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Video Poker History

Video poker is one of the most popular games in both land-based and online casinos. The history of video poker demonstrates how the two great gambling games: poker and slot machines combined into an exciting new casino game.


The beginning of Video Poker can be traced back to the 1800's. After the invention of the Liberty Bell Slot Machine by Charles Fey in the late 1800's, further developments were made to it thus making it the predecessor of the modern day Video Poker machine. The early poker machines held only fifty cards. The ten of spades and the jack of hearts were left out of the deck. The result was that the odds of getting a royal flush were cut in half.


In 1901, Charles Fey added the feature of Draw to his slot machines which helped some of the drums to be held when taking a second spin. In the early 1900's these basic versions of the Video Poker machines with the Draw feature became popular.


The best machines were manufactured by a company of Sittman and Pitt. Poker was played all over the world from its beginnings in Europe. Since gambling was not legalized all over the United States, these Poker machines did not pay out money. If a player got a good hand he was paid out in prizes such as cigarettes.


In 1970, Dale Electronics introduced the first true electronic video poker machine. Known as Poker-Matic, the video poker machine was featured in practically all the casinos in Las Vegas.


In 1975, the Fortune Bell Company introduced the first video Bell Slot machines. This machine was changed to a Draw Poker machine which was immediately accepted and became very popular. It enabled the player to play Poker at a screen, he was able to see the cards on screen and choose his hand. He could choose his next moves, to fold, draw etc. A winning hand was made up of a Royal Flush which gave the best payout.


Then in 1979, the company known as SIRCOMA introduced a new video poker machine called Draw Poker. With Hold and Draw capabilities, Draw Poker became far more popular than Poker. It is said that the Draw Poker machine started the modern era of video poker machines.


With the advent of the Internet in the 1990's, the Video Poker machine was the most popular game. The online Video Poker game came in the early 1990's and was played in much the same way as the original machines. A player had a very low minimum bet, and it was easy to transfer money to online casinos.


The online Video Poker screen shows a hand of cards and the player is able to decide how he wants to continue his game. Video Poker is available at every online casino today with many different versions.

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