Video poker is one of the most popular casino games, and it has evolved into many different versions over the years. At BestCasinosOnly, you’ll find out everything you need to know about playing video poker, whether you’re a fan of Jacks or better, Deuces Wild or Double Double Bonus Poker.
While you’re here, check out our in-depth guides to some of the most popular video poker variants available. We’ve done the hard work for you by researching every aspect of each game.
Video poker has become a mainstay of casinos. Software developers have created new versions of the classic game to keep players interested. At BestCasinosOnly.com, we keep you up-to-date on the latest versions with our informative reviews.
BestCasinosOnly offers guides and reviews for video poker players of all levels. Beginners will find information about the rules of the game, how hands are ranked, and strategies they should consider using. Experienced players will also have the chance to polish their skills by checking out our reviews of some of the most exciting video poker games available online.
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Video poker is a simple casino game that has a lot of fans among gambling aficionados. It does not have flashy graphics or music like slots, nor does it offer the glamor of roulette or craps. But it does attract novices and experienced players with its high payouts and easy-to-play format. And although video poker may seem easy at first glance, it’s actually a very challenging game that provides hours of entertainment.
How Video Poker Works
Video poker is a variation of poker in which players receive five cards from a computerized deck instead of being dealt the cards by a croupier. The lowest paying hand is a pair of Jacks, called Jacks or Better, which became the name of the most basic variation. To win at video poker, you need to know some basic rules and about how this computerized game works.
Rules and Basics
Video poker is a casino game that allows you to play five cards at once. You can choose which cards to keep and which ones to throw away. In order to start playing, you need to place a bet and then press the Deal/Draw button.
In video poker, your goal is to collect cards that will form a winning hand. The game will indicate whether or not your hand is winning anything and the payout depends on the particular combination of cards you collected. Typically, the highest paying hand in video poker is a Royal Flush which can be achieved by playing with the maximum amount of coins. New players should learn what the winning hands are and how they are ranked.
Video poker is similar to traditional poker, but it has some variations on the classic rules. Each variation of video poker has its own unique rules, but most of them use the same hand rankings as traditional poker.
In the regular Jacks or Better poker game, the strongest hand is called Royal Flush and is made up of a Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace from the same suit. It pays out more than any other hand and it’s the least likely to appear. The next best hand is Straight Flush, which contains five consecutive cards of the same suit. In other words, a Royal Flush is just a straight flush that contains royal cards (such as K♥ J♥ Q♥ J♣ A♣). This hand is followed by Four of a Kind (four cards with the same value).
The best hand in poker is a royal flush, made up of a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all in one suit. It is followed by the straight flush (a combination of five cards in sequence all of the same suit), four of a kind (four cards of equal rank), full house (three of a kind plus a pair) and flush (five cards of the same suit). The worst hands are three-of-a-kind and two pairs. In most video poker games with wild cards, an A and a K are considered as low as a pair of jacks or lower face cards but sometimes a pair of tens is also considered winning.
The wild card is a special playing card that can stand in for any other card in the deck, and it is usually used in poker games. For example, if you have two Kings, two Fives and a Joker, the Joker may stand in for a King. In this case, you will get a Full House instead of Two Pairs.
Although Jokers are typically wild, other cards can be wilds in video poker. For example, all four Twos can be used as wild cards in one variation called Deuces Wild. In another popular version called Joker Poker, one Joker is added to the deck and it serves as a wild card. In Double Joker Poker, you have two Jokers–two wilds!
In most video poker games with wild cards, the Jacks or Better and Two Pair hands are not paid out. This is because the chance of getting a winning set of cards is greater with wilds. To balance this out, the lowest two ranking hands are eliminated, but there are exceptions to this rule. Some games have both a Natural Royal Flush and a Wild Royal Flush–the Natural Royal Flush is formed with non-wild cards and is always the strongest hand; the Wild Royal Flush is formed with one or more wild cards and is always the highest paying hand.
Random Number Generator
To play video poker and maximize your odds of winning, it helps to understand how the game works. There are a few myths about video poker, including the idea that machines and virtual games are preprogrammed to pay out jackpots once in six months or once per 100,000 rounds. This isn’t true. Also, there is no automated shuffling of cards in video poker either–players shuffle them manually before each hand. These misconceptions can lead players to make wrong decisions while playing.
