This video poker guide will show you exactly how to play the popular game of Video Poker, featured in many top online casinos.
Building on the popularity of five card draw, video poker is a single-player version of the game that is extremely popular in both online and land-based casinos. Just like there are different versions of regular poker, there are several different types of video poker with slightly different sets of rules. The most common type of video poker is Jacks or Better, and all other video poker games are based on this game in one way or another. Part of the appeal of video poker is that there is a lot of strategy involved, and learning how to play certain versions of video poker can be profitable since playing a perfect strategy gives you an advantage against the casinos in some versions. In what follows, we’re going to get you started on the winning path.
The Rules of Video Poker
Learning how to play video poker is extremely easy if you already know the poker starting hands. Even if you don’t know them really well, they are always right in front of you as you’re playing, so it’s not a big deal even then. You start off by making a bet, and then you are dealt five virtual cards. Next, you have an opportunity to discard any of your cards to receive new cards from the deck. After you are given your new cards, your hand is scored based on a payout table, and if you make certain kinds of hands, you win a prize.
The main difference between different kinds of video poker will be the distribution of the hands on the payout table. However, some games like Deuces Wild will also have wild cards that can take the place of any card to help you to make better hands. Aside from that, other games have jokers that can only be used to complete straights and flushes or to act as an Ace.
Video Poker Strategy Guide
If you want to get really good at video poker, then you have to learn to play the full pay version of Jacks or Better and then amend that strategy to deal with the intricacies of the other video poker variations. This version pays 1x for a pair of Jacks or better, 2x for two pair, 3x for three of a kind, 4x for a straight, 6x for a flush, 9x for a full house, 25x for four of a kind, 50x for a straight flush and 800x for a royal flush per credit wagered.
The way to learn to play video poker is to think of a list of considerations in terms of importance, and then you should choose the option that is the most important from the list. To begin, it’s easy to see that four of a kind, straight flushes and royal flushes all have the same level of importance since they are the top hands. Next comes any four cards to a royal flush. Behind that is a dealt full house, flush, straight and three of a kind. For anyone who is confused, we’re saying that you should always keep four to a royal flush and draw even if you are dealt a better pat hand like a straight or a flush. The exception is when you are dealt a King-high straight flush since a straight flush ranks higher on our list.
Next in line, in order of importance, are four to a straight flush, two pair, a pair of Jacks or better and three to a royal flush. This means if you are dealt Qh Qd Kh Jh 4d, you should keep the pair of Queens instead of going for the long-shot royal flush. After that comes four to a flush, a pair of Tens or worse (since you can draw to three of a kind), an open-ended straight draw, two suited cards Jack or better, and three to a straight flush. From here, the lowest hands in order of importance are two unsuited high cards, a suited King-Ten or Queen-Ten or Jack-Ten combination, and a single high card. If you don’t have even a single high card, then you should just discard your entire hand.
As we have mentioned several times, the strategy aspect of video poker is all about learning a set of between twelve and fifteen pieces of information. While the strategy we have described here is not mathematically perfect, you will only gain less than one-tenth of a percentage point of payout by learning the extremely complicated and perfect optimal strategy. Once you learn the basic strategy, you can expand to other types of video poker and learn new ways of playing.
We hope you have enjoyed our Video Poker guide and have hours of entertainment playing this game.