Even though it might look a lot like a slot machine, video poker is a different game entirely. Increasingly popular in numerous casinos, video poker has enabled players of all financial backgrounds to enjoy a version of this exciting card game. These machines have made the game less intimidating for players by taking poker from the tables of big, shining, reputable casinos to relaxed local casinos where players do not have to fork over a significant portion of their earnings to participate in the game.
Many players prefer video poker to slot machines and with the application of a simple strategy, you can expect better payouts and higher chances of winning than traditional slot machines.
To be able to use these strategies you must first understand the game, so we’ve come up with a guide to video poker to help you understand and beat the game.
There are many different types of video poker games and we are going to discuss the rules and the strategies for some of the most popular games that you are certain to stumble upon.
Jacks or Better
Jacks or Better is the most popular game in this video poker guide for both long-time players and beginners. With a return rate of up to 99.54% and simple rules, it is clear why it attracts a large number of players. It’s played with 5 cards, giving you the option to discard as many cards as you want, replacing them with new ones.
The main rule that separates this game from the others is that payout is only possible if your hand contains 2 or more jacks.
Some other rules you need to keep an eye on include:
- There are 9 winning hands in this game and to score yours needs to have at least a pair of jacks.
- A predetermined payout table determines how much a player will win each round played, with the highest payout being a Royal Flush with a payout of up to 250:1.
- Players are paid only for their most valuable hand.
The best strategies when it comes to this game are to build up straights and flushes and bet the maximum that you can since a Royal Flush will give you really good payouts. To further increase your winnings on a royal flush, make sure you play with all 5 of your coins.
The objective of the game is that all two are wild cards, meaning that you can replace any such card with a card of your choice to score a winning hand. A large part of the strategy in this game comes down to exactly what to do when you get deuces. If you get 3 or more such cards in the first deal, it is best to keep them in the hope that you will get 1-2 more deuces in the next deal.
A few major rules of this game are
- The payouts are much lower since it is easier to get a winning hand
- You can discard as many cards as you want however it suits you
- In the online version of the game, players have the option to double their winnings using bonus games
- Hand rankings are identical to those used in a classic game of poker
Bonus poker is somewhat based on the rules of games such as Jacks or Better and Aces and Faces with the difference that it offers a payout for making four of a kind for a single hand. It does come with slightly lower payouts as well as return to player rate.
Some rules of the game include:
- More winning hands are allowed in this game
- Different hands receive different bonuses
- They pay out higher sums for premium hands
Now that you have a basic understanding of the most common video poker games and strategies to use for each game it’s important to mention a few other tips that apply to whatever game you choose to play.
Know the pay tables
Before you choose a machine remember that no 2 hands are the same in video poker and not all games and machines pay the same. Before choosing the right table get informed on the paytables and if you’re playing online you’re in luck because you won’t have to keep track of them yourself since they are usually displayed on the screen.
Study the bonus offers
Bonuses are usually a great thing in online casinos and something that you should not avoid, but that does not mean that you should accept absolutely all bonuses when they are offered to you or that you expect that they will be offered to you at all and that they will be what you want. . It is important that before accepting the bonus, you research the conditions that accompany it, which mainly relate to your stake and payout. It is also important to know that you will not always get a welcome bonus. Sometimes you will simply have to wait for certain promotions. In general, bonuses are an excellent opportunity to slightly increase your winnings in video poker, but you must know what you are getting into before accepting them.
Practice for free
If you are a beginner in need of practice or simply looking to test out some new video poker strategies we recommend doing so for free before you are ready to put your money on the line in an actual casino. Many sites will offer an option to do so and some will include a form of free play as a part of a welcome bonus.
And there you have a quick and easy guide that should help put you ahead in video poker no matter where and how you choose to play. Have fun and play smart.