How To Play Video Poker
Video poker is a fun-tastic game that gives you the best of both worlds. Often known as “poker slots”, video poker takes everything you love about slot machines and regular table poker and mashes it all up to produce one fascinating game. If you’ve ever wondered how online video poker works, then you’ve come to the right place. Join us as we pick this game apart and learn how to play video poker.
What Is Video Poker?
Before we jump into the deep end, we must first understand what exactly video poker is.
Video poker is quite a new addition to casino games as it was first introduced in the 1970s. Although video poker has many shared characteristics of both regular poker and slot machines, many casino players actually refer to these games as “poker slots” due to the many similarities to online slots. Video poker is based on a five-card draw poker game with fixed odds, and can be accessed at both online and land-based casinos.
A slot machine is very easy to use and understand — the same can be said for video poker. It does not require any interaction with a dealer, or other video poker players for that matter. Video poker also features a random number generator, as do online slots. Where RNG is used to determine which symbols land in an online slot, it is used to shuffle the deck in video poker.
That being said, video poker allows you to have some control over the outcome of your poker hand as it allows players to make their own decisions. Compared to regular poker, video poker has a much lower house edge, which you might be able to overcome if you play skillfully enough. So, video poker’s main distinguishing feature is that you might actually be able to beat it.
Poker Hand Rankings
Knowing your poker hand rankings is one of the building blocks to success when it comes to this poker game. Knowing which hands outrank others is one of the main stepping stones of poker and is the only way you are going to be able to form a successful strategy. Here is a list of all the poker hands, ranked in descending order:
- Royal Flush: A royal flush is the most valuable hand you can earn in poker, as there is no other hand that can beat it. This card combination is built with a 10, jack, queen, king and ace all of the same suit.
- Straight Flush: Made up of a series of five consecutive cards of the same suit. It is the second-most valuable hand you can earn and can only be outranked by the royal flush.
- Four of a Kind: A four of a kind consists of four cards of the same rank.
- Full House: Often referred to as the combination of the three of a kind and two pair, the full house is a combination of three cards of one rank, and two cards of another rank.
- Flush: The flush is a five-card hand of the same suit.
- Straight: A series of five consecutive cards of different suits. Similar to a straight flush.
- Three of a Kind: Consists of three cards of the same rank.
- Two Pair: Two cards of one rank, and another two of another rank.
- One Pair of Jacks or Better: A jacks or better hand is the lowest-ranked hand in poker. It consists of either two jacks, queens, kings or aces.
Online Video Poker
Now that we’ve covered hand rankings, let’s go through the actual gameplay. As we’ve mentioned earlier, playing video poker is more straightforward than one might think. The one important thing is that you understand the credits and coin system of the game, so that you’re aware of how much you’re actually betting. Good bankroll management is essential here as well. You can adjust your bet through the ‘Bet’ or ‘Coin’ buttons found on the user interface — land-based video poker machines work using coins or casino tokens.
You’ll pick up the gameplay quite quickly, as this video poker game resembles that of five-card draw poker. Five cards will be dealt at the beginning of each round and players must decide which cards to hold and which to discard and replace. When playing at a land-based video poker machine, players can keep or replace cards through the ‘Deal’ button and ‘Hold/Cancel’ buttons. Online, players indicate which cards they wish to keep by clicking on them.
One of the many great things about playing video poker games is that it is a solo game, so you won’t be up against other players. This implies that you won’t have to bluff and focus solely on creating the best winning hand possible.
There are many video poker tips we can give you, but perhaps our most helpful one would be to check out video poker paytables before you begin playing. This way, you can see which video poker game is more profitable by looking at the expected return of the game. Each video poker machine has its own payout percentage and house edge, you just need to identify the best one.
Video Poker Strategy
Your video poker strategy begins from the moment you place your first wager. It is always important to go into a game with a strategy; otherwise, you might risk losing your bankroll entirely. If you play your cards right, you might just be able to secure a win.
Here are a few ways you can improve your chances of winning by simply holding or discarding the first five cards:
- Always hold a royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind and full house.
- In the case of a three of a kind hand, the remaining two cards should be discarded to make way for a four of a kind or full house.
- If you obtain a two pair, discard the fifth card for a chance to earn a full house.
- Break up a flush or a straight only if you have four cards that might build a royal flush.
- Playing jacks or better is not always the best idea, considering how low-ranked it is. Breaking this hand up might lead you to a straight flush.
- Keep a low pair instead of a single high card (jack, queen, king, or ace).
The strategy you use may vary according to the type of video poker game you play as well. But it is always helpful to keep a sort of “cheat sheet” and list all the hands in order so that you can figure out which hands to discard and which to keep.
As we’ve discussed, players have the power to influence their hand outcome, since video poker is played with a randomly shuffled 52-card deck (or 53 cards in the case of Joker’s Wild). There are only so many card combinations in one deck, so the possible outcomes are known and the frequency of these outcomes can be calculated. So, a near full-proof video poker strategy can be devised if you play skillfully enough.
Play Video Poker at EnergyCasino
Now that you know how to play video poker, test out your strategies and play video poker at EnergyCasino. We’ve gone through the basics, you know how each hand ranks, all that’s left to do is put your skills to the test. But where to start? There are actually quite a few video poker games to choose from. Here are a few:
Jacks or Better Video Poker
This video poker machine gets its name from the fact that a Jacks or Better is the minimum hand you can earn. This variation of video poker is one of the most common versions you’ll find at online casinos. Many online players argue that Jacks or Better is the best video poker game to play.
In this variation, twos may appear in any hand and can substitute for any other card. Deuces Wild puts a fun spin on the classic game, as twos act as Wild cards, allowing players another chance to create better video poker hands.
This game is similar to the Jacks or Better game, except that Bonus poker awards extra prizes upon earning a four of a kind.
Double Bonus Poker
Double Bonus Poker awards a bonus payout upon earning four aces. Double Bonus Poker is also one of those video poker games that closely resembles the Jacks or Better game.
It is always advised to set limits when playing this game. Make sure to employ a good strategy every time you play, and always keep an eye on your bankroll. Never gambler past your limits.
All in all, video poker is a fun, classic game that offers quite the unique gambling experience. At EnergyCasino, you will find all sorts of video poker machines to choose from, including Double Bonus Poker or Double Double Bonus Poker. If you would like to switch things up a little, you could also hop onto our Live Casino page and take a look at the hundreds of table games we have in our portfolio. On top of that, we also host thousands of online slots that add just the right amount of spice to your gaming. Enjoy progressive jackpot slots, branded slots, cluster slots and more all at EnergyCasino!