Of all the casino games offered at internet casinos today Video Poker is without a doubt the best option for the player. Many poker machines only retain a small percentage of money wagered, whilst some if played with the correct strategy can offer you a very good return on the cash wagered. Some internet casinos will even offer the player an edge! Now this is the kind of casino deal worth taking advantage of.
The basic Video Poker machine is based around the game of Five-Card Draw. You are dealt five random cards. You are allowed to hold between none and all five of those cards, and to replace the cards you discard with new random cards. The hand that you make as a result will pay according to the universal value of Poker hands:
- Royal Flush: Five cards of the same suit in consecutive order, from Ace to Ten
A♦ K♦ Q♦ J♦ 10♦
- Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit, in consecutive order
Q♣ J♣ 10♣ 9♣ 8♣
- Four of a Kind: Four cards that have the same value
9♣ 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ J♥
- Full House: Three of a Kind, plus a Pair
Q♣ Q♦ Q♠ 9♥ 9♣
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit
Q♣ 10♣ 7♣ 6♣ 4♣
- Straight: Five cards, of different suits, in consecutive order
Q♣ J♠ 10♠ 9♥ 8♥
- Three of a Kind: Three cards that has the same value
J♠ J♣ J♦ A♦ K♣
- Two Pair: Two Pairs
10♠ 10♣ 8♥ 8♣ A♦
- Pair: One Pair
4♥ 4♠ K♠ 10♦ 5♠
- High Card: If there are no Pair the highest card is the King
K♥ J♥ 8♣ 7♦ 4♠
The Video Poker Screen
You will see that the screen indicates the payout schedule, the number of credits you have available, the amount won that has been paid, and the cards dealt. Modern machines offer touch-screen control for almost all functions while old-style machines still have buttons.
Most machines still have buttons to select how many coins you wish to hold, and the button which instructs the machine to deal or draw cards. If you wish to play the maximum credits, there will be a button with “Bet Max” or “Bet 5 Coins” clearly indicated. Once you push this button the cards are dealt immediately.
If you wish to bet one, two, three or four coins or credits press the button marked “Bet One”. If you push it a second time it will bet two credits, a third time three, and so on. Unless you bet five credits, the cards will not be dealt until you push the button marked “Deal/Draw”. This will activate the game.
Some machines also offer you a double or nothing gamble option on any wins you may hit, this is also controlled through the buttons beneath the screen.
Video Poker Areas
Video Poker machines tend to appear in groups, or banks or carousels, of machines in a casino. Normally they are grouped together in the same denomination of stake, and in groups similar or identical game variations. If you cannot find the machine you are seeking, or a denomination that suits your pocket ask an employee of the casino where your favourite machines could be found.
Even when playing at internet casinos never play for a higher stake than you feel comfortable with. To wager beyond your means almost always results in ruin, instead of having fun your session will be filled with anxiety. Before you start playing, there are key elements you should take into account first:
- The Game Offered: There are many different types of Video Poker, including Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Jokers Wild, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Progressive Jackpots, 25-line, 100-line Video Poker etc. We’ll have a look at a good selection of these in the forthcoming strategy section. More casinos are offering machines, such as “Game King”, which gives multiple variations of Poker games (sometimes other casino games like Blackjack, Craps, Keno and Roulette). Not only can you select up to 40 different games on some machine, but you could also choose which denomination of stake you wish to play.
- The Machine Denomination: It varies from 25c, $1, $5, $10, $50 or even $500. The usual recommendation is to always play the maximum coins, which on most machines means five. Therefore, a $1 machine represents a $5 wager per “spin”, or play. It’s important that your chosen stake must fit in with your bankroll. In other words 50 times your basic play stake to allow for short-term losing streaks. Therefore, to play a 25c machine at $1.25 per play, you require a minimum bankroll of $62.50; for a $1 machine at $5 per play a minimum bankroll of $250 and for a $5 machine at $25 per play, a bankroll of at least $1,250. Multi-line machines may show lower stakes such as 5c. However, if it is a 25-line machine, and you play five coins per line, it amounts to $6.25 per play. So, always be aware of the stake for each play.
- The Payout Scale: This is very important since the deal of the cards is as random as the computer can make it. For a basic Jacks or Better machine, the key payouts to look for are the Straight and Flush wins, and perhaps also for the Royal Flush jackpot. Poker machines in Las Vegas tend to be more generous than in small shops or clubs. For example in pubs and clubs in the United Kingdom, Poker machines frequently take 8 percent and a gob-smacking 27 percent. In casinos and resorts where the public has a choice of machine and venue the Poker machines are likely to be much more competitive. Some Vegas machines if played properly offer the player up to 2 percent in their favour.