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The History of Video Poker: A Timeline

Casino Games

history of video pokerVideo Poker is one of the most popular online casino games, but have you ever wondered where it all got started? Video Poker is, in fact, much older than most players realise as its origins can be traced back to New York City, hundreds of years ago. Take a look at the timeline of Video Poker development and keep these humble beginnings in mind next time you’re playing at your favourite online casino.

At The Very Beginning

  • 1891: Sittman and Pitt invent an early poker machine containing 5 drums, each emblazoned with 10 different playing cards. Once a coin was inserted, the drums would begin to spin and when they stopped, the drums would reveal the final poker hand.
  • 1898: Charles Fey, also known as ‘The Father of the Slot Machine’, creates the Liberty Bell Slot Machine, which further develops the idea of the rudimentary Poker machine created by Sittman and Pitt.
  • 1901: Charles Fey develops the Skill Draw Machine, which is widely considered the first 5-card Draw Poker machine.

The Disco Era of Video Poker

  • 1970: Dale Electronics create the first electronic Video Poker machine called the Poker-Matic and these machines are widely distributed amongst Vegas casinos. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a flop and the machines don’t gain popularity.
  • Mid-70s: Si Redd collaborates with Fortune Coin to develop his patented Video Poker machines, and by 1981, these new machines are all the rage.

Modern Online & Mobile Era

  • 1994: The year that most consider as the birth of the online casino, Video Poker was one of the first games to be featured online because its popularity was only matched by slot games.
  • 1996: Online casinos grow to 15 in total.
  • 1997: The number of online casinos increases to a whopping 200 sites.
  • 1998-2004: Online casinos expand at a tremendous rate and are accessible by almost every country in the world.
  • 2005: The first mobile casinos start cropping up, and are expected to generate revenues of over $19 billion by 2009.
  • Late 2000s-present: Smartphones become widely available, further increasing the popularity of mobile casinos and the ever popular Video Poker. It’s clearly evident how Video Poker has maintained a steady popularity since its rise to fame in the 1980s, and with the runaway popularity of mobile casinos, it’s clear that Video Poker is here to stay.
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