Video Poker: An Introduction

Video poker is a game that attracts many different types of players, due to its seemingly simple nature and high payout percentages. For years, players have flocked to video poker machines at land-based casinos, truck stops and hotels. For the faithful following of this game genre, there have been many solid and consistent wins generated throughout the years. However, for many of today’s online players, video poker remains a bit of a mystery. The game is well worth learning for those interested in playing with strategy and skill. And for those who take a more methodical approach to their gambling. Video poker has a very prescribed approach that can see players become very successful. And, when combined with some of the benefits that come with online casinos. Such as demo play and more variety – video poker can become a very interesting proposition indeed.

History of Video Poker

Whilst poker has a fairly long and detailed history, video poker is considerably younger. That is, of course, because video poker is tied to the technological developments of the 1970’s. As computers were getting more and more proficient, people were coming up with innovative ways to use them. One man, Si Redd, who had been working at a popular gambling company that supplied slot machines to casinos, got the idea to combine poker with the driving idea behind slot machines. When he presented his idea to the company he worked for, Bally Gaming, he was turned down rather quickly; but he did not let that stop him. Redd quickly made a deal with another gaming company to produce his new video poker machines, and by 1981 it had become one of the biggest games in the casino world.

The company that Redd had formed was called Sircoma. It was hugely successful due to the fact that the new machines were being made by a well-established casino game producer known as the Fortune Coined Company. The first mass-produced video game was Draw Poker and it was structured much like today’s most famous video poker games are. Players had to have at least two pairs in that first game. Which is a format that has proved successful ever since. Due to the immense popularity of video poker during the early 1980’s. Redd was able to establish a company that is still one of the biggest names in the business today: International Game Technology (IGT). Nowadays, you can find games from IGT at land-based casinos around the world. As well as at many of the best online casinos.

Types of Video Poker

One thing that many players are surprised by when they start to look at video poker options is just how many different types of the game exist. It goes back a number of decades, and throughout the years there have been many different versions created to suit different types of players. One of the most common variants is Deuces Wild where twos are wild. Another, very popular version of video poker is Jacks-or-Better, in which players need at least a pair of Jacks to win. Other well-known games are Double Deuces Wild, Jokers Wild, Tens-or-Better and Double Bonus. Each of these variations of the game offers a slightly different spin on an otherwise classic game by offering modifications to the paytable. Different requirements for getting a winning hand or setting specific cards as wilds. There are also a few other important differences.

One difference between video poker games and machines is the payout percentages on offer. While the actual RTP will vary from game to game and casino to casino, it’s important to know the difference between a full pay machine and their non-full pay counterparts. In short, a full pay version of Deuces Wild will pay out much better in the long run than the same game in a format that is not full pay. A full pay video poker machine has a payout percentage that is close to 100%. While these machines are a little bit difficult to find. It’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for them anyway. One way to know if you have found one or not is to look at the paytable: if the machine pays nine for a full house or six for a flush, you’re in luck!

Online Video Poker

With online gambling so prevalent in today’s connected world, video poker has become more popular than ever. That popularity has spawned even more varieties than what has already been within the industry for so many years. On top of all of the various games traditionally available. Online gaming providers have found ways to bring video poker into a new era. In fact, it isn’t strange at all to find up to 30 different kinds of video poker at any one online casino. There are all the classics available as well as new renditions, such as Wild Sevens, Wild Heart, Fever Aces, Cash Draw Poker and many more. All of these different games come with numerous benefits and are aimed at different types of players. As icing on the cake, all of these different options are available on pretty much every type of device imaginable.

One of the biggest draws (no pun intended!) to playing video poker online is that players can test out what seems to be an endless supply of video poker games – and they can do it all for free. Many players who enjoy playing poker love this aspect of online play because it allows them to play for fun. When they are ready to place a wager, the fact that many of the video poker variants come with an RTP of close to 99% only makes things better. Of course, to see that kind of an RTP, players should keep in mind that they will need to settle in and play for a very long time. That means focusing on playing conservatively and betting within a player’s limits is going to see them achieving success much more often than if they go in uncontrolled.

