Video Poker History

The birth of Video Poker stems in large part from, of course, the game of Poker itself but also the invention of slot machines. Appealing to people familiar with the game of Poker as well as those fond of the ease-of-use inherent in slots, Video Poker has evolved over the years into one of the most popular non-table games in casinos, both on land and online.

Beginning in the mid-1970s, around the same time actually as personal computers were being developed and enhanced, Video Poker became a reality when technology became advanced and economical enough to combine a CPU with a television-like monitor. As you can imagine, the first Video Poker games at this time were pretty primitive.

As technology improved and industry leaders saw the potential of this technology, everyone started getting in on the action. ‘Solid State’ (referring to the combination of the central processing unit and television-like monitor) Roulette, Horse Racing, and Poker were all available at this time and it was Dale Electronic’s ‘Poker-Matic’ that experienced the greatest level of notoriety and success.

When the Fortune Coin Company built a video bell slot machine in 1975, the apparatus was soon transformed into a Draw Poker machine and soared in popularity. After the video chip was invented later in the mid-70s, and after SIRCOMA (which you know today as International Game Technology – STILL a leader in the field!) introduced its ‘Draw Poker’ in 1979, there was really no looking back.

Video Poker soon became, and remains to this day, a popular fixture in nearly every casino. Less intimidating than regular Poker, yet still involving a certain level of decision-making while maintaining the ease-of-use of a slot machine, Video Poker appeals to a wide range of casino patrons.

Video Poker odds and probabilities depend a lot on which game/variation you’re playing and the strategy you’re employing. Therefore, it’s difficult to provide a clear-cut odds sheet or listing of probabilities that apply to all forms of Video Poker.

However, what we can do, and what we’ve done here, is provide the odds for being DEALT any of the following hands. Since Video Poker traditionally follows the same odds as 5-card draw, these odds may look familiar to you.

Hand No. of Hands/Combinations Odds

Royal Flush

4 649,740 (to 1)

Straight Flush

36 72,192

Four of a Kind

624 4,164

Full House

3,744 693


5,108 508


10,200 254

Three of a Kind

54,912 46

Two Pairs

123,552 20

One Pair

1,098,240 1.37

No Combination

1,302,540 1

As you can see, the table, above, gives at least a bit of an idea as to what type of odds you’re stacked up against in terms of accumulating certain hands. To sum up the table differently, you’re basically looking at:

  • being dealt one pair 72% of the time
  • two pair 5% of the time
  • three of kind 2.2%
  • straight 0.4%
  • flush 0.19%
  • four of a kind 0.02%
  • straight flush 0.001%
  • royal flush 0.0001% So, don’t expect to really ever be dealt anything better than a Flush (we’re optimistic, we know).

With an idea of the type of odds you’re up against from the get-go, you should have a better ability to crunch even more numbers in your head as you move along. This table here is just a start.

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