In Australia and New Zealand, slots are referred to as pokies, which might be confusing to other countries who find their way onto an Australian or New Zealand online casino. The term is also used in land-based casinos and has become a slang word in both these countries for all slots and even video poker. Many of you might be wondering whether term came from and why it is the only these two countries that use this term. Well, as we know by now, Australians have come up with many unique shorter words, including g’day for good day and much more.
It is fair to assume that the word “pokies” is also simply a short and would for these video slot and poker machines, but then again why would they refer to slots as pokies? When you think about it, the word “pokies” doesn’t say anything about slots or even have a reference to these games. However, when you look into the history of gambling of Australia, you might find an explanation for this term.
When slots became an addition to gambling in America and made its way to other countries throughout the world, a stray year began with video poker machines in the 1900s. This means unlike other countries, they did not begin with slots, or these were not the games that because popular first at least.
Video poker was the first form of gambling machines to become popular in Australian pubs and casinos and since terms are commonly shorted by the country, it’s believed that “pokies” is a term created by poker machines. Not long after, slots also arrived in the country and were situated in the same places and locations as these poker machines. Instead of working out a different reference to these games, video slots simply fell under the same category as it was also a mechanical game relating to gambling.
Therefore, even though these games are completely different, the country refers to both as pokies, which relates to just about any casino-based machine game that offers reels. It is important to remember that the first variations of poker machines also used reels to determine results.
Today, these machines have changed drastically as they are also now available in a video format as seen with video slots. The term pokie remains popular even with modern game styles and features, which is why the term has now also spread to casinos catering to Australia and New Zealand.
Video Slots vs. Pokies: The Difference
Even though these games fall under the same category in these countries, once you begin to play then you will find they are in fact completely the different. The first major difference is that one depends on poker rule while the other seeks out combinations from left to right using different symbol.
Slots has become the more popular choice or casino players but remains a game of chance as the is no skill involved when it comes to results. On the other hand, video poker actually allows the player to have an effect on the end result of each round. In slots, you spin the reels and wait for them to come to a stop to see if any symbols line up and create a combination.
In video poker, there are two rounds, which begins with five cards appearing on your screen. The player can then choose any number of these cards to be held in place while the others are replaced with new cards in the next round. Only often the second round, is the hand compared for any poker related combinations. These combinations don’t have to appear from left to right and the game does not include any payline to reward. Therefore, the betting options and methods are also a completely different as in slots you would wager on each individual payline while in video poker you would bet per round.
Video poker is better compared with the standard Texas Hold’em poker game as it uses the same rules when it comes to rewards. Your odds of getting a strong hand is also similar to the odds in standard poker, which is why the rewards for these hands are so much bigger.
The only modification made to video poker is the minimum hand you need to activate a reward. Casinos include this minimum requirement to implement a house edge. For example, one of the most well-known forms of video poker is called Jacks or Better, which already tells you the main rule of the game. You would need at least a pair of jacks to activate a combination and receive a payout. Therefore, having a high card or a lower combination would not yield any winnings as your hand is not compared to anything, but rather rewarded based on the results.
Other variations of video poker operate on the same rules but have modified pay tables to include different combinations and change the features of the standard game.