Video Poker Tutorial, History, Strategy, Rules and Odds

What is Video Poker?

Video Poker is a single player poker game that does not involve other players. This game is a 5-card draw poker that is usually played on an electronic console that resembles the modern slot machines. It can also be played online at online casinos. This game can be found at almost every land-based and online casino.

History of Video Poker

Video poker became commercially viable after manufacturers decided to integrate a monitor that resembles a TV screen with a processing unit that allows players to enjoy a computerized game on that TV screen. The first models to be manufactured were released in the middle of the 1970s. Although it was computerized, it will look very primitive if we compare it with the modern day standards and video poker machines.

The popularity of video poker increased when a company named SIRCOMA (Si Redd’s Coin Machines) which is now known as IGT (International Game Technology) introduced its video poker machine Draw Poker. It released it in 1979. Through the following years, the popularity of video poker increased and it became an absolute must in almost every land-based casino. Now, almost every casino in the Las Vegas strip offers video poker machines to its patrons. Players also tend to go to the local casinos as they offer them machines with lower denomination and enhanced odds.

The Procedure of the Game

As mentioned above, the game is a five-card draw poker. The players will start the game by placing a wager. This wager consists of two parts, choosing a coin size and the number of coins. After player place the wagers, they will click on the “Deal” button. Players will be dealt five cards. Players will then choose the cards they want to hold. The cards that players will not hold will be discarded. After players select the cards they want to hold, they will click on “Deal” again.

Players will then get cards instead of the cards they did not hold. This will form a 5-card poker hand. This is the hand that players will be rewarded for. The game will then reward the player according to the strength of his poker hand. The game will reward players according to the stake that they have placed at the beginning. Players will be able to view the winning poker hands and their payouts through the Paytable. Some online video poker games enable players to double their winnings by entering a gamble game.

The Paytable of the Game

The paytable of the game is a table that shows players the payouts that they will earn if they get specific poker hands. Each game has a minimum winning hand. For example, Jacks or Better will only reward players who have a pair of J’s or better. This paytable is usually divided into a number of columns that shows players the rewards for each hand and the reward of each hand corresponding to the number of coins they wagered. For example, it will show players that if they get three of a kind, they will be rewarded with X credits, if they placed two coins they will be rewarded with XX credits and so on.

For example, for Tens or Better Video poker:

* A pair of tens or better will pay from one to five credits.
* Two pairs will pay from two to ten credits.
* 3 of a kind will pay from three to fifteen credits.
* Straight will pay from four to twenty credits.
* Flush will pay from five to twenty-five credits.
* Full house will pay from six to thirty credits.
* 4 of a kind will pay from twenty-five to 125 credits.
* Straight flush will pay from fifty to 250 credits.
* Royal flush will pay from 500 to 4000 credits which is the jackpot of the game.

Different Video Poker Versions

There are numerous video poker versions. The gaming procedure is almost the same but the difference lies in the wagering range, number of hands, minimum paying hands and other aspects of the game.

Jacks or Better
The gaming procedure of this game is the same as the normal video poker game. In this game, players will have to acquire a hand that contains 2x J’s at least in order to claim a payout. This is why it is entitled jacks or better. So if players get a pair of 8s or a pair of 9s, they will not be able to claim a reward.

Tens or Better
The minimum paying hand in this game is a pair of 10s.

Dueces Wild Poker
The game follows the same rules and procedure of standard games but it comes with a twist. This twist is the existence of a wild card. This wild card is the deuce “2”, hence the name of the game. This wild card has the ability to substitute for any other card in order to create a better paying poker hand.

Joker Wild
It is the same as Deuces Wild but the wild card is not the “2” but it is the Joker Card, which is the reason behind the name of the game.

Joker and Deuces Wild Poker
This game combines the previous two games as it contains two wild cards, the Joker and the “2”. This is why the minimum paying hand is three of a kind to increase the odds for the casino because players will be able to utilize two wild cards.

Bonus Poker
Bonus Poker is a Jacks or Better video poker variant that offers players a higher payout for Four of a Kind poker hand.

All American Poker
All American poker is a video poker variant that has the same rules and gaming procedure of Jacks or Better but it is themed around America. This is why players will see the American flag at the top right of this game.

