Video Poker History


The first Video Poker machines appeared in land-based casinos in the mid-1970s, when the most recent advancements in technology made it possible to combine a monitor with a central processing unit in an economically viable manner. As you’d expect, this coincided with the introduction of the first Video Slots and personal computers. Quite obviously, the earliest Video Poker games were very primitive and as such weren’t all that popular among casino customers.

This situation changed when SIRCOMA introduced its Draw Poker in 1979, which was a revolutionary machine that quickly won the hearts of gamblers from all over the United States. As a result, Video Poker games became increasingly popular throughout the 1980s, which shouldn’t be all that surprising since many casual gamblers considered them to be less intimidating than traditional table games with live opponents. Nowadays, Video Poker machines are an important source of revenue for most Las Vegas casinos. In fact, many gambling establishments are able to afford offering full pay Video Poker games which give the advantage to the player instead of the house as long as the player makes the right decisions. Quite obviously, Video Poker games take a lot of skill and effort to master, so those casinos are still able to earn a lot of money due to the fact that most of their customers make a lot of mistakes.

Online Video Poker

When the first online casinos became available to the general public in mid-1990s, land-based Video Poker machines were already extremely popular among casino enthusiasts from all over the world. Unlike the traditional table games like Roulette, Blackjack or Craps, Slots and Video Poker games were very easy to convert to the new medium, which means that the overall user experience didn’t have to be altered in any significant manner.

Consequently, online Video Poker quickly gained a huge following and became prominent on most online casino sites. Nowadays, playing online Video Poker remains one of the few relatively safe ways of earning money while playing online casino games. The days of exploiting flawed online casino promotions are long gone, but the return on investment rates haven’t really changed. This means that some of the most skilled Video Poker specialists are still able to profit from pursuing their hobby by picking the right games and by following optimal Video Poker strategy. Even better, online Video Poker enthusiasts are free to take advantage of all kinds of casino bonuses, which means that playing online is even more rewarding than playing at a brick and mortar casino, at least in financial terms.

Popular Video Poker Variations

While the basic formula of Video Poker games hasn’t really changed since the introduction of SIRCOMA’s Draw Poker, there’s no denying the fact that casino enthusiasts have plenty of Video Poker variations to choose from these days. The most popular games include Jacks or Better and Joker Poker, which are available on most online casinos, including mobile-friendly sites. Other fairly worthwhile variations include Tens or Better, Jokers Wild, All American, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus and Double Double Bonus.

Jacks or Better isn’t all that different from the most basic five card draw game, but you should keep in mind that even the most generous games of this kind give the house a slight advantage. Deuces Wild on the other hand modifies the basic Video Poker formula by introducing a new rule – all the deuces are considered wild and may substitute for any other card. As a result, Deuces Wild games tend to be more complicated, but in most cases they offer a better return on your investment and may even allow you to defeat the house edge as long as you don’t misplay your hands.