Many online casino goers are already familiar with video
poker machines, which traditionally have 5 cards visible across
the screen. The object of video poker is to play Five Card Draw
and complete a winning poker hand. These machines have grown
vastly in popularity and can be played in just about every
casino, online or otherwise, in the world.
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The History of Video Poker
Video poker was first invented in the mid 1970's, although
the inventor is not known. It became more popular when SIRCOMA
(Si Redd's Coin Machines) developed their version of the game
called "Draw Poker" in 1979. During the 1980's, the game
gradually became a favorite of the average gambler, and now the
online video poker world has exploded as well.
How to Play
If you haven't tried video poker before but you enjoy
gambling online, this may be the time to learn more about the
how to play the game. There are a few steps involved and they
are outlined below.
Insert money or credits into the machine.
Select your betting denomination and how many credits you would like to bet on the current hand.
Press the Deal button to draw the cards.
Now you can see your five cards, and you can choose to discard some of them to make your best possible poker hand. On most machines you can exchange any amount of cards you'd like from zero to five.
The machine will swap out the selected cards, replace the old ones, evaluate your hand and pay you for a winning hand or keep your credits for a losing one.
Video Poker Payouts
Payouts can vary greatly depending on which type of machine
you're playing, which game you are playing, and how much you're
wagering. We'll start with the basics, ranking the hands from
high to low, with a normal payout assigned to each for a $1 bet.
Royal Flush - $5000 or a Progressive Jackpot on some machines.
Straight Flush - $1000 or 10% of a Progressive Jackpot on some machines.
Four of a Kind - $200
Full House - $50
Flush - $7
Straight - $5
Three of a Kind - $3
Two Pair - $2
Jacks or Better - $1 (a pair of Jacks or higher)
The better the hand, the more money you will make. This is just a table to give you a general idea of what the payouts will be on most standard machines. There are many different payout structures depending on which cards are included in Four of a Kind, or even what suit you get a flush in. There are literally thousands of different combinations available.
Video Poker Game Variation
Along with changes in payouts, there are thousands of game
varieties to choose from. Listed below are a few of the common
variations you may find playing video poker online:
Multi Hand - This is a very interesting 100 hand game where you play 100 hands simultaneously. You are dealt your five cards, choose your keepers, and hit Draw. At this point, the software will redraw the remaining cards 100 times, awarding you for each hand you win on. Of course, it costs 100 times more to play. The advantage here is that if you are dealt, say, a three of a kind, you are guaranteed to hit at least the three of a kind on every hand. But you can hope for hitting four of a kinds, full houses or even five of a kind on some joker machines. A $100 bet on 100 hands could yield $1000 or higher. These also come in a three, five, 10, and 50 hand variety.
Dueces Wild - Considered one of the best variations by many video poker players, the twos are considered wild cards meaning they take the form of whatever card will help you achieve the greatest payout. So you may have three Kings, a two, and a Queen. The game will pay you for Four of a Kind instead of a pair of Queens, earning you a large sum of winnings. Most machines also offer a bonus for having four two's in your hand, and it will usually pay out between a straight flush and a royal flush. Most will also offer two pay scales for a royal flush with a two and without, the one without paying higher.
Video Poker Strategies
As with the many variations on the game itself, there are
many different strategies that can be used. Here are some
basic games and strategies to be used:
Jacks or Better - As a general rule, you will want to hold all obvious wins such as a pair of Kings or a straight. In the event that you don't have a winning hand already, you will want to hold onto Jacks or higher. If you have a Jack and an Ace in your hand, hold onto them. This increases your chance of pairing one of them to make the Jacks or Better payout. Alternatively, you may have four parts to a flush or straight, in which case you'd hold all four cards and hope for your draw to be completed.
100 Hand Jacks or Better - This game uses a similar strategy with slight modifications. In 100 hand, you can take more risks. So if you have two or three parts to a royal flush, you may want to hold only those to increase your chance - you get 100 chances at it. If you have four parts to a royal flush, and a pair of queens also, you probably want to dump the guaranteed pair for a shot at one or more royal flushes. This is also the case if you already have a straight or a flush. You might consider shooting for the huge hand instead of many medium ones.
Deuces Wild - Always hold onto your Deuces. They are always the best possible card you can have. That is the most basic strategy for Deuces wild. On top of that, the Deuces Wild video poker game usually will not pay for anything less than three of a kind, so no need to hold a deuce and one other card. If you only have one two and nothing else, just hold the deuce. This gives you more cards to make a big hand, and any other card you hold has no value in making the hand better. This is only true if you aren't shooting for a bigger hand. If you have a pair of twos, a Queen, and a King you will want to hold those four cards and hope for a queen, king, ace, jack, or two. Deuces Wild really opens up your hand for bigger gains.
Most video poker games these days also come with a double up
feature. With this feature, after you win a hand you can
choose to try and double your winnings. So if you won $50,
you can play a little mini game to try and turn that $50
into $100. The mini game is usually the same across all
machines. You are shown one card face up, and four face
down. You need to choose one of the face down cards that is
higher than the face up card. If you do, you double your
winnings. On most machines, there is no limit to how many
times this can be done on a single hand. Be careful though,
because if you choose incorrectly at any point, you lose all
of your winnings, including the original one. You could
double to $200, $400, $800, and be on your pick for $1600.
If you lose, you now have $0 instead of your original $50.
Most players will try to double up every hand once or twice,
just to increase their winnings without taking a major risk.
Many players across the world have been playing video poker for years, mastering their strategies and finding their favorite video poker game variations to play. As with any game, practice is the only thing that will help you to improve.
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