Even if you have not actually played video poker, you must have surely heard about the game. Video poker is one of the most common casino games and can be seen in many of the casinos, whether online and land based. However, do not confuse video poker with poker. Video poker can be actually traced back to 1891 and its history is an interesting one which talks about how the game arose influenced by two other popular games – slots and poker.
In 1891, a New York based poker company called Sittman and Pitt invented a poker machine. This one of a kind machine had five drums, each of which contained ten different cards. In order to play, the players had to insert a coin in the provided slot following which the drums will display five cards and these five cards are supposed to make up the player’s poker hand. The machine could hold a maximum of fifty cards and because of the absence of tens of spade ad jack of hearts, chances of a royal flush was very less. During the initial days the poker machine was usually found in bars and unlike the present day the prizes were small and modest like a free drink or a cigar.
Charles Fey, the Father of Slot Machines, brought about certain changes to the machine and in 1898 a new machine was introduced, called the Card Bell. The Card Bell could pay cash prizes of up to 20 coins (for a royal flush) directly to the winners. The ‘hold’ feature of the video poker game was also introduced because of which several poker strategies came up; till today this feature is still one of the major elements in any video poker game. The original Card Bell machine is still intact and on display in the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Nevada.
It was much later in the 1970s that the electric video poker machines came about and Dale Electronics was the first company to introduce it in the market. The electronic video poker machine was called ‘Poker Matic’ and soon became extremely popular with the players evidenced by its presence in most of the Vegas casinos. Another improved version, the Draw Poker was introduced by SIRCOMA with a few years which featured the ‘hold’ and ‘draw’ options. In the present day thanks to the advancement in technology, the video poker games can also be played in the online casinos which is not only convenient but also comes with several added advantages.