A Guide To Video Poker
Poker and slots are the big attractions at land-based casinos, but now it’s also true of online casinos as well. And video poker is the perfect combination of the two genres. It’s much less intimidating than sitting down at a table game, and unlike slots games there’s a huge amount of skill involved.
Video poker is a really good place to start your poker journey if it’s a game you haven’t played before. You can take your time to make your selections without feeling that you’re holding anyone else up. Whereas if you’re already an enthusiastic poker player, you’ll be surprised at how many fun variants of the game there are when you play online.
Jacks or Better
With so many video poker options available we recommend starting out with the basic Jacks or Better. There aren’t any Wild cards to bother with and you’ll get one opportunity to discard unwanted cards and replace them with new ones. Your objective is to create a winning hand:
Royal flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit:
Straight flush – five cards from the same suit in a sequence
Four of a kind – four matching cards, such as four Kings
Full house – three or a kind and a matched pair
Flush – five non-sequential cards from the same suit
Straight – five cards from different suits in a sequence
Pairs of matched cards in this game must be Jacks or higher, hence the name.
Other Video Poker variants
Other popular video poker games that you’re bound to come across include Deuces Wild, in which 2s can stand in for any other card. Four-of-a-kind deuces also offer some big cash payouts. Then there’s Jokers Wild, in which a Joker can help to create winning hands. Or how about Bonus Poker, which plays out the same as Jacks or Better only there’s a bigger payout for four of a kind?
Check the Paytables
Where video poker gives the player a clear advantage over slots is in the potential returns. These are very much skill-based games, so if you make all the correct mathematical choices you can play to an RTP of over 100%. That’s a figure worth dwelling on for a moment. The highest-paying slots game is unlikely to offer a RTP much over 97%, and even that would be the exception to the rule. Generally online slots play out at around 95.5% when you play online, dropping down as low as 75% in bricks-and-mortar casinos.
But every game, and every online casino, has different options, so don’t go rushing headlong into wagering cash until you know what your potential returns are. And even then, spend time practising your poker strategy before you start wagering like a high roller. Poker is a game that anyone can learn to play, but it takes time and practise to learn to play it well. So read up on strategies and remember to never stake more than you can afford to lose.