Poker is quite a familiar word, but what exactly is video poker? This is an online casino game that resembles five-card draw poker. To play it in a casino, you use a console that’s more like a computer. The first time it became commercially feasible was when a combination of a large monitor with a solid-state central processing unit started to be economically available. Basically, right now we are talking about the personal computer’s sibling, which also appeared around the mid-1970s.
Although people always admired gambling, computers felt more convenient and less intimidating. Trustworthy, so to say. Around the 1980s video poker became increasingly popular in casinos. Nowadays, video poker also feels somehow more reassuring than the regular one. Isn’t it great that the limitless world of online gambling can open right in front of you right now, in the comfort of your own home? You can try your luck with the help of the highly reputable Australian casinos listed on CasinoHEX!
You might hesitate, but don’t think you have to start right away with less than no understanding of the game at all! To become a professional, you need to gain some experience and it mostly gained through the game. But to start it the best way possible, you should have some basic knowledge of the rules, strategies, odds, and philosophy of it. Well, luckily, we will be happy to provide you with such!
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The Rules of Video Poker
In poker, you need to be calculated and cool. But… How do you play it? Is it too complicated? Well, not really, you just need to memorize the basics. Video poker has multiple variations to choose from, but all of them united by the same set of rules:
- At first “table” poker hands are used
- Now you have five starting cards
- At this point, you are able to choose some cards to discard (or even all of them)
- Those you’ve chosen to discard will be replaced in a single random draw
- Finally, you will win the prize corresponding to qualifying poker hands (if you have any matches among your cards)
It’s true that the rules are quite simple, but in order to win, don’t get too full of yourself and continue sharpening your skills before making substantial bets. Always remember — theory first, practice later.
Prominent Video Poker Strategies
You may be smart and pick things up real quick. It’s great and we’re sure you’ll only boost your gumption with knowledge of the core of poker. What are the mechanisms that make it work for Aussies? Strategies won’t make you win just by manually applying them. The main aim is to find your own style and develop it through the process of playing. Playing heartlessly won’t work! Immerse yourself, embrace new ideas, use time-tested ways to build your own foundation. Below are just several of the most prominent strategies.
Basic Universal Strategy
To start winning, the main thing you need to understand is which cards to keep and which cards to discard. It is the thing on which every strategy is based. There are multiple variants of playing a hand but there’s just one that is mathematically optimal. There are some things that simply need to be memorized. For example, the chart given below. It serves as a short guide to playing video poker hands. Find the hand that you currently hold in the list and apply the instructions to the right. Bingo! You’ve already stepped on your way to success.
It’s impossible for the strategy to be absolute due to different compositions of the hand affecting its value. A usually inferior hand may take priority over a superior one. Just like “2 cards to a royal flush” can from time to time be superior to two high cards. Different factors may affect the value of the draw, but it’s your task now to make it work somehow! So start your big brain cooking on this and don’t be afraid to feel challenged. That’s the whole point of gambling, after all.
Dealt Hand – Discard
- Royal flush – made hand
- Straight flush -made hand
- Four of a kind – made hand
- Four to a royal flush – 1
- Full house – made hand
- Flush – made hand
- Three of a Kind – made hand
- Straight – made hand
- 4 to a straight flush – 1
- Two pair – 1
- One pair (Jacks or Better) – 3
- 3 to a royal flush – 2
- 4 to a flush – 1
- low pair (a pair of 10’s or lower) – 1
- 4 cards to a straight – 3
- 3 to a straight flush – 2
- 2 to a royal flush – 3
- 3 high cards – 2
- 2 high cards – 3
- 1 high cards – 4
- All other hands -5
Here, you’ll have to deal with small risks and big sums at a time. Some of the most fruitful ways to play each hand in Jacks-or-Better Video Poker:
- With four to a straight or a flush, better hold all four cards and draw to it
- With three to a royal flush, better hold and draw to it
- With any pair dealt to you, better hold it and draw three cards
- Rather hold any three cards to a straight flush
- With none of the above, better hold any cards Jacks or Higher
Double Bonus Poker Strategy
Slowly moving to the next variation, which is Double Bonus Poker. And yet again, you are able to apply standard optimal Jacks or Better strategy for it, but mind that it might slightly reduce your expected payout. It might happen due to the possibility of extra incentives to make quads.
