Slot Game Slang Names Around the World

Slots Slang Around the World

The slot machine has undergone many iterations since Charles August Fey built the first coin-operated device in 1894. Whether it be cranking a lever, pushing a button, or clicking a mouse, the mechanics have moved with the times. So has the terminology!

In our breakdown of the various slang names for slot machines, we analyze their origin and the reason for their nicknames.

Slang Names For Slots


Origin: Australia

The fine people Down Under can take responsibility for the Pokie nickname. In an Australian accent, it is delivered with typical, cheeky abruptness and, let's face it, is fun to say.

The term is derived from the word "poker," referring to the card game, and the suffix "-ie" which is commonly used to form diminutives in Australian English - see "Pommie", "freshie", and "biggie" as other words to receive similar treatment.

There's no real reason why slots are referred to as Pokies. One possible reason is that video poker was more popular than video slots among the Australian public of a different generation.

Another explanation might be the comparable nature in appearance.

Despite being quite different in gameplay, slot machines and video poker machines take on a similar physical form in a brick-and-mortar casino. Each standard model has buttons, flashing lights, and an electronic screen.

But in all likelihood, the Pokie title might be down to the classic Aussie turn of phrase.

One-Armed Bandits

Origin: USA

Picture it - the legendary whistling melody from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly sounds as you enter the gambling establishment. It's just you and the machine, one-on-one. An old-fashioned shoot-out between fortune and gambling technology.

There are many reasons why the One Armed Bandit nickname suits a slot, but the main one lies in its physical make-up - particularly the traditional, old-school slots with levers attached to them, with the lever representing the arm.

Despite its negative connotation, the term "One-Armed Bandit" has become deeply ingrained in popular culture and is still commonly used today.

Today, slot machines no longer require a lever to operate and have evolved into electronic machines with buttons. However, the term has remained, serving as a reminder of the origins of these popular games.

Fruit Machines

Origin: UK

Forget vitamins. It's more like Vita-spins from the Fruit Machine, which also goes by the name of "Fruity" across the United Kingdom.

The reason they are called Fruit Machines is simple. It refers to the symbols used on these machines' reels, which often included fruits such as cherries, lemons, and plums.

The concept of using fruit symbols on slot machines originated from the early days of gambling when prizes were paid out in chewing gum and sweets. The symbols on the reels represented the flavours of the candies that could be won.

Despite technology advancing down the ages, slots continue to use fruit symbols to this day.

Tiger Machine

Origin: China

Whenever there is a moment to thank your lucky stripes, it's when playing a slot - or a Tiger Machine, as it is known in Mandarin.

Why Tiger, you might ask? It all comes down to the Chinese belief in the power of tigers. In Chinese culture, these striped orange predactors are seen as symbols of strength, courage, and good luck. Naming a slot machine after a tiger is believed to bring good luck to the players.

In ancient times, tigers were seen as protectors of people and their homes, and it was believed that wearing tiger skin or using tiger imagery would bring good fortune.

Best online casinos in 2024

Lemon Casino logo
Lemon Casino

Rating: 9.9/10

  • Over 4,800 slots and 400+ Live games
  • Fast Withdrawals
  • Lemon Lotto Wheel - Daily No Deposit FS
  • Treasure Boxes - Loyalty Program
  • Non-Sticky Welcome Bonuses
  • No wager 7% Weekly Cashback
Bluffbet Casino logo
Bluffbet Casino

Rating: 9.7/10

  • Ultra-fast 10 minute withdrawals
  • 3,000+ feature-rich games
  • C$750 + 150 FS upon sign-up
  • 42+ award-winning providers
  • Casino & sports sections
Dmitry Rogalchuk
With over 5 years of experience in iGaming, Dmitry Rogalchuk leads a content team at CasinoCanada, ensuring that every article on the CasinoCanada website is informative and engaging for our readers.
Head of Content
The University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia & McGill University degrees, strategic marketing & content leadership expertise, sales strategies development
Expert in:
  • Content Management
  • Latest News in iGaming
  • Gambling Industry Knowledge

Related articles

Please turn your device for the best gameplay
By using this website, you agree with our use of cookies to improve its performance and enhance your user experience. More info on our cookies policy page.