Video Poker Guide

Video Poker has been a staple of casino games for over four decades and still manages to enjoy a huge reputation among casino enthusiasts. With a decent level of skill and a low house edge when compared with other games, Video Poker is one of the big power games in a land-based or online casino. What many like about Video Poker is the potential to win big while playing – much like slots – on your own and without distraction from other players. Let's find out more about playing video poker online.

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The Basics

Playing with between 1 and 5 coins, a Video Poker machine presents a player with five cards. It is then up to the player to decide whether to hold and which cards to get rid of. The machine will then provide cards in place of their discards, paying according to the win, or moving on if there is a loss. This is truly an easy game to play, and one which can be surprisingly enthralling.

Another basic aspect of Video Poker is that the house rarely holds any significant edge over a player. Some machines, it can be argued, can actually end up giving you the advantage (albeit, a small one).

Standard Video Poker Rules

The vast majority of Video Poker games you will encounter are played with a standard 52-card deck. There are variations on Video Poker games which deviate from this rule, which includes titles with Joker Wilds in them. While there are a few differences when it comes to playing such games, there are generally universal rules to how the games operate. For example:

  • When you have selected an amount to wager, simply press the "deal" button and the game will provide five randomly selected cards for you
  • It is then up to the player to choose what cards to discard and those which they want to keep
  • The game will then provide cards in place of those which have been rejected by the player
  • If a player is lucky to win, then they will receive money according to the strength of that particular hand
  • If there is a loss, then a new game can be initiated by the player

Strategy: Finding a Full Pay Machine

Choosing the right machine is the first step towards any seasoned strategy that has any chance at working. This will generally come down to the type of Video Poker machine, and how you play as an individual. When it comes to choosing the right machine, there are a few hints and tips which we have provided below, which can certainly help you decide:

A full-pay machine

This type of machine is effectively one that offers the best odds, making top payouts for hitting the right hands. On any typical Video Poker Jacks or Better machine – which is one where you need nothing less than a pair of jacks to win – you can find in the machine’s pay table if it pays full or not. Try to identify the machines before you play.

You should always check for the payout a machine grants for a full house or a flush. A full house should pay nothing less than nine times your bet and a flush six times what you wager on a game. 9/6 games, therefore, take their name from this method of paying out on flushes or full houses.

Full payout machines are among the best choices for winning big. Given the fact that the house edge is so much lower in comparison to other games, it is no secret why savvy players shun roulette tables and slots in favour of Video Poker games. If a house edge is less than one percent, it is not difficult to see why this is the case and has been for a long time.

To put this into perspective, a game which holds a 1% house edge effectively pays out 99 cents out of every dollar bet. The House edge is much higher when you do not play according to a learned strategy, however, so doing your homework before you play the game is always the best advice to give any player looking to get involved in Video Poker.

Hints and Tips

  • Always aim to play maximum coins, as this is the best chance you have at hitting a big win. This may be out of the question for some, at least until they have a bankroll large enough to facilitate it.
  • Don’t ever expect a machine to show any indications prior to landing a good hand, as they are not programmed to do this.
  • Always do your homework on a Video Poker Machine before you play it. There are subtle differences in many which – if picked up upon – can be the difference between success and failure.
  • Always practice before you play, as this will give you an idea of how far you can take your strategy and hone it before you invest any real money in playing Video Poker. As with pretty much anything in life, there are different Video Poker machines which respond better to different strategies. What works on one machine may not work on others. The best way to approach this is to take as much information as possible into the game, so practising hands on a demo mode, for example, should be the place to start.

Video Poker Should be Fun

Not many people can ever rely exclusively on gambling as the sole source of income. Despite many strategies and tips floating around in the ether of the internet, it is unlikely that any of them will offer a foolproof way to consistently clean up while playing Poker. In fact, we would wager on none of them being completely provable in terms of success.

Video Poker, like any other game, should be fun. Yes, doing your research into any game before you play it is a great benefit to your chances of winning, but a lot of the time, it is simply too random to have any type of control over.

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