Poker is one of the most popular casino games, on and offline. Most of the excitement revolves around the high stakes, intensity and competitive environment that has players and viewers alike holding onto their seats and flipping bills out of their pockets.
Video poker, essentially a mixture of the classic table poker game ‘Five Card Draw‘ and video pokies, offers Poker without the intimidating competitiveness around a poker table, so it is more relaxed but still very exciting.
The stats suggest that New Zealanders account for over 30 % of all Video Poker played globally. Remember, we only account for 0.06% of the world population, so that suggests that Video Poker is pretty popular here.
We advise you to browse through our recommended selection of places to play video poker, all of them reliable and catering towards a Kiwi audience.
Rules of video poker
Video poker is an online version of 5-card draw poker. In video poker, you play to beat the computer as opposed to other players, winning combinations work on 5-card poker rules and use the pay table to decide winnings. Decide before how big a hand you are really able to risk and then decide and start the game.
You are immediately dealt 5 cards, face up, in a straight row. You have the option to hold on to as many cards as you want or discard them. If you dump three cards, you draw another three cards; if you don’t discard any, you don’t draw etc. When it’s time to replace the cards, you click or swipe the ‘Draw’ tab on the. Your new hand is your final hand and if you win, you get paid for the hand, based on the pay table.
Odds in Video Poker
Like different table games in a casino offer different odds, so do different variations of Video poker. There is no one answer to the general question about video poker odds, but this is the game that’s most favorable to the players overall.
Furthermore, odds in video poker are actually influenced by players’ decision, unlike slot machines where everything is down to luck. With strategy, players can reach the returns in excess of 99%, and sometimes, when there is jackpot involved, even better than 100%.
Generally speaking, the best paying video poker machines are the ones with 9/6 pay table, where you are paid at 9 to 1 for a full house and 6 to 1 for a flush. This is much better than say 8/6 or 8/5 pay tables often found in online and land-based casinos.
Video Poker Variations
Regular Video Poker
There are many video poker variations available, with slightly different rules and payouts. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Jacks or Better – one of the most popular classic variations, with 9/6 version featuring 99.54% RTP
- All Aces Poker – the game offers the best returns of 99.9%
- Deuces Wild – as the name suggests, 2s (deuces) are wild, and the RTP stands at 99.37%
- Aces & Faces – higher payouts for quads with faces cards and Aces, RTP of 99.26%
- All American – high RTP of 99.38%
- Tens or Better – similar to Jacks or Better, but with lower RTP of 99.14%
Progressive Video Poker
While regular video poker machines are fairly straightforward, paying according to their respective pay tables, there are also video poker machines featuring a progressive jackpot. These machines are usually the ones with the highest RTP, thanks to the possibility of winning the jackpot.
- Jacks or Better Progressive – the progressive jackpot is usually won by getting dealt a Royal Flush in spades
- Deuces Wild Progressive – win the jackpot with any natural sequential Royal Flush (without any deuces acting as wilds)
- Joker Poker Progressive – win with any Royal Flush without a Wild Joker card
Video Poker Strategy
Making the right choices is important and sticking to correct playing strategies will significantly help your results. We bring you some strategy tips for a few of the most popular variations.
Jacks or Better
- Keep high pair (Jacks or better) and two pair, discarding three and one unpaired cards, respectively
- Keep all three of a kind hands (like 2, 2, 2 and better), discard the other two cards
- Keep all five card hands: straights, flushes, and full houses
- Keep all four of a kind (ex. 10, 10, 10, 10)
- Four card hands to keep: four to a straight, four to a flush (like 6, 7, 8, 9 or 5, 9, 10, J all in hearts)
- If no high pair or better and no four-card draws: keep three to a Royal Flush, three to a Straight Flush
- Otherwise: keep two to a Royal Flush; if not applicable, keep two high cards or one high card
- If you have none of these, discard all five cards
- If no deuces (Wilds) use the same strategy as for Jacks or Better
- With one Wild – use the same strategy, and use the Wild as the missing card (for example As, Ks, 10s, and a Deuce are counted as four to a Royal Flush). Always keep the Wild card.
- With two Wild cards – keep the Wild cards and any pair, any trips, any three to a Royal Flush, any three to a straight flush, any two to a straight or Royal Flush. Otherwise, keep the Wilds, discard the rest.
- With three Wild cards – keep Wild cards and a pair or a two-card Royal Flush. Otherwise, keep the Wilds and discard the other two cards.
- With four Wild cards – keep only the Wild cards
Double Bonus video poker is all about chasing that Royal Flush that pays 800:1. You can pretty much stick to the Jacks or Better strategy, with an exception that you should discard a made flush and go for a Royal Flush draw when applicable. For example, if you’re dealt 10s Js Qs As 5s, discard the 5 and go for the Royal. However, if you were dealt the same hand but with a 9s instead of 5s (a straight flush), you would stand pat (not discard anything).
With Joker Wild, you can follow the Jacks or Better strategy, with these exceptions:
- When dealt A2 through A5 of the same suit and a Joker, draw two cards
- When dealt K9 of the same suit with a Joker, draw two cards
- If dealt one Ace and one King, keep both, draw three cards
- Keep any card 5 or better with a Joker, draw three
- Otherwise, keep one Joker, one Ace, or one King
Video poker, for less experienced Poker players is a great opportunity to practice their skills before they play live poker online or in a land based casino. For the veterans amongst us its just a quick and simple way to get in some game-time without having to arrange a Poker game.
We provide a list of authentic and reliable online casinos that give a wide selection of video poker games, check them out and choose where you want to play your next hand of video poker.
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