Video Poker 101: Understanding the Basics and Beyond

By Sarah Thomas
January 25, 2024

Online casinos have been around since the 1990s. With each new year, developers worked on implementing more online games into their casinos. As a result, players can now enjoy online slots, table games, and a wide variety of live dealer games.

Poker has been adapted to the online casino setting as well. Players can play online poker against real players or try their luck at video poker, where users compete against the machine. In the following guide, we will delve deeper into video poker. We will talk about its main features and give you some winning tips. Read on for more!

video poker

History of Poker

Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game. It is an excellent choice for beginners, but it is also ideal for high rollers. Poker is quite relatively simple but requires some strategy and a good understanding of the rules of the game.

Modern poker probably originates from the card game of dominoes, which was played by a 10th Century Chinese emperor. The game migrated to Europe, becoming Poque in France in the 17th century. From there, French colonists brought it to the United States, where it was developed into the game we know today.

Since then, we have seen the popularity of poker grow throughout the world. Poker can be played for fun, for money, or even in tournaments with big prizes. Poker migrated to the Internet in the 1990s, where it diversified into various forms. Live poker is played online with a dealer. Players can communicate via a webcam or chat. Video poker is played directly online – just you and the computer algorithm.

Basics of Video Poker

The difference between video poker and other types of poker is that you do not play against real players but against the casino on special slot machines. Video poker rules are based on a five-card draw, where players are dealt five cards and can change cards at least once.

When playing video poker, you select your bet size and click or select “deal.” You are then given five cards displayed on the screen and can replace one or more to improve your poker hand.

To win in video poker, your five-card combination must meet the machine’s minimum hand requirements, which are shown in the pay table Most often when playing Jacks or Better, the winning zone starts with two jacks (or higher). The stronger your hand, the greater the winning amount. You will get the maximum winnings by collecting a “royal flush” (the highest five-card hand in poker).

Types of Video Poker

There are several different types of video poker available in online casinos. Below, we will go over the most popular variations.

Jacks or Better

This is considered to be the simplest video poker variation. For this reason, it is often chosen by new players. If you receive a pair of Jack or Better at the end of the draw, you will double your bet. Players also have the option to double their winnings in a bonus game.

Deuces Wild

In this version of video poker, all deuces are jokers and can be used in place of any other cards (that have not yet been dealt). Thanks to this, it becomes much easier to collect a high five-card combination (for example, four of a kind appears on average once every 15 hands), but the winnings are naturally reduced compared to Jacks or Better.

Progressive Jackpot

Typically, slot machines with progressive jackpots are linked to each other. The jackpot amount accumulates with each hand of each player at all machines. In this way, huge jackpots are formed, which attract many players in the hope of getting the desired winnings.

How to Choose the Best Video Poker Game

First of all, you should focus, on the theoretical return to player (RTP) that is set on the machine. But do not forget that you will need to choose an optimal strategy. This can be tricky as different video poker games can have different payouts.

Pay attention to the bet sizes. You will most likely need to play with a smaller amount at first, so make sure you can afford the minimum allowed value. Special computer programs can help determine the possible theoretical return of a particular video poker game. They also provide an opportunity to develop an optimal strategy and practice playing skills.

Final Thoughts on Video Poker

Video poker is a great alternative to the classical online poker. Since it does not require other players, video poker runs at a quicker pace. This ensures dynamic gameplay with exciting winning opportunities. Players who are already familiar with online poker can appreciate this change of speed and potentially higher payouts. Make sure to practice in the risk-free demo mode before jumping into action with real money.



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Sarah Thomas poker author
Written By.

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a content writer for entertainment websites. In her free time she enjoys playing all sorts of games, both live and online.

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