Video poker is a casino game that brings real-world poker to a fixed-odds video machine. Essentially, the underlying software offers the player a fixed-odds payout, based on the hand they are able to land. Video poker machines are not only available at traditional land-based casinos, but you can also play them online.
Video Poker Online Game Overview
Video poker online game platforms each offer their own odds, and there is sometimes a very slight variation in rules too. Either way, there are two key advantages to playing video poker machines over traditional slots.
Firstly, when you play at Video Poker online game platforms, you are accustomed to one of the lowest house-edges in the gambling industry. Secondly, unlike slot machines, Video Poker online game platforms allow you to make a choice. As a result, you have control over the hands you play.
If you like the sounds of what Video Poker online game casinos can offer, we would suggest you first get comfortable with the basics. In the next section, we’ll explain how to play.
How to play
When you first load up your chosen Video Poker online game platform, you initially need to determine how much you want to stake per hand. Once you have this set-up, you then click on the ‘Deal’ button. The machine will then deal you 5 standard playing cards. The machine will then give you the option of holding cards, before re-dealing for the last time.
For example, if you like the first two cards that you’ve been dealt, but don’t like the remaining three, you can hold your preferred cards and re-deal the rest. Essentially, the aim of the game is to generate a winning hand, from the 5 cards that you have in-play after the second deal. As the name suggests, the vast majority of hands are based on traditional poker hands.
To explore this further, we have listed the most common payout hands below. Take note, the structure is listed from the best hand to the worst.
Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J and 10 of the same suit. This is the best hand you can get in poker. If the Video Poker online game platform offers a progressive jackpot, it is likely that this will be awarded for landing the Royal Flush.
Straight Flush: A Straight Flush is awarded when you get 5 consecutive cards, all of same suit. For example, a 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of diamonds.
Four of a Kind: Any four cards of the same value. For example, four 7s.
Flush: If all 5 cards have the same suit, you get a flush. For example, a 2, 5, 7, J and A of Hearts.
Straight: A straight is awarded when you get 5 consecutive cards, not of same suit. For example, a 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, consisting of different suits.
Three of a Kind: Any three cards of the same value. For example three 10s.
Two Pair: Any two pairs of the same card. For example two pairs of 5.
Jacks or Better: A pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. This constitutes the lowest paying win.
Although the above hand structure is the most common, there are some variations that are sometimes used by casinos. This includes ‘Deuces Wilds’, which essentially acts as a wild. As a result, it can replace any other card to make a winning combination.
Fixed odds payouts
When you play at Video Poker online game platforms, the amounts you can win are usually fixed. This ultimately depends on the developer behind the underlying software. To give you an idea of what you can win, leading developers NetEnt offer a range of Video Poker games that have a payout structure that ranges from 1x for a pair, all the way up to 800x for a Royal Flush.
What this means is that Video Poker online game operators allow you to set your own prize value. For example, if you want to stake £5 per hand, you have the chance of winning a top jackpot of £4,000.
If you instead prefer to have a go at a progressive jackpot, there are some titles that have prizes that run in to the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Before getting started with a jackpot Video Poker machine, it is well worth checking the gameplay rules, as these can vary from developer-to-developer.
For example, some games will stipulate that you need to bet the maximum amount of coins per hand to be eligible for the progressive jackpot. Moreover, if a Royal Flush is required to land the progressive jackpot, some casinos state that it must be hit on the initial deal. If this is the case and you land a Royal Flush on your second deal, then you might not be eligible for the progressive jackpot.
The house-edge is one of the most important gambling statistics that you need to be made aware of. In a nutshell, it determines what statistical advantage the casino has over the player, to ensure that the casino remains profitable long-term. The house-edge varies depending on the casino game in question.
When it comes to Video Poker, it actually has one of the lowest house-edges in the gambling industry. Once again, whilst this will vary from developer-to-developer, Video Poker rarely surpasses a house-edge of 0.5%.
As a result, this ensures that your bankroll has the best chance of surviving long-term, in comparison to other casino games.
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Video Poker summary
It comes as no surprise to see Video Poker make the transition from land-based casinos over to the online space. The game offers players a simple, yet highly enjoyable way to gamble on fixed-odd outcomes. More importantly, not only does Video Poker have one of the lowest house-edges in the industry, but it also gives players the chance to control their gaming decisions. This is something that cannot be said for online slot.