Jacks or Better Power Poker
The game has the same gaming procedure and paytable rules as Jacks or Better. The only difference is that this game enables players to play with five hands. The players will get five cards and they will choose the cards they want to hold. These cards will form the base for five other poker hands. Players will then be dealt replacement cards for the five hands. Players will be rewarded according to the highest poker hand out of the five and not all of them.

The power poker version exists for all of these versions. There is Joker Power Poker, Deuces Wild Power Poker, Tens or Better Power Poker and so on.

There are Progressive Jackpot video poker games. These games work with the same concept of Progressive slots. The game is linked to other games in other casinos. The more players place wagers, the higher the progressive jackpot becomes. Players who get a royal flush on a progressive jackpot will be able to trigger it and win the huge prize.

What is the Best Video Poker Version?

There is not a best video poker version; each game has its own pros and cons. So it is really a matter of preference. For example, games that have two wild cards such as Joker and Deuces Wild Poker give players a higher chance of winning because there are two wild cards. On the other hand, players will have to get a minimum poker hand of “3 of a kind” in order to be able to claim a reward. So it compensates the existence of two wild cards by making 3 of a kind the minimum paying hand. Other games such as Tens or Better enables players to claim a reward for getting a pair of 10s or better. On the other hand, there are no wild cards. So this makes it clear that each game has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Also, players who like taking risks will enjoy the games that offer players a gambling game that they can choose to play in order to double their winnings.

Why do People Prefer Video Poker?

Video Poker provides players with a less intimidating poker experience than the competitive poker tables. The game does not include any other players so players will not be required to beat other players in order to win. They are simply rewarded according to their own hand. This also means that they will not need to bluff or take any risks with low hands.

Video Poker also enables players to play a lot of poker hands in the least amount of time. This way, they do not have to wait a lot of time between hands like the poker tables.

Where can you Enjoy Video Poker on the Internet?

Due to the huge demand on video poker, you will be able to find tens of video poker versions on any online casino. Almost every online casino offers at least five versions of video poker. Some of the most recommended casinos for video poker are Riverbelle, Lucky Nugget, Gaming Club, Jackpot City and William Hill Casino.
Players can find these games in the video poker section of the casino. Players are also advised to check the rules and the paytable of the video poker game before they start.

The Gamble Feature (Online Video Poker)

Online video poker games would give players the chance to double their winnings through the gamble feature. For example, if a player wins four credits. He will be faced with a choice. He can either collect the 4 credits or enter a gambling game in order to double them to 8 credits. This gamble game consists of 5 cards. The first card will be facing up and the other 4 cards will be facing down. Players will have to pick one of these four cards. If the value of the card they chose is higher than the value of the facing up card, they will win, if it is lower, they will lose.

If players win, some games would allow them to double it again through the same type of game. At any point if players lose, they will lose their original winnings and the winnings they doubled. Therefore, it is a very risky game. Players are advised to play this game once or twice and collect because if they lose, they risk losing all of their winnings.

Video Poker Tips

After all, video poker is a card game, so there is a huge percentage of luck but there are some tips you should follow to increase your odds.

* Understand the payback of the machine before playing and only choose the machine with the highest payback.
* Understand the payouts and know the minimum winning poker hand.
* Every game has its own strategy, so follow it to increase your odds. So do not use a strategy for Tens or Better while playing Jacks or better.
* Learn how to play Jacks or Better then learn other games. This is because all video poker variants are derived from Jacks or Better.
* Do not get greedy while doubling your winnings through the gamble feature and do not push your luck.

The Regulation of Video Poker

The video poker machines that are available at land-based casinos are regulated and monitored by the state gambling commissions. These commissions examine the machines to make sure that all of the cards are 100% random to make sure that the machines are not biased to the house.

As for video poker games that are found online, they are regulated according to the online casino. It is monitored an examined by the gambling authority that licenses the casino itself such as the UK Gambling Commission or the government of Gibraltar. The results of the games are also audited by the firm that audits the rest of the online casino’s games. Some of the leading auditing firms in the industry of online gambling are the eCOGRA, TST (Technical Systems Testing) and iTech Labs among others.


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