Online Video Poker

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Fundamentals of Video Poker

Video Poker is played based on the same rules that you’d play your favorite game like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild at home. You are dealt five cards and must make the best possible hand with one chance to draw new cards. The difference when playing Video Poker is that you are playing against the machine instead of other players. Each machine has a random number generator that insures that the cards are dealt in no discernible order, they are completely random. This simulates the effect of shuffling the cards. After you’ve been dealt five cards, select which cards to hold and which ones to discard, and you’ll be dealt replacement cards making up your final hand. If you have a winning hand, you’ll automatically be paid in credits according to the game paytable.

Video Poker Variations

With the increasing popularity of Video Poker, you can find many variations readily available. Not only with the game variations, but also the ability to play multiple hands at a time, up to 100 hands in many cases.

Jacks or Better is the classic Video Poker game; the pay structure includes the standard hand ranking as outlined below.

Royal Flush

Straight Flush

Four of a Kind

Full House

Flush

Straight

Three of a Kind

Two Pairs

Jacks or Better

Deuces Wild adds the Wild cards to the deck which gives you the chance to make winning hands more frequently and because of this, the payoff for ranking hands is less, but with the addition of the Four Deuces to the paytable you also have an additional combination to try for that pays off at 1000 credits. This hand ranks just under a Natural Royal Flush. The pay structure difference can be seen below,

Natural Royal Flush

Four Deuces

Royal Flush w/Wilds

Five of a Kind

Straight Flush

Four of a Kind

Full House

Flush

Straight

Three of a Kind

In Video Poker there are game variations, each variation will have a lowest winning hand which is the lowest pair at which you can still win the hand. For example, Jacks or Better requires that you have at least a pair of Jacks in your final hand in order to win the hand. Other games may require at least a pair of Tens, or perhaps Three of a Kind as in Deuces Wild.

Other game variations include Aces and Faces, Joker Poker, Aces and Eights, Deuces and Joker. For each of these Video Poker variations you’ll find multi hand games and many also have bonus versions.

Jacks or Better Optimal Strategy

The first rule in playing Video Poker is to try to play a perfect game. What this means is to apply an optimal strategy to each hand and play in this fashion consistently. Jacks or Better is really a simple game to play, but in order to master it, it takes practice and skill. Your first step is to play on a 9/6 Full Pay Machine. What this means is to find a machine that pays 9 coins on a Full House and 6 coins on a Flush when the maximum coins are bet, this is the best payout available. The strategy we use here is based on this. Below you will find our optimal strategy for Jacks or Better, this will show you what to discard depending on the hand you are dealt.

Hand Dealt - Discard

Royal Flush - 0

Straight Flush - 0

Four of a Kind - 1

4 cards to a Royal Flush - 1

Full House - 0

Flush - 0

3 of a Kind - 2

Straight - 0

4 cards to a Straight Flush - 1

Two Pair - 1

Pair of Jacks or Better - 3

3 cards to a Royal Flush - 2

4 cards to a Flush - 1

10, J, Q, K not of the same suit - 1

Pair of 10s or less - 3

9, 10, J, Q not of the same suit - 1

8, 9, 10, J not of the same suit - 1

9, J, Q of the same suit - 2

9, 10, J of the same suit - 2

Four cards to a Straight open ended with no high cards - 1

Three cards to a Straight Flush with two opens and two high cards - 2

J, Q, K, A not of the same suit - 1

2 cards to a Royal - 3

Four cards to a Straight one open with three high cards - 1

Three cards to a Straight Flush with two opens and one high card - 2

Three cards to a Straight Flush one open and no high cards - 2

J, Q, K not of the same suit - 2

Two high cards not of the same suit - 3

Two cards to a Royal Flush with a 10 and no Ace - 3

One high card - 4

No ranking hand - 5

Deuces Wild Optimal Strategy

To play optimal Deuces Wild, you need a whole new strategy because of the Wild Cards and the different hand ranking. Being that there are 4 Wild Cards, the 4 Deuces, there are different strategies for the total of Wilds that you are dealt. Below is the Optimal Strategy for playing Deuces Wild. Once you’ve acquainted yourself with these strategies, you’re game will improve drastically. Commit this to memory and be armed to play the best game possible and

