Trek Through The Stars Of Gambling On Computers In The 1990s

  • The Major Games Of The Era Shunned Gambling As Gameplay
  • Decade Saw Casino Games Replicated And Riker Playing Poker  
  • Gambling On Computers In The 1990s Had Full Video - Sort Of
Gambling On Computers In The 1990s
Image source: Spacekid via Wikimedia Commons

Still clunky despite the massive strides of technology gambling on computers in the 1990s was caught in limbo. These days anyone who uses online betting sites in the UK like Bet365 will think it odd, but in the 90s gambling was a world apart. This apparent apartheid allowed them to focus on the core requirement to bring the thrills and spills of gambling to a computer screen. Some did it with variety, others with the traditional breasts, and some with actors from Star Trek.

Looking it back it’s perhaps unfair to say gaming shunned gambling on computers in the 1990s. The major titles that we all recall from the era didn’t really have the option. The play in Half-Life, Quake, Starcraft, and Wolfenstein 3D had little room for gambling. Fallout made a stab at it, of course, buried beneath its stat overkill, but a lackluster algorithm made it unsatisfactory. For most gambling was just background, as in Goldeneye 007 where blackjack tables just got in the way.

So whilst people struggled with the casino puzzle on Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge those seeking actual gambling had to go elsewhere. Fortunately, there were games out there specifically to cater to them. Gambling on computers in the 1990s might have been somewhat niche, but it was there. Vegas Stakes was a good example of the many that tried to replicate the casino experience. Not that they got anywhere close to online sportsbook sites in the UK like Bet365.   

Casinos, Cover Girls And A Starfleet Commander 

The casino was graphically still very poor. Computers had evolved but by no means far enough. Vegas Stakes did, however, allow you to play a variety of different casino favorites. Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps were all present, as were, naturally, the ubiquitous slot machines. Gambling on computers in the 1990s was a step up from the previous generation of titles. The expansion of system memory allowed for a greater depth of gameplay. Not that everyone took advantage of that.

Morgan Fairchild

“You guys are going to have to pay big money to see what my hand is worth.”

Cover Girl Strip Poker was just one of many card games in which one would playoff against a single computer opponent. If you won the opponent appeared depicted in less clothing. If you lost, you tried again. Although glancing at the images that were on offer these days you might wonder why anyone bothered. Well, okay, apart from that. The technology still lagged behind the desire as UK gambling laws still usually do reality. However, things were about to change. 

Gambling On Computers In The 1990s
Morgan Fairchild in 2009 – Image source: Flickr

Gambling On Computers In The 1990s Heralded Bet365

Full motion video on computers was in its infancy, and gambling on computers in the 1990s was one of its first uses. Multimedia Celebrity Poker saw you sat at a table with three other players. Morgan Fairchild, Joe Piscopo and Jonathan Frakes, all celebs at the time. You could then play poker against them with recorded bits suiting all situations displayed before you. It worked surprisingly well, given the limitations. Live dealers on sites like Bet365 stem from this origin.

Maria – Cover Girl Strip Poker

“Be generous now….”

Fallout aside, gambling on computers in the 1990s was then in of itself. This allowed it to grow independently establishing what players wanted from the experience. It would culminate in those who liked to bet on sports in the UK perhaps looking to the Hoyle Casino for a buzz at home. It was the zenith, marking the turn of the century and a level of graphics and programming development. This would see PC games return to gambling as both an aesthetic and in gameplay.

Read more about gambling in computer games.

We take a look at gambling on computers in the 1990s, an era when it went its own way for a while.

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