Video Poker is a game of skill, meaning that a player’s decisions and moves can determine the outcome of a round. In this guide, we will show you how to play the game, present you the basic strategy and introduce some of the most popular Video Poker variations. Stay with us to learn tips and tricks which will help you make the most of playing Video Poker.
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About Video Poker
Video Poker was invented back in the 1970s and it became hugely popular in land-based casinos throughout the 1980s. With the technology development, there were more and more variants of the game adapted for online play and today you can play it on your mobile devices as well. When it comes to land-based casinos, Video Poker is very popular at gaming halls in Las Vegas. In the US, Video Poker land-based machines are regulated by state or Indian gaming agencies which make sure that the games deliver random results and function in compliance with the Nevada Gaming Commission regulation. Online Video Poker games are available in the US in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada where players can play them at fully regulated online casinos.
Whether you play Video Poker at a land-based casino, online or while on the go, you will be dealt a series of 5 cards and you should create the best poker hand of the cards you got in two draws. Some of the most popular Video Poker variants are Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Double Bonus. At USA real money online casinos, you can also play variations which award progressive jackpots and come equipped with the double-up feature allowing you to increase your payouts.
How to Play Video Poker
The game starts with placing your bet and pressing the Deal button. You will be given 5 cards and asked to keep the ones you find valuable while all others will be discarded. The second draw fills the empty fields and determines the ranking of your poker hand. If your hand matches one of the winning combinations displayed in the paytable, you will be paid accordingly. Online Video Poker allows you to throw away all 5 cards you have got in the first draw if you like so, unlike the land-based versions of the game.
Video Poker games offer multiple betting options and you are allowed to wager up to 5 coins at a preferred coin value. Paytables vary from one variant to another with a typical paytable starting with a hand of a pair of jacks. Some variations include wildcards or jokers which can complete your poker hands. Multi-hand Video Poker games can also be played at online and mobile casinos. If you opt for a multi-hand Video Poker, you will play the game with more than one hand meaning that you will make moves for different players. Some Video Poker machines award unique bonuses which can add more excitement to the gameplay.
Basic Video Poker Strategy
Video Poker allows you to take control over the course of the game and if you follow a few simple rules, you can make a nice score. Although different game variations require different strategies, there is a set of rules that can be applied to all of them. They constitute the basic strategy you should implement while playing any of Video Poker variations. For instance, you should always keep two pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind, full house, royal flush or straight flush. If you have three of a kind, you should throw away other two cards to get a chance of having four of a kind in the second draw. If you manage to get two pairs, you should discard the fifth card to work towards a full house. You should always keep a low pair instead of a single high card. When you hold four cards to create a royal flush, you should break up a flush or a straight. In this case, you should discard the lowest card to try create a better hand.
Applying a proper strategy can make a significant difference when playing Video Poker as the house edge can be substantially decreased. Stay with us as in the following chapter we will discuss some of the most popular variations with a quick overview of strategies you can employ while playing them.
Video Poker Variations You should play
There are dozens of Video Poker games you can play online. However, you should know that not all of them offer the same odds of winning or the same pay table. They can be classified as full-pay and short-pay machines. While short-pay machines playback 6 coins for each coin wagered on a full house, full-pay machines pay 9 coins for each coin you have wagered when you create the same hand. Full-pay machines are also called 9/6 machines. Here are some of the most popular Video Poker variants you can play at US online casinos.
Jacks or Better
Jacks or Better is one of the oldest and most popular Video Poker variants with the average return to player of 99,52%. The house edge in his game is less than 0,50% which makes it attractive to both beginners and experienced players. The game is based on five cards and you have to get a pair of Jacks to proceed to the second draw. In case you don’t have at least a pair of Jacks, you will be dealt another set of five cards. In the second round, you have to be dealt a pair of Queens or better to bet further. Jacks or Better is a full-pay machine.
Aces and Eights
Aces or Eights has a different set of rules but the goal is the same – to create the best possible hand with five cards you have been dealt. Four Aces & eights, four sevens and other four of a kind combinations are the most lucrative combinations. If you want to play this Video Poker variant, check out if the paytable offers 25 to 1 for a four of a kind and 8 to 1 for a full house hand. The average return to player when you play the 25/8 version of the game is around 99,7%.
In this Video Poker variant Deuces act as jokers and complete your hands. However, you need a combination of three or more of a kind to win. When playing Deuces Wild, you should always keep four or three Deuces as well as any five of a kind or a royal flush. Should you get two pairs, keep only one of them. Look out for a full-pay version of the game which pays 5 to 1 for four of a kind combinations and 15 coins for a five of a kind combination for each coin wagered. This version of the game comes with an average return of 100.76%, meaning that the house has no edge.
Double Bonus offers the double-up feature and its full-pay version with 10/7 odds for a full house and a flush hand comes with an impressive theoretical return of 100.17%. Once you are dealt five cards, you should create a hand with a pair of Jacks or better to get paid. The key difference between this version of the game and others is that it comes equipped with the double-up feature. If you want to double up your payout, you will get another five cards with four of them face-down. Pick one of four cards and if it is higher than the card dealt face-up, your payout gets doubled. You can collect your winnings without gambling them as well.
Video Poker Tips and Tricks
In the last chapter of this guide, we present you the list of tips and tricks that can help you make a better score while playing Video Poker.
- You should always play the maximum coins as some Video Poker machines offer a bonus when you create the highest hand while wagering five coins.
- Choose a Video Poker machine wisely as they do not pay the same way. Look up for full-pay Video Poker machines which award higher payouts.
- If you are a novice to this form of entertainment, start with Jacks or Better as it is considered the easiest variation of the game.
- Play Video Poker in free play mode to learn the ropes.
- Although cards are randomly drawn, don’t rely solely on luck. Practice in free play mode and learn how to apply a proper strategy for the best results.
- If the double-up feature is available, use it as it is one of the best bets coming with no house edge.
- Set win and loss limits and keep an eye on your balance as bankroll management is essential when playing Video Poker.
- Stop playing when you reach win or loss limits you have set and do not exceed your bankroll.
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