How to Play

One of the things that make playing video poker enticing for so many players is just how easy it is to get started. Video poker is based on one of the most basic versions of the classic gambling game there is – 5-Card Draw. In its purest form, 5-Card Draw is played by dealing out five cards to each player at the table. Players then have the chance to discard whatever cards they do not want, up to two times. In the hopes of getting better cards, which will allow them to make the best hand possible. It follows the same basic pattern, but with different variations of the game focusing on specific cards, card combinations, or creating targeted Wilds that the classic game does not have. Knowing how to play video poker, therefore, is as easy as learning the basic hands of poker.

A pair of any cards from the deck makes up the lowest hand, and that is followed by two pairs. Next comes the three of a kind. Following these, players can collect five consecutive-value cards to make up a straight, but even higher than that is when a player is able to get five cards of the same suit, which is called a flush. A full house is a very good hand to have and is relatively easy to come up with. Four of a kind is also a favourite of players but it doesn’t come along very often. Two of the rarest hands a player can get are the straight flush.Which is five cards in a row all having the same suit, and a royal flush, which is the same as a straight flush but with the highest cards in the deck.

Some Advice for Successful Play

You may have already noticed that video poker is not one of the white-listed games at casinos when it comes to clearing wagering requirements for casino bonuses. There is a very good reason for that as video poker can be a very profitable game if played correctly. The high RTP’s connected to video poker games, as well as relatively predictable outcomes, make this style of gambling quite dependent on strategies. Finding the right strategy for the particular video poker game that you are playing is probably the number one thing that you should do. Another thing to keep in mind is how long you will be playing. Some of the more popular games can get a little bit expensive over the long haul. So if you plan on sitting for a few hours you’ll want to find the cheapest game possible.

Once you have settled in on a good game that you can afford to play for an extended period, also consider the pace at which you play. You should never feel pressured when playing video poker as there is no external pressure pushing you to draw cards or to keep hitting any buttons. Take your time, think about your cards and try to strategize as much as possible. If you’re playing at home at an online casino, it doesn’t hurt to have another screen opened with the particular game’s perfect strategy loaded up as a reference. That way, at least, you won’t be making any silly mistakes as a result of simply not knowing what to do with your hand. It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to chase casino bonuses since video poker rewards smart and patient play.

Know What to Discard

As mentioned, the RTP levels of video poker are quite amazing when compared to other forms of gambling. The problem is that most players are unable to achieve the RTP levels that are possible and that is because they make mistakes. Unfortunately, making mistakes is a very easy thing to do. And that is because the perfect strategy connected to video poker is quite complex. To follow a good strategy, players should obtain a strategy card for their specific game. The strategy will give a list of which cards the players should hold onto in every possible scenario. Obviously, there are a lot of possible scenarios, which is why a list is necessary. To use the list, a player should look at the hand that has been dealt and then compare them with the hands on the strategy card.

Here is an example of how a player could use a strategy card for Jacks-Or-Better. The player sits down for a game of Jacks-Or-Better. He places his bet and is dealt a hand. The player sees that he has a Queen, a Jack, a two, an Ace, and an eight. Looking at the strategy card, about halfway down the list, the player sees “QJ8 (Suited)” listed. To the player’s surprise, his Queen, Jack, and the eight are all of the same suit. Meaning he should keep those and discard the others. Following the strategy gives the player the best possible odds to completing a very good hand – a straight flush. Each video poker variant has its own strategy card. And it is always a good idea to take a look at it before playing for money.

Where to Play?

When it comes to where to play video poker, the options are immense. Almost every land-based casino will have a good selection of video poker on their floor. Which is great for those players who have access to casinos but does little for the rest of us. For most of the world’s interested players, the online casino platform would be the best choice. Luckily, there are many options online to play video poker. Most good casinos will have at least a few of the most popular variations available. And it is an easy thing to check before joining the casino due to the fact that the game selection is viewable by the public. The one thing to watch out for is how trustworthy the casino is. And whether or not they have the version of video poker you are interested in.

Final Thoughts

Video poker is one of the most popular casino games around today. Video poker comes with exceptionally high RTP rates when compared to other casino games. Which is part of the reason for their popularity; more importantly, players enjoy video poker because it requires a lot of strategy and skill. Video poker is so popular that it can be found in almost every land-based casino throughout the world. With most online casinos also offering a huge variety. Today, video poker fans can find a version of the game that suits them in almost every way. No matter where they want to play. As long as players are mindful about the strategies they employ as well as being careful with their bets.

Feb 01,2019