Learning how to play video poker is easy. Especially if you already have an understanding of how standard poker hands work. Essentially, the game aims to make the best possible hand with the cards dealt to you. You get paid for the hand you create. Although there are many video poker variants, the rules for each game are generally the same aside from one or two deviations. If you would like to find out how to play this game, keep reading.
Video poker is a casino game that mixes elements of slot machines and poker to create a fun hybrid experience.
Basically, you need to create poker hands with the cards dealt to you. It will not always be possible to create a hand as most games allow you to discard your cards once before finalizing your hand. Each variation of video poker has its own paytable. Pay tables varying according to the rules of the game.
For example, in Deuces Wild, pairs pay out more than in other games. In Joker Poker, the Joker acts as a wild, allowing you to finish more winning combinations.
While these differences are minimal, they impact both your experience and your chance of winning the game. Thus, we recommend that you play a few video poker games before settling on a single title.
Video Poker Rules
Video poker seems complex, but once you grasp the rules, you can start playing immediately. To make your life easier, we recommend you start with single-hand video poker games, then move on to other versions of the game.
Here are the basic rules of video poker:
Video poker is played with a 52-card deck.
Regular poker hands are used to make winning combinations. Most games have you gunning for a royal flush, just like in regular poker.
Some games have additional winning combinations outside of regular poker hands. So, look at the games on offer.
Your goal is to make a poker hand with the cards dealt to you.
Pay tables differ according to the variation being played. Pay tables also tell you how much you could win by making a certain hand and how rare the hands are.
Return-to-player (RTP) percentages also vary from game to game. So, make sure to look at how likely a game is to pay you out before playing it.
How to Play Video Poker at a Casino
Here is a quick step-by-step guide to playing any video poker game:
Every poker game begins with a bet. So, decide on the amount you would like to stake.
Press the deal button after you have made your bet.
Then, five cards will be dealt to you to create the best hand.
At this point, you will have to discard or keep some of the cards.
After choosing cards, you can select the draw option to replace the cards you don’t want to keep.
If you created a winning hand, the casino will payout. If you did not, you will have lost your bet.
You are now ready to play again!
Video Poker Strategy
Video poker requires some skill. The casino game uses a random number generator to produce random results, meaning you will only have a marginal impact on your odds of winning any hand. But we guess it’s better than no influence at all.
Here are some tips to make your experience more fruitful over time:
Learn How Poker Hands Work
We have found that many beginner players make stupid decisions because they aren’t aware of how poker hands work. By this, we mean that they don’t understand the types of combinations you can make.
The list of standard poker hands includes:
3 of a kind
4 of a Kind
Different video poker games may pay more for certain hands than others or may not payout on sum hands, which brings us to our next point.
Learn the Differences Between Variants
Do you know the difference between playing Jacks or Better video poker and double bonus poker, such as the house edge and how the game works?
Well, if not, you cannot accurately say that you are playing the variant of video poker that best suits your needs. All video poker games are slightly different, and you should learn how they deviate from each other to ensure you are making informed decisions.
Knowing the differences between variants will also help you make better betting decisions. For example, a pair of jacks isn’t as coveted in Ace and Faces video poker.
Never Give Up a Winning Hand
Getting a royal flush is great and all, but your chances of getting that hand in most video poker variations is around 5000/1. So, it is not sound to play every game you play with hopes of getting this hand.
Instead, focus on picking up wins where you can take them. If this means sticking with a hand with two pairs, then so be it. Remember winning big is exciting, but nothing is worse than busting early into your gaming session due to bad decisions.
When it comes to deciding which cards to keep and which to discard, the general rule is never to give up a winning hand, even if it is just a simple pair.
Casino gambling requires you to be patient. You will not win every game you play, so get that idea out of your head as soon as possible. Know that you will lose a lot before you win some, and if you have trouble accepting this, gambling may not be for you.
It may take a long while before you walk away from a gaming session with a profit. However, know that when you do, it will be the sweetest prize.
Play Free Video Poker Games to Practice
If you do not know how a particular video poker variant works, we recommend practicing in free mode before playing for real money. Although free games get a lot of flak, these games allow you to learn how games work in a risk-free environment.
You also get a chance to practice new strategies or betting systems you are looking to try out in your next gaming session without wasting any money. So, there are a lot of advantages to playing free video poker games.
Practice Proper Bankroll Management
Many video poker guides recommend that you bet max to win the most amount of money possible. However, we recommend that you make bets within your bankroll and don’t bet max blindly.
Yes, while you will be annoyed with yourself if you miss out on some massive winnings, you will be even more annoyed if you bust your bankroll within mere minutes of starting your game session. So, always pay mind to how much you can afford to spend when selecting a game, and don’t bet max blindly.
How to Win at Video Poker
We have explained the game now it’s your turn to play it. Take note of the strategies we discussed to give yourself the best chance of winning. If you are in the mood to find out more about video poker games, take a look at our guides on Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and so much more.
If you are looking for some recommendations on where to play, we suggest scrolling up. We have listed many online casinos that offer many video poker games, including all the most popular variations, such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, and Double Bonus Poker.