Some more exact strategies:
- Aces full = keep the Aces and draw for quads
- Instead of going for a Royal, keep a straight flush
- Instead of a standard flush, go for the Royal
- Instead of keeping just a pair of aces, keep two pair
Double Double Bonus Poker Strategy
If it wasn’t clear from the name itself, Double Double Bonus video poker gives a possibility of a higher variance than the standard one. It happens due to the high-value payouts offered for four-of-a-kind with kickers. In fact, the payouts might be that high, that you will be able to increase your theoretical payout to over 100%.
For full houses, flushes, two pairs, etc. the payouts are lower so you might find yourself going through a myriad of small successes and eventually hitting it big with a big hand. Sustaining the swings of Double Double
Bonus video poker requires you to have quite a considerable bankroll right off the bat. A roughly estimated increased variance reaches something around 40% – so an extra $4 to every $10.
Max bets every time combined with quads hit with kickers, though, will most certainly make your bankroll return completely over time (and hopefully even multiplies the initial sum).
Due to payouts for full houses and flushes, etc. are reduced and so it will affect the cards you hold this strategy comes off as more complicated compared to the universal one (Jacks-or-Better).
Points to stick to:
- Typically, if you’re dealt A-A-J-J-4 you would hold the two-pair hand; in Double Double Bonus, you’d better hold the Aces, because two pair is paid out like a single one here.
- A single ace better be held as opposed to Jacks or Better and if you get an A, J, and random cards, instead of just holding both high cards, rather hold just the ace
- You shouldn’t constantly hold a single ace – having a draw to a Royal Flush, Flush, Straight, and so on, it’s much better to play for the made hand than hold for quads
- Aces full? Then don’t hold the full house – draw for the fourth ace
- Remember to draw to an inside straight
Deuces Wild Poker Strategy
- It’s better to hold all cards if you’re dealt four deuces since it’s practically impossible to improve this hand
- Dealt three deuces? Only hold all cards if you have a royal flush or five of a kind
- Dealt two deuces? Better keep any hand four-of-a-kind or better. You might also hold any four cards to a royal flush, otherwise just stick to the deuces
- Dealt one deuce? Keep all paying hands. But if you happened to have three or four cards to a straight flush or royal flush, then don’t
- No deuce at all? All paying hands can be kept and four to a straight or flush
- To a royal flush — hold three cards
- If you’re in lack of all of the listed before, try to hold on to any pair
- From two pair it’s better to only hold the second one, especially if a full house pays the same as a four-of-a-kind
- No pair? Try to hold back the tears and stick to any high cards (ten or better) if they’re the same suit
Joker’s Wild Poker Strategy
- Sticking to the universal strategy is possible, but extremely boring! Seriously, you should be creative, otherwise, you won’t get to the top. Remember: jokers are the best
- Try your best to keep all three of a kind (and possibly higher), better with a joker in your hands
- All four cards to a big paying hand. Three cards if you have a joker
The odds of Video Poker
Quite a sustainable amount of gamblers tend to think that poker is a waste of time and money. But it actually happens only due to the lack of knowledge and experience. In the real world, slots proved to be much less generous and unpredictable than video poker. And unlike slots, where fate decides everything, your every move affects the course of the game. If we take a look at payback percentage, which shows how much of players’ bet would be returned to them (on average), we’ll see that while with slot machines, it is something between 70% and 90%, for video poker it can reach approximately 97-99%. In actuality, players are strikingly more likely to lose while playing slot machines than while they are enjoying video poker.
In a basic video poker game with 52 cards, the probability of getting a Royal Flush during the initial draw is 1 in 649,740. A Straight Flush appears once in 72,193, and for Four of a Kind – it’s 1 in 4,165. With the first cards dealt once in 694 games, you can get a Full House, while the odds for getting a Flush are 509 to 1.255 to 1,47 for the Straight and to 1 for Three of a Kind, 21 to 1 for Two Pairs, and 7.69 to 1 for Jacks or Better. And the odds of getting any pair (from Twos through Tens) is 2.37 to 1. Cards are dealt randomly by RNG.
Hand – Odds
- Royal Flush – 649,740 to 1
- Straight Flush – 72,193 to 1
- Four of a Kind – 4,165 to 1
- Full House – 694 to 1
- Flush – 509 to 1
- Straight – 255 to 1
- Three of a kind – 47 to 1
- Two Pairs – 21 to 1
- Pair J,Q,K or A – 7.69 to 1
- Any Pair – 2.37 to 1
Choose the type of Video Poker that fits you
There are multiple variations of video poker, and the best way to find the one exactly for you is to try it! Experiment, learn from your mistakes, and based on gained knowledge, you almost certainly will feel preference towards one or another type. Below is a list of them.
