Video Poker Guide

Video Poker Guide

Introduction to Video Poker

Video poker is a casino game that has its most basic rules and procedures derived from five-card draw poker. Although video poker has originated as a “gambling machine” back in 1891 in Brooklyn, New York, it was only during the seventies that this form of high-risk, high-rewards game came into the casino scene. With the rise of the personal computer, it became viable to offer such a game using a TV-screen coupled with a primitive central processing unit. With the arrival of the Internet, video poker is widely popular outside the casino, and can be played by multiple players online.

However, amidst the simplicity of this addicting video game, winning does not only come from pure and innocent luck. Calculated risks and constant practice is the best way to get ahead in this game. It does not only require enough money for bets and pure luck to win, this game sure is a test of skill too. Video poker has gained a huge following since it’s not only a game of skills, it has a low-house edge, a temptation of bringing possible and real large wins, and one can even play it alone and still bag a big time win.

Types of Video Poker

It may be a simple game, but there are different types of video poker that can be enjoyed:

  1. Jack’s or Better is one of the most basic. If one is a beginner in this online game and is still willing to risk some cash, this type of video poker is a suggestion. With it being the beginner’s poker game, it only pays out on minimal hands and the biggest payout is only more or less 4,000 coins for a maximum bet of 5 coins in a Royal Flush game.
  2. If the Jack’s or Better is for beginners, Joker’s Wild goes second on the list. However, this type of poker is a lot more challenging than the former. With Joker’s Wild, one will be able to play a standard deck of up to 52 cards. But one must also take into consideration that in this type of poker, the jokers (can be released as one or more per set game) are such wild cards that can even be held in face value. Other than that, this deceiving card can even match the other values of the cards that one puts on hold.
  3. Third is the Deuces Wild. This type of poker is similar to the Joker’s Wild. In the Joker’s Wild, the high card and two-of-a-kind cards are not significant. With the Deuces Wild, Deuces or 2s will be substituted for Jokers. This and the Joker’s Wild may be a lot complicated than the basic Jack’s or Better but many avid video poker players can admit that they are far more exciting than the standard poker.
  4. Lastly is the King of the Decks, with it being the most complicated of all online poker game variants. But as mentioned, the more complicated, the more exciting it is. As with other poker games, the King of the Decks uses the standard deck of 52 cards but the grand hand has to get a total of 5 king clubs in the hand. Just like the other poker games, the common poker hand wins but with it being the King of the Decks, the kings of the clubs have to pay out an additional progressive bonus.

How to play Video Poker

As mentioned, video poker is one of the most basic high-risk games in the casino scene. It is not that hard to bag a good win. One must play 1 up to 5 coins, so that the machine can give up to five cards. With the given five cards, the player must choose well which of them to hold and which of them to discard. To know which ones to hold, the player must somehow have a concrete idea on what he or she would want to achieve to win in the game. To hold the cards, simply click the chosen ones and put it on hold. To continue playing, click draw and the discarded cards will then be replaced, paying off the player depending on the value of the remaining cards on-hand.

Here are some points to take into consideration before playing video poker:

  1. Most of the video poker games follow the standard of 52 cards on the deck. But one must always remember that those who entertain the joker wild games will include one or more jokers on the deck.
  2. Making a wager will always be something to think about, weigh your cards well and make sure you know the value of each one. And now, the game would begin if you press the deal button. Pressing the deal button would automatically give you five cards as choices on the deck. Now the weighing starts.
  3. Choose well which ones to throw away and which ones you should hold or keep. As mentioned, it pays to know the value of the cards and know which hand would best win. This game is not just about luck and skill; it is also about taking calculated risks and knowing when to bet and when to fold.
  4. By holding the cards and by clicking the draw, the machine will automatically give you another set of 5, still keeping the ones you put on hold.
  5. Since this is a high risk and reward game, who would not think about how one gets paid? The player would be paid depending on the poker value remaining on his deck of cards. That is why it is very important to keep the ones with great value and discard those that would not make a good hand. Also, the price will depend on the posted pay table.

Video Poker Strategy

There are actually lots of strategies to be taken into consideration if one is sure to put out some good cash for this online game.

