How to Play Video Poker for the First Time
While the popularity of video poker games in land-based and virtual casinos is well-known, it is not as well-publicized as the popularity of slot machines and other table games. Video poker, first introduced in the mid-1970s, is based on the traditional poker variant Texas Hold ’em but has the ease of a slot machine. While at least two people are needed to play a hand of poker, a single player can enjoy the thrills of a game of video poker. There is no actual poker table, and instead everything happens on a screen.
Instructions for Video Poker
Pressing the DEAL button on the video poker machine is all that’s required to get started. The computer will then deal you a hand of five cards, and you can choose to keep all of them, some of them, or none of them. After the discards have been made, a new hand of five cards will be dealt, and its quality will be judged in the same manner as before.
The ace (A) is worth the most in traditional video poker, followed by the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A. However, the ace can also be used as a 1 to complete a straight or straight flush, making the A, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of hearts a winning straight flush.
In video poker, the highest payout is reserved for the rarest and most advantageous hand, the royal flush.
Different Forms of Video Poker
Many distinct types of video poker exist, each with its own unique set of rules and potential odds for forming a winning hand. In a game known as “Deuces Wild,” for instance, the four twos in the deck are treated as “wild cards,” allowing them to replace any other card in the deck. Joker’s Wild is similar in that there is a joker in the deck that acts as a wild card.
One typical variant, Tens or Better, pays out for a single pair of 10s or better, while others offer bonuses for making specified hands at the higher stakes.
Reasons to Play
There are a few good reasons to like playing video poker games. The first is that they incorporate a greater degree of skill than slot machines because they may be played strategically. A player’s odds of winning are improved if they are adept at making strategic decisions about which cards to keep and which to discard following the initial deal.
The second advantage of video poker is tied to the first, as the house edge is reduced for strong players. In many games, a player who has mastered the optimal approach can achieve a theoretical Return to Player percentage of 98%, 99%, or even higher.
It’s maybe not surprising that casinos don’t put much emphasis on video poker games given the very high RTP percentages offered by these machines. After all, there are lots of other games that yield 96% or less to players, so why advertise one that returns 99%?
Treatment as a Welcome Bonus
Due to the greater RTP percentages in video poker compared to other games, many casinos will not include wagers placed on video poker towards the wagering requirements of a welcome bonus. The contribution that video poker play can make toward wagering requirements is typically drastically reduced even at establishments that do allow it. To sum up, don’t count on video poker to help you clear the wagering requirements for your welcome bonus.
Tactics for Video Poker
Playing Video Poker like a slot machine can be entertaining, but having a strategy can make the game more interesting and increase your chances of winning. For each hand, this will assist you determine which cards to throw away and which to keep.