Gamblers and punters across the globe, especially in New Zealand and Australia, have probably heard of pokies.
Online pokies are popular due to their simple gameplay and potentially life-changing rewards. Like other online casino games, online pokies are accessible with any device.
Some players might notice that the games bear resemblances to slot machines. So, what are pokies? What are the differences between pokies and slot machine games?
Getting to Know Pokies
First of all, pokies are slot machines. There is no difference between the two – from the gameplay and payout system to regulations. “Pokies” is simply another way to call slot machines, especially in Australia and New Zealand.
In New Zealand, gambling was introduced in the 1980s. In 1988, electronic gaming machines (EGMs), later known as pokies, were legalized and quickly became popular. Aristocrat Gaming was one of the leading developers of EGMs at the time.
Poker, on the other hand, might share a similar name to pokies, but they are two completely different games. Poker is a skill-based game that requires a punter to understand its rules, whereas pokies and slots are purely based on chance.
However, its origin did root in the “pok” in “poker machine.” Australians love to abbreviate words, so it’s no surprise that “poker machine” became “pokie.” In their defence, slot machines were often referred to as “poker machines” in their early days.
These games were originally developed based on the game of poker. These early machines had symbols representing playing cards, and players would try to form poker hands to win prizes. This is why even modern slot games often use card-suit symbols in their themes or graphics.
Playing Pokies with Real Money
Online pokies gained traction in New Zealand in the early 1990s when Microgaming introduced games such as Fruit Fiesta and Cash Splash. By 2009, more than 20,000 slot games were circulating in the country’s land-based and online casinos.
Like in any part of the globe, playing real pokies – online pokies with real money – in New Zealand is easy. Keep in mind that choosing the right online pokie can have a significant impact on your online gambling experience.
Online pokies work with an inbuilt computer program that generates thousands of possible outcomes every second. A random number generator (RNG) determines the outcome of each spin.
Before diving into a pokie game, it’s essential to consider a few factors. Take a look at its Return-to-Player rate (RTP), variance, bonuses, special features, responsible gambling features, and compatibility with mobile devices if you plan to play on the go.
You can also play online pokies for free, as some providers offer demo versions of their games. With these versions, try out different games without risking any money and learn the rules and mechanics of each game at your own pace.
If you are ready to place your wager, remember that each online pokie has different paylines or ways to win. You typically need to land matching symbols on the game’s paylines. Wild symbols can sometimes substitute for other symbols to help you create winning combinations.