Video poker is a game that can be played online or in-person but it isn’t like regular poker because it’s played on what looks more like a slot machine than with real cards or a dealer. Like in a slot reel, the card combinations are created by a random generator. Of course, video poker does have something over a regular slot machine and that is the element of skill. Players actually can make decisions that affect the outcome, rather than push a button and reset the game like with pokies.
The cards that are generated have to be done so from a standard 52-card deck, sometimes the machines throw in a joker card but not always, which means the combinations are from a limited possibility, the frequency of the combinations can be calculated, and you can work out a strategy to play with. The basic game is known as Jacks or Better offers returns odds of 99.5percent with optimal long term playing.
How to play video poker
The winning hands are based on the standard five-card poker hands where royal flush, same suit cards from 10 up to ace, ranks as the best possible hand and a pair of jacks or better is the lowest-ranked winning hand and almost all machines play using the five-card draw system. The machine will refresh you on what the ranked types of winning hands are and there aren’t any hands to beat, be that the dealer or another player, like in regular poker. The machine has a screen which will show the credit you have and the cards you’ll be dealt along with several buttons along the bottom of the screen.
To begin, you’ll need to place a bet. This can be done using the “bet one credit” or “bet max” buttons. If you chose to bet the maximum the machine allows, your credit will usually reduce by five credits. You can choose to cancel a bet before you place it by pressing “hold/cancel”. Once you’ve settled on a bet amount, press the “deal/draw” button and five cards will be dealt face-up on the screen for you. If you want to keep the cards you’ve been dealt you can press the hold button once against each card selected and discard the card by pressing the hold button twice. When you’re ready, press the deal button again and either the new cards will appear and your final hand will be shown or you’ll confirm your current hand as final.
For each winning hand, there is a different payout structure. Most machines are set up where a pair of jacks or better will give you an even return, two pair will double the bet, three of a king will treble and a straight will quadruple the return. A flush will pay at six times the bet, a full house nine times, a four of a kind goes up to twenty-five times, a straight flush pays fifty and a royal flush two hundred and fifty.
This means that when playing, keep winning hands and optimising the ability to get a better hand as much as possible. Keeping two pair and swapping the fifth card gives a chance for a full house, where four remaining cards in the deck could appear. By learning how to optimise the gameplay, you’ll be ready to start trying to beat the machine and have some fun along the way!