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History of Video Poker

A. Antonova (editor) |

Tracing Back the Evolution of Video Poker

Video poker is easily one of the most lucrative gambling games out there as it offers generous return percentages and a low house edge few other casino games can compete with. However, the earlier prototypes of video poker machines differed significantly from the modern online variations we all know and love today.

The game has undergone various changes over the years, and we cover them all in the following article. Stick with us as we trace back the history of video poker from its earliest days to modern times and introduce you to all the key figures and game vendors who have contributed to its impressive evolution over the years.

The important role of Si Redd

William Redd aka Si ReddWilliam Redd,commonly known as Si Redd, is a key figure in video poker history and has greatly contributed to the game’s development. He is often described as one of the most innovative people in the gaming world and deserves credit for completely transforming classic video poker machines.

Back in 1975, he founded SIRCOMA, a company that was renamed a year later to IGT (short for International Game Technology), in an attempt to create the most exciting video poker machine. Mr. Redd had always had a passion for games and before he had come up with the idea to develop video poker, he had worked in the gaming industry for a considerable time. His desire to be innovative and different, enabled him to create a video poker machine that went on to became one of the best inventions in the gaming industry.

Origins and Evolution of the Video Poker Machine

Draw80Poker Machine SircomaIt is believed that video poker machines were introduced in brick-and-mortar casinos in the 1970s. In brief, early video poker machines highly resembled slots, the chief difference being that the former utilized cards instead of symbols. Besides slot machines, another important factor that greatly contributed to the increasing popularity of video poker was the launch of personal computers. This is because video slot machines consisted of two parts, a television screen and a computer chip.

When the first machine was invented, it had many flaws and was rather primitive, especially compared to the cutting-edge devices we use today. It all started in 1970, when Dale Electronics created the first device for playing video poker. This unique machine became known as PokerMatic. As already mentioned, it didn’t gain much popularity at the time and required tweaking to appeal to players. Nevertheless, it paved the way for the evolution of video poker machines and has greatly contributed to the exciting game we know today.

One of the notable years for video poker was 1979 when SIRCOMA came up with a new DrawPoker machine. This was a new breed of video poker machine that appealed to a huge number of players. It offered them new opportunities and a better gaming experience, which made it worthy of a try. Many players considered this machine credible than other similar devices manufactured at the time.

During the 1980s, both slots and video poker became favorites among players. People enjoyed playing video poker because it combined skill and luck. Back in the day, games that required strategy and knowledge would put off players as they seemed too complicated. However, games that were entirely based on luck also didn’t appeal much to gamblers because there was nothing they could do to improve their winning chances. Video poker managed to strike a fine balance between luck and strategy. The game offered thrills while allowing gamblers to put their skills to the test and try their luck.

The Important Role of Microgaming

In 1994, software provider Microgaming introduced the world’s first online casino. This innovation had a huge impact on the development of video poker in the online gambling industry. The now-renowned software development company developed a range of video poker games with new features, a fresh design, texture and color. This enabled players to experience a high level of excitement while enjoying their favorite video poker variations from the comfort of their home.

When it comes to the evolution of video poker, Microgaming undoubtedly played a crucial role as it made the game even more enticing. Many people began playing video poker games and as a result, they became well-accepted in various parts of the world. Nowadays, a number of online casinos have teamed up with this prominent software supplier in an attempt to provide players with high-quality online games, including video poker. Most online casinos also offer free applications that can be downloaded easily from official app stores like Google Play. It is now possible to play video poker with better quality and graphics and enjoy it even on the move.

Whenever players bump into an online casino that partners with Microgaming, in most cases, they will be able to experience the classic video poker as well as some of its exciting variations online.

Online Video Poker

Online Video Poker ScreenshotThe internet made it possible for a number of exciting games to be played online. Video poker is no exception as nowadays, it can be found in almost every online casino. Shortly after its introduction online, it gained popularity and became one of the casino classics of all time.

Its online counterpart appeals to many players worldwide as it offers various advantages. It allows you to play multiple hands at the same time and win from the comfort of your surroundings. It is no longer necessary to deal with all the noise and distractions in brick-and-mortar casinos. Players living in remote areas no longer have to travel to enjoy video poker. It is extremely easy to play as time and location are no longer barriers. Video poker has evolved to a whole new level and enables casino enthusiasts to experience the game in a new light.

Nowadays, poker enthusiasts have the chance to enjoy it from various parts of the world. It has never been so accessible and effortless to get a high level of entertainment by playing either classic video poker or some of its exciting variations online. Thanks to the cutting-edge technologies that have emerged, players have the opportunity to experience video poker with outstanding quality and graphics. They can also win big by playing progressive video poker.

Modern Video Poker

The video poker games available today fascinate with their huge diversity and outstanding quality. Online casinos offer a number of interesting variations that feature exciting bonuses and deals. There are options for every taste and preferences. However, players should always take their time to consider the additional rules and the house edge before playing any video poker variation for real money.

Players have the chance to experience a number of variations and try various single or multi-hand formats. Throughout the years, the rules of the game have also undergone some major changes. For instance, Nevada casinos initially used a single pack of 52 cards but later introduced machines with different decks. This countermeasure was imposed to fight the so-called “reverse engineering” mechanism used to identify hidden cards. Video poker has now become one of the most played online games and as such, will undoubtedly continue to evolve in the future.


When video poker first appeared, its future did not look bright. A number of improvements were introduced over the years, increasing the game’s appeal among gamblers. The evolution of video poker is closely connected to the history of slots as the two share some nominal similarities. The history of video poker draws the attention of many avid players as the game has undergone various transformations over the years. Nowadays, it is possible to play video poker both from the comfort of your home and while on the go thanks to the development of mobile technologies.