Video Poker came about in the mid -1970s but like electronic monitors, was very basic and primitive. Si Redd, who was a distributor who worked for Bally, tried to introduce Video Poker to Bally. The Bally executives didn’t favour this unproven game and therefore let Si Redd have the patent on the game itself.
Si then went on to establish SIRCOMA (Si Redd’s Coin Machines) which eventually launched Draw Poker in 1979 under the company name of International Game Technology. The game grew in popularity during the 1980s, especially in Las Vegas.
The most primitive form of the game was called Draw Poker whereby the lowest hand there was a payout on was ‘2 Pairs’. The game was then modified to make the lowest winning hand a ‘pair of Jacks or better’. This increased the chances of winning for the players as there were more hands you could win from.
Ironically, the ‘Jacks or Better’ game is still one of the most played versions of Video Poker 30 years on. Technology has moved on significantly since the game was developed and this has also contributed to the rise in popularity of Video Poker. From a player perspective, players that had felt it daunting to play table games such as blackjack and roulette found their feet with Video Poker as the game required skill as well have the comfort that there is only you and the machine.
Times have moved on and as technology developed, Video Poker’s possibilities grew. Many more variations of the game appeared such as the Power Poker versions. The internet brought online casinos to the forefront and with that, more players had access to Video Poker. Microgaming launched the first online casino software back in 1994 and with that; the popularity of Video Poker grew as a result.
The game is based on poker hands which many players are familiar with so the game was and is easy to understand and play. The game allowed players that were intimidated of playing at popular table games such as Blackjack and Roulette, be comfortable with playing one on one with a machine using an element of skill. The game is seen as the perfect hybrid between the skill part of table games and the ease of play of slots. The house edge is also very low so Video Poker has become an instant hit with casino enthusiasts.
If you want to learn how to play Video Poker, simply read Casino Manual’s guide on how to play the game. To get to grips with the ins and out of the game, click here for more information.