International Game Technology was founded in 1951. It is often referred to as simply IGT. It was a small gaming company that invented video poker in the mid-1970’s. IGT went public in 1981.
IGT owns and distributes video poker and slot titles that are among the best known in the world. It all started with Jacks or Better video poker. Deuces Wild and Joker Poker were also among the first games. Most video poker machines found in casinos are manufactured by IGT.
Jacks or Better is the base of several video poker variants with common strategies. Below is a list of games owned by IGT that are derived from Jacks or Better. These are common games found on Game King machines, the most popular video poker devices in the world.
Bonus Poker – Offers bigger pays for quad aces, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s.
Double Bonus – Pays double on all quads with increased jackpots for four aces, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s. In exchange for these higher payouts, two pair pays half of its normal amount.
Double Double Bonus – Similar to Double Bonus, except that there are increased jackpots for quad aces, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s when one of these cards is also the kicker.
Triple Double Bonus – Four aces with 2, 3, or 4 kicker pays the same as a royal flush. Full house and flush returns are much lower to make up for this.
Bonus Poker Deluxe – All four of a kind pay 80 credits per coin. Two pair returns even money.
IGT is also a major distributor of slot machines. It owns the Wheel of Fortune line of machines, which were acquired by IGT when the company took over Anchor Gaming in 2001. Wheel of Fortune machines are often networked with other casinos in the same market. Nevada, New Jersey, and South Dakota allow the networking of Wheel of Fortune and other games, including IGT’s Megabucks.
IGT distributes three video table games; Enchanted Blackjack, Golden Baccarat, and Roulette Revolution.
The original ticket in/ticket out slot payment processing was invented by IGT under the EZ Pay name. This allowed casinos to close hard count rooms where coins were processed. It allowed that cash to go to the bank or into tills as bills. This made it easier for players to move from one machine to another and lower the number of slot attendants needed. It also allowed for multiple denomination machines.
IGT acquired WagerWorks in 2005. This allowed it to enter the online gaming market. It operates many online casinos in regulated markets in Europe. IGT acquired Entraction in 2011. This was an online poker platform. This was possibly the worst acquisition in the company’s history. It left many markets due to the lack of regulation. The Entraction Network eventually failed and ceased operations due to a lack of players and revenue. The software was never used in the United States, a market where the online poker platform was presumably purchased to enter.
IGT spreads internet casino games in New Jersey through distributor agreements. Online games include its proprietary slot titles, Game King video poker, blackjack, and roulette.
In July 2014, IGT agreed to be acquired by GTECH, formerly known as Lottomatica. The purchase price was $6.4 billion. This included $4.7 million in cash and $1.7 million in assumed debt.