Video poker and slot machines are extremely popular games at virtual casinos. All of these games are created using Random Number Generator technology, which is a complex computer algorithm that creates random numbers. These numbers dictate which cards will be dealt, and in what order on the screen. The RNG technology is used for many other applications as well, such as computer simulations and statistical sampling.
The benefit of RNG-powered video poker games is that the odds are always the same. You can win the jackpot two times in a row, although this is unlikely. It’s also possible to play Jacks or Better for weeks without ever getting a Royal Flush. Or, you may hit a high paying hand on your first attempt at the game.
Video Poker History
In the 1970s, video poker appeared in Las Vegas. At first it was played on machines that resembled slot machines, but over time, players developed strategies that helped them win more often. With the arrival of online casinos, video poker became available to everyone and even those who had never been in a casino before could play. The virtual nature of online games made it easy to transfer them to the internet, where developers created different versions of the game to keep players interested.
Video poker has become a popular option for online gamblers, who enjoy the freedom to play at their own pace while they are at home. Unlike with live poker games, players do not feel intimidated or stressed in video poker. The game is easy to play and you don’t have to worry about going up against a dealer or other gamblers–you’re playing against a computer. You can control the pace of play and place bets as you like; your actions can help influence how well you do in the long run! Video poker is also known for having one of the lowest house edges among casino games: winnings can be high if you play smartly!
Pay Tables and Expected Return
Before you play for real money on any video poker game, it’s essential to check out the pay table. This chart shows you all possible winning hands and their respective payouts. Pay tables vary from one variation of video poker to another, but they’re all based on the pay table used by Jacks or Better.
When a player is dealt a pair of Jacks, this hand is called the lowest paying hand and its payout is evenly distributed among all players. The payout for next best hand, Two Pair, is twice the size of the bet; while for Three of a Kind and Straight, it is 3 and 4 times the size of the bet, respectively. The payouts for next two hands are very important and should be checked before starting to play a particular game variation, as they are indicative of whether that particular game variation is good or not. When Flush pays out 6 times the size of a bet and Full House – 9 times, this variation is referred to as a “Full-Pay” game. These variations are also known as 9/6 games because they offer high returns on investment (ROI). However most video poker variations offer lower payouts for these hands; so beginners should try to stick to only full-pay games.
In the Jacks or Better pay table, the payout for a Royal Flush is 1000 times larger than your bet when you play with one coin, but it becomes 4000 times larger when you play with five coins. This means it is more advantageous to play with higher stakes if you are aiming for the jackpot.
The expected return is the average theoretical return of placed bets in each game, or what percentage of your bets you can expect to win back in the long run. For instance, if you wager $100 on a game with an RTP of 95%, you can expect eventually to win $95. The percentage displayed as “Return To Player” (RTP) shows whether you can generate regular earnings by playing a particular video poker variation.
To achieve the average potential return, you must employ a perfect strategy with minimum mistakes and play a large number of rounds.
Although the payouts for video poker are not as high as they are in other casino games, they generally have a high return, compared to most. The average payout for blackjack is 99.5%, while slot machines vary in their returns from 80% for land-based casinos to 98% online. Bingo games and lotteries have far lower returns than other gambling options; however, millions of people play these games regularly.
Single-Hand and Multi-Hand Video Poker Games
In classic video poker, players bet on a single hand dealt by the computer but in recent years, multi-hand variations have become very popular. They allow you to play 5, 10 or up to 100 hands simultaneously, which spices up the game and makes it much more intriguing. When you start the game, you choose which cards you wish to hold and then push Deal/Draw – just like in regular video poker. In this case though, instead of receiving one set of new cards, you are presented with multiple hands where your original cards remain in their positions.
Multi-hand video poker allows you to play multiple hands at the same time. The bet you place is multiplied by the number of hands you are playing, so each round, you will be required to bet much more. For instance, if you playing with 1 coin on a 100-hand game, the bet per single round will be 100 coins.
Popular Video Poker Variations
When video poker first appeared in casinos, players could choose from a couple of variations of the game. Today, brick-and-mortar and online casinos offer many different versions of video poker that appeal to various types of players. Some games feature wild cards, others come with extra payouts for certain hands.
