Video Poker is a simplified poker game played on a machine. The first thing you must remember about Video Poker is that you are NOT playing against other players, as in traditional poker. You are playing against the machine. This means that all you have to do is get a particular hand or better to win money. You don’t need to outsmart anyone. Even so, it’s important to know what you’re doing. It’s worth taking the time to learn the rules – most video poker machines offer returns of over 95% and some even offer returns over 100%!
A poker hand consists of 5 cards. The Ace is considered the highest card, followed by Kings, Queens, Jacks, etc. The lowest card is a two. The object of the game is to get the best hand possible. You wager a certain number of coins/credits, usually between 1 and 5. The machine then deals you five cards. You can keep or discard as many cards as you like. To keep a card, click the “hold” button underneath or on the card. Click on deal/draw to replace the cards you chose not to keep. The cards not being held are replaced with new cards. If your new set of cards contains a winning hand, you get paid.
Hands are listed below, from best (highest scoring), to worst (no score):
· Royal Flush – 2000 points
A Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all of the same suit.
· Straight Flush – 250 points
All five cards are consecutive and are the same suit.
e.g. Three of Clubs, Four of Clubs, Five of Clubs, Six of Clubs and Seven of Clubs.
· Four of a Kind – 125 points
Four cards of the same value
e.g. 4 Queens
· Full House – 40 points
A three of a kind and a pair at the same time.
e.g. three aces and two fives
· Flush – 25 points
All cards in your hand are the same suit. (They don’t have to be in any order.)
e.g. Ace of Hearts, Three of Hearts, Six of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Eight of Hearts
· Straight – 20 points
All five cards are consecutive.
e.g. Three of Clubs, Four of Spades, Five of Clubs, Six of Diamonds, and Seven of Hearts.
· Three of a Kind – 15 points
Three cards of the same value.
e.g. three Jacks
· Two Pair – 10 points
Two pairs of cards.
In other words, two cards in your hand are the same value, and two other cards in your hand are also the same value. e.g. two 3’s and two seven’s
· Pair – 5 points
Two cards in your hand are the same value. In some versions, they must be Jacks or better!
e.g. two Kings
· None of the Above – 0 points
Each turn “costs” 5 points, so if you get a pair, no points actually end up added to your total score. If you don’t get anything, you actually lose five points! This is how handheld and Vegas video poker games generally work.
Three common versions of Video Pokers in online casinos are ‘Jacks or Better’, ‘Deuces Wild’ and ‘Jacks Wild’:
Jacks or Better
This is the most popular version of Video Poker. Basically, you need to get a pair of jacks or better in order to get paid (hence the name). Let’s assume you bet five coins. If you get a pair of Jacks or better, you get five coins back. The machine might call you a “winner,” but don’t be fooled. You deposited five coins to begin with, and you just got your original five coins back, so you haven’t won anything at this point. In order to really win, you must get a two pair or higher. The amount of coins you win depends on how high your hand is. A typical payout schedule is shown below.
Hand > 250 – 800, or *Progressive Jackpot
Royal Flush > 250 – 800, or *Progressive Jackpot
Straight Flush > 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Four of a Kind > 25
Full House > 6-9
Flush > 5-6
Straight > 4
Two Pair > 2
Pair of Jacks or Better > 1
Three of a Kind > 3
*There are two types of machines. One will pay you a straight number of coins for the Royal Flush, and the other will pay you a Progressive Jackpot. A Progressive Jackpot simply means that a percentage of each coin dropped in the machine goes into a jackpot, which is paid out to the next recipient of a Royal Flush.
In the ‘Deuces Wild’ version of Video Poker, all deuces are treated as wild cards. This means that whenever you get a 2, you can use that card as any card you like. You can therefore change its face value and/or suit to work with the hand you have. With Deuces Wild, you have a far better chance of getting good hands. The casino compensates for this by offering a tighter payout schedule. You only get paid with a three of a kind or better.
Below is a typical payout schedule for Deuces Wild:
Hand Payout >> per coin
Royal Flush w/Deuces > varies
Four Deuces > 200
Royal Flush w/Deuces > 25
Five of a Kind > 15
Straight Flush > 9
Four of a Kind > 5
Full House > 3
Jokers Wild is five card draw poker with the addition of one joker. This means you are playing with a 53 card deck instead of 52. The joker is a wild card, and can be played as any card you want.
The existence of a wild card increases your chances of getting a good hand, so the payout schedule is adjusted accordingly. You need a two pair or better to get paid. Below is a table showing typical payouts in Las Vegas:
Hand >> Payout per coin
Royal Flush > varies
Five of a Kind > 100
Royal Flush w/Joker > 50
Straight Flush > 50
Four of a Kind > 20
Full House > 8
Flush > 7
Straight > 5
Three of a Kind > 2
Two Pair > 1