Video Poker – the Online Casino Classic
Although it’s not been round for long, video poker has earned its title as an online casino classic. Currently regarded as one of most popular forms of online gambling and exciting players everywhere with expected returns above 99%, it’s one of the most-player friendly casino games going. This card-based favourite provides players with game of skill, low house edge, and a possibility to win big. With an element of fun lacking in standard poker, this game is ripe with animations, catchy sounds and bonus features. At the same time, it involves less brain power than real deal poker – though you’ll need a clear head and a bit of concentration. Unlike in poker, you won’t be playing all night. Instead, you can enjoy the game from home, with fast rounds rendering it a lot more speedy. Read on for a taste of the most popular video poker games and how to play them, and make use of our free video poker demo below.
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Poker Games – Overview of Rules and Varieties
As with traditional poker, video poker has many varieties. The difference between them mostly comes down to the rules differing from one game to the next. I’ve outlined the standard rules and some basic strategy to hit the ground running. The following table is a complete glossary of video poker terms. Of course it’s not necessary to memorise them, since it won’t affect your game. Nevertheless, having a basic understanding will heighten your experience when you play video poker online.
|The Most Important Video Poker Terms|
|3 of a Kind||Matching three cards of the same value, such as 3 nines or 3 queens||Kicker||The highest-valued unmatched card in a hand. Added to another hand, it increases the win, such as four Aces with two as a kicker|
|Aces High||Ace is the highest-ranked card in poker, and Aces High is any hand which has an Ace as the highest value card||Progressive Video Poker||Type of game where the jackpot accumulates with each bet staked|
|Aces Full||A full hand of three Aces plus another pair of cards||Rank||Rank is the term used for a straight, which is a hand with 5 cards (in different suits) in a sequence|
|Ante||A predetermined amount which players must pay prior to receiving their cards||Royal Flush||This is the highest possible hand on most video poker machines, an Ace High royal flush|
|Bust||A worthless hand which doesn’t improve||Straight||A hand of cards with the same card suit|
|Deuces||A Deuce is a card with the value of two||Straight Flush||A five-card hand consisting of five cards of the same suit in consecutive order|
|Draw Poker||This is a standard poker game without wild cards||Suit||The four suits in a playing card deck are Diamonds, Clubs, Hearts and Spades|
|Flush||This is a hand of 5 cards all of the same suit, also known as a straight||Suited||Five-card hand with cards of different suits in consecutive order (such as 2 Hearts, 3 Diamonds, 4 Hearts, 5 Spades, 6 Clubs)|
|High Pair||In the Jacks or Better video poker games, any pair which pays out is called a High Pair||Two Pairs||Involves two different pairs of matching cards plus a fifth card acting as a kicker e.g. two 7s, two Kings and a Jack|
|Joker||A special card which can be used as a wild card||Wild Card||A card which substitutes for all others|
|Jackpot||An extra payout for landing a big hand, such as a royal flush||Wild Royal Flush||A flush made up of at least 1 wild card|
Online Video Poker – The Basics
Learning how to play video poker online is refreshingly easy to pick up. The rules of game are like so; 5 cards are drawn and hidden on the screen, players make a wager, and their own cards are then dealt. At this stage, cards can be held on to or discarded, whereby more cards are drawn to try for a better hand. Once all cards are handed out, players create their best hand, this is valued and each player is paid according to the poker value of their hand posted on the pay table.
Knowing the hand values will affect your winning potential, it’s best to start by getting your head round these since understanding how to read the pay-table is the key to video poker success, since these affect the games return to player (or expected value).
Master Your Game – Video Poker Strategy
With a bit of patience, players can adopt strategy over playing with pure luck. Games are best played with a bit of background knowledge and skill, these strategies are ideal groundwork before hitting machines. To start with the best possible advantage, I advise looking for the most liberal pay tables. You’ll be hard pushed find any games with more than 98% payback. Next up, get some practice in, playing for free will give you time to learn the rules before testing your skills on real money video poker. Once you’ve perfected your game, go for the jackpot. Considering playing the bet max to be in the chance of winning a huge sum of money.
- Know the types of games – Each version of video poker has a different pay table, so choose the one that’s most appealing to you. Whether it’s Double Bonus or Deuces Wild, it pays to know the available options.
- Play max coins – Most VP games offer a bonus amount for wins while playing maximum coins. If you want to get the most for your money, I suggest keeping this in mind.
- Establish a time limit – Before you begin a gaming session, it’s always wise to establish the maximum amount of time you’re going to play. This helps keep your mind relatively fresh, as someone who’s stared at a screen for too long can wind up losing focus and making costly mistakes.
- Focus on accuracy – While slots players try to get in as many spins in an hour as possible, VP fans should concentrate on making correct decisions instead of striving for volume.
- Check the paytables – Some games offer better payouts that others, so it’s in your best interest to search through the paytables to find the most profitable options. Otherwise, you could be missing out on available cash.
The Most Interesting Video Poker Games
Check out the video poker selection in all reputable online casinos and you’ll find that there’s plenty to explore. Such is the demand for the game, that new versions are created monthly. There’s hundreds of alternatives for players with a thirst for variety, and fans of clean-cut poker can choose the version of video poker which resembles the game they know the closest. Either way, it’s always best to be sure to understand the differences in between the games before you play. The most popular variants have a low house edge and, like a Texas Hold’em style game, require a little skill – so let’s take a brief look at these in the section below! Jacks or Better, for example, is an easy one to learn, since winners are made by having at least a pair of jacks, and no payouts are made unless a pair of jacks or higher is dealt. The RTP for this game delivers 99.46% back to the player over an extended period of time. The rest of the following games are typical examples of the joys of video poker without stress of competing with online players, inlcuding favourites like Deuces Wild or Joker Poker.
Aces and Faces
Aces and Faces is a 52 card game similar to Jacks or Better. What makes it stand out is the increased payout for all Four of a Kind combinations known as “Aces and Faces”. Namesake combinations include Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. What’s more, this game still pays out on hands as low as Jacks or better.
In this game, each of the four “two point” cards, also known as “deuces” may represent any card chosen by the player holding them. This spin on the game means a bigger chance of winning. Payouts are adjusted accordingly and there’s also the opportunity for players to gamble a win to double their payout.
Joker Poker is another spin-off of Jacks or Better. This take on the game adds a Joker to the standard 52 card pack, acting as a wild. Much like in many slot games, the wild will then replace any other card to form a winning hand.
Set to rival Jacks or Better because of the increased wins for all Four of a Kind hands and big payouts on Four of a Kind Aces, this game calls for more ups and downs. The variance is 2x higher than Jacks or Better, which makes for an exhilarating game.
There’s an abundance of exciting niches, such as multi hand poker, a game which allows players the chance to play more than one hand at a time, commonly from 3 up to 10 hand play.
Jackpot-Winning Progressive Games
The good news is, although progressive jackpots are tightly linked to slot games, they fit rather nicely with video poker games. A flush and a lucky spin could make a lucky player a millionaire! Where typical games have a maximum payout, say 5,000x triggered by the high-ranking hands. There are many free video poker games available. However, playing in demo mode won’t trigger any of the progressive jackpots, so you’ve got to play for real money to get a chance at big payouts. In the progressive version, players with highest-ranking hands trigger the jackpot. Typically, the progressive jackpots are built into standard variations. For a chance of winning, you’ll have to bet the maximum number of coins to qualify. SupaJax, Mega Jacks and Super Jackpots are standout games in this category. To find all these games alongside other casino games, we recommend heading to our recommended operator below, currently offering over 20 variations of video poker.