Introduction to Video Poker
Poker can be traced back to the 17th Century. It has almost always been associated with gambling. The game comes in different varieties, ranging from ‘3 Card poker’, to ‘5 card draw’. The latest version of the game is called ‘Hold’em’ and has become a sport craze around the world. There are giant annual competitions held involving millions of dollars in sign-ups and prizes.
Poker is ordinarily a game for the confident player, as a slight show of emotion could cost you your cash. The phrase ‘poker face’ originates from the lack of emotion that poker players ought to show at a table.
Video poker is another ball game completely. You can laugh, cry, dance, do whatever you feel because a machine cannot read your emotions.
Formerly known as ‘Poker Slots’, this virtual game is a blast to play. The gameplay does not just depend on luck but employs skill and strategy as well if you want to win big. It is pretty easy to learn to play and the toughest task is in learning the different combination hands that can be played.
Versions of Video Poker
There are several forms of Video Poker to select from before applying your deposit to the bankroll. The common variations include:
- Jacks or Better: This is the most popular version of the game. You will need to produce hands no lower than a pair of Jacks to yield wins;
- Jokers Wild: This game is played with a 53-card deck, including a full set of cards and one joker, that acts as a ‘wild card’. This means that it will substitute for any other card to complete a combination;
- Deuces Wild: Here, any ‘2’ card acts as a ‘wild’ to substitute for any other card to complete a winning combination.
Before you can play any game of poker and expect to win anything, you will need to familiarise yourself with the combinations that yield wins. Here is a list of video poker hands in ascending order of value and pay-out.
- Pair: This is when you have two of the same value of the card in your hand. Eg. 2x Jacks;
- 2 Pairs: This is when you have two sets of pairs in one hand. Eg. 2x 10’S AND 2X 4’S;
- 3 of a Kind: When you yield 3 matching card values in one hand. Eg. 3x 7’s;
- Straight: This is five cards that form a run of numbers in consecutive order, irrespective of the suite. Eg. 4 of clubs,5 of hearts, 6 of spades, 7 of spades, and 8 of diamonds;
- Flush: This is a combination made up of 5 cards from the same suit. These do not have to run in sequence. Eg. All 5 cards are clubs of varying values;
- Full House: This is completed when landing a ‘pair’ and a ‘three of a kind’ all in one hand;
- 4 of a Kind: This hand is completed when you land all 4 of one value across the suits. Eg. 5 of hearts, of diamonds, of spades, and of clubs together in one hand;
- 5 of a Kind: This hand is only available where there is a ‘wild card’ in play. You complete a ‘4 of a kind’ with four of your cards, and a ‘wild’ card takes up the 5th position in your hand;
- Straight Flush: This hand combines the principles of a ‘straight’ and a ‘flush’. So, it is a running sequence of numbers in consecutive order and all in the same suit. Eg. 4;5;6;7 and 8 of clubs;
- Royal Flush: This will pay you the jackpot on the machine. It is the same as a straight flush but incorporates the run of 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace, all in the same suit.
Once you have learned your hand combinations above, you have done all the hard work. Hereafter, you are ready to load your credits in the machine and play your chosen variation of Video Poker. Below are a set of the game rules to teach you the sequence of events when playing.
- Firstly, you will need to choose your bet for the round. Here, you can choose to wager between 1 and 5 coins. Please, keep in mind at this point that if you want to win the big jackpot, you will want to bet the maximum amount. This, however, may not be a wise move if you are a newcomer to the game.
- You will now receive a hand of 5 dealt cards. You will need to examine the hand to see if you have an instant combination or whether you will need to discard some cards in the hope of some better cards arriving, to help you on your way. You will have one opportunity to exchange cards.
- Select to ‘Hold’ cards that you want to keep and not discard, by clicking on them. The words Held or Hold will appear either over or under the card to signify that it won’t be discarded and replaced by a new card.
- Press drawer to exchange new cards for the discarded ones.
- Your hand will now be evaluated for a combination and you will be paid out in accordance with the value of the hand that you have.
- Keep in mind that you are not playing your hand against anyone. Any valid poker combination hand will yield a win of some sort. A pair, which is the lowest hand, will pay 1:1.
Tips and Advice
Listed below are several tips to help you become a successful video poker player.
- Play Video Poker in free play before staking your hard-earned cash against the house. This will help you solidify the dynamics of the game into your personage and hopefully build a wealth of experience.
- If you land any of the combination hands, Hold them instead of drawing. In the case that you have a pair or two, or a ‘3 of a kind’ Hold those cards and discard the others. This may result in receiving new cards that could possibly increase your combination to a ‘full house’ or a ‘4 of a kind’.
- Do not trash cards that could lead to a straight or a flush unless you are one card away from a ‘Royal Flush’.
- Good practice involves keeping your ‘Jacks’ at all costs unless you are pushing for a straight or a flush etc.
- When choosing between keeping either one high card, like a king, or a low pair, like 2x 2’s, always keep the pair, as they might very soon become a three or four of a kind.
Combine your wit with a good strategy, and lady luck will hopefully do the rest. Remember that games like Video Poker and Blackjack have a far lower house edge than many other casino games, so the chance of winning is far better here than in front of a Roulette wheel or video slots.
We at CasinoWow, aim to keep our guides updated with only the latest news, tips and trends. Thus, if you find the topic of video poker interesting, you might want to check out our list of the most recent video poker bonuses.