The history of video poker
comes from slot machines and the game of poker itself. The origin of conventional poker is a little unclear as the name poker may have different backgrounds.
For instance, the French word for poker is “poque,” the Hindu word for poker is “pukka,” and “pochspiel” is the German translation for poker.
There is an early mention of poker in 1834 on the Mississippi River riverboats where the game developed (witnessed by Jonathan Green). Of course, poker with cards has to exist before a video version of poker.
History of game machines
Gaming machines, which used coins, came about in the Eastern United States during the later part of the 1800s. These coin-operated machines were popular as well in San Francisco in both saloons and cigar shops.
Without the use of the Ten of Spades and the Jack of Hearts and with the use of the leftover 50 cards, early drop card machines showed the cards on five drums displayed in the coin-operated machine window.
Why were those two cards left out? It was to reduce the chances of winning! Some players knew this, while others did not. Various players even tried to use counterfeit coins!
You put a coin into the poker machine and pulled the handle, which spun the five drums. Once the five drums stopped, you found out if you had a winning hand or not.
What did winning hands get you? Cigars and drinks! Charles August Fey made a contribution to the history of video poker
In 1901, he produced in his factory a six-way Paying Teller with five rows of drop cards. He added the first draw feature to the poker machine.
Fey’s changes made it possible for players to use their poker skills as opposed to blind luck from the machine.
After the first spin, players were allowed to keep certain cards and spin again; this was known as the first hold and draw combination.
However, all but one of these machines were ruined in the 1906 earthquake and fire. Mr. Fey was able to save one of the machines, which can now be viewed in Reno, Nevada at the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant (which his grandson owns).
Machines strike back
At that point in time, people lost interest in these poker machines. At times, interest would pop up a little over the years, but this interest was sporadic. It was not until the 1970s that poker machines experienced a revival.
In 1964, Nevada Electronics created a solid state “21” (blackjack) machine. Other electronic machine games became available by the mid 1970s. This included video poker. Dale Electronic created a Poker-Matic that became popular in Las Vegas.
As we know, Las Vegas is the gaming capital of the world!
Finally there was video poker
The first video poker
machines existed next to a personal computer. The personal computer made the usage of the video poker machine possible.
Of course, in the beginning it was big and chunky with a television-like monitor screen. Video poker machines, like computers, evolved with technology. Video poker can now be found online an in bars and casinos.
In the 1990s, animated video poker machines became a hit. In the 1970s when the video poker machines were introduced, the only game available was Jacks or Better draw poker. Now, more than 100 different versions abound.