Understanding Video Poker
Video poker has become increasingly popular of late thanks to the introduction of progressively advanced technologies and the addition of mobile casino gaming – a natural extension of online gambling.
Not only is video poker a persuasive substitute for classic casino poker, but it also offers one of the best house edges – and can boast an increase in favourable odds when compared to games like slots. While playing slots is without a doubt an enjoyable and potentially rewarding experience, video poker affords the player more game play choices – and thereby increasing the level of control you have over the outcome.
If you know how to play video poker, it can also be great way for novice poker players to improve their game, as you get to choose your own pace and practice your strategy with less risk of rushing your play in an attempt to keep up.
The Beginner’s Guide to Video Poker
Of course, strategy is always an important element, and botching your strategy or playing a guessing game will not only prevent you from benefiting from the better odds but can even drop them so low that you’d be better off sticking to the slots!
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place if you’ve ever wondered how to play video poker or are simply looking to improve your strategy. Look no further than this definitive beginner’s how to guide.
Basic Principles of Video Poker
The first key to understanding how to play video poker is knowing the basic set of principles underlying the play.
Standard table poker hands are used, with five starting cards that you can choose to hold or discard by tapping them on the screen or with the console. All discarded cards are replaced by a single random draw initiated by activating the ‘draw’ button, and your new hand decides the end results. Any traditional poker hand (such as two pair, straight, flush, and so on) is a win, and your reward is based on the paytable of the video poker console.
This paytable is the first thing to check when choosing a video poker machine, and is key in getting the most out of your game. Knowing how to identify the best machines goes a far way; so always shop the paytables for higher payout numbers!
Always play the max bet coins- and chose your machine based on your budget. Some video poker machines allow for higher max bets, so rather play a 25c machine at max bet (CA$1.25) than a CA$1 machine one coin at a time.
And remember: as much as you’re playing to win, you’re also playing to have fun. Avoid machines with faulty or sticky buttons, as they’ll distract you from your game and take away from your enjoyment.
Jacks or Better – Basic Strategy Play
Jacks or Better is the most common video poker game mode, so here’s a basic how to:
If you have four to straight, or three to a royal flush or straight flush, you should discard the other cards and try complete the set.
If any of your cards are a pair, hold those cards and draw around them.
If you don’t have any of the above, hold any Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces that you do have – and if you don’t have any face cards either, draw another hand completely.
So now you know the basic how to for playing video poker. Remember these simple guidelines (and that practice makes perfect, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a video poker champion in no time!