This is the most popular version of video poker. To win, the player has their final five-card hand contain at least a pair of jacks or better. Jacks or Better was followed by multiple variations, which differ a lot (or sometimes slightly) from one another. For example, they might end up having different payouts. And those denoted by a 2-number prefix will mean the payoff for a full house, while the ‘6’ – the payoff for a flush.
Instead of the usual 52, some decks have 53 cards or more. Most of the time, the extra cards are jokers. Luckily for the Aussies, they act wild and can be substituted for any other card in the deck to make a winning hand. Joker poker is generally based on jacks or better, so if you’re becoming good at the first one, you might start to think about trying this one as well. Of course, there are jokers, that aren’t in the plain Jacks or Better, but doesn’t it just make the whole game a lot more intriguing?
A variation of video poker, where all ‘2’s are wild. Now, listen carefully, because this game can be found with pay schedules that offer a theoretical return surpassing 100 percent, but these are far from easy to find. Moreover, to win, you’ll need a perfect strategy! But try not to feel discouraged. It just takes some time to master the science of video poker.
Yet another variation of “Jacks or Better” containing a bonus payout for four aces. Offering up to 100.2%, again it makes impatient gamblers spend all of their money on the trial and error learning process. There is the full-pay “10/7” version of the game(10/7 are the payouts for a full house and a flush) and those versions of the game that have lower payouts (10/6, 9/6, etc.).
Double Double Bonus
Who could have thought of another variation of “Jacks or Better”? This time it offers some bonus payoffs regarding different four of a kind. Over 100% offered for the full pay game.
No pairs or better card combinations, the player only holds an ace.
A full house in your hands with three aces and another pair.
Betting on a certain machine is mostly known as an action. Also includes the amount you bet during a session.
A full house can be referred to as a boat. It is slang for holding a three of a kind and a pair in the very same hand.
Sometimes four of a kind hands end up being paid out at higher rates in this variant. There is a drawback, however. You are less likely to get paid out as much on lower hands to cover up for these bonus payouts.
The sum you theoretically have in a machine is called credits.
In video poker precisely, the paytable is usually divided by coin payouts, from one through five. How much an individual coin is worth is determined by the denomination of the machine.
A set of different cards given to a player.
Jacks, Queens, and Kings.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same rank (four aces) are referred to as four of a kind and will result in a nice payout in the majority of video poker games.
Three of a kind and a pair are referred to as a full house (a boat). For example, three queens and two jacks.
The five cards that a player holds.
After dealing with the initial five cards, players will have the option of holding certain cards and discarding others to draw for new ones.
A particular made hand in video poker, that is the one that also pays out, with the remaining cards (not included) in the winning combination called kickers.
It is the return that is given back to players in the long run.
A slang meaning “Four of a Kind”.
In simpler words a card’s value.
Cards’ sequential rank order and them being all of the same suits.
Tens or Better
A variation in which the lowest-paid hand is a pair of tens.
Those can be substituted for any card in the deck.
A hand that wins a payout based on the paytable.
Video Poker FAQ
Can you cheat at video poker?
- Well, it is very hard, not worth it, and probably in some ways illegal. Don’t try to make it like this, instead of sharpening your skills and improving each time you play. Remember, that video poker is that game, where players are actually much more likely to end up winning than slot machines, for example. So work on your logic, personal playstyle, and head towards success!
Is video poker a game of skill?
- It may come off as a game of luck at first, but actually, quite a lot depends on your personal actions. Anything you do will have an impact on the final outcome. Be careful and attentive and soon you’ll be able to fly high.
How does video poker payout?
- As it has been said already, video poker is really generous if we’re talking about the payouts. The average payback percentage can reach approximately 97-99%! So don’t omit this game thinking slots will bring you more and faster.
Why is video poker better than slots?
- Not only does it require patience, logic, and skill, but also luck. Well, apart from payout being higher, other stuff is really up to the person playing. If you are up for a challenge and control, then video poker is your choice. And if you want to spin the wheel of fortune, then these are slots that are for you.
What is the best strategy for video poker?
- The best strategy is the one that works exactly for the situation. Different strategies are more applicable for different variants. But if we are naming a universal one, then that is for the Jacks or Better. It works with all of the variants, but not always in the most efficient way possible.