You have reached the Video Poker page where you will find comprehensive info on this ultra-hot game. Whether you want to learn Video Poker from scratch, sharpen your skills or find a good place where you can play Video Poker online you’ll find all information on this page.
What is Video Poker?
Video poker is a lot more about video than it is about poker, there’s no doubt about that. The game itself is like a fusion of a slot machine and a game of five-card draw. Although you try to get the best five-card poker hand, you don’t play against other players and the payout for each holding is fixed. So you need to know the poker hand ranking, but then the game has nothing to do with poker strategy.
A Game With Low House Edge
Playing video poker is not as easy as it may seem. The perfect strategy is quite complex, but if you manage to learn it, you can cut down the house edge to almost zero – and sometimes you can even get an advantage over the casino. Video Poker is one of few games that has the nice benefit that you can choose the game that is most favorable.Depending on which machine you choose the advantage is between 2.5% to the casino or 0.75% to you, so the most important choice you have to make when playing video poker is to pick a good machine.
But how can this be true? How can the casinos offer games where they lose money in the long run, games that sometimes also offer progressive jackpots?
The reason is simple. Most players don’t play according to the perfect strategy, and as soon as they start making random decisions, the casino gets an advantage. This is obviously not the way to go. Playing perfect video poker is all about making the right decision every time, and don’t hold certain cards just because “you feel lucky this time.”
Video Poker Strategy
Winning at video poker games is not just about luck. The house edge is often referred to as the reason for not playing any casino games at all, but did you know that the video poker game actually could give you positive expectations on a bet? It is true!
Getting a huge payout, however, won’t happen that often. You can play for quite a long time before you even get the chance to draw one card to a royal flush, and clearing a progressive jackpot is even rarer. But that doesn’t really matter since you virtually play for free when you adapt the perfect strategy.
Strategy For Jacks Or Better
This is the perfect way to play Jacks or Better. Simply look in the chart below from the top and down. As soon as you find your hand, keep the cards that are specified.
Sometimes you’ll see “s” after a hand. This means that the hand is suited – in other words, you can get a flush.
A=Ace, K=King, Q=Queen, J =Jack (these are also called high cards)
- Royal Flush, straight flush, four of a kind
- Four cards to a royal flush
- Full house, flush, straight, three of a kind
- Open ended straight flush draw
- Two pair
- High pair (jacks or better)
- Three cards to a royal flush
- Four cards to a flush
- Low pair (Ts or below)
- J-T-9-8 or Q-J-T-9
- J-T-9s or Q-J-9s
- Open ended straight draw
- Three to a flush draw (open ended)
- Q-T-9s, J-T-8s, J-9-8s, K-Q-9s, K-J-9s
- K-Qs, K-Js, A-Ks, A-Qs, A-Js
- Four to a straight (one gapper) with three high cards
- Three to a straight flush with two gaps and one high card
- Three to a straight flush with one gap and no high cards
- K-Q, K-J
- A-K, A-Q, A-J
- One high card
- Three to a straight flush with two gaps and no high cards
- Discard all five cards.
This may seem like a complicated chart, and it is, at least before you’ve learned it. The best way to learn the perfect strategy is to sit with this list by the computer and play with “fun money” in one of the many casinos online. After a while you’ll realize that video poker isn’t that complicated after all.
And sometimes you’ll probably feel that the chart is wrong. For instance, many beginners have an urge to keep a kicker when they have a pair. This is because it might be a good play in five-card draw, but it isn’t in video poker. Follow the chart rigorously if you wish to keep the house edge to a minimum.
Jacks Or Better Payout Scheme
Below, you find the payouts for the game Jacks or Better, which is the most popular video poker variation both in off- and online casinos. Remember that you usually have to bet the maximum amount allowed to receive these payouts.
|Hand||Payout x wagered coins|
|Four of a kind||25|
|Three of a kind||3|
|Pair (jacks or better)||1|
Progressive Jackpots And Positive EV
A progressive Jackpot video poker machine is actually a large number of machines that are linked together. A small portion of all players bets goes into a jackpot, which is then won by a lucky player who manages to catch a really big hand (usually a royal flush.)
The trick for a seasoned video poker player is to look at the current value of the jackpot and what standard payout the game has. These to factors will then decide whether it’s time to enter the game.
Take a 9/6 Jacks or Better game for instance (9/6 describes the payout and if a full house pays nine times the wager, it is a 9/6 machine.) When the jackpot reaches 976 times the wager, you have positive expectation (EV .) But remember that you have to wager five coins to become eligible for the jackpot.
Will this ever happen? Oh yes, visit one of the casinos listed above, then choose one of the many Video Poker machines and do the math. You will soon realize that this calculation makes perfect sense!
Winning At Video Poker
Video poker is one of the better games you’ll find in a casino in terms of odds. But on the other hand, catching a big jackpot is quite unlikely and even if you play every day for the rest of your life, chances are slim that you’ll ever hit one. But since most players don’t play according to the perfect strategy, jackpots have a tendency to grow quite rapidly.
You should play because you think it is fun, and if you happen to get lucky and catch a huge jackpot, congratulations! Videopoker is the perfect game if you just want to relax, have a good time and play for many hours. Just remember to use correct strategy and don’t exceed your bankroll!