Single crystals of Ni-25.6 at.% Pt and Ni-87.8 at.% Pt were investigated by diffuse x-ray scattering for states of thermal equilibrium (923 K and 603 K, respectively). The separated short-range order scattering showed local maxima at 100 positions. Effective pair interaction parameters, as determined by the inverse Monte Carlo method, show a strong composition dependence of the nearest-neighbor interaction parameter. First-principles calculations are consistent with this finding and reveal a large contribution due to lattice strain. Based on values of the ordering energy, NiPt3 with L12 structure was considered as a plausible new intermetallic phase, with Monte Carlo simulations giving an order-disorder transition temperature of 650 K. A single crystal of Ni-75.2 at.% Pt, quenched from 1073 K and aged at 613 K, showed L12-type ordering, reaching a long-range order parameter of 0.50(4) after 800 h.