The unique appeal of Video poker games is that no other players are involved – It is just you versus house. That means if you make the board, a win is guaranteed. Real money bets can start as low as a few cents per hand, and players have the opportunity to greatly increase their winnings in the double or nothing bonus rounds.
Read on as we unpack the different types of video poker games and the rules associated with playing video poker online. As a bonus we list our top 10 tips for video poker players.
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Popular Types of Video Poker
- Jacks or Better
This is the most common version of the game. A player wins when his or her final hand contains at least a pair of jacks, or better. Various versions of Jacks or Better differ from each other in terms of payouts for full houses and flushes.
- Joker Wild
Also known as Joker Poker this is the simplest wild card format of the game. It plays basically the same as Jacks or Better, with the addition of the joker which can substitute for any card in the deck
- Deuces Wild
This is the most popular form of wild card poker. In this variation all 2’s are wild and can substitute all cards in the deck, because this can lead to big and easy wins paytables are a lot stingier than with Jacks or Better. A variant of Deuces Wild is the exciting Bonus Deuces Wild by Microgaming
- Loose Deuces
In this action packed variant of Deuces Wild, 2’s are wild and can substitute for any other card to form winning combinations. The biggest payouts still come from a Royal Flush but the addition of a wild card and a double or nothing bonus round at the conclusion of every winning hand makes this game a lot more fast paced and interesting.
- Aces and Eights
Also known as the Dead man’s hand, this style is a variant of Jacks or Better. The game offers high payouts on all four-of-a-kind combinations.
- Tens or Better
Here you need at least a pair of 10’s in order to receive a payout. And since you are playing with higher odds of winning, the total money payouts are less.
- Pick’em Poker
This type of poker plays a little differently as it offers less possible winning combinations and faster gameplay. It is very easy to master and therefore ideally suited to the novice player looking to get started in video poker.
Rules of the Game
- Players need to have a basic understanding of how 5-card draw poker works before starting out. Games are typically played with a standard deck of cards including jokers.
- To begin the game, place your bet and press “deal” to receive 5 random cards.
- Press “hold” to select the cards you want to keep
- Press “deal” again to receive new cards for the ones you threw out.
- If your hand contains a winning combination you will automatically be paid out.
- The posted pay table and value of the player’s hand will determine how payouts occur.
10 Video Poker Tips
- Look for machines that offer the highest returns. A good payout ratio is 9/6 – the 9 indicates the payout from a one coin bet on a winning full house and the 6 a winning flush.
- In addition the above, also go for games that offer the best returns (check out the pay tables) – that way you increase not only your playing time, but also your chances of winning.
- Do not hold on to high-value face cards if you do not have a matching set. These include Jack, Queen, King and Ace and are also known as “kicker cards”
- Placing a maximum bet, i.e. all 5 coins will always put you in the best position for a big win.
- If the first hand you were dealt contains a matching pair of cards, don’t discard them as it already qualifies as a win.
- When the opportunity comes around for you to double or nothing your wager, you should take it, but remember to quit while you’re ahead!
- Always discard 2’s, unless they form part of a set, flush, or straight.
- Practice makes perfect as they say, and there are many free video poker games available for you to hone your skills on. In addition, you can also learn from tutorial software that in most cases is free to download from the internet.
- Unlike slots, video poker is not merely a game of chance. If you know the strategy of the game you are playing then you can beat the odds. Online strategy tables are plentiful and can help guide you through every possible game scenario.
- Last but not least, remember to always set, and stick to, a budget before jumping into a real money game. Video poker is a lot of fun, but it is also very fast, and before you know it you can burn right through your bankroll!