Beginners Guide to Video Poker

Getting Started With Video Poker Online

Head to any online casino and you’ll find a variety of sections which might include slots, table games which would include games such as blackjack and roulette and a specialty section where you would find games such as bingo, keno and a host of individual games. Somewhere amongst these you will find the ‘Video Poker’ section and here you will perhaps find more variety than any other part of the casino apart from the real money slots.

In this guide I take by taking a walk through a game of video poker from start to finish, explaining exactly how you’ll win and lose and describe the basics of the game. I then look at the most popular versions of Video poker and explain exactly how they differ from one another.

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How Video Poker Works Online

When you enter any video poker game you’ll start off by setting up your betting. You’ll choose both a coin value and the number of coins played. The number of coins played will range from 1 to 5, but you should always endeavor to play the maximum 5, as any less will mean you are not receiving the best odds for the top payouts. You’ll find a ‘Bet Max’ button at most games which will automatically set the number of coins to the maximum 5. You’ll now choose a coin a coin value which you will multiply by the coin amount to give you your total stake for each game.

You’ll now hit ‘deal’ and five cards will appear on the screen. The aim of the game is to make the best poker hand possible with these five cards, so if you are lucky enough to be dealt a Royal Flush your work is done and you’ll receive a nice payout! However, it’s not quite that simple, as a Royal Flush isn’t particularly common. Fortunately, at Video Poker, you have a helping hand in the fact that you can discard one or all of the cards and receive new ones. To keep a card, you’ll click on it and the word ‘hold’ will appear and you’ll hold all of the cards you want to keep. Now you’ll hit the ‘draw’ button and see all of the cards you didn’t hold replaced by new ones. The five cards you have now are the hands that count. Above the cards is a pay table which will show you the payouts you’ll receive for each of the poker hands, with the biggest prizes reserved for the biggest hands such as a royal or straight flush, 4 of a kind or a full house – each variety of the game will have a different minimum hand requirement for you to hit the pay chart.

Popular Types of Video Poker

Jacks or Better

The name of the game gives away the minimum hand you’ll need to hit the pay table – a pair of Jacks! A single pair will simply give you your stake back, while the payout increases as you move through two pairs, 3 of a kind, a straight and a flush. A full house will pay 45 coins (if playing the full 5 coins), 4 of a kind will pay 125 coins, a straight flush is worth 250 coins, while a Royal Flush will pay a mammoth 4,000 coins!

Deuces Wild

Once again the name of the game gives a big clue to how the game is played. Here you’ll find that any 2 is wild, therefore substituting for any other number. Due to the fact that there are wilds in the game, the hands you’ll receive will generally be of a higher quality than in ‘Jacks or Better’ so to hit the pay table you’ll need to hit at least 3 of a kind. In this game, 5 of a kind is possible which obviously pays out more than 4 of a kind, while you’ll find a higher payout of 4,000 coins for a natural Royal Flush and just 125 coins for a Royal Flush which includes wilds.

How to Play Online Video Poker Games

Joker Poker

Joker Poker is played with a deck of 53 cards – the usual 52 and a single joker to go alongside. The joker is a wild just like a 2 in ‘Deuces Wild’. With just the one wild, the hand strengths are somewhere between the two previous versions, so you’ll hit the pay table when you have a pair of Kings or better. Once again, you’ll find different payouts for a natural Royal Flush and one with a joker and the opportunity for hitting 5 of a kind as well as 4 of a kind. Some games will offer a higher payout for a ‘sequential royal flush’ which is the hand in the right order, starting with the 10 to the left hand side and ending with the Ace to the right hand side.

Additional Video Poker Features

Bonus Games

There are several variations of bonus games where you’ll find big differences in the payout table from your standard games. These games will usually have larger rewards for hitting different types of 4 of a kind, with the biggest prizes reserved for four Aces and particular kickers.

Multi-hand Games

Instead of playing just one hand at a time, you will find the option of playing many more, even up to 100. You’ll play these with the same starting 5 cards and you’ll make your ‘hold’ selections as normal, but when you hit ‘draw’ the hand will be played out over and over. When playing multi-hand video poker, you can find yourself in the wonderful position of guaranteeing a win on every single hand when the initial 5 cards give a win in themselves.

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