An Introduction To Playing Video Poker 



Video Poker is much more interesting then slot machine. It plays more like a table game then it does a slot machine. This is due to the fact that there is strategy involved.

The game of Video Poker is one of the fastest growing games in North America. It is based on the standard rules, strategies, and etiquette as may be observed a five-card poker game. In effect, the player is playing a game of Draw Poker on an electronic machine.

Video Poker is a Fast-Paced Poker Game



As is true of other popular electronic games, the appeal of Video Poker is that the player can go through a greater number of hands, within any particular time frame, than is possible in the standard game of Poker as played in a casino card room. That is, instead of playing only thirty hands in an hour, a player can complete a round of Video Poker every 10 seconds. 



Wins and Losses

The results of play in the game of Video Poker, in terms of wins and losses, are similar to those in a standard poker game. The major differences are that the player is playing ‘solo’ and must always play against the house, i.e., a pre-programmed casino machine, the bets and pots are very much smaller, and draw poker, normally, is the only type of poker game offered. Progressive Video Poker is however becoming increasingly popular in most casinos.

Like the table game of Poker, the attraction of the video version is that players are able to make many different decisions that can directly determine the outcome of every situation.



The Player’s Objective in Video Poker

The objective of the player in Video Poker is to win each hand, either by standing pat on the five cards dealt, or discarding and drawing up to five cards, and most important, guessing right often.

The Basics of the Game



The game is played with one standard electronic deck of 52-cards. The cards themselves have the same ranking as those in the standard poker deck, and winning hands are ranked mostly as in traditional poker. For example, a royal flush is still the best hand that you can get, and a straight beats three of a kind, so on and so forth.

There are a few different Video Poker variations that can be played with Jacks or Better by far the most popular version of video poker. During the first round, 5 cards are dealt to the player with four face down and one face up, which is the dealer’s card.

Once the player has decided which of the 5 cards to keep, the dealer then draws new cards to replace the ones the player discarded. It is possible for the player to discard all five cards and receive entirely new cards. After the draw stage is completed, the dealer will then evaluate the player’s hand and will determine the value of the hand according to a pay out schedule.

After the hand is revealed, the player is given the option of doubling their win by betting against the dealer. The player picks one of the face down cards, and if it’s a higher rank then the dealer’s card, the win is doubled. At the end of each hand, the deck is shuffled electronically and a new hand begins.

Let’s look at the typical payout for Jacks or Better video poker:

Royal Flush: 800 to 1 if max bet or 250 to 1 if less then max
Straight Flush: 50 to 1
Four of a Kind: 25 to 1
Full House: 9 to 1
Flush: 6 to 1
Straight: 4 to 1
Three of a Kind: 3 to 1
Two Pair: 2 to 1
Pair of Jacks or Better: Even money

The Ranking of Hands

Any hand containing any of these combinations is considered a desirable hand. The main point to remember when playing video poker, as distinct from table poker, is that any hand with five odd cards, or with less than a pair of jacks, always loses. In standard poker, on the other hand, a player may win a pot while holding an odd hand with a high card that happens to be the highest-ranking one in play at the table, and pairs are always good.



This difference from the way standard poker is played will influence the way in which the player will discard and draw during a game of Video Poker. For example, in standard table poker, any pair can be a pot winner especially with few players involved in the hand and, therefore, represents a worthwhile hand to play. Whereas, the video poker player should hold a low pair only if he thinks he has a good chance to draw a third matching card and, thereby, complete three or four of a kind, or a full house.

Following these simple directions can make playing Video Poker easier and more enjoyable, you will pick up the game in no time at all and will be playing like a pro.