Video Poker History
The history of video poker is longer than it might appear. Poker has been around in a form similar to its current one since the 19th century, and the precursors of video poker have been as well.
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Here's how video poker got its start.
Early Video Poker History
The first machine that resembled a video poker machine was the one created in 1891 by inventors Sittman and Pitt in Brooklyn, New York. While there was obviously no actual video, the machine did randomly create poker hands.
The machine did not have an automatic payout due to the large number of combinations. It was incumbent upon the proprietor of the establishment, usually a bar, where the machine was located to pay patrons. The machine worked similarly to a slot machine, in which players pulled a lever to set the drums that produced the poker hand in motion.
Video Poker in the 20th Century
In the 1970s, computer technology advanced far enough to create and market true video poker machines. SIRCOMA, the precursor to International Game Technology (IGT), created a draw poker game in 1979 that began appearing in casinos. The video poker games were immediately popular and grew to include different variations of draw poker (with wild cards).
Video Poker Today
As technology has improved, so have video poker machines, which remain as popular as ever. Furthermore, video poker translates neatly to online casino play, and it has developed a considerable following. Many video poker machines today also feature a progressive jackpot, a jackpot fed into by many linked machines that often produces a massive prize pool for video poker players to shoot at.