The Evolution of Pokies: Why Are They Called Pokies in Australia?

The game of pokies is a popular form of entertainment in Australia. It has been around for decades and its popularity continues to grow. But why are they called “pokies” in Australia? In this article, we will explore the evolution of pokies, from their origins to the present day, and discuss why they have come to be known as “pokies” in Australia.

We’ll examine how the game has evolved over time and how its become so widely accepted throughout the country. Finally, well look at what makes these games so fun for players across all ages and demographics – something that kept them an enduring pastime since their invention!

The History of Pokies

The history of pokies stretches back to the late 19th century when they were first created in San Francisco. The machines that became known as “poker machines” would pay out a free beer or cigar depending on the hand, and quickly spread throughout North America. It was not until 1953 when an Australian entrepreneur, Len Ainsworth, brought these devices down under for the first time. They were initially called “slot machines” but it wasn’t long before Australians began calling them by their colloquial name – pokies.

In 1967 Australia saw its first electronic poker machine and since then there has been no looking back! Over time, gaming technology advanced and so did the games themselves with more features like bonus rounds being added in order to keep players engaged. Today pokies are a major part of social life across Australia with thousands of venues providing access to these beloved games which have become synonymous with Australian culture. Whether in pubs, clubs or even online pokies – Pokies remain hugely popular among Australians who love playing them and seeing where Lady Luck will take them!

How Pokies Became Popular in Australia


The popularity of pokies in Australia can be traced back to the 1950s when they first became available. Initially, these machines were seen as a novelty and only used by those who had money to spare. By the late 1960s, however, more people began playing them regularly as it was now possible for anyone with a few coins to experience the thrill of gambling without having to go out and visit an actual casino. During this time period, Australians began referring to these slot machines as pokies due to their resemblance to poker machines.

This name quickly caught on and soon everyone was calling them pokies regardless of if they were actually playing poker or not! As more venues began incorporating pokies into their establishments – such as pubs and clubs – its popularity rapidly grew over the coming decades.

What also helped boost its appeal is that many venues started offering various rewards like free drinks or meals when customers played certain amounts on their pokie machines. These incentives made it even easier for people from all walks of life to enjoy what had become an integral part of Australian culture – going down to your local pub or club for some good old-fashioned fun with your mates while playing a game or two on the pokies!

Why Are They Called Pokies in Australia?

Poker machines, or pokies as they are more affectionately known in Australia, have been around for many years. In the past, these machines were found in pubs and clubs across the country and were often referred to by a variety of names such as fruit machine, one-armed bandit, or simply slot machine. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the term ‘pokies’ was officially adopted by Australians when referring to these gaming devices. So why are poker machines called pokies in Australia?

Well, according to experts there is no clear origin of this nickname but it is believed that Australians chose this name because of their fondness for abbreviating words. The word poker can be shortened to pok, which would then become poki with an added -es at the end making it pokie.

Regardless of how exactly this nickname came about, what we do know is that pokies remain very popular amongst Australians today despite some changes being made over time. For example, video poker games now exist alongside classic reel slots online giving players even more options than before when playing pokies. So if you ever find yourself down under make sure you give them a spin!