Draw poker and 5 card stud were the usual gambling card games on the paddle wheel boats of the Mississippi as well as in the bars of the long forgotten West in the era of the 1800’s. By the time the 1900’s rolled around, folks all over the United States were playing joker games of poker on weekend nights with family and friends.
Despite the growing popularity, you had to have played poker quite frequently and have a clear understanding of the game before you would go into a card room. That image probably remained true until video poker was brought onto the scene in the late 1970’s. Here was a up-to-date, entertaining and quite simple computer driven game that you could play alone without being intimidated. It immediately became an enormous hit with patrons of casinos across the country.
The initial video machines showed up in Las Vegas in about 1976. These fresh machines had limited payouts but did offer a $1,500 payout for a royal flush on the dollar machines if the maximum five coins were inserted. As soon as the machine manufacturers increased the payouts (for instance, to full house payout levels of 8 or 9 coins), player interest improved considerably and popularity of the video poker games began to skyrocket.
Today, casino floor managers are moving mature slots out and installing fresh video games on a regular basis. Video poker machines have evolved into scores of different games from the simple draw poker beginnings. Wild card versions such as Joker Poker and Deuces Wild are now offered as well as many bonus games which pay higher amounts for various 4 of a kind combinations.
Video poker is not only quite popular with casino customers; it’s also one of the less risky games in the casino for players, since winning does not rely entirely on luck.