How to play Video Poker – you know you wanna
Video poker, a casino game based on five-card draw poker, is played in casinos on a computerized console similar to a slot machine. Although not as popular as slot machines, video poker is still well liked largely because the basics of the game, including the basic poker combinations, don’t change from casino to casino. You can feel comfortable sitting down in front of machine because if you know poker, you’ll understand the game. On the other hand, there’s quite a variety of specific games which will keep you entertained. These can include Tens or Better, Aces and Faces, Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, and others, many incorporating wild cards.
If there is no wild card, a four of a kind hand will appear once in about every 500 hands, and a player will have to play through tens of thousands of hands before being dealt a royal flush, which usually has the highest payout. Most video poker machines have specific payback percentages but the casinos don’t advertise this. One thing for certain though, is that you will get a maximum payout on these rare hands only if you’ve bet the maximum number of credits on the hand (usually 5 coins). Players who do not play with the maximum number of credits each time are playing with a smaller theoretical return. Wikipedia offers an excellent outline of various payout probabilities for each hand. But the best approach to video poker, as with many betting games, is to bet and play to win lots of small hands rather than those once-in-a-lifetime big payouts.
Most live online casinos have video poker terminals, accessible depending on where in the world you live. Some of the best online casino sites can be found at Online Casino. If you’re planning to head out to a casino any time soon, why not practice online at a demo terminal before putting real stakes on the line.
Your First List of Video Poker Tips
If you’re playing poker for the first time, either at the table, at a machine or online, here are some basic guidelines and tips to help you get started. When we say ‘replace’ we mean you need to discard the card or cards in question and ask for dealer to give you new ones.
If you are dealt a hand in which you need just a single card to make Royal Flush, Flush, Straight, or Straight Flush – you have to replace the card that does not fit into the needed sequence of cards.
If you are dealt a hand in which you need just a single card to make Royal Flush, Flush, Straight, or Straight Flush but the hand has a pair, keep the pair and replace the other three cards. This might seem counter to our first tip, but note in that hand there was no pair. Winning is always about the long-term – you will win more often, even if smaller payouts, if you draw for the more common hands.
If you are dealt a hand that contains one pair, then replace the other three cards that do not make up the pair. Don’t keep any other card (sometimes called a ‘kicker’). You might think that since a machine pays off for Jacks or better, you should keep a Jack or higher with their pair. This doesn’t work in most cases. Players will sometimes hold a kicker in face to face poker to determine the winner in case of a tie. But a fundamental rule in video poker strategy is not to retain a kicker card.
If you are dealt a hand with two pairs go for the full house. The card to replace is the one that is not contained in either pair.
If you are dealt three cards of the same kind, replace the two cards that are not one of the three.
Always break a flush to draw to a royal flush.
If you have a Jack or better, never draw 5 cards.
Don’t draw to inside Straights. That is, if you have 4, 5, 7, 8, K, don’t replace the king and go for the Straight. If you keep the King, your odds of winning something are much greater. You could get anything from nothing to a pair of kings and up-including the royal Flush.
Never break a straight to draw to a flush.
Keep all Flushes and Straights unless the Flush can turn into a royal Flush.
Never draw 4 cards if you can draw 3 to a royal flush.