I've been playing Video Poker for well over 10 years now, so as the Internet
has come about I've been watching, and waiting for the inevitable: Internet
It arrived in 1995, but I'll admit I didn't try it until '97 or so -
I studied computers in school and was wary about the security issues online.
The online world had matured a bit by the time I tried Internet Video
Poker, and I wasn't so nervous.
What concerned me the most was the fact that I may not get a fair game.
I mean, I understood that Video Poker machines in Las Vegas are only computers
too, and I'm dealing with a computer here online, but there is still the
air of mystery. Since then I've gained a lot of faith in the online gambling
world, but it took a few casinos to crumble for that to come about.
A great story about an online casino changing its games to be unfair
is documented online at the Wizard
of Odds Site. It's a great read, gives you a sense of who you're dealing
with (exactly the same personalities as the people who run Vegas), and
it gives you a sense of peace that mathematicians such as Michael Shackleford
have their eyes open for us.
Knowing there are watchdogs to turn to in the case of wrongdoing is reassuring,
but being paid is even better. The first time I won at Internet Video
Poker it was a modest amount of around $400. I was thrilled though and
decided to cash out then and there, not test my luck, and find out how
well this whole Internet thing really worked.
About two weeks later I got a check in the mail, had no trouble cashing
it, and was as happy as could be. It almost felt like I'd won twice, once
when it happened and again when I got paid. Sufficed to say, Internet
Video Poker was a new friend of mine. In fact I had to limit how much
time I could spend playing, it's so easy to start up a game, and it's
The casino I first played at is still around, but I've tried a number
of other establishments since then. I've been lucky enough to never get
burned (though I've also been smart enough to call all the casinos I try
first and get a sense of how professional they are, so who knows how much
has been 'luck') and I plan to keep playing as long as I can.