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How Video Poker Came About

Video Poker is a combination of a poker game and a slot machine: Winning a game of Video Poker involves a combination of player skill and luck, making it fun for players who like the mix of both. The game of poker which is thought to have originated in the early 1800ís, is recorded as having been played by French immigrants living in New Orleans.

Video Poker uses a version of the game called five-card draw poker. Meanwhile, the coin-operated card machine ( the slot ) was originally invented in the late 19th century, with poker machines appearing in San Francisco in the late 1800ís. These machines were very basic by today's standards, using real cards rather than symbols.

The machines werenít so popular in the first half of the 20th century. Economic difficulties combined with the limited technology of the machines themselves meant that people just weren't interested in playing anymore. A very primitive electronic poker machine was released in the 60ís but achieved only moderate success. It wasn't until the mid-1970s that the Video Poker machine came about.

While casino operators searched for new high-profit games, and the combination of a slot machine with the more traditional game of five-card draw poker, this proved to be a winning combination of the old and new. The first Video Poker machine was built in 1976 by Bally Manufacturing. It was black and white only, but a color version followed just eight months later, released by the Fortune Coin Company. Over the next few years, computer chips became more inexpensive to mass produce, and more casinos introduced Video Poker machines.

A version called Draw Poker was released in 1979 by a company now called IGT, and it achieved unheralded success. IGT slots and video poker machines are played online via Wagerworks so that online gamers have the ability to play as well as land based.

Video Poker became very dominant in the 1980ís and is now one of the most popular games both online and in land based casinos, because players are able to sit comfortably in front of them and technology has made them more entertaining to play.


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