In the world of gambling, evolution is a key factor in its popularity. From Roman soldiers playing dice, to astronauts shuffling their decks in the space shuttle, gambling is as old and widespread as anything throughout history. But without the modern conveniences of today’s gambling, it wasn’t accessible to such a broad audience.
When humans began to revolutionize machinery, video poker machines weren’t high on their list. Yet since they’ve been around, these machines have grossed billions upon billions of dollars, and have become some of the most popular items in various shops and casinos.
Video poker machines work by using a random number generator (RNG), which is a software algorithm used to ensure a random outcome of game play. Though not all RNG’s operate the same, they all offer completely random numbers, with billions of variants. When the machine isn’t in action, the RNG runs hundreds of times per second.
Once the start, deal or bet button is pressed, the outcome is already predetermined, regardless of the particular player or number of coins bet. In five-card poker for example, the replacement cards are already set to be delivered. So whichever card is thrown away, the replacement will remain the same.
Video poker first became commercially popular when it became economical to combine a TV-style monitor with a solid state central processing unit. The earliest models of video poker machines appeared around the same time as the first personal computers, around the 1970s.
And although the first machines were very primitive by today’s high standards of technology, the first machines were widely popular. Just as our computers have changed from huge tabletop pieces of machinery, to small and compact devices we can lug around in our pockets, poker machines have also changed with the times. The first machines were large, hard to produce, and very slow-acting.
Video poker became more widely established when SIRCOMA (Si Redd’s Coin Machines), first introduced Draw Poker in 1979. Throughout the 1980s, video poker became increasingly popular in various casinos and underground betting shops.
A reason for the popularity of these machines may be simpler than most think. Playing at a table with live players and a dealer can be very intimidating. Video poker has its best advantage by acting as a solitary game: just the user and the machine. Today, video poker plays a prominent role in the complete gaming scene.
These games, though popular the world over, are the most popular in Las Vegas. The machines are so popular that Vegas casinos often offer lower denomination machines or machines with better odds to increase overall revenue.
This was more common in the 1990s, whereas now various casinos across the country have recently been cutting their pay tables, only offering 25 cent machines or higher. Different games offered on these machines include Jacks or Better, 10s or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus, Double-Double Bonus, Five-Card Draw, and even Blackjack, which some don’t consider a poker game.
Technology continues to advance and poker machines are become more reliable, faster, and easier to operate than ever before.