Video Poker History
Video Poker has a similar history to the slot machine. The original slot machine which was created in 1891 by Sittman and Pitt really used 50 playing card symbols that were placed on 5 drums. The Jack and Ten of Spades were taken off with the purpose of making it more difficult to accomplish poker hands such as straights, as these 2 cards made the greatest number of straights. Traditionally, players could win drinks or cigars for getting a winning poker hand.
In 1899 the famous Liberty bell slot machine was introduced b Charles Frey. The Play card symbols were exchanged with hearts, spades, bells and horseshoes, i of the more traditional Kings, Queens etc. Now the place of the poker hands making winning combinations, the players had to instead hit a set number and/or symbols to get a winning combination. It took a few years before the poker hands made a come back to playing machines.
The introduction of video poker took place during 1970 as the first Poker-Matic video poker machine was introduced by Dale Electronics. These machines became commonly displayed in Las Vegas casinos yet they did not become a favorite with the players.
Applying new and more advanced technologies, in 1975 the first video slot was released by Walt Fraley in Las Vegas. These didn't start off to be popular due to players distrust in the payout of these machines caused by the fact that they could not see the actual reels on the machine spinning.
In 1979 the company IGT (AKA SIRCOMA) introduced DRAW POKER which brought about the rise in popularity of video slots. It was hugely popular in its own right and also raised the trust factor amongst gamblers in video slots as it used the same technology and not the traditional spinning reels. Both saw a big rise in popularity with the video poker machines at the lead.
Through the 1980's the popularity of both video poker and video slots rose quickly. players who had formerly felt threatened by the traditional casino table games had now discovered their cosiness at the machines.
As technology improved and better machines have been released the approval of video poker has continued to grow to imense proportions. Many new and challenging varieties of the game machines have been released.
The internet has also proven to be a major force behind the increase in popularity of video poker. High speed internet has enabled many players to play online from the comfort and privacy of their own homes and introduced the game to countries or cities that do not offer brick and mortar casinos.
During 1994 Microgaming introduced the first online casinos software and since also released several original varieties of video poker as have other software providers such as Playtech and Real Time Gaming.
As the popularity of Poker grows and online software is becoming more sophisticated, user friendly and faster, so the popularity in of video poker is rising.
From the Online Casinos USA team