Video Poker Strategies

Video poker has become one of the most sought-after casino games that can be found both in brick-and-mortar and web-based casinos. It has managed to attain tremendous popularity both among seasoned players and casino novices as the game provides them with an extremely exciting gaming experience and has relatively simple rules. Playing video poker is not only very exciting, but it can also bring you some profit as long as you take into consideration all the game’s aspects. What is more, video poker also comes with numerous variations which enable players to find the option that best suits their preferences and demands.

In fact, the game has certain similarities with slot machines, but in video poker, gamblers are given the chance to influence the course of the game if, of course, they stick to a decent strategy. What sets apart video poker from traditional poker, however, is that in video poker you play neither against other gamblers nor against a dealer. What is more, there are also two rounds, meaning that once you have pushed the draw button, the round will come to an end.

Brief History of Video Poker

video poker historyVideo poker’s history can be traced back to the 1970s when the very first video poker machines were introduced in Las Vegas. As a matter of fact, they were quite primitive and at first, they did not enjoy great popularity. Still, they definitely laid the foundations of the casino game we all know now.

The figure that played a major role in the development of video poker is William Redd or Si Redd as he is also known. It all started when he told the executives of Bally’s Gaming about his idea for the introduction of a new poker game. Still, they rejected his proposal and let Si Redd take the patent. After this, he struck a deal with Fortune Coin Company which was a turning point in his life. This deal led to the emergence of SIRCOMA and put the onset of video poker games’ production.

The versions of the game that appeared back then started gaining popularity and were added to the gaming catalogues of casinos almost immediately. In fact, these versions required two pairs in order to form a winning combination. When the games were improved and the winning hands were changed, video poker became even more popular. Si Redd renamed SIRCOMA as International Game Technology. Redd’s idea was to develop video poker in such a way so that the game could become more exciting and appealing for players. As we can see, he has definitely put lots of efforts in order to achieve this goal. Thanks to his ambition and the innovative approach to video poker he had, we can enjoy the game in its present form.

As a matter of fact, video poker became so popular due to the fact that the machines shared some characteristics that gamblers considered extremely appealing. One of the things that players really like is that they can influence the outcome of the game. In fact, video poker enjoys great popularity among gamblers who are not attracted by table games or slots. The game has definitely gone a long way and now it can be found in a wide array of casinos all over the world.

Rules of Video Poker

video poker basic rules graphicAs previously noted, video poker has extremely simple and straightforward rules. That is why it is preferred not only by casino novices but by regular players as well. In fact, video poker is a game that is based on the rules of five-card draw poker. What is more, the hand rankings also coincide.

Even though there are numerous variations of the game, in most cases they stick to the same procedure. In most of the variations, a standard 52-card deck is used and the deck is reshuffled for each round. In some video poker variations, players are given the options to choose the number of the hands that can be played. Most video poker games are played with between 1 to 5 bet levels, meaning that you can wager between 1 and 5 coins per hand. Just like in traditional poker, in video poker, all suits have the same rank.

Occasionally, players are dealt five cards and then they are given the chance to decide which card they want to hold and which one they want to throw, depending on their strength. If the player has decided to throw some of the cards, they will be replaced with other cards from the deck, thus forming the final five-card hand. After this, the strength of the player’s hand will be estimated and if it is a winning one, the game will pay out according to the paytable of the particular video poker machine.

Hand Rankings

video poker hand rankingsStill, before getting started players definitely need to acquaint themselves with the hand ranking. As you can see this is of major importance due to the fact that this will enable you to make better decisions about which cards to hold and which to throw. Gamblers need to be aware of the strength of each hand as it determines the payouts they can claim.

When it comes to video poker, the best possible hand is a Royal Flush. It consists of a Ten, a Jack, a Queen, a King, and an Ace of one and the same suit. It should be noted that in video poker all suits are equally ranked. Usually, this hand pays out 250 to 1 when you have placed the lowest possible bet. If you have placed the highest bet, however, you can get a bonus of 4,000 coins or even more. This hand may also bring you a progressive jackpot if the machine you are playing at features one.

The second highest-ranking hand the player may have is a Straight Flush. It consists of five consecutive cards in value from one and the same suit such as a King, Queen, Jack, 10, and 9, for example.

Then comes the Four of a Kind. As you can probably guess, this hand consists of four cards that have the same value but of course, they are of different suits. For example, if there are four 5s in your hand, this means that you have Four of a Kind.

Next comes the Full House. This is a hand that features three cards that have the same value and a pair of cards with a different value. For example, if your hand includes two 9s and three 7s, this means that you have a Full House.

The Flush comprises five cards that are from one and the same suit. Here, the value of the cards does not matter. A Flush will be, for example, if you have a 10, 9, 8, 5, and 3 from the same suit.

If your hand contains five cards in a sequence that may not be from one and the same suit, this means that you have a Straight. For example, your hand may consist of 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6 from different suits.