There are also a number of versions of poker, including some with extra features. Double Up is a feature where players can choose to risk their winnings from the previous round on a second chance to win more. If they guess correctly, their winnings for that round are doubled. If they guess incorrectly, they lose everything from that round. Progressive jackpots are usually only paid out if you bet max coins and hit a strong hand (usually a Royal Flush).
Jacks or Better
Jacks or Better is the most popular video poker game in the world. It’s simple and basic, but there are also many other versions of the game with different payouts. For example, a popular variation of Jacks or Better is 8/5 Jacks or Better. The average return percentage for this game is 95 percent.
Video poker games with wild cards are very popular. Deuces Wild is one of the most common variations and it allows you to substitute any card in your hand with a Deuce, which is usually represented by the Two of Spades. The full-pay version of this game has a return of 100.76%, but unfortunately, it is rarely offered at casinos. Low-pay versions have an RTP of around 98%-99%.
The lowest combination that qualifies for a winning hand in most variations of poker is Three of a Kind. In some, however, it is Four Deuces (four cards all with the same value and one Deuce). And in others it is Five of Kind (four cards with the same value and one card that is not).
Aces are wild in All Aces video poker, a game that can be found in many casinos online. It is similar to Jacks or Better in structure, but it has one major difference: all four of a kind hands pay out 400 times the bet. If the four of a kind consists of twos, threes or fours, it will pay out 100 times the bet; if it’s formed by fives through kings, it pays 50 times. Two pair hands pay out the same as they do in Jacks or Better–equal to the amount wagered.
Tens or Better
Tens or Better is an easy game for beginners, because the payouts are smaller than in most casino games. However, you’ll win more often because the lowest winning hand is a pair of Tens or higher. The Full House and Flush hands pay out 6 and 5 times what you bet on them. There are several versions of the game with slightly different pay tables, but usually those two hands pay out 6 and 5 times your bet.
The game has a gamble feature that is triggered after a win. You can choose to double your winnings by playing the Double button, or collect them by pressing Collect and go back to the game. If you gamble, you will be given five cards; one of them face up. You must pick a card from the other four cards–one with a higher value than the face-up card. If you guess right, your winnings will be doubled; if not, you will lose whatever you just won.”
Progressive Video Poker
Some video poker games offer progressive jackpots for getting a Royal Flush with a max coin bet. These games are linked together, so if one of them hits, the others increase their payouts too. And if you hit the jackpot from any of the networked games, you’ll win a lot more than 100% back!
Some progressive video poker games will give you the jackpot even if you don’t get a Royal Flush.
Video poker is not as popular as slots, but all large casino software developers have created their own versions of the game. Some gaming studios focus on providing players with variety, others are dedicated to bringing them only high-quality games with beautiful graphics and plenty of bonuses.
International Game Technology introduced video poker to the world in the 1970s and has been the leading supplier of the game ever since.
Today, IGT is the largest manufacturer of slot machines while its virtual games continue to be some of the best on the market. Although IGT’s collection of video poker games is not as large as we would imagine, the studio has covered all popular variations – Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, Bonus Poker, etc.
Playtech was founded in 1999 in Estonia. The company’s first casino game was launched two years later and featured a slot machine called “Monte Carlo”. Since then, Playtech has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of gaming software solutions for the online casino industry.
Playtech’s video poker games are among the most visually appealing casino titles ever created. Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, and Deuces Wild are some of the company’s most successful titles; All American and Joker Poker are also popular among players.
Microgaming is a leader in the design of casino software, with over 20 years of experience in this industry and a library of games that includes video poker.
Microgaming offers a wide range of video poker games, including several progressive jackpot titles. These are available in download and instant play formats, as well as Flash versions that work on Mac and PC. The studio also has several multi-hand variations of popular poker games like Tens or Better, Bonus Deuces Wild, etc.
NetEnt is one of the most successful providers of online casino games, and it has been a pioneer in the industry since it was founded in 2002. The company offers some of the most advanced slots, virtual and live table games.
NetEnt has a variety of online slots, including classic Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. The company also offers several multi-hand variations with RTP percentages of over 97.95%.