If you enjoy the simplicity of slots and the strategy of poker, then video poker is a nice way to find common ground between easy, automated gambling and calculated tactical action.
Video poker allows players to relax and think at the same time. If you enjoy table games but prefer the atmosphere of the slots, then you’ll excel at video poker. Video poker is just you against the machine.
It’s a solitary challenge that forces you to make quick judgments. The decisions that you make at this machine will have a direct impact on whether or not you win or lose money.
How to Play
Most video poker games are based on five-card draw. In five-card draw poker, each player is dealt five cards. Players can choose to keep or discard any or all of these cards.
The object is to come up with the best possible five-card poker hand.
After you make your initial bet, you press the deal button to get five cards. You must then decide which cards you want to hold. This is done by pressing the hold button below the cards you intend to keep.
Once you’ve chosen the cards you want to retain, press the deal button again. This will exchange your discarded cards with newly drawn replacement cards. What you are left with is your final hand.
Based on the ranking of your hand, you are paid off according to a set table.
Jacks or Better
The first video poker game created was Jacks or Better. This game is still the most widely offered video poker option out there.
In this game players are not paid for a pair of 10s or anything lower.
The lowest paying hand is a pair of Jacks (hence the name Jacks or Better). If you have a hand that is higher than a pair of Jacks, then you will be paid according to the payout table listed on the game.
Not all payout tables are equal (even for the same game), so be sure to check out the payout table before you start wagering.
In Deuces Wild, there are four wild cards—the 2s. You can use 2s to complete straights, flushes, full houses or any other poker hand. Because the 2s are wild, players do not get paid for pairs. The lowest paying hand in Deuces Wild is two pair.
When you play Deuces Wild, make sure to check the payouts for a four or kind. This hand occurs quite often, and the pay scales can vary considerably form machine to machine.
As a general rule, you should choose a Deuces Wild game that pays at least 5 to 1 for a four of a kind.
Joker Poker (also known as Joker’s Wild) is played with 52-cards and an added wild Joker. This video poker variant is popular on the eastern coast of the U.S. in places like Atlantic City.
If you’re playing a Joker Poker machine (or a Joker Poker online game) then you need to remember that the lowest paying hand is a pair of kings. If you’re dealt a single Jack or a single queen, discard them.
You will not be paid if you pair them up. Whenever you get dealt a Joker, hang on to this useful and flexible card.
Video poker combines the strategy of poker with the solitary, play-at-your-won-pace style of slots. Video poker games can be extremely addicting, so make sure that you have enough time (and cash) before you start playing.
Hours can fly by before you know it!