Video Poker Rules

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Video Poker is one of the most exciting new casino games that combines the huge payouts of slot machines with the skill of draw poker. The rules of online video poker are the same as casino video poker – to make the best possible poker hand. Typically, the poker game is Five-Card Draw. In this variation of poker, the player is dealt five cards and is able to keep or discard one or more of the original cards dealt in order to be dealt new cards that will improve her hand. All video poker machines have listed on them what is called their payout schedule. This tells the player how much he will be paid for each poker hand based on how many coins were inserted.

video poker machinesThe poker hands are as follows from lowest to highest:

High Card
One Pair
Two Pair
Three-of-a-kind
Straight (five sequential cards)
Flush (five cards all of the same suit)
Full-House (three-of-a-kind plus one-pair)
Four-of-a-kind
Straight Flush (five sequential cards all of the same suit)
Royal Flush (straight flush consisting of 10, J, Q, K, A)

Most video poker machines will NOT pay any hand worse than a pair of Jacks (these machines are called “Jacks-or-Better” machines and do not offer wild cards.) Wild card video poker machines sometimes require the minimum winning hand to be two-pair or even three-of-a-kind (depending on the TYPE of machine.)

Introduced in the 1970’s, video poker is an increasingly popular form of gambling both at land based casinos and online. If you are unfamiliar with the games, they are those machines with TV screens at the land based casinos. Of course in the online world, Video Poker thrives. The game is played fast, while involving a combination of skill and luck, video poker attracts players by providing hours of stimulating entertainment.

A typical video poker machine holds a strong resemblance to a regular slot machine, and can be found in either a tabletop form or an upright desktop unit.

The machines come in denominations of nickels, quarters, dollars and sometimes five dollars. The majority of video poker games are based on five-card draw poker. In five-card draw, players are originally dealt five cards and can throw away any of them to try to improve their hand. New cards are dealt to replace the discarded ones, and the final five cards decide.

The origin of the word poker is also well debated. Most of the dictionaries and game historians say that it comes from an eighteenth-century French game, poque. However, there are other references to pochspiel, which is a German game. In pochspiel, there is an element of bluffing, where players would indicate whether they wanted to pass or open by rapping on the table and saying, “Ich Poche!” Some say it may even have derived come the Hindu word, pukka.

The serious Video Poker player can find opportunities that give the player the advantage. As in any form of gambling, if attaining an advantage were easy then everybody would be doing it. It is a volatile game where the ups and downs in the short term require a strong stomach and a big bankroll. There are numerous variations of the game and each one requires its own strategy. The successful player must know what the best pay tables are for each game, where to find them, and how to play them. But it is true, that in Video Poker, the player can get the advantage, and means winnings!

Based on classic Five Card Stud, Video Poker challenges players to build the best possible five-card poker hand. The player is dealt five cards and has the option of discarding any or all of them. New cards are dealt to replace the discards. Payoffs are based on a scale, paying players for hands as low as a pair of tens or Jacks all the way up to a Royal Flush.

Like their cousin the slot machines, Video Poker machines are available in many denominations, with 25 cent and $1 machines being the most popular. Many land based casinos also offer progressive payoffs or bonuses for Royal Flushes or other special hands. Online Casinos offer games from Microgaming and Playtech, which are also progressive jackpots. Video Poker provides variety too, with versions ranging from Jacks Or Better to Deuces Wild and Jokers Wild. You can play free Video Poker, Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better and Jokers Wild.