The Three of a Kind is a hand that comprises three cards with one and the same value. The value of the other two cards does not matter. For example, if there are three 6, a Queen, and a 3, this means that you have Three of a Kind.

Next comes the Two Pair which is a hand that consists of a pair of cards that have the same value and one more pair of cards with different a value. In other words, if you have two Queens and two 4s, this means that you have Two Pairs.

Last comes the Pair which is a hand that features two cards from one and the same value. This, however, is the lowest ranking hand.

Video Poker Hand Rankings
Hand Example
Royal Flush
AA
KK
QQ
JJ
1010
Straight Flush
KK
QQ
JJ
1010
99
Four of a Kind
55
55
55
55
Full House
99
99
77
77
77
Flush
1010
99
88
55
33
Straight
1010
99
88
77
66
Three of a Kind
22
22
22
Two of a Kind
QQ
QQ
44
44

How to Play Video Poker

video poker how to playAs previously noted, playing video poker is not that difficult as the game has simple rules. In fact, when you are familiar with the hand ranking, you are ready to start playing. What does playing video poker involve?

In the first place, we need to mention the fact that there are numerous variations of the game but occasionally they follow the same procedure. The game will start after you have chosen the coin denomination. What comes next is placing your bet. After you have done this, you need to press the deal button. Then, players will get a hand that consists of five cards. You need to take a look at them and to decide which cards you want to discard and which ones you want to hold. This happens by pressing the button hold that is situated under each one of the cards. You can also select the cards you want to keep by clicking on them. The rest of cards will be automatically replaced by cards from the deck when you press the Draw button. In fact, this is the end of the round and if you have managed to form a winning hand, you will be paid.

When you take a look at the video poker machines, you will immediately notice that there are certain similarities between them and slot machines. Still, while enjoying slots, gamblers simply need to pull the lever, whereas in video poker things are a little bit more complicated.

Nowadays, video poker machines are extremely easy to navigate as they have a touch-screen. Still, there are also machines that feature buttons as well. While placing their bets, gamblers use these buttons in order to choose the number of the coins they want to wager. What is more, video poker machines also feature buttons that are used when you want to hold a particular card or cards from your hand. Once you have determined which cards you want to hold and which to discard, the Draw button comes into use. When this button is pressed, the machine deals new cards.

The machine also shows the credits you have. It is of major importance to keep track of them as this will enable you to manage your bankroll easier. What is more, video poker machines will also show how many coins you have gained after forming a winning hand. All the information you may need about the payout of the particular video poker machine can be found in the paytable.

Players can also stumble upon machines that have a “Double” up button. It enables players to double their winnings after having a winning hand. If you want to try your luck, five cards will be then dealt. This time, only the first one will be face up. What you need to do is to choose one of the other cards. Your winnings will be doubled only if your card is stronger. Still, if it has a lower value, you will lose your winnings.

Video Poker Strategies

Video poker has undoubtedly become one of the most well-liked casino games that can be found in almost every casino all over the globe. The game continues attracting players from various countries due to the fact that it is a great source of entertainment. Still, video poker is game in which both luck and skills are important. While playing video poker gamblers definitely have a say in the outcome of the game especially when they apply a decent strategy. Gamblers are enabled to use various effective strategies while enjoying their favourite casino game. In fact, there are tons of information available out there that can you decide which is the best possible move you can make according to the cards you have.

In essence, the first and the most important thing players should know is that they need to choose the cards they want to hold and which to replace extremely carefully. In fact, gamblers are allowed to replace all five cards or to hold all of them. It is all up to you to decide what to do in the particular situation.

If you have never played video poker before, you probably ask yourself how to decide which cards to hold? Once you have learned what are the winning hands in video poker, things will become easier. In the first place, we can advise you to keep strong cards even when they are not part of a winning combination. This may sound strange to you but in fact, you are more likely to form a winning hand if you do not toss such cards.

Always hold Royal Flush, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush, Full House, and Two Pair simply because all these are winning combinations. Still, you need to bear in mind that when you have Three of a Kind, it would be better if you get rid of the two remaining cards even when they seem good to you. You need to do this simply because you can turn them into a Full House.

Sometimes you are also recommended to break a Flush or a Straight. For example, if your hand consists of 9, J, Q, K, and an A from one and the same suit, you can drop the 9 and replace it with another card. If luck is on your side, you can get a 10 and thus you will form a Royal Flush. Still, if you fail to get a 10 from the same suit, the J, Q, K, and the A will also bring you a payout.

One more thing that is worth mentioning is that gamblers should not toss all their cards. Players definitely need to make wise decisions and check whether the cards they have decided to throw can make a winning hand. You should resort to this option only when your hand contains mixed cards, meaning that you cannot form a winning hand. When you have Two Pairs, we can also advise you to draw a card. If you have a High Pair, however, it would be better if you discard three of the cards you have. When you have Small Pair you should throw three of your cards.

