The very first encounter with online casinos can very much resemble nothing but black magic. All these terms, rules, wagering requirements and various game types… the list is long and confusing. But gambling can be nothing but pure fun once you know how to approach it wisely. We have a small yet very helpful tip for you. Don’t worry too much and explore this exciting world at your own pace. Cliché as it sounds, it is the best and only way to make the most out of your gambling experience.
As you will read in this article, all these unknown words only sound scary at first. Why? Because gambling is a global phenomenon and different localities can take on different variations when it comes to terminology. Especially when we refer to totally opposite continents!
The English Confusion
Ironically, pokies and slot machines are both English words. So one can automatically assume they must refer to two completely different things. Well, not necessarily. Let’s clarify it. Online pokies are nothing else but online slots machines. They both refer to the same game, however one term is used commonly in Europe, while the other has been picked up by New Zealand players.
Pokies in NZ are one of the most favourite casino games of Kiwis. Why “pokie”, though?’ That’s a good question, and one reasonable explanation would be that it’s quite common in NZ culture to shorten many words. Heading this way, we would say that “pokie” has been derived from a “poker machine”. Over the years, the term has become a part of the common language and has been spread across the country. It’s no surprise that a pokie has quickly substituted what many of us know as a slot.
If you wonder whether the term only applies to the virtual space – the answer is no. Pokies are found both in brick-and-mortar establishments, as well as in online casinos. The rule is pretty similar when it comes to slots – whether you go to a local English pub or play in any of the UK online casinos, you will come across the games known as slots or online slots.
Game Terminology Around The World
As if the things weren’t too confusing as they already are, let’s add a bit more to it. As you play more and more, you might see other variations of the game’s name worldwide. Although slots and pokies are clearly one of the most commonly used names, don’t be surprised if you recognise a game but not its name!
The “slot machine” name has been inspired by the mechanics of the game. The first money payouts were available via machines that were operated by dropping a coin through a slot. Another name for the same game type is a “one-armed bandit”. First used in 1934, this term referred to a mechanical slot machine which was activated via a side lever located alongside the spinning reels. Also, without a doubt, the “bandit” bit clearly referred to the machine that would be “stealing” money from a player who just lost their money while playing the game!
A “fruit machine” is quite a historical slang term. The name refers to early machines which displayed fruit symbols such as cherries, lemons, oranges or plums on their reels. Now, it’s time to move to a slightly less popular term. Have you ever heard about the “puggies”? The answer is probably no. It’s a Scottish term that is often used in gambling-related situations and refers to good old slot machines.
What about “pachinko”? It’s a Japanese answer to the slot obsession. Pachinko is played with little steel balls that are inserted into machines that look very much like a slot and a pinball machine. It can be depicted as a hybrid between these two game types.
As you can see, the world of slots (or, should we say “pokies, fruit machines and puggies”?) has a strong historical and cultural background around the years. However, whatever term you decide to stick to, slot variations will always guarantee you a great dose of fun. All in all, this is all that matters and the chosen wording is just a meaningless addition!