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Video Poker – Learn how to play

Video Poker is a fun and thrilling game and it is one of the most popular casino games. Video poker games became popular in early 1970s as they were introduced to most of the casinos. The game is a fair alternative to slot machines with the odds of hitting the jackpot and making a big win. Although classic slot players still prefer the games they are used to, video poker is a better choice because the chances of hitting a jackpot is five times more than a classical slot game. This exciting game is based on five-card draw poker and unlike slot games, you control the odds of winning by making choices throughout the game.

How To Play Video Poker Like A Pro

The game is fairly easy to play if you are familiar with real life poker. If you want to entertain yourself while winning some money on the side, playing video poker for fun might be all you need. The first step is of course to find a video poker console which is similar in size to a slot machine and pick a game of your liking among dozens. Your selection can be based on various factors. All games have different rates of payouts and different designs, meaning some games would pay you better while others might pay in lower percentages. If you are new to video poker, we suggest you to hold your horses and choose a game that has lower risks of losing big amounts of money at once.

After selecting a game, it is time for you to place your video poker bets and press the deal button. Once the game starts, you are given 5 cards, just like a five-draw poker game. At this point, you are allowed to change one or more cards which you do not like with new ones from the deck. Since video poker is a virtual replica of real-life poker games, the console pays out the amount of money you win based on winning combinations. If you did not make a win the first round of the game, do not fret and try your luck in other rounds. After the first round, you will realize how exciting and appealing video poker is and it will leave you wanting more.

A regular video poker console features certain buttons. At the right bottom of the console, there is the draw-deal button. Right next to this bottom are bet max and bet one buttons. At the left bottom of the console there is the cash-out bottom. Between the cash-out bottom and the bet one bottom are five hold buttons. Just like regular slot games, the game features pay table on the console screen. The pay table has five columns which show your winnings based on different card combinations and how many coins you have inserted from 1 to 5. Right under the pay table there is the display where you can see your cards.

  • Choose a video poker game of your liking. Make sure to check which games have better payouts.
  • If you are new, try to get familiar with the game before raising your bets.
  • After the cards are dealt, choose the ones you think are useless and replace them with new ones.
  • Your payout will be seen on the pay table based on how many coins you have played with and which combination of cards you have landed.

Video Poker Rules

Video poker rules are similar to draw poker rules, the only difference is you are not playing with an opponent. To start the game, push the draw-deal button. After the virtual dealer deals you 5 cards, you have to push the corresponding hold buttons on the console to select which cards you want to hold. When you are done selecting, push the deal-draw button again to replace the cards you have not selected. The game differs from real life poker at this point. In the real life version, you can replace only a limited number of cards in your hand. However, in video poker, you are allowed to replace all five cards if you wish and your chances of winning money changes based on your card selection. When you are done playing video poker, you simply need to press the cash out button which will give you the amount of money that is written next to “credits” on the console screen. In every hand, it is up to you to change the video poker bets with one bet and max bet buttons.

Video Poker Strategies

Although it is essential to know the payout of different video poker games, it is not enough to make big wins on its own. There are different set of strategies which are mathematically calculated for each game . To get the biggest payout possible, the rules must be followed strictly. Therefore, one set of strategy created for a game cannot be used for another but do not worry! Strategies of all video poker games are available along with video poker tutorials online. What you have to do is to decide which game you want to master your skills at and carefully learn the strategies cut out for your preference.

Along with complex strategies that are carefully crafted, there are also simple strategies you must keep in mind when you are playing video poker. It is essential to understand the cards in your hands and how they can be used to win more money while playing the game. After the dealer deals the cards, take your time and think about the winning poker combinations. If you only have one high card, keep it and replace the other four cards in your hands. If you have a pair, keep it and replace the three cards that are useless. If you have three of a kind, make sure to hold on to them and only replace the two leftover cards. Replace only one card if you have two pairs or four of a kind. Be careful and do not replace any cards if you have the following combinations: straight, flush, full house, straight flush or royal straight flush since these are already winning combinations.

  • Know the payouts of different video poker games. Select the one which gives the best payouts to win more.
  • Learn the winning combinations by heart and always keep them in mind while playing. Be careful when you are selecting which cards to hold and which cards to replace.
  • Learn the crafted mathematical strategies of the video poker games you want to play and follow them at all times to get the best payouts.

Different Types of Video Poker

Video Poker games vary based on their playing rules and their payouts. The first and oldest version of the game is called “Jacks or Better” which came out in 1970s. The game’s payout starts at a pair of jacks and it is approximately 99.54%. The payout of flush is 6 times the bet and the payout of full house is 9 times the bet. “Deuces Wild” is another version of the game and all twos are wild cards in it. The wild card in Deuces Wild can substitute for any desired card in the deck. Another version of the game is “Bally’s All American”. This game is built upon Jacks or Better but the payout rates are a bit different. In this version, the payout rates for full house and two pair are lower and the payout rates for flush, straight flush and straight are higher. Yet another version of video poker is Joker’s Wild. This game contains Joker cards unlike the other versions and this card can substitute any card in the deck to create better hands. In this game, the addition of the Joker card to the playing deck created another winning hand which is 5 of a kind.


Tips and tricks for Video Poker beginners

The first and most important tip for the beginners is to take it easy. Without getting familiar with video poker or understanding the winning hands, there is a high risk of a steady loss in money rather than winning more than you bet. If you are new to the game, the best option to play with is Jacks or Better since it is rather easy to understand and the payout rate is quite high. Another advice is to practice with virtual money beforehand rather than jumping into the game by betting real money. Practicing the rules, the winning hands and how the game works in different situations create better chances of winning when you switch to real money.

Most Common Terms in Video Poker

  • Pay Table: Table where winning combinations and payouts are shown
  • Deal: Handing out the cards
  • Hold: Keeping the selected cards at hand
  • Straight Flush: Having five cards of sequential rank at hand
  • Royal Straight Flush: Having the highest sequential cards of a rank at hand
  • Full House: Having three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank at hand
  • Two of a kind: Having two cards of the same kind at hand
  • Two pairs: Having two different pair of cards at hand
  • Three of a kind: Having three cards of the same kind at hand
  • Hand: Total of five cards you are dealt in one turn

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I prefer video poker to classical slot games?

The classical slot games are easy and fun to play too. BUT it is proven that they make you lose more money and the chances of getting big wins are not as high as video poker games. Another important reason of preference is the elements of skill and decision-making. Classical slot games are more dependent on luck and they do not require any skills or decisions. On the contrary video pokers require the player to make selections, use their skills and the player’s attitude can change the outcome of the game.

Is it really necessary to practice before switching to real money?

Well, it is certainly advisable to do some practice before switching to real money. If you are new to the game and are not familiar with poker at all, you might get confused and end up losing too much money. It is wise to get familiar with video poker first and then start playing with real cash. There are certain practices out there that you can check out before risking anything.

Do I have to be a good poker player to succeed in video poker?

Technically, no. The good thing about video poker games is the pay table. You can see how much money you can win with different combinations of cards. The pay table also tells you what the payout will be when your bet changes. Therefore, all you need to know is the winning combinations. However, we must add that being a good poker player would certainly benefit you when it comes to replacing cards and guessing which cards you might get next.

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