With the digitizing of casino games, many new options became available to players. Online casino platforms offered all of their favorite casino titles and new variations of known casino games. Online casino games also made it possible to offer many different themes and features in a more streamlined way.
One of these casino games is video poker and the many different variations that popped up over the years. Video poker refers to a poker game that is played on a screen, like a slot. They can be compared to slots and are sometimes even called poker slots. However, while similar to slots, it remains a game that still requires some skill rather than pure luck. Read our detailed guide to learn all you need to know to win at Video Poker.
We’ve prepared a detailed guide including the basics, strategies and tips for playing online video poker. Here you will find everything you need to know before playing video poker for real money. Follow the links below to read more about each of the topics.
Video poker is a popular casino game, but there is a measure of skill involved. It’s important to know all the rules and how to play the game, and beginner players can’t just dive into it. Below are five easy steps to ease you into when you start playing this game.
Choose your game
The first step is to choose your poker variation, from Texas Hold ’em to Jacks or Better. Next, you decide how many coins you want to wager. Generally, you can choose between one and five coins, but this will differ depending on the poker variation you’re playing.
Press the Deal button
Second, press the Deal button to receive your five cards, or however many cards are dealt within the variation you’re playing. Clicking Deal is your way to start the poker game, so ensure your bet is set and you’re ready before pressing Deal.
Choose your cards
Now is the start of the skill part of the game. You need to decide which cards you want to keep by clicking on the card’s button. Remember, the goal is to get the best hand possible, and before discarding cards, ensure you have your strategy decided.
Click the Draw button
By clicking on the Draw button, the cards you didn’t want will be discarded, and new cards will be dealt so that you have a full hand again. You can replace any number of cards, even drawing five completely new cards if you’re not happy with your previous cards.
Check your hand
If your hand is listed on the paytable, then you won. The paytables can vary according to the poker variation, and hands higher on the paytable pay out better. That means that hands like a royal or straight flush will give you bigger returns than hands like two pair, aces high, and so forth.
How to Win at Video Poker?
Just as there are different steps to playing video poker, there are also different tips to keep in mind. When playing while considering these tips, you have a better chance of winning. While there is no sure-win strategy, your skill in the game makes a difference to your chances of winning.
Tip 1: Play at the max bet
This game generally has a maximum bet of five coins, and playing less excludes you from maximum wins and gives your money to the casino.
Tip 2: Know the variation and paytables of the video poker game
It’s important you know all the different rules specific to the variation you’re playing and the highest paying hands.
Tip 3: Stick to one or two variations of video poker
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to stick to certain variations so that it’s easier to memorize the specific rules of those variations.
Tip 4: Create a strategy list
This list is almost like a cheat sheet that reminds you of the best to worst hands and helps you decide what you need to keep and throw out to get the best hand.
Tip 5: Understand the poker probabilities and average loss expected
Video poker works on probabilities and how likely you are to get a specific hand, as well as what loss to expect.
Start Playing Video Poker Online
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With video poker being so popular, it’s no surprise that many variations of the game are available. The variations differ depending on how many cards are in play and changes in basic rules and betting options. Some variations even have bonus features, like wilds.
Jack or Better
This variation is the most standard form of video poker seen at a casino. It can be considered the baseline for this game and offers different paytables to players. The best paytable is the 9/6 machine, where nine credits are paid back on a full house and six credits on a flush.
Joker Poker has an extra card that is the wild card. This card is the joker, and players play with a deck of 53 cards. The joker can become any card to get the best hand, but this changes some rules. For example, a pair of kings is the lowest possible winning hand.
Aces & Eights
Aces & Eights is a five-draw poker game against the dealer, where you try to get a better hand than the dealer. It follows similar rules to Jacks or Better, except that certain combinations have better payouts. Four of a kind in aces, eights, or other cards give you a higher return.
Texas Hold ’em
In this variation, players are dealt two cards face down, called hole cards. After, five cards are gradually dealt face-up on the screen, called the community cards. Any player can use the community cards to try and create the best five-card poker hand together with one or both of their hole cards.
Like Texas Hold ’em, players are dealt four hole cards, with five community cards dealt face up. The same principles apply, except that players must choose two of their hole cards that must be part of their hand. This rule can make the difference between holding a high hand and a flush.