As previously mentioned, in video poker skills and knowledge are also important as they can help you make the right decisions, thus changing the course of the game in your favour. Still, if you want to be able to use these strategies, you definitely need to take your time to study.

Video Poker Basic Strategy
Players’ Hand Example Draw
4 card Royal
AA
KK
QQ
JJ
1
3 card Royal
AA
KK
QQ
2
2 card Royal (with a 10)
AA
1010
3
2 card Royal (without a 10)
AA
KK
3
4 card Flush
33
55
88
99
1
1 high card
AA
4
2 high cards
AA
QQ
3
3 high cards (J,Q,K)
JJ
QQ
KK
2
Three of a Kind
22
22
22
2
Any 4 card Straight Flush
77
88
99
1010
1
Any 3 card Straight Flush
88
99
1010
2
4 card Straight
66
77
88
99
1
Two Pair
QQ
QQ
44
44
1
Low Pair
33
33
3
High Pair (Jacks or Better)
KK
KK
3
No valuable cards
5

Most Popular Video Poker Variations

video poker variationsVideo poker is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling games for casino lovers as the game requires not only luck but also a decent strategy. Just like many other popular casino games video poker also comes with numerous variations. Most of them use the same underlying principles just like in standard poker but they also have some features that set them apart from other poker variations.

Indeed, Jacks or Better remains one of the most widespread video poker variations. The game is suitable for casino novices as well due to the fact that it is very simple. In fact, the game is also known as “Draw Poker” and it is said to be among the first poker games. Jack or Better comes with some quite high odds which explains why the game attained such a great popularity.

Deuces Wild is also among the most preferred video poker variations. As its name implies, all 2s are valued just like wild cards, meaning that they can help you form a winning combination easier as they can replace other cards. The suit of the 2s is also of no importance. In fact, many players consider that this is not only one of the most appealing video poker variations, but that it is also quite lucrative. It should be noted that when players manage to form a winning hand thanks to wild cards, they should expect lower payout in comparison with winning hands that are naturally formed.

While talking about video poker variations, we should not forget to mention Double Bonus. As its name suggests, the game comes with two bonus payouts that are awarded when you form Four of a Kind. If players get a winning hand, they can expect really good payouts that depend on the cards that form it.

Aces and Eights is one more video poker variation that appeals to gamblers. You can probably guess that the game’s payout will be higher when you have four eighths or four Aces in your hand. In essence, the fact that it is a fan-favourite comes hardly as a surprise due to the fact that this is one of the variations that have the highest payouts.

Playing Video Poker for Real Money

video poker playing for real moneyAs it was already mentioned, playing video poker can be rewarding as long as you acquaint yourself with all the aspects of the game. It is really important to pay attention to each detail of the particular poker version due to the fact that namely these details can affect your gameplay and change its course.

When it comes to playing video poker for real money, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. Before getting started, gamblers definitely need to check the paytable of the particular game as well as the winning combinations as sometimes they may slightly differ. While making real-money bets, we can advise you to focus on full pay machines or 9/6 games as they are also known.

When it comes to real-money betting, you definitely need to learn how to limit yourself in order to make sure that you will not spend too much money. It is definitely much better to leave the casino even with a small profit, instead of leaving it with some great losses. What is more, thus you will be able to enjoy your gaming experience to the fullest.

Nowadays, gamblers do not need to go to a brick-and-mortar casino in order to enjoy video poker and place real-money bets. There is a wide array of online casinos that have included the game in their portfolios. Players can now indulge themselves into their favourite game even from the comfort of their homes. They will be provided with numerous secure and reliable payment methods which will also contribute to the hassle-free gaming experience.

Tips about Playing Video Poker

video poker tipsWhen you know the game, you can start wagering. Our first tip is to find a reliable strategy and to apply it whenever you play due to the fact that in video poker your skills can definitely help you. If we have to be more precise, video poker is game in which the player has a say in the outcome. Applying a strategy will certainly help you to make the best possible moves depending on the hand you have.

We can also advise you to look for video poker machines that have high payout percentages due to the fact that they determine the amount of money you will be paid for having a winning hand. In fact, the full pay machines feature the highest payouts. Still, if you are wondering how to understand which are the best video poker machines, it is advisable to always check the paytable of the particular machine prior to playing.

Managing your bankroll is also important. Before starting to play, gamblers need to decide exactly how much money they can spend and how much they want to win. While wagering, discipline plays a major role because if you do not follow the limits you have set, at the end it may turn out that you have exhausted your bankroll.

Last but not least, we can advise you to play using the maximum number of coins simply because there are video poker machines that will give you a higher payout for winning hands when you have placed the maximum available bet. In most cases, you are enabled to wager as much as five coins.