Video poker strategy – how to play it and win?

Played today in both land-based and online casinos, video poker is a relatively simple game to learn, which is why it has become so popular … But if bluffing is out of place, because of the lack of partners (the dealer or the bank as a competitor), the main lines of poker are present, such as to discard or not certain cards from your hand to achieve the single goal: get the strongest hand possible, to win the victory …

A game inspired by 5-Card Draw Poker

Video poker is inspired by 5-card draw poker, one of its most basic variants. Played since the dawn of time (well, almost …), 5 Draw has undergone many improvements and variations over the decades. The rules currently accepted are those used for video poker, namely, to constitute the best poker hand with 5 cards, after a draw and two bets … the winning player is obviously the one who, after the second round of betting, has the strongest hand. 5-Draw Poker works either with the Ante (its original method, where it is necessary to place your bets before the distribution of the cards) or with the Blind (a blind setting, because only a part of the players must bet before the distribution) … the first technique being generally used for video poker.

A little video poker strategy and a lot of luck …

A traditional / standard card deck is used in poker and video poker. It has 52 cards, organized into 4 suits (spades and clubs, hearts and diamonds) and 13 cards with different ranks: 4 face cards (jack, queen, king), aces, and 9 point cards (2, 3, 4 , 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10). The weakest card is, obviously, two, and the stronger one is the ace. But the video poker strategy is not simply counting the values ​​of the cards in your hand: strategic combinations must be put in place, depending on the result of the distribution of cards face up in front of the player. Then you decide which ones should be discarded and which ones should be kept, to improve your chances of beating your opponent’s hand.

How to play video poker?

Playing video poker is relatively simple to learn, especially if you have some basic poker knowledge. Our casino offers few game alternatives, which makes it particularly easy to play, including by novice fans. Once your bet placed (“bet one” button for the minimum bet and “bet max” for the maximum bet allowed, several intermediate amounts being proposed), simply confirm it and then start the distribution with the “deal” button, to receive the 5 cards. At this point, you have several options: to retain the entire game, discard it, or keep some cards and exchange the others. You will then have to select the cards that you want to keep (select them and then click on the “hold” button under each card) and then request a redistribution (“deal”) to exchange the unselected cards. It is this final hand that will determine the amount of your winnings.

Video poker ranking

video poker strategy

The victory but also the gains obviously depend on the quality of the hand. The order of value is as follows (ascending order):

  • High card (gives no chance of winning video poker)
  • One pair
  • Two pairs
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight, a sequence of 5 cards (not necessarily the same color or the same sign)
  • Flush, a hand of 5 cards of the same sign (5 cards of spades for example)
  • Full house, which corresponds to 3 cards of the same rank combined with 2 cards of the same rank (3 kings and a pair of 10 for example)
  • Four of a kind, which corresponds to 4 cards of the same rank (4 aces for example)
  • Straight flush, a continuation in the same sign, but with cards of less value (for example from 7 to the valet)
  • Royal flush, a suite in the same sign from 10 to the ace (1 in 40,000 chance of winning this combination …)

The royal flush is extremely rare to collect, but this, obviously, offers the most interesting gains. When there is a tie (for example, when both sides have a three of a kind), the winning combination will be the one with the highest card value: three aces outweigh three queens, a pair of ten take on a pair of 5, etc.

The different versions of video poker

Video poker can be added some improvements, like the multi-hands (it is, for some titles, possible to play 5, 10, 25 and even up to 100 hands simultaneously, which means that the same hand is used for 5, 10, 25 or 100 different draws) or the option ”  gamble  ” which allows you to try nothing or double in order to double your winnings.

Moreover, there are several versions of video poker and therefore several variants of the rules. Among the most popular, the famous Jacks or Better with very favorable earnings, the Deuces Wild or the Joker Poker. Finally, for lovers of substantial earnings, video poker is also available in a progressive version.

Video poker tips

Of course, everybody would like to win. But how, you may ask. First of all, the winnings depend on the starting bet: the higher the number of coins per turn, the bigger the pot. But the quality of the hand also determines the amount, since a combination difficult to obtain will obviously be much more rewarding than a simple pair … this calculation fluctuates depending on the version of video poker. It is also advisable to consult the pay table to determine which machines are “full pay” (or full payers) and which are “low payers”, the first offering a much better recovery percentage. To find them, just look at the payment for combinations: a full  house for example is usually paid 9 times the initial bet and the color 6 times … but in the case of a low-paying video poker machine, this multiplier is lower (sometimes 8 times for a full house, or even only 7 times the bet, some online casinos offer a nice percentage). Fortunately, most video poker machines are “full pay”.

Finally, be aware that some video poker machines will often offer you a little game after winning a hand: the nothing or double. There are several formats, but in general, you will need to draw a card from 4 or 5 cards (face down) hoping it is more powerful than that assigned to the virtual dealer. If you win, you can double your winnings. The operation can be repeated as many times as you like. If you fail, you lose all the benefit of your initial gain! Also, be aware that you have the full freedom to NOT take part in this game of nothing or double and cash your winnings immediately.

Video poker: a game for everyone!

If you already know poker (even rudimentary), you can play video poker easily. Indeed, the only thing this game requires you is to have the most powerful poker hand possible. However, before throwing yourself headlong into the middle of a video poker game, it is best to first become familiar with the various strategies related to it. In doing so, you will know exactly what decision to make in a situation (depending on the type of machine). You will also know what type of machine to play: if you choose a machine with high payouts, the home advantage will be reduced!



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