If you haven’t become aware of video poker – you haven’t been online. A combination of regular poker and slot machines, video poker manages to walk the thin line between popular culture and skilled game, providing its enthusiasts with endless entertainment, fun, and great payout odds.
Understanding Video Poker
Unlike slot machines where you just hit a bottom, video poker requires a knowledge of the game and an understanding of probability and hands. The aim of the game, as in regular poker, is to get the best poker hand that you can, and if you get a good enough hand you will receive a payout. There are a lot of different types of video poker; varieties may include Jack or Better, Tens of Better, or Deuces Wild but the majority you will find will be based on the 5-card draw game. In the regular 5 card draw game, the player receives 5 cards face down and has an opportunity to swap a number of those cards in the hope of creating the highest possible ranking 5-card poker hand.
Video Poker Hand Ranks
The hands that you can make are as follows, with the best at the beginning and the lowest at the end:
- Royal Flush; 10, J, Q, K, A, all the same suit.
- Straight Flush; 5 cards in sequence all the same suit.
- Four of a Kind; four cards of the same face value.
- Full House; a pair and three of a kind.
- Flush; 5 cards all the same suit.
- Straight; 5 cards in sequence not all the same suit.
- Three of a Kind; three cards of the same face value.
- Two Pair: two sets of two cards of the same face value.
- Pair: two cards of the same face value.
There video poker varies from traditional 5-card draw poker however, is that rather than sitting with several other people around a table, and playing your hand against theirs, with video poker you are playing at and with the machine only. To get started is very easy with video poker. Simply push your wager into the machine, having checked out first the payout chart, the maximum coin acceptance, and denomination of the machine, and hit the “deal” button. You will see on the screen 5 cards being dealt to you – this is your starting hand. The cards will be positioned on the screen above buttons that you can press if you wish to hold those cards. To hold a card means to retain it, or not to swap it. Press the buttons corresponding to the cards you wish to keep, and then hit the deal button again. You will now see the cards you didn’t select disappear and new cards take their place – this is now your final hand.
Winning at Video Poker
Determining a win is also different in video poker to regular poker in that, first of all, the machine will do it for you, but also because the game isn’t won or lost against another hand but rather against a pay schedule. Each machine will pay out a certain amount for each type of hand; this amount will vary depending on the likelihood of getting that hand. Thus, you don’t have to beat the machine; you just have to get one of the winning hands, which usually start with a pair – the lowest hand of all.