The History of Video Poker Machines




 

History of Video Poker

Although poker has been around for hundreds of years, video poker is a relatively recent invention. But it's not a new phenomenon. People might think it started with online gaming, but the game has a longer history than that.

In the 1970s, personal computer technology arose. The same technology that allowed engineers to combine a CPU with a monitor allowed them to build video poker machines.

First Video Poker Machines

The first commercial use video poker machine was SIRCOMA's Draw Poker, introduced in 1979. The game, which was the model for today's video poker, was simple five card draw where your payout was commensurate with the strength of your final hand.

SIRCOMA's game became hugely popular and the presence of video poker machines in casinos grew throughout the 1980s.Some people became so addicted to the machines that they would play for hours without ever getting up to eat or go to the bathroom.

Through the '80s and '90s, certain players developed techniques for beating video poker machines. Although the large majority of players lost, a few realized that if they could find the right pay tables and play exact strategy, they could come out ahead.

As a result, in the modern day, there are fewer machines with the most favorable pay tables.

Casino Video Poker Today

Today there are many more variations on video poker than there were when the game began. In addition to the traditional Jacks or Better game, where you would need a pair of jacks or more to get paid, there are Deuces Wild and Joker's Wild games, where the cards in question (deuce or joker) become your best possible card.

There are also bonus games where you get a special payout for certain card combinations, and even multi-line video poker machines where you can play several hands at once.

Another hugely popular game variation is video poker with progressive bonuses. In these games, a small portion of each player's bet goes into a collective prize pool, which is released when a lucky player gets the unlikely hand that triggers the jackpot.

These jackpots often grow ridiculously large and the current jackpot size is often presented on billboards outside and inside the casinos.

Online Video Poker

In the late '90s, when casino games started to be offered online, video poker was the game that made the easiest transition to the Internet. Video poker machines were already played on a computer screen and people were obviously used to playing the game in a digital environment.

It didn't take long, however, before new, innovative online video poker games started to pop up - games that took advantage of the benefits online casinos offer.

Alongside classics like Jacks o Better and Dueces Wild, players could now enjoy new games with elaborate bonus rounds and gigantic progressive jackpots.  

Even though video poker's history began in the '70s, now the game has reached its full potential. The online games are without a doubt the most entertaining ones so far.