Introduction to Video Poker for Beginners
Wed 12 July 2017
Video Poker is a simple game played on a gambling machine. An important difference between it and regular poker is that you are not playing against other people. Your goal is the same – to get the best hand – but smart play in video poker relies on knowing the odds and strategy. These machines can be lucrative indeed for a skilled video poker player.
The basics are as follows: there are 5 cards in a hand. The Ace is highest, then K, Q, Jack, etc. etc. down to the deuce (2). After you place a wager, you will be dealt a five-card hand. You have the option of keeping or discarding as many of these cards as you please.
Usually to keep a card you press a ‘hold’ button to signify that you want to include it in your hand. You then hit a ‘deal’ or ‘draw’ button function to get new cards. If this final hand is a winner, you collect based on the type of hand, and how many credits wagered.
Three common versions of Video Poker in online casinos are ‘Jacks or Better’, ‘Deuces Wild’ and ‘Jacks Wild’. Here’s a short summary on each:
Jacks or Better is the most popular and widespread version of video poker around. The minimum qualifying hand for a win is to get a pair of Jacks, as the name implies. Now for a little secret: you really don’t win a thing if you get just Jacks! Your original wager is returned to you and that’s it… you have to do one better to come out ahead.
Note that two types of machines exist: one will pay out a set number of coins for a Royal Flush, others will pay a Progressive Jackpot. Progressives are very popular, due to the much better wins possible, but don’t forget to play ‘max coins’!
Deuces Wild Video Poker treats deuces (2′s) as wild cards. This gives you the advantage of using your deuces to act as any card you like to complete a hand. The flipside is that a casino will offer stiffer payouts and typically require a three of a kind hand as a minimum.
Take normal Five Card Draw poker and add a joker… you’ve got Jokers Wild! Your deck, then, is 53 cards, one extra than normal. This wild card increases your chances of getting a good hand, so like Deuces Wild the casino evens the score by raising the minimum hand requirement. Most often, for Jokers Wild, the minimum hand to win will be a Pair of King’s of Better.
Natural Royal Flush – Ace, K Q J and Ten, all of a like suit. This is the Jackpot for most video poker games.
Royal Flush w/ Wild – Same as above, but uses a Wild Card to complete it.
5 of a Kind – 5 cards of the same rank. Uses at least 1 wild card in order to receive it.
Straight Flush – Getting five consecutive cards, all of the same suit (e.g. 6 7 8 9 10 of Hearts).
Four of a Kind – Four of the same card, such as four Aces.
Full House – A full house is having one pair and three of a kind.
Flush- A flush is having all cards of the same suit – Aces, Spades, Hearts or Diamonds – though they do not have to be in any particular order.
Straight – Five cards in consecutive order, though they may be of different suits.
Three of a Kind – Three of the same cards, like three 10′s.
Two Pair – Having more than one pair, i.e. 2 sets of two of the same card, like a pair of 6′s and a pair of Jacks.
Pair – Two cards in your hand are the same value. In different versions of poker this may constitute the minimum hand, such as Jacks or Better, requiring you to have at least 2 Jacks to have a winning hand.