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Video Poker - Information and Tips

Monday, 10 December 2012 15:04

gaming tips video pokerVideo Poker History

Video poker emerged with the first PCs in the mid-1970s. In 1980s people started to notice that playing video poker on a machine is less intimidating than playing at a table and the popularity of the game rose. The first video poker was named Draw Poker and the lowest possible hand was two of pairs. When it was changed to Jacks or Better, the popularity of the game increased even more. Nowadays video poker is a standard casino floor game, and is also available online with hundreds of different variations and thousands pay tables.

Video Poker Rules

Video poker is very similar to a card game poker. The main difference is that players play against the machine, however the purpose of the game is the same - players have to get the highest winning hand. After placing the bet, by inserting a coin or a ticket, players will receive five cards. They have the opportunity to keep or replace those cards. Then the machine defines the winning combinations and pays the win depending on the pay table. The payouts are decided based on hand rarity, the game variation and other factors.

Basic Poker Hands

Royal Flush

Top five cards of the same suit:
videopoker1


Straight Flush

Five cards of the same suit in a sequence (Aces can play low in straight and straight flush), e.g.:
videopoker1

Four of a Kind

A hand that contains all four cards of one rank and any other card, e.g.:
videopoker1

Full House

A hand consisting of three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank, e.g.:
videopoker4

Flush

A hand that contains five cards of the same suit that are not in sequence, e.g.:
videopoker5

Straight

A hand consisting of five cards in a sequence with at least two different suits, e.g.:
videopoker6

 

Three of a Kind

A hand that contains three cards of the same rank and two of a different rank (also not the same as each other), e.g.:
videopoker7

 

Two pair

A hand consisting of two cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank (matching each other, but different from the first pair) and one card of either rank, e.g.:
videopoker1
One pair

A hand that contains two cards of the same rank and three cards which are not of this rank and not the same as each other. Generally, in video poker the lowest pair worth anything is two Jacks:
videopoker1

Video Poker Variations & Strategy

A correct strategy increases players chance to win the game and earn good money. Nowadays, there are many video poker variations. In order to win players should understand their rules and strategy before playing.

Jacks or Better

The most common variation of video poker with a rather low variation. Just like the name suggests, the lowest card in this variation has to contain a pair of jacks or better. The basic strategy to play Jacks or Better involves these steps:

• Players should keep the hand if they get a Royal Flush, Straight or Four of a Kind;

• Players should draw one card to get the fifth, if they have four cards towards a Royal flush;

• Players should replace one card if they have four cards for a straight flush;

• If players have three of a kind or three cards to the above hands they should draw two cards;

• Players should draw one card if they have two pair or four cards to a flush;

• With a pair or two high cards such as jack, king, queen, or ace players should draw three cards.

Deuces Wild

One of the most popular video poker variation with wild cards. As the name suggests the cards with the value of two (deuces) in the deck can be substituted for any other card, for any rank, in any suit. This adds some new hands such as five of a kind, wild royal flush or four deuces. Below are some tips which can be helpful to win the game:

If players receive:

• Four Deuces - they should hold all five cards;

• Three Deuces – they should keep a wild royal flush and five-of-a-kind;

• Two Deuces - they should keep any four cards to a royal flush;

• One Deuce - they should keep all paying hands, with the exception of four cards to a royal flush.

No deuce means that players should:

• Keep all paying hands, except hold four cards to a royal flush;

• Keep a four-card straight flush;

• Keep a three-card to a royal flush;

• Keep any one pair;

• Keep a four-card flush;

• Keep a consecutive four-card straight;

• Keep three cards to a straight flush;

• Keep any two of tens, jacks, queens or kings, if they’re in the same suit.

Jokers Wild

Just like the name suggests, Joker Poker is played with a joker added to the deck. Joker functions as a wild card and can substitute any card in the deck, which adds new hands to the play, such as five of a kind or the wild royal flush. Additionally, depending on the variation the lowest paying hands are changed: Kings or Better, Aces or Better and Two Pair or Better. Two types of strategies can be distinguished here:

1) Strategy for hands that do not have the joker:

• If players are dealt four of a kind they should discard the fifth card in order to get a joker;

• If players are dealt four cards to a royal flush, to a straight flush, to a straight or to a flush they should discard the fifth card in order to receive the five card hand with or without a joker;

• If players are dealt three cards to a royal flush, to a straight flush, to a straight or to a flush they should discard the remaining two cards;

• If players are dealt three of a kind they should discard the remaining two cards;

• If players are dealt two pairs they should discard the fifth card in order to get a full house with or without a joker;

• Players should hold on to a pair, two cards to a royal flush and two cards to a straight flush and discard the remaining three cards;

• In all other cases players should discard all five cards;

2) Strategy for hands that have a joker:

• Players should keep the following four card combinations and discard the fifth card: four of a kind, four cards to a royal flush, four cards to a straight flush, four cards to a straight and four cards to a flush;

• Players should keep the following three card combinations and discard the remaining two cards: three of a kind and three cards to a straight flush;

• In all other cases players should keep the joker and discard the remaining four cards.

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