Video Poker combines the fun of two great gambling games: slot machines and poker.
Video Poker became popular in the 1980s. Deriving from Draw Poker, these slots style machines were the forerunner for today’s online video poker.
The card game poker evolved from many ancient card games but most consider the 16th century Spanish game of ‘Primero’ to be the founding father of the poker we know and love today. Over the years the rules of the game have been refined and many variants of the game are on offer.
Poker Gets Mechanized
Transferring the game into a mechanized version is no new phenomenon. In the late 1890s Charles Fey, credited with the invention of the first slot machine, the ‘Liberty Bell’, created the ‘Card Bell’ – a poker machine that had the capacity to pay out cash prizes for the varying winning hands.
In 1901 Fey added a ‘draw’ facility to his slot machine, allowing players to ‘hold’ some of the drums. This gave them betting potential and resulted in them being commonplace in liquor and cigarette shops throughout the US at the turn of the twentieth century.
Although these machines provided the thrill of gambling to the masses, it was illegal to gamble throughout the US at this time and therefore, instead of paying out cash they dispensed prizes, such as cigarettes and drinks.
Video Poker is Born
The First Video Poker Machine was developed in 1975 by The Fortune Bell Company. At the time this machine was state-of-the-art and used a TV monitor and console to display cards and make player decisions.
Video Poker machines gained popularity throughout the 1980s and they became common place in pubs and games arcades, as well as casino halls.