When you think of video poker, you might think of it as one of the newer categories of game compared to other classic games. However, it’s a lot older than you might think. Its modern manifestation is as popular as it was when it first appeared in casinos.
It might come as a surprise, but it can be argued that video poker is actually older than slot machines. In 1891, in Brooklyn, New York, Sittman and Pitt manufactured a machine that printed card symbols on five reels. When you pull a lever, a poker hand is created which is used to decide the prizes. This machine could be the origin of modern slot machines.
Real video poker hit the market in the 1970s. It started with the Dale Electronics Poker-Matic in 1970. Although players were initially suspicious of being unfamiliar with the electronic mechanisms, they quickly became popular as people got used to it. By the 1980s, video poker machines were almost everywhere, with wildcard offerings like Joker Poker and Deuces Wild adding to the appeal. These machines gave players the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of poker without having to fight other players directly. They have proven to be extremely successful and a great source of casino profits.
In 1994 Microgaming began offering online video poker along with various other online casino games. The success of video poker has been carried over very well to the online world, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as there is little difference between the live and online manifestations of the game. Today’s online video poker machines represent a variety of different variations of poker, and many feature progressive jackpots that can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.