No Deuces Strategy

Hand Dealt - Discard

Royal Flush - 0

4 cards to a Royal Flush - 1

Straight Flush - 0

4 of a Kind - 1

Full House - 0

3 of a Kind - 2

Flush - 0

Straight - 0

4 cards to a Straight Flush open ended - 1

4 cards to a Straight Flush inside draw - 1

3 cards to a Royal Flush - 2

One Pair - 3

4 cards to a Flush - 1

4 cards to a Straight open ended - 1

2 cards to a Straight Flush open - 2

Four, Five and Six of same suit - 2

Three, Four and Five of same suit - 2

2 cards to a Royal Flush - 3

Three, Four and Six of same suit - 2

Three, Five and Six of same suit - 2

Three, Four, Five and Six of same suit - 1

4 cards to a Straight - inside draw - 1

Nothing - 5

One Deuce Strategy

Hand Dealt - Discard

Royal Flush with Deuce - 0

Five of a Kind - 0

Straight Flush - 0

4 of a Kind - 1

4 cards to a Royal Flush - 1

Full House - 0

4 cards to a Straight Flush open ended - 1

3 of a Kind - 2

Flush - 0

Straight - 0

Three, Four and Five of same suit with Deuce - 1

Four, Five and Six of same suit with Deuce - 1

Ace, Three and Four of same suit with Deuce - 1

Ace, Three and Five of same suit with Deuce - 1

Ace, Four and Five of same suit with Deuce - 1

Four, Five and Six of same suit with Deuce - 1

2 cards to a Royal Flush with Deuce - 2

Ace/King, Ace/Queen, Ace/Jack, Ace/Ten same suit with Deuce

1 Deuce - 4

Two Deuce Strategy

Cards Held - Discard Hand

Royal Flush - 0

Five of a Kind - 0

Straight Flush - 0

4 of a Kind - 1

4 cards to a Royal Flush - 1

4 cards to a Straight Flush - open both ends - 1

Two Deuces - 3

Three Deuce Strategy

Hand Dealt - Discard

Royal Flush - 0

Five of a Kind - Tens through Aces - 0

Three Deuces - 2

Four Deuce Strategy

Hand Dealt Discard

Four Deuces - 1

Video Poker Bankroll Tips

Managing your bankroll is perhaps the biggest tip you can have if you’re a serious gambler. You should always consider the money you bring to the game as expendable, never gamble more than you can afford to lose. When playing Video Poker, you can choose a game denomination that best suits your budget. For example, if you plan on playing with $100 and you choose a $0.25 game, and you bet the maximum per hand, you are spending $1.25 per hand. Divide that into $100 and you will be able to play a minimum of 80 hands and this is based on losing each hand. This is where the odds of winning a hand come in. Chances are, you are not going to lose every hand and by playing on a 9/6 Full Pay Machine, you should be able to stretch your bankroll into about 2600 hands taking into account the probability of getting at least a minimum winning hand.

Trying for the Royal Flush takes more than luck; it takes perfect strategy and a bankroll large enough to help increase your odds. If you consider that a Royal Flush only comes around on average, every 40,000 hands or more, then you are wise to have a bankroll large enough to play this number of hands and this can be done by playing the denomination that supports your bankroll.

Keeping these tips in mind and knowing what the odds are in getting a Royal Flush, it is not to say that luck does not play a part. It is gambling after all and it is very possible that you could get a Royal Flush right off the bat.

Where to play online video poker?

You can find video poker in all online casinos. I recommend to try Bodog Online Casino and Sun Palace Casino. Both have perfect reputations, both give players good bonuses.

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