In the late 19th century, slot machines had become very popular in casinos around Europe and the US, and in 1901, Charles Fey, a successful inventor of some of the first electric slot machines, revealed his latest creation, the “Skill Draw” poker machine.
Though his machines were fairly crude and simple in comparison with what we have today, Mr Fey nevertheless ingeniously managed to successfully incorporate the game of draw poker into its design. Thus, his machine became the prototype for poker machines for the future generations to come.
The Age Of Computers
Fast forward to the 1970s, and the world was embracing a new and exciting technology. The personal computer had arrived, signalling the start the digital revolution.
This momentous period in history, and subsequent leap in technology, opened up a whole new horizon for game inventors. By combining the technologies of television and computers, and the existing design of electronic slot and poker machines, companies, such as Dale Electronic Corporation, began inventing the very first “video” poker machines.
Though these were slow to take off, and didn’t fair with much success at first, it didn’t take long, however, for other inventors to follow suit.
Si Redd – The King Of Video Poker
The following decade saw the monumental rise of a certain visionary businessman, named Si Redd, who introduced his version of the video poker machine, call “Draw Poker”. This machine was so successful that, by 1980, it had been distributed to casinos across the US where its popularity began to sky-rocket.
In 1980, his company, initially called Sircoma, or Si Redd’s Coin Machines, became the legendary IGT – International Game Technology, which began to distribute their machine globally.
Over the 1980’s, IGT saw incredible success world-wide, developing a concrete monopoly of video poker that still holds to this day. Many of the common features of video poker were introduced by IGT during the 80s. It also became accessible outside of casinos for the first time, all of which only continued to confirm Si Redd’s reputation as the undeniable king of video poker.
The Online Revolution
The 1990s further introduced the world to the internet, the next ground-breaking and revolutionary development in technology to change the world, and the gambling industry at large.
Microgaming, a now renowned casino software company, created the first online video poker game in 1994.
This new method and format of playing video poker, and gambling in general, was a relatively instant hit, notably for the unprecedented convenience that it introduced.
People could now experience the novelty of playing video poker from the ease and comfort of their own home!
Video Poker in the 21st Century
Today, and over the past two decades, with the huge addition of mobile technology to the list of burgeoning technologies, video poker only continues to grow from strength to strength.
With an abundance of variations, supplied by numerous different companies, and available on a wide range of different platforms and devices, video poker will likely remain popular for many decades to come.