How to Play Video Poker HowStuffWorks

First, you’ll need to find the machines that offer you the highest returns. This ensures that all IGT games are completely random, just as if the cards were dealt from a perfectly shuffled deck. You won’t get any help from US regulatory borders if you’re playing with a site based exclusively in Europe, for example.

  • Poker Matic was the first video poker machine developed by Dale Electronics in 1970.
  • Now that you understand how a video poker machine works let’s learn how to pick out the best paying ones.
  • There are those who would say that video poker is ‘easier’ than poker, but that’s not to say that learning the correct strategy for multiple video poker variants doesn’t require some skill.
  • That’s because the payout for a Full House and a Flush is 9 and 6 coins/credits, respectively.
  • However, the double up option drastically increases variance, so you will need a much higher bankroll if you tend to double up your winnings often.

Offering a focus on strategy, the game rewards players who take the time to learn its interesting rules and intricacies. The strategies come down to whether you’ll discard or hold certain cards from the dealt first five cards. Keeping certain cards will improve your hand, but it can also destroy it. Hence, our beginner’s video poker strategy will guide you on what cards to hold and when to improve your winning chances.

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Far more difficult to execute is playing each hand in the mathematically optimal manner. The player is dealt a five-card poker hand, then given one opportunity to keep the cards they wish to keep and discard the ones they don’t wish to retain, receiving new cards in return. Stephany loves gaming, she is especially fond of bingo games, blackjack, slot machines, and old school Nintendo. She has a special place in her heart for Sega and online poker. Si Redd took his company, SIRCOMA, and renamed it IGT (International Gaming Technology), which’s now a reputable software developer. The video poker machines were gradually accepted among gamblers in gambling houses. The hold feature appealed to most gamblers, making them feel they could sway the odds of winning to suit them.

Find the best odds

That’s the primary reason they’re the only online casino I accept advertising from. Online video poker paytables should be easily accessible when playing and can usually be found in the specific game’s information or ‘i’ section. Below you’ll find an example paytable commonly found in full-pay ‘Jacks or Better’ video poker.

Today IGT and Bally’s both produce video poker machines, and their machines take up most of the floor space devoted to electronic gaming devices across the country. Poker’s an incredibly popular game that’s super easy to learn but difficult to master. Don’t worry—we’ll break down this strategic card game into a simple step-by-step guide. You’ll find a ton of variations of poker, but Texas Hold’em is the most popular.

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If you are in an area with several casinos within walking distance, do not settle for a pay table that is below the standard for the area. After you make all your hold decisions, you push the Deal/Draw button. All cards not held will then be discarded, and new cards will be turned up to take their places. The machine compares that hand to the pay table, and if the hand is a winner, the corresponding number of credits are added to the meter. I’m playing against the pay table of the machine, and if this machine makes no distinction between a pair of fives and a pair of kings, then neither should I. In a regular poker game, I’ll hold onto the king because it’s my highest card. First, it is critical for you to be able to distinguish full-pay from short-pay machines.

First Cards Drawn

Classic Dancer’s Answers – Each month, Bob Dancer — one of the best know video poker experts — provides video poker tips and answers to some common and not so common questions. Game Tips – Strategies Kings Chance Casino and tips to help you maximize your returns for some of our latest games. Serious Video Poker players who are looking for ways to take the advantage away from the casino and put themselves on top.

Casinos usually change the machines’ payout percentages by lowering the payouts on the flush and full house. In many casinos throughout the United States, 8-5 machines, paying 8-for-1 on the full house and 5-for-1 on the flush, and 7-5 machines are offered instead of the 9-6 games. With optimal play, an 8-5 machine yields 97.9 percent; the 7-5 machine pays 96.2 percent. Each machine features a video screen on which the images of cards are dealt. Winnings are usually compiled as credits, which the player may cash out at any time, and the credits are also displayed on a meter on the video screen. On some machines the pay table will also be on the screen; on others, the pay table is painted on the machine’s glass. Like most video poker machines, Deuces Wild has a very high RTP rate, usually 97%-99%.


Another good tip is to always restrict your play to the same kind of machine. The 9/6 part refers to the payback schedule on this kind of machine. Let me determine the correct basic strategy for you, under just about any set of rules, using my strategy calculator.

Video Poker Analyzer

While slots require little-to-no expertise, video poker needs tamed skill to win. Also, in slot games, you’re usually reeling in blind without knowing your odds of winning. On the contrary, video poker (VP) has the best odds in any casino lobby. Therefore, with the right strategy, you may decide your winning hand at VP. Just play Video Poker free online with no download or registration required to see how easy it is to play. If you want to be a successful Video Poker player, you have to go more under the surface, and master the Video Poker strategy.

In Nevada, casinos with a clientele of locals devote more than 50 percent of slot space to video poker, and there are video poker bars that offer few other gambling options. The major resorts that cater to tourists turn a lower percentage of space to video poker, about 10 percent to 15 percent. That’s about the percentage you’ll find in other United States gaming destinations. In Missouri, as soon as voters allowed games of chance, about 80 percent of slot space was turned over to reel slots.

Every VP variant has a paytable that might differ from others. In addition, depending on the software provider and the online casino operator, they may also vary. The holy grail is acquiring a unique batch of cards that’ll give you a winning hand. As a standard to all casino games, you’ll need to wager before the game begins. Unlike other card games like Blackjack that need playing chips, video poker requires credits or coins to play.

Nowhere on the chart do you see that you should hold three cards to try for a straight or flush. In some instances, you should hold three cards to try for a straight flush, but never a straight or flush. Also, the game uses a random number generator to select which cards are drawn. It is randomized with every dealing, which would be like playing with an infinite deck. Of course, with the largest legal online game selection in the U.S., it’s not surprising that Golden Nugget (New Jersey) has some of the best video poker you’ll find. Each video poker machine has its own particular strategy and what works best on a Jacks or Better machine is definitely much different from what works best on a Deuces Wild machine.

That’s because it has a more straightforward paytable compared to the other versions. In addition, it’s a fan favorite, thus being played by most gamblers. It’s based on the 5-card draw poker and uses a single deck of 52 playing cards. Yes, most online casinos that offer real money gambling have a few video poker options to try out. Similarly, some of the biggest and best online poker sites also allow players to use a video poker option. We recommend checking out FanDuel Casino, PokerStars Casino, bet365 Casino, 888casino, and PartyCasino.