Most slot machine players who were looking for something new with a little skill and gave video poker a go never looked back.
Video poker is a casino game based on five card draw poker and whilst it is played on a computerised console somewhat similar to a slot machine, it is not a game based purely on chance. Video poker first appeared in casinos in the late 1970s but is also perfectly suited to playing online. Online casinos offer a wide variety of video poker games from which to choose.
Why play video poker instead of slot machines?
Winning the jackpot on a slot machine is purely about luck. There are no skills whatsoever that you can sharpen to influence the outcome of a spin. Succeeding at many of the casino table games, on the other hand, depends upon skill, experience and betting decisions. But playing these table games can be overly intimidating to many players even though they would like to learn to play a game that is not solely determined by chance. Video poker appears to be the answer to this dilemma as it bridges the gap between slot machines and table games. Video poker machines also offer a lower house edge than slot machines.
How to play online video poker
Video poker is based on the game of draw poker and has virtually the same rules except that you are not playing against other players. Your objective is to make the best possible five card poker hand.
The machine deals five cards on the screen and you then have the option of drawing up to five new cards. Keep the cards that you want by selecting the ‘hold’ button that corresponds to those cards. After you have decided which to keep and which to reject, press the ‘deal’ button again and the cards you discarded will be replaced by new cards from the same deck. Whether you win or lose is determined by the outcome of your final hand after you hit the ‘draw’ button.
The amount that you win is determined by the pay table displayed on the machine. The better your hand, the more money you win. Video poker shares the same poker hand rankings with regular table poker so if you are a novice to poker you should learn these. If you don’t know what hands are you looking for, then you will have a bigger chance of losing.
Most games use the combinations of hands that can be made from a standard 52 card deck. The hands are produced by a random number generator in the machine.
Video poker games variations
Today there are over 100 different variations of video poker with the more popular ones being Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Double Bonus, Joker Poker and Deuces and Joker. Some variations offer wild cards whilst others have Joker wild cards. Others yet use more than one deck of card or offer bonus payments for different hands. For each variation there is a different strategy with which you should become familiar before playing. New variations are constantly being introduced also.