Online Video Poker

Video poker is a gambling game that puts together five-card draw poker and slots (slot machine). Since it is a computerized game, it was able to cross over smoothly to online casino much to the benefit of the game itself and the players.

History

Video Poker is a mixture of the most ancient and the most new in gambling. It is founded on poker (a classic card game) which has its beginnings in ancient Europe, but received a breath of new life a few decades ago in the 1970s as computerized casino games surfaced.

In the middle of the 1970s, an employee of Bally Technologies named Si Redd made a pitch about Video Poker to the company executives. His proposal was rejected but he persisted in his project buoyed by his entrepreneurial spirit. Eventually, he formed his own company, Sircoma, which is known today as IGT (International Game Technology).

It took a few years before Redd’s investment paid off. In the middle of 1980s, Video Poker had truly made an entrance. This was the start of the MTV age, that time when people were truly starting to see the potential of video technology, and with that, Video Poker was well in the right position to get the Vegas people’s imagination.

Video Poker was basically derived from Draw Poker, in which the lowest hand possible is a two-pair but then, the type that achieved the most popularity in its early years is Better or Jacks, wherein the player must obtain a pair of Better or Jacks in their 5 cards to win the game. This is the version that has remained the most popular nowadays.

Just like other casino games, Video Poker likewise got a surge in its worldwide popularity thanks to the internet age. Video Poker is now a popular game at most casinos online, together with roulette, regular table poker, and blackjack.

Terminology

The terminologies used in Video Poker is a combination of newer terms and regular poker terms, as what can be expected from a game that is a mix of the new and the old.

Action is the total amount betted by a player in a certain game.

Bet Max is the Maximum Bet on a certain game. Usually it is 5 coins per hand.

Discard are cards which the player chooses to lose or throw away after the first deal.

Flush is a hand of five-cards in which all are from the same card suit.

Four of a Kind is a type of hand wherein there are four cards of the same value.

Full House is a hand that has a pair and a three of kind.

Hand is the five cards dealt by the machine to the player.

Hold are the cards that the player chose to hold on with.

Jackpot is the highest possible bonus which is usually reserved as the prize for a royal flush.

Pair are two cards that has the same exact value, example two Queens or two 5s.

Pay Back is the estimate of the game’s payout percentage which is based on previous data for millions of hands.

Payout is the paid out amount to a player for 1 hand.

Pay Table is a list displayed on a screen which pertains to the list of payouts for every scenario.

Royal Flush is the best hand that is possible in a game of Video Poker or even regular poker. It consists of an Ace-high flush from the same suit of cards.

Straight is a hand of five successive numbers, example 3-7 or 7-Queen.

Straight Flush is wherein all 5 cards are from the similar suit of cards.

Winning hand is any hand that has a winning combination.

Rules

Video Poker’s rules are comparatively straightforward in relation to other types of poker. All types of Video Poker are played with a common 52-card deck (except for the game Joker Wild which of course includes the jokers). To start playing, place a bet and press “deal” for the five cards to be dealt to you. You can choose to “hold” or “discard” as much as 5 cards if you like. The poker machine will then replace the cards you discarded with more random cards. Whatever five cards that are left with you is your final hand, which would be the basis if you will not be paid out or be paid out.

In all forms of video poker, cards have the same order in terms of rank although the amount of payouts differs depending on the game. This is right order: Royal Flush; Straight Flush; Four of a Kind; Full House; Flush; Straight; Three of a Kind; Two Pair; One Pair of Jacks or Better.

No House advantage is defined in this game. The percentages of payout differs from 97% up to 99.5% but then, there is one applicable rule to all types of Video Poker: it is the fact that the player is playing against the machine and therefore has only two end points, either to win or to lose.

Strategy

As is expected from a game with simple rules, the strategy in Video Poker is fairly basic. The player only has two options after getting his/her first five card hand, and that is which cards to discard and which cards to hold. The following strategy can be easily adapted to other types of Video Poker, although it basically applies to Better or Jacks.

Straight Flush: Keep all your cards with you if this comes out of the box. It is very rare that you must be tempted to take a photograph of the screen and if you are so lucky as to get a royal flush, you’ll get rich from progressive jackpot.

Four of a Kind: This is deemed to be the second-best combination so you got to hold your cards. This cannot be improved by discarding any cards.

Full House: The third-best combination, and can’t be improved by discarding any card. Hold all cards.

Flush: Can’t be further improved, keep all cards.

Straight: Can’t be further improved, keep all cards.

Three of a Kind: Discard the two other cards but keep the three of a kind.

Two Pairs: For a shot at a Full House, discard the fifth card and only keep the two pairs.

Jacks or Better: Keep the pair and lose the three other cards.

As a rule of thumb, you should lose all cards except from The Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces if you don’t win a thing from the initial hand.

Tips

The following are a few pieces of advice that may come in handy in helping you be better at Video Poker:

  • Before trying Video Poker, play real poker first. Playing poker against the computer will be easier once you have played against real life opponents and have come to understand all the card combinations.
  • Prior to starting a new type of Video Poker, read the Pay Table first to know the possible payout for each card combo. A good pay table must have payout percentages of up to 99.5%.
  • Do not ever lose all five cards if you ever strike a winning hand from your first deal. Even a pair of Jacks is still a sure ball win, lose the other three and see if you can improve your cards.
  • If there is a progressive jackpot for a royal flush, make sure to play the Max Bet which is usually five coins. You can’t qualify for the jackpot if you did not play for the Max Bet.
  • Be calm and stay that way. The best in poker do not play if they are tired, drunk, angry, or emotional and the very same rules are applicable to Video Poker. Even if you are playing against a machine, your decisions can be affected by your emotional state. If you keep calm, your decisions shall be better, which would mean you’ll have more fun and win more games.
  • Every hand is a brand new hand. You could lose ten hands in a row or win ten hands in a row but then, the next or eleventh hand will always be a new hand making the previous ones meaningless to your current game.

See also

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