Video Poker History 

Video poker is the perfect amalgamation of slot machines and Poker. For many years it’s been a staple in both land-based and online casinos, captivating players with its engaging gameplay and potential for big wins. But how did video poker grow to become such a hit with players? Let’s find out and uncover the fascinating history of this super fun and iconic casino game.

Where it all Began

The roots of video poker can be traced back to the mid-1970s when computer technology was advancing at a rapid rate. During this era, a group of innovators set out to combine the thrill of Poker with the convenience of automated gaming machines. One of the masterminds behind the concept was a man called Si Redd, a visionary entrepreneur who later became known as the “King of Video Poker.”

In 1975, Si Redd founded Sircoma, which later grew and rebranded into International Game Technology (IGT). Sircoma’s breakthrough came in 1979 with the introduction of Draw Poker, the first video poker machine to gain widespread popularity. Draw Poker featured a 5-card draw format, allowing players to discard and replace cards to form winning poker hands.

The Rise to Fame

Following the success of Draw Poker, video poker quickly gained traction in casinos across Las Vegas and beyond. Its appeal did and still does lay in its simplicity and fast-paced nature, which is why video poker is great for beginners and seasoned players alike. Another aspect that lured players was that unlike traditional Poker, where interaction with other players is required, video poker doesn’t require interaction with other players or dealers.

As technology continued to advance, so too did video poker. Manufacturers introduced new game variations, incorporating wild cards, bonus rounds, and progressive jackpots. These exciting new features were designed to attract a broader player pool all while enhancing the overall gaming experience. 

The Evolution of Poker Variants

Over the years, video poker has branched off into many variants, each offering its unique twist on the classic game. Some of the most popular variants you can play at online casinos today include:

Jacks or Better: Considered the best video poker variant for beginners, Jacks or Better requires players to form a hand containing at least a pair of Jacks to win.

Deuces Wild: In this variant, all 2s (deuces) act as wild cards, substituting for any other card to form winning combinations.

Double Bonus Poker: Double Bonus Poker offers enhanced payouts for sure four-of-a-kind hands, making it a favorite among experienced players.

Joker Poker: Joker Poker introduces a wild card as a Joker, creating more possibilities for winning hands.

These are just a few examples of the many different video poker variants that have emerged over the years, each offering its own set of rules, hand rankings, and payout ratios to keep players locked into the entertainment.

Online Casinos and the Digital Era

The advent of the internet brought about a new era for video poker. As online casinos became more prevalent, they began to offer a wide range of digital variations that players could partake in from the comfort of home. Video poker games were now accessible anytime, anywhere, without visiting a physical casino.

Online video poker also paved the way for innovations such as multi-hand gameplay, where players can simultaneously play multiple hands in a single round. This added layer of excitement and strategy further contributed to the game’s enduring popularity in the digital age. Video poker bonuses, online tournaments, and the ability to play and win cryptocurrency are also advantages that video poker players have.    

The Future of Video Poker

As online casino technology continues to evolve, video poker is likely to be revolutionized by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR. Immersive VR casinos that enable players to interact with digital avatars and partake in tournaments in lifelike environments already exist, and casino software companies like IGT and Realtime Gaming are already enhancing visuals and interactivity factors in mobile gambling games. If technology continues on this trajectory, online casino players will have an incredible number of opportunities and gaming choices in the next decade. 


From its humble beginnings in the 1970s to its widespread popularity in the digital age, video poker has evolved remarkably. What began as a novel experiment has grown into a beloved casino classic enjoyed by millions of players worldwide. As technology advances rapidly, one thing remains certain: the allure of video poker shows no signs of waning anytime soon. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newcomer to the game, why not try your hand at real money video poker at Planet 7? 

Frank West is a bit of an itinerant gambler. An avid traveler and freelance writer with a penchant for games of chance, Frank has hit the tables in casinos the world over and picked up a copious volume of knowledge along the way. Frank enjoys passing on what he’s learned in blog and magazine articles about gambling and teaching people how to beat the house. He also covets his privacy, authoring his articles only under the pen name Frank West.