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The History of Video Poker

The History of Video PokerThe 1970s were the golden age for the development of electronics. Many iconic inventions found commercial use back then, such as the floppy disk, printers, LCD displays, PCs, VCRs, video games, cell phones, the walkman, and among them were video poker machines. It was a period when casinos started to fully embrace technology in order to fully computerize some of their gaming services.

Video poker provided that fast paced action that table poker lacked, and a private setting where the player could get straight to the action without having to wait for other players to wager, to calculate their moves, or the dealer to perform his services. Here the player had a straightforward and less intimidating playing session in which he was even able to maximize his chances to win by simply playing multi-hand video poker.

In the Beginning

Technically, we can say that one of the first slot machines was a poker machine, because it included five reels (just like in video poker) and the when the reels stopped they assigned a random poker hand. Nevertheless, the inventor of the first true video poker machine was Si Redd, who had professional relationship with Bally, then a big slots company. When he gave the idea for this new game to the executives of Bally, the company decided to own the patent on this new coin machine, but was largely uninterested to further develop and distribute it. Si Redd convinced the company to give him the patent for the game, and the rest is history. By 1979 American casinos saw the first video poker machine called Draw Poker. It was a fairly primitive machine in technological aspect by today’s standards, but then it represented the latest in technology by utilizing the latest in TVs for the screen and the latest in aspect of thematic modern design.

The 80s and 90s

By 1981 video poker became the most popular new game across US casinos. After that, the creator of video poker transformed his company then known as Sircoma into IGT, a today big casino game developer for both online and land-based gaming. Immediately after the success of video poker, video slots picked up on the hype and managed to storm the casino world too with interesting graphics. As time passed by Draw Poker was changed into the most popular video poker variation today, Jacks or Better. In the years that followed new variations appeared all with different twists and features.

When the 90s came online casinos first appeared, and video poker began slowly to gain momentum at online casinos. In 1995 the first online video poker game appeared. This was a gradual shifting of the customer base towards online gaming that today after two decades is probably at its peak and still growing with video poker dominating the playing time of casino players.

Modern Day Video Poker

Today’s popular video poker variations were actually designed with IGT’s Jacks or Better as the archetype. This game was the inspiration for successful online casino software developers like Microgaming, Playtech, etc., to further reinvent the video poker category with new online titles that included new concepts with bonus features and more chances to increase your profit.

The best way to play video poker today is via online casinos without a doubt. You can play from single to 100 hand games and make very small wagers in multiple denominations and coin sizes. Furthermore, online video poker is known to provide extremely low house edge. This edge is below 1% in the case of most of the variations that you will find online. In the end, it all spells out good fun and easy money.

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