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How to Play Video Poker

Sat 10 June 2017 How to Play Video Poker

For poker fanatics that like to test their skills at the game instead of matching them against those of other players, video poker offers a welcome alternative to the traditional table setting. For those unfamiliar with video poker, suffice it to say that the name is self-explanatory. Video poker is simply an automated electronic version of the real game. All video poker machines are based on the basic five-card draw variation. At the center of the machine is a game screen displaying five cards. These cards are dealt automatically and their randomness is ensured by randomization software that mimics the odds of an actual deal.

To play, as with any other electronic game you simply put your money in the machine and hit the betting buttons. While playing online, you’ll transfer funds from your member account to the machine’s credit total and then select the size of your bet. Once you’ve wagered and hit the deal button, the computer will display your first five cards. Five card draw is one of the simplest poker variations available, making video poker ideal for beginners learning basic strategy. Furthermore, you don’t have to divide your attention by trying to read your opponents or gauge your betting. In video poker it’s all about the cards.

The objective of five card draw is to build the highest possible five-card hand. After the initial deal, you have the option of returning one, two, or three of your existing cards for new ones; this is called a ‘draw’ and is the event from which the game gets its name. When playing video poker, all wins and losses are automated, so that the machine automatically credits you with the appropriate payout. This too is a feature many beginners find attractive when trying to determine the value of their hands.

Unlike the live version of the game where each pot varies hand to hand depending on each player’s bets, video poker games have a set payout schedule determined by the value and rarity of each combination. Most video poker games are based on a ‘Jacks or Better’ pay scale which means to win you must have at least a pair of jacks or better in your hand. The bigger your hand, the bigger the payout. Typically a single pair of face cards will get you your original bet back while two pairs doubles it, three of a kind triples it, and a straight quadruples it. Some machines have special bonuses that offer a substantially higher payout or even a progressive jackpot to certain combinations. Four aces are the most common combination used for these bonuses.

While video poker doesn't offer the variety of slots or the variations seen at the live poker tables, it does come in several versions. In addition to the bonuses mentioned above, some machines are instead based on a Tens or Better pay scale and some just have a better pay schedule in general. The best way to optimize your bankroll is to bet the maximum number of credits. While we don’t advise beginners to use this strategy, players that know their poker well will get the best payouts by betting max. Likewise, pay attention to machines with progressive jackpots. Occasionally the jackpot will go unwon long enough that it becomes large enough to offer serious players a positive expectation situation where they can turn a significant profit by playing specifically for the bonus combination.

Online video poker only exaggerates the benefits of this game as it gives players an even more secluded and comfortable setting in which to play in their own home! Plus players can quickly and easily scout out their favorite machines by searching the biggest and best online casinos. Don’t forget to sign up for a player loyalty program which rewards frequent play with free money!