Video poker first started to appear in casinos in the late seventies although it really didn’t start to become popular until well into the eighties. It is easy to see why video poker is popular with casino owners, they can set up the machines and they will just continue to earn money without the need to pay a dealer to run them. It is also fairly easy to understand why video poker is popular with players, it is ideal for people who want to go to a casino but who are not entirely sure of how to play the table games.
Video poker is played around the world but it is by far the most common in the United States. In large part this is because poker is thought of as being an American game, although it is played around the world these days. The other reason that video poker is so popular in the US is that many of the people who visit American casinos are not particularly sophisticated gamblers, this is why most of the floor space is devoted to slot machines. Giving patrons a machine that they can play poker on instead of having to sit at a table has proved to be a popular option. The result is that most casinos have a large section that is devoted to video poker machines.
While video poker is common in American casinos it is not nearly as common in the casinos of Europe. This is largely due to the fact that people in Europe tend to have a lot more experience with gambling and so are more comfortable with table games. This does not however mean that you will not find video poker machines, they are usually just not in casinos. Because gambling laws in most of Europe are much more lax than they are in the US it is possible to put video poker machines in places like bars which is where you will find most of them located. These games have proved to be very popular with bar patrons in some European countries.
One of the countries in Europe in which video poker games are not all that common is Italy. This is largely because until very recently video poker in Italy was illegal. Up until 2011 Italian law differentiated between games of pure chance and games that required skill to determine the outcome. Games that were based on pure chance were illegal. Oddly even though regular poker was allowed is it required skill video poker was made illegal. In 2011 the law changed and games of chance were permitted under strict government control. This allowed casinos to start installing video poker terminals and several have done just that. In the short time that the games have been available they have proved to be very popular although the number of them that are available is still quite limited.