Video Poker is one of the most popular casino games and it’s perfect for people who like to play poker alone and compete against the system. The general rules of Video Poker are very similar to the table poker games played with two or more players at land-based and online casinos. The only difference is that, since they play alone, users get their payouts according to their hands, unlike with other poker games where the hands of several players are compared and there is only one winner.
Playing Video Poker is quite simple. You start by placing a wager and tapping the “Deal” button, after which you are dealt five cards. You then have to decide which cards you want to keep and which you want to discard before the next hand is dealt. To do this, you either click or tap the cards you want to keep.
When you finish picking, you are then dealt new cards to replace the ones you’ve chosen to discard by tapping/clicking the “Draw” button. The objective is to get a winning hand, just like in traditional poker, preferably a higher paying one. How much you’re paid for each winning hand is decided by the paytable and your original bet size, which varies between casinos and game manufacturers.
And before you play, just remember that the Ace, just like in Poker, is valued as both an 11 and 1. Thus, you can combine it any way that suits you.
The following are the common winning hands you can get in a game of Video Poker. They are ranked from bottom to top, from the lowest to the highest ranking hand:
The house edge in a Video Poker game is represented as the RTP, or Return to Player Percentage. The RTP is basically the percentage you have to subtract from 100 to find out the house edge of a game. So, if a game of Deuces Wild has an RTP of 95.5%, this means that the house edge on that game will be 4.5%.
A 4.5% house edge means that for every £100 you spend, you can expect to lose £4.5 to the casino. Thus, this is an estimate over longer play, but also one that depends (even though little, in this case) on your skill. So, if you just play the game haphazardly, you should expect to lose more.
One convenient feature in today’s online casinos is that most operators will clearly list the house edge of their games, most commonly under a “Fair Gaming/Games” section). This way, if you already have a favourite casino, you can find the best Video Poker variants fast and easy.
When playing a game of Video Poker, you can win different payouts depending on how many coins you’ve bet. The most coins you can bet is 5 and each coin increases the payout by its original value. Thus, a hand of Two Pairs pays out 2:1 on one coin, 4:1 on two coins, 6:1 on three coins, and so forth.
While playing with minimum coins can get you decent payouts, it’s the full bet that can grab you the most. Unlike slots, where you can hit a jackpot with even the lowest bet, in Video Poker the jackpot hides in the last column on the paytable. Thus, a Royal Flush with 1 coin can get you a 250:1 payout, but the same hand will get you a 4000 payout on 5 coins, instead of 1250 (5 x 250).
One of the best things about Video Poker is that the paytables are always found on the screen, so that you can find the most lucrative variations faster. You can also play most online variants in demo mode, for both practice and test purposes.
Some of the best Video Poker games have what’s called the 9/6 or 10/6 payouts. What these numbers mean is that in these variants a Full House is paid 9:1 and a Flush is paid 6:1. This differs from the standard 8/5 payouts which you can find in most games and can have a significant effect on the house edge.
For example, in Jacks and Better Video Poker, the RTP is calculated to be 97.30% in an 8/5 game, while a 9/6 game will have better returns of 99.54%. In the first example, the house edge of the poker game is 2.7%, while in the second, it is 0.46%.
This is a simple example, of course, and there are dozens of different paytables spread across different poker variants. Thus, it always pays out to compare and do some research before you choose a game.
You can find dozens of games in a well-equipped online casino, but almost every game will be a different take on a popular variant, with different paytables. The most common ones are as follows:
There are several simple rules that players have to follow in order to improve their chances of winning. Of course, the most important one is how do you decide which cards to keep and which to discard.
Since you only have one shot for a winning combination, you would have to think well before making your move. If you’re lucky enough to get four cards of a straight flush, you discard only one card, but if you’re not, you have to play the most probable hand.
That’s why the soundest strategy you can apply is to educate yourself on probability and keep yourself disciplined while playing. Sometimes, chasing pairs can turn out better than hoping for a straight flush to cover your previous losses.