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History of the pokies
American Charles Fey made the world's first slot machine. Fey's device was a very basic game known as the Liberty Bell and it became an overnight success. The first slot machines to reach the Land Down Under arrived on Australia's shores in the early 20th century. They were immensely popular among gamers -- despite their illegality.
In the early 1950s, an Australia-based firm called Aristocrat foresaw the slot machine industry as a major future craze. This led to the development the development of its first game called the "Clubman" that a man named Joe Heywood designed. Aristocart's Clubmaster was introduced two years later as the Clubman's replacement.
Just one year later, the NSW government made gaming devices legal, provided they were located in registered clubs. This fateful decision permanently altered the face of gaming in Australia and all over the world. Pokies were an instant hit among players, although all the games of that time were very basic. Internal lights became standard fixtures in the games several years later.
Nothing about the games changed very much over the next few decades. All of them continued to feature three spinning reels and one, three, or five pay lines. By today's measure, jackpots were modest and player interactivity was virtually non-existent as a gambler could only pull the handle and wait for the reels to stop.
The first video slots did not appear until the mid 1980s. Those devices represented the biggest gaming innovation since Charles Fey's invention decades before. The new games had five reels, many more pay lines, and featured extra chances to win via features like free spins.
Nowadays, your specific geographical location has become completely irrelevant. Pokies are among the most popular gaming devices in the whole world -- no matter where in the world you might find yourself! Even better is that you may now enjoy the pleasure of playing them from anywhere that an Internet connection is available.
The future appears to be optimistic for both the gaming industry and players seeking the enjoyment of these games. We have recently witnessed an increasing amount of complexity among bonus games and the number of reels and lines never seem to stop rising. IGT, for example, has introduced a new line of 6-reel and 20-reel machines.
How did the term "pokies" originate?
Although the precise date of the term's first usage is unknown, the word is now the universal name of Australian video slots. Pub and casino ads virtually always refer to these games as "pokies." Its initial emergency can be traced back to the time when clubs and pubs featured both video pokies and slots. Back then, the common name for both gaming devices was "poker machines.
Hence, as with most slang, the term is probably an abbreviated form of statements like "I am off to the club to play pokies." It is quite interesting that only Australians use the word, while everywhere else in the world they are still called "slot machines" or "slots."
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