “traveling abroad” to enjoy the game. As a New Zealander, you have legal permission to gamble on offshore sites. This is a fantastic privilege given to players. They play with no one stopping them from casting their bets on the internet. With this, they can make decisions on their own regarding whether they should play the online versions of the available games or choose the physical casinos.


The Meaning of “Pokies”

One crucial question is where the word “pokie” comes from. It is not uncommon to see Canadians and North Americans shortening their words. New Zealanders are known for this, too.

One of the words that New Zealand has shortened is “pokie.” The full version of this term is “poker machine.” Rather than necessarily being the automated versions of poker games, poker machines are coined to be slang in Australia and New Zealand, meaning “slot machines.” According to Wikipedia, pokies, or poker machine, is the Australian and New Zealand English word alternative to the British word slot machine or fruit machine.

Over time, as gamblers continue to use the word “pokies,” they find it more comfortable using it for every gaming machine. So, New Zealand casino players use the word without ironing out the differences between several automated games of chance, including slot machines and arcade machines.

In a nutshell, there shouldn’t be a lot of discussions on how the “pokie machine” turned out to be “pokie,” which is its shorter version. The shift is understandable because even several individuals, particularly English speakers, will prefer to shorten words for ease of use.

Why Pokies Means  Slots in New Zealand 

There is always a reason why something is done. The words “poker” and “slot” are different. Why will slot machines or slots be named after a poker game?

Looking at the historical images that feature poker and slot machines on the internet, we can see they somehow have the same look. Those who don’t live in Australia and New Zealand can still attest that the real slot machines and poker machines nearly look alike. This then explains the reason pokies means slot in New Zealand.

In the 1900s, the first commercials in NZ featured slot machines being referred to as pokies. After a long time of consistent use, the word spread across the country and was never considered a mistake when used.

Aside from the theory explained above, there is another one that is not so popular. But it still gives a little bit of explanation about the origin of the word “pokies” in New Zealand. Slots are widely known as a game played by throwing coins inside a machine. You will get coins from the machines when you win. But sometimes, you may need to “poke” your fingers at the machines to get the most out of them. In this case, the word “poke” divulges a specific semantic idea.


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