Video poker is played the same way as five card poker, but there are no opponents to bet against. Instead of competing against other players, your goal in video poker is simply to get the best five card hand possible. Payouts are based on the strength of your hand.
Even though you are not required to outplay any opponents, video poker still involves a bit of strategy. Your main focus will be determining which cards should be held or discarded to give you the best chance of the highest payout. The amount you bet is also a factor, as payout rates vary based on the number of credits wagered.
There are several variations of video poker, but they all follow the same basic set of rules.
Players start by inserting one or more credits into the machine of their choice. The payout rates are predetermined and dependent on the number of credits bet. Playing with more credits is more expensive, but also raises the payouts.
Once the bet is placed, the machine deals five cards at random. There is one round of discarding where you can hold as many cards as you like and discard the rest. You will then be dealt new cards to replace the ones that were discarded.
Your five cards after the drawing new cards is your final hand. Every game has a specific pay table that determines how much will be paid out based on the strength of your five card poker hand. The most common version of video poker at casinos and online gambling sites is Jacks or Better, and the pay table usually looks like this:
As the name implies, the casino only pays out for a pair of jacks or higher in this version of video poker. Players who have a pair of tens or lower will not win any money. This is important to keep in mind when deciding which cards to hold or discard, and is the basis for Jack or Better video poker strategy.
No matter what version of video poker you play, the possible hands do not change. The table below provides a description of five card poker hands with an example of each one. The hands are listed from best to worst.
Strategy in video poker focuses on which cards to keep and which to discard. Video poker strategy can seem a little complicated at first, but once you learn the basic principles it is relatively straightforward.
The optimal strategy varies based on which version of video poker you play, so we will stick with the most popular version Jacks or Better.
Online casinos offer hundreds of games and each one comes with its own set of rules and unique strategy. Learn how to play many popular gambling games and find helpful game strategy through the links below.