Online Video Poker
In Video Poker, both poker and slot machines are combined – the winning combination.
Highly popular both in land-based and online casinos, Video Poker is a fun and easy way to play poker "solo" against a virtual dealer.
Inspecting the history of Video Poker is not just very interesting, but very exciting as well. Video Poker encompasses both the old and new in the gambling, it is a mix of the old traditional game that is poker, with the technology of slot machines which became electronic in the 70's, bringing computerization to gambling.
The invention of Video Poker is attributed to Si Redd, an employee of Bally Technologies who proposed the idea to the executives of the company in the mid 70's. Luckily, when his proposition was rejected, he did not despair; he went on to form a new company by the name of Sircoma – which is nowadays known as IGT (International Game Technology).
Video Poker came in the right time: The 80's were bustling with inventions bringing the technology of Video to full force, and the very idea of computerized poker excited the imagination of Vegas gamblers and entrepreneurs alike.
In the beginning, Video Poker was a very basic game based on Draw Poker where Two Pair was the lowest hand. In due time the variation of Jacks or Better became Video Poker's most popular type – in Jacks or Better, as its name implies, players need to have a pair of Jacks or Better in their hand in order to win. Like many other casino games, the emergence of online casinos and online gambling brought popularity to Video Poker which can be played by many people today without even having to leave their house.
Many terms of new and old are tied to Video Poker, monumentalizing the beautiful mix out of which this game was crafted.
Action: A player's total amount of wagers in a specific game.
Bet Max: The maximum bet a player can make in a game, usually five coins for a hand.
Discard: A card or cards the player chooses to ditch after his first deal.
Flush: Hands of five same suit cards.
Four of a Kind: Hands with four cards of the same value.
Full House: Hands with three of a kind cards and one pair.
Hand: The name of the five cards which the player is dealt by the machine.
Jackpot: This is the highest payout players can receive, usually the Royal Flush grants these.
Pair: Two cards sharing the same value, like two 2h or two jacks.
Pay Back: Data based on millions of hands which estimates the payout percentage of the game.
Pay Table: This is a list of payouts on the screen which shows how much the player will win in different hand scenarios.
Royal Flush: This is the hand everyone wants both in Video and regular Poker, the highest possible. It consists of an Ace high flush of the same suit.
Straight: Five consecutive numbers of any suit.
Straight Flush: This is a straight where all the cards are of the same suit.
Winning Hand: This is a hand which gives you a payout.
Rules and Conduct of the Game
In exception for Joker Wild, all forms of Video Poker are played with a regular 52-card deck. The operation of a standard Video Poker game is very simple. Players make a wager and then carry on to hit "deal". Then they are dealt five cards, and are given the traditional choices; they can whether hold their hand or discard as many cards as they like; then, the discarded cards are replaced. What the player is left with after these choices is what he will win (or lose) with.
The ranking of cards in Video Poker is in the same order like in regular Poker, but payouts differ. The standard order is Royal Flush – Straight Flush – Four of a Kind – Full House – Flush – Straight – Three of a Kind – Two Pair – One Pair of Jacks or Better. Video Poker games don't have one defined House advantages and these can vary from 97% to 99.5% - it is always the player versus the machine and there's always either the option of winning or losing.
Video Poker is a simple game with fairly simple rules, therefore, simple strategies can be employed in order to max winning chances. After players are dealt five cards they're required to choose which cards to hold and which to discard. Below are listed the different hands you can be dealt and what you should do about them. As you will see, it is advisable to hold most hands, but there are some other options as well. Always keep in mind not to discard Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces.
Straight Flush: This is a very strong hand which you should hold; you have some good chances at getting a jackpot with this one.
Four of a Kind: Players should stick to their hand when a Four of a Kind comes up, as well. There's no way of improving this hand by discarding anything.
Full House: Stick with the cards; you cannot improve the hand by discarding.
Flush: Hold your hand as there is no way to improve.
Straight: Also, no way of improve – stick to your hands.
Three of a Kind: Stick with your three of a kind and discard the remaining.
Two Pairs: Stick with the two pairs. You can try discarding the fifth card so you will have a shot at a Full House.
Jacks or Better: Hold your pair and discard all other three cards in the hand.
- Don't rush to discard your cards; as we've seen with the strategies, many combinations will guarantee you a win and you don't want to miss this.
- When you're playing for progressive jackpots, always wager a max bet, else you won't qualify for the jackpot.
- Always be aware of the Pay Table in the game you're playing; seek to play in Video Poker games with payout percentages of 99.5%.
- Keep calm and maintain a poker face, even if you're just sitting in front of a machine or a computer screen with a cold beverage. Also, never play when you're angry, too tired, or as a way to ditch other problems. Play when you're right at your mind, and be responsible.
- You'll do good to play free-play Video Poker games which are very common in online casinos. Use this to get the hang and general feeling of the game so you don't get overwhelmed when you're actually playing for real money.
- Set yourself a maximum bankroll and always stick to it, don't spend what you don't have and above all – have loads of fun.