Video Poker is one of the most popular games to play at online casinos, thanks to its high return to player rate and quick gameplay. A combination of poker and online slots, Video Poker is fun, simple to play, and has a surprising amount of strategy that helps to keep things interesting over long playing sessions.
As well as offering a higher return to player rate than slots, video poker also gives players more control over how they play. In online slots, you simply press the spin button and wait for the reels to finish turning to see if you’re a winner. Video poker works slightly differently, as you’ll see below.
How Does Video Poker Work
There are lots of different variations of video poker you can play at a real money online casino. However, most variations all use the same basic premise. Players start the game by choosing their bet between the minimum and maximum amount before pressing the deal button. Five cards from the standard 52 card deck are then dealt and positioned face-up on the screen for the player to see.
As with poker, the objective of the game is to build a strong hand, and the stronger your hand, the higher your payout. The hand ranking is as follows:
- Royal flush
- Straight flush
- Four of a King
- Full house
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
Players can swap the cards they’re dealt by clicking on them and choosing to draw. This will discard the selected card and replace it with a new card, drawn at random from the deck. By swapping the right cards and getting a bit of luck, it’s possible to create much stronger hands and hopefully win a big payout.
In some versions of video poker, certain cards might act as wilds, substituting for other cards. There may also be variations on which poker hands payout, so be sure to always check the full rules of the game before you play.
Video Poker Payouts
Video poker payouts depend on the version of the game you’re playing, but in every game, the biggest prize is won by landing a Royal Flush. Payouts depend on how much you bet per hand, with bigger bets leading to bigger payouts. For example, in the Jacks or Better version of the game, you can bet between one and five coins per hand. A Royal Flush will payout 250 to 1 for most bets, but when it bet five coins, it will pay out 800 to 1.
Before you start playing, always check the paytable to see exactly how much you could win from each hand. Different versions of the game will allow different bets and offer various payouts. The paytable should also show you the payout rate of the game to let you know what your chances of winning are.
Improving Your Chances of Winning Video Poker
Video poker involves a mix of strategy and chance, meaning that players can improve their odds of success with the right moves. Although the cards you’re dealt are based on random chance, the decisions you make on which cards to replace affect how likely you are to win.
Depending on which hand you have, you should look to hold certain cards in place and replace others. Video poker strategy can be quite complex, as some players might always aim for a high hand and replace more cards while others go for the safer option but with a lower payout.
Aside from utilizing video poker strategy to get the best cards, players can also follow these tips to improve their probability of winning:
- Make use of bonuses
- Practice by playing for free first
- Bet responsibly