Video Poker and How It's Played

The Texas Hold 'em and video poker crazes seem to go hand in hand, and video poker is definitely a game you'll find at most internet casinos. It is, in fact, a main attraction, so knowing how to play would be advantageous. For the best payouts, look at the casino guides.

General Concepts

Video poker can most easily be summed up as a cross between slots games and 5-card draw. Each new hand is accompanied by a matching bet, and the amount of your winnings hinges on how much you bet.

A starting hand has 5 cards in it. Choose your keepers and trade in the rest, like you would with draw poker. You want the best hand possible.

The good thing about online video poker is you don't have to deal with the mess of a bunch of players betting on each hand. Plus, you can exchange as many cards as you want. So you get your 5 cards, decide which ones to keep, replace the ones you choose, and see how the payout table treats you. How to win at video poker? Just like knowing how to win baccarat.

Specifics for Four Variations (The Most Popular)

Jacks or Better is the video poker form you'll probably see most often. With this one, your best pay comes with a hand with two jacks- or better. It's just one draw with no wild cards or extra rules.

Beginners should probably go for Jacks or Better because the odds aren't tricky and it's basically the foundation for all other types of video poker. Once you get some experience with Jacks or Better, you're ready to build on that by moving to a new type of online video poker.

Jokers Wild has a 53-card deck, expanded for the inclusion of a wild card joker. In that way, it's like pai gow poker, but the wild card (joker) can take the form of any card whenever you need it. Since having an extra joker gives an advantage, you're shooting for kings or better this time. Make good use of your wild cards.

Deuces is so-named because the wild card here is a 2; it uses a standard deck of 52 cards. By taking out the lowest-ranking card, a player's odds of winning are increased.

The payouts, however, reflect these improved player odds. Here, you need three of one kind or better. The largest payouts come from natural royal flushes (hands where you have no wilds). It's pretty easy to strike a good hand, though, so Deuces is a fair game.

In Multi-Handed Play, as the name suggests, you play more than one hand. You're dealt a hand, you choose the cards to keep, and the others are exchanged. If you exchange two cards, two possible outcomes are shown, three are shown for three, four for four, etc. You then bet on the likelihood of each hand showing up. For example, if you're betting 3 coins each hand and there're 3 hands in the game, you'll need 9 coins. This is basically a variation on one of the other variations.

For instance, you might be playing 3 hands of Jacks or Better. If you drew AK732 (suits not important), the best move would be keeping the A and K and getting rid of the rest. Now, the machine will show you three outcomes possible when you have A and K and you exchange three cards. Suppose these hands are AKKAA, 975AK, and 43AKA. You would only win with the first and last ones. The first would be a full house, and the last a double ace. The middle one is a lost bet.

There are a number of variations for video poker. Start out simple with Jacks or Better and work your way up. It's a very entertaining game.

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