Deuces Wild is similar to Jacks or Better, except that twos are wild cards in this variation. Like Joker Poker, the twos can stand in for any other card, but the playing deck remains 52 cards, unlike that variation. It’s probably the second most common video poker game.
Video Poker Hands and Payouts
There are different possible hands, each with different payouts. The payouts are determined by the paytable, which changes depending on the variation played. The best possible hand is the royal flush, consisting of an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten in the same suit.
Let’s Explore All the Hands
A straight flush is the second-best hand and are any five cards that follow each other with the same suit, like a five, six, seven, eight, and nine in diamonds. Four of a kind follow after a straight flush and a Full House after Four of a Kind, which is three of a kind and a pair.
Flush ranks next, which are any five cards of the same suit, and Straight after it, where five cards follow each other, but from different suits. The lowest-ranked hands are Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, and High Card. These are the possible poker hands and remain relatively stable across the different variations.
Depending on what is played and how much you bet, the difference comes in with how high the payout is for each hand. When you look at the most common version, the following payouts apply.
The Best Payout
The best game payout is a 9/6 payout, where the Full House and the Flush are paid out nine to one and six to one, respectively. Thus the payback percentages range around 99.54%, with one of the smallest house edges of 0.46%.
Video Poker Paytables
The paytables found in the game will say how much you can win based on how much you bet. Let’s say you have a Royal Flush, and you bet one coin. Your payout will be around 250 coins, and if you bet four coins, the payout is 1,000 coins. However, if you bet five coins, your payout will be around 4,000 coins, a massive jump.
Video Poker Brief History
While the first official video poker machine was only created in the 1970s, there were some early variations of it that led to the development of the first machine. These variations include the drum poker machine in 1891, Card Bell in 1898, 5-Card Draw Poker machine in 1901, and the Sittman and Pitt Draw Poker machines in the 1900s.
However, Dale Electronics designed the first official video poker machine in the 1970s, called the Poker-Matic. Although it was seen in casinos across Vegas, it didn’t take off with most poker players. In the mid-1970s, Si Redd pitched the idea of a game called Video Poker.
After being rejected by his current company, he got a deal with the Fortune Coin company. By 1981, his new SIRCOMA Video Poker machines were one of the most popular machines at casinos. Soon after, Redd made his company public and changed the name to IGT (International Gaming Technology), which is still one of the top game providers today.
Video poker became a good way for players who were intimidated by the poker table to experience the game. Today, it remains one of the popular casino games offered at both land-based and online casinos.
Players’ Favorite Video Poker Site
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Video poker is the perfect blend between playing a slot and enjoying the thrill of a skillful poker game. It is the perfect alternative for players who don’t like the intimidation of playing at a poker table. Like any game of skill, there are some rules and tips to keep in mind when playing to ensure you have the best possible chance at winning. Different variations all have different rules and ways of playing, even if they have the same hands, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the variation before starting.
What are the most popular video poker games?
The most popular variations of this game have to be Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. Both offer different playing styles, with Deuces Wild spiced up with wilds thrown into the mix. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a casino that doesn’t list one or both of these titles.
Are hands ranked in the same order as poker?
Yes, one of the aspects of this game that remains relatively unchanged from poker across all variations is the ranking of poker hands. Royal flush remains the best hand, followed by the Straight Flush. The only difference that can come in is if there is a wild or joker at play.
What is the best strategy to play video poker?
There’s no one true strategy that ensures a win, but there are strategies that make winning easier. One of the best strategies is simply to know the game rules, poker hands, and payouts intimately. This knowledge allows you to make informed decisions when keeping or discarding cards.
What video poker game has the best odds?
The Jacks or Better 9/6 variation has the best odds for players. In this game, you get a nine to one and six to one payout for the Full House and Flush, which means the payout percentage is 99.54%. The 9/6 game is the game version with the smallest house edge at 0.46%.
Where can I play video poker?
You can play this game at almost any land-based or online casino. Most online gambling platforms will have some variation listed, generally under table games or their own game tab. Ensure the online casino you’re playing at is a trustworthy and reliable brand.