Video Poker History
On the riverboats of the Mississippi river and in the saloons of
the Old West in the 1800s, draw poker and five-card stud were the
standard gambling card games. By the 1900s, Americans across the
country were playing these same poker games on Friday night with
friends and family. However, you really had to play a lot of poker
and understand the game completely before you would venture into
a card room to play poker. That notion might have been true until
video poker was introduced in the late 1970s. Here was a new, simple
and entertaining computerized game that you could play alone without
being intimidated by the dealers and other players. It immediately
became a very big hit with casino patrons across the land.
The first video machines were introduced in Las Vegas in 1976.
These early machines were limited on payouts but did have a $1,500
royal flush payout on the dollar machines if all five coins were
inserted. Once the casino operators and manufacturers increased
the payouts (to levels like eight or nine coins for a full house,
for example), players started to take notice and the game's popularity
began to improve. Today casino managers are moving old slots out
and installing new video games as fast as possible. Video poker
is not only popular with patrons; it's also one of the best games
in the casino for a player.