Video poker might not be the most popular casino game, but it may be the perfect game for you, especially if you like poker. Find out all there is to know about video poker by reading the rest of this article.
Origins of Video Poker
The first video poker machines were installed in Las Vegas casino establishments in the early 1970s. At the time, they were commonly referred to as “poker machines” or “poker slots”, so it should be no surprise telling you that video poker is closely related to both slot machines and five-card draw poker.
(Example of a Video Poker game at an online casino)
Differences Between Video Poker and Regular Poker Games
The main differences between regular poker games (whether it’s online/live), and video poker is that with the latter you play against a machine that is using a random number generator and looks similar to a slot machine instead of playing against real people.
Furthermore, your goal when playing video poker is to obtain particular hands rather than beating opponents by either having the best hand at showdown or taking down the pot when all the players in the hand fold.
When playing video poker, stronger hands pay more to the player. In the classic video poker game, Jacks or Better, a pair of jacks will pay even money, but the top hand, a royal flush pays out 4,000x coins when you’re betting 5 coins. And of course, the poker hands in between pay out generously as well, including 250x your bet for a straight flush.
You can play multiple hands at the same time for faster paced action. And learning video poker is easy, especially if you have played other forms of poker before and have an understanding of the basic poker hands like a pair, straight, flush, and so on.
Most Popular Video Poker Games
You will find many different variations of video poker at pretty much all online casino websites. The most commonly played video poker variants include:
Jacks or Better: A qualifying hand that pays is a pair of jacks or better. The best version of Jacks or Better is the 9/6 machines, which have a payback percentage of 99.5% assuming you’re playing optimally. It gets its name because it pays out 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush.
Tens or Better: Similar to Jacks or Better, but you win on a pair of tens or better, meaning there are more chances of winning.
Some variants of video poker have deuce wild cards or jokers which can be used to complete any hand, so you will get winning hands more often. It can also help you to make stronger hands. For example, a five of a kind is possible with the help of an extra deuce card.
Deuces Wild: The twos (deuces) are wild cards in Deuces Wild, and replace any cards in the hand to make a winning hand.
Joker Wild: In some video poker variants like Joker Wild, the jokers act as wild cards, and can be used to replace any other card.
Video Poker Strategy
A big aspect of playing the classic video poker game is deciding which of the five cards you’ve been dealt you should keep, and which to discard. Learn the basic video poker strategy whether you’re playing the game in a casino or on the Internet.
You shouldn’t be guessing what cards to discard, and it might not always be obvious what cards you should get rid of. It is a balance between trying to make the best poker hand, but at the same time, making sure that you’re also going for the small and more frequent wins that your bankroll will come to rely on, since as you know, it is very difficult getting a royal flush.
Where to Play Video Poker Online
Both Playtech and Microgaming software providers have developed Video Poker games that you can play instantly in browser. A lot of the time, you can practice your favorite games of video poker for free by using virtual chips. This will help you to gain a better understanding of the game without needing to risk any of your hard-earned money.