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What are Pokies

If you are going to talk gambling in Australia, you have to talk about Pokies. But what are pokies?

What are Pokies?

To get the definition of pokies you first have to understand how it all began.

Gambling culture in Australia simply would not be what it is today without them. For the analog experience, you can probably rely on your local pub but of course, this is the 21st century, so the internet plays a part as well.

How it all began

Poker machines were introduced to North America in 1981, specifically in Brooklyn and San Francisco. The latter received a three-reel machine sporting an extremely limited selection of symbols.

Even though the highest winnings would amount to just 50 cents or less, the popularity of the game still spread like wildfire across the country.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, Brooklyn had a five-reel machine and winning any prize money all counted on how good a hand you could play.

As these machines were popular in clubs, said prize money was determined by an operator. This form, however, would eventually fall out to the much simple triple reel design.

For all the fuss that was being made regarding pokies, it is interesting to note that it would be many decades after their introduction that they would finally be legalized. In 1956, Australia became the first to do it.

Pokies online

Pokies started becoming available online with the advent of the 90s. Initially, they had a limited number of pay lines and lowly looking interfaces but that would change.

The connection of multiple networks created the potential for immense jackpots worth millions to be created. The online revolution also ushered in 3D graphics and animations.

Pokies today

The popularity of pokies is still ever increasing thanks to greater cultural acceptance and availability on the World Wide Web.

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That being said, there is certainly no other place where they are more popular than in the land down under.

Pokies online is simply an adaptation and evolved version of the original games from the late 19th century, except that now, you can play them on your own personal smart device. Bets can be anywhere from one cent up to 1000AUD.

New pokies break into casinos every other week or so.

Types of pokies

The two main types of pokies are classic and video pokies. The former has three reels and pay lines vary between 1 and 5. The video pokies normally have 5 reels with pay lines numbering between 5 and 100.

Playing pokies

Player controls usually reside beneath the reels. After selecting the stakes – coin value and bet value – you can activate the spin. You may also go for the autoplay’ option which will initiate up to a thousand spins. In true gambling fashion, there is no true way to win at pokies. All you can hope to do is initiate a spin and hope it spins well.


The fact that playing pokies is a proper gamble is not to say that you cannot make use of a few tips.

But these will only slightly improve your chances of winning.

If you are new to pokies, it would be best to start in free demo mode so that you do not risk your own money. One thing you probably will experience the whole time is the thrill of victory and the general excitement of playing.

Steve Thompson

I live in Melbourne. I have a Masters degree in Economics. I am a full-time gambler since 2007. Pokies is my favorite.

Page Updated: August 20, 2018