Today I am going to branch off in a new direction for my history of poker articles. I’d like to focus a little on the history of video poker and video poker machines. We see video poker everywhere, from the largest casinos to the dirty truck stop on the side of the interstate. Video poker is relatively everywhere including the internet. It’s a convenience that allows you the opportunity to play most anywhere and anytime.
Video poker started off when the personal computer came out. People realized they could combine poker and a basic computer into a money making machine (literally). People often find video poker less scary then a casino table game and it’s a good way to get comfortable with the rules before you jump over to a higher stakes real world game.
Basically the machines work when you insert money, either quarters or tokens, and select the type of poker you want to play. Bets can vary but often start around .25 cents. Payouts vary for hands, but lower hands generally don’t pay out anything in a standard video poker machine. Other incentives to play make them similar to slot machines in their options of progressive play and general layout. You will usually find these machines thrown in with the slot machines as well, so keep your eyes open on the floor when you’re at the casino.
Internet poker may be staunching the video poker realm a little bit considering you can play real people without the intimidation factor of the table games. We’ll see where video poker is at in a few years, but I don’t think it’s going to disappear by any real measures.
Overall video poker is a great way to get some experience playing poker at a casino. It can also be a little warm up before you sit down at a high stakes table, or even a good way to blow off a little steam after a bad beat. The machines are easy to find and simple to figure out, so if you’ve got a friend looking to learn the ropes point them in the direction of a video poker machine.