How to Win at Video Poker 

Here are some of the strategies to be remembered in playing the video poker:

  1. Since video poker is all about holding the cards with the most value, and keeping them until you can use them to win, always hold a royal flush, a straight flush, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind or even two pair. But holding those does not ensure quality win, one must remember that with three of a kind, one must discard the remaining two cards for a chance of getting four of a kind. With this, the player is keeping the door of opportunities open. It is good to take risks and look forward to a possible full house.
  2. It is important to break up a pair of jacks or better if one already has four cards that may go to a royal flush or four cards to a lower straight flush.
  3. Another strategy is that, it is not always about holding the best card. Bear in mind that it would also work to your advantage to hold a pair instead of holding only one good card. The king, queen, or ace will not always make the player win. Assuming probable wins with only a big card, one may miss a real opportunity of winning with low pairs.

Does the house always win?

It is a very common thinking when it comes to casinos or online casinos that the house always has the advantage. However, in the favorite video poker game, that would not apply. A player can take home more winnings with utmost skill and thinking. While it is true that some pay tables are in the machine’s favor, playing into those advantages can enable the player to win over the house.

Video Poker Glossary

Action - the term used when the machine is being played
Betmax - the maximum bet in the game
Comps - the term used for the additional rewards such as the cash back or the free rooms
Averagepayback - the expected value of any particular game
Cashout - taking one’s money out of the machine
Double up - a secondary betting option where a player is given a chance to double his win
Draw - the second deal of the cards after the selection of the cards to discard or hold
Edge - the advantage of the player over the casino or the house players
Credits - the digits or the money the players put in being displayed on the screen
Discardcards - the cards not chosen by the player
Hand - the five cards flashed on the screen are the player’s hand
Hold - the term used when a player decided to keep a card
Full pay - coin for the best possible pay table
Jackpot - an additional pay for hitting a big hand that holds a royal flush

Hands (in the sequence from the lowest to the biggest):

High card - the highest card shown at the end of the game
Pair - a hand that consists from 2 cards of the same value (Example:4 of hearts, 4 of spades)
Two pairs - a hand with 2 cards of the same value and 2 cards of another value (Example: 3 of hearts + 3 of spades and 7 of clubs + 7 of hearts)
Three of a kind - a hand that consists from 3 cards of the same value (Example:5 of clubs, 5 of hearts, 5 of diamonds)
Straight - a hand that contains five cards of different suites but in the sequence (Example:8 of spades, 9 of hearts, 10 of clubs, Jack of hearts and Queen of diamonds)
Flush - a five-card hand holding the same suit (Example: 3, 6, Ace, 10 and Jack of hearts)
Full house - a hand that consists three of a kind and a pair
Four of a kind - a hand that holds four cards of the same value (Example: 9 of spades, 9 of hearts, 9 of diamonds and 9 of clubs)
Straight flush - a hand that contains five cards of the same suite and in the sequence (Example678910 of diamonds)
Royal flush - the highest possible hand which contains 5 highest cards of the same value and in the sequence (Example: 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of hearts)

Conclusion

Those are the best strategies in playing video poker that will surely make one grab that winning bet. However, one must also practice well to be able to recognize a good hand and know when to increase your stake or fold. It takes skill and a certain bravado to play it - risk good cards for a better opportunity, know the value of the cards, know and plan what you want to achieve and of course, know what is a good deal.

FAQ

Is online video poker legal in Australia?

Yes, it is legal. The government does not allow local companies to run online casinos, many of the Australia-based casinos are being operated overseas and there are no rules that prohibit Australians from playing in these foreign online sites.

Is it possible to have an edge over the casino?

Video poker is prominent because unlike other online/casino games, the player can actually hold an edge over the casino.

How can a player hold an edge over the casino?

This would actually depend on the tables for the game. A player, to be able to have an edge over a casino, must play on the best possible pay table being used. Remember that a full pay deuces wild machine would give an edge of up to 0.76% and it would be easier to bag this edge with the help of the optimal strategy.

If not on the Deuces Wild Machine, how else can a player get an edge over the house?

There are also machines who offer house edges, it may not be as big as the ones given by the Wild Machine but the Jacks or Better can actually give less than 0.5% with full pay table.

Are strategy charts really effective?

It would be noticeable that video poker strategy charts always have different tips to render, simply because playing a casino game is not an exact science- a player actually depends on probability. However, that does not mean that video poker strategy charts are not true, a player may actually make use of the rendered tips as long as it may be deemed useful to one’s game flow.

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