Table games can be intimidating because they are normally full of other players who know what they’re doing. Slot-based games can be discouraging because the house holds an edge on them, and there is little skill involved. So where do people turn when they don’t have the knowledge to play tables games, yet want a machine game that requires some skill? Enter video poker….
Video poker combines the best elements of both table and slot-based games into something where skilled players can actually make money over time. Many people have come to realize video poker is their game of choice as evidenced by the fact that well over 100 different variations of the game exist today. Here is a look at what you need to know to get started in this extremely popular game.
Those who are familiar with draw poker should have no trouble with video poker. If you haven’t played draw poker before, the game is still pretty easy to learn. A hand starts when the machine deals you five cards, and you have the option to either hold those cards or draw up to five new ones. If you decide to hold certain cards, you need to pick the “hold” option for each desired card. Once you’re finished, you click the “deal” button and this will replace your old cards. Your final hand will determine whether you win money or lose your original bet.
Video Poker Payouts
One very helpful feature of video poker machines is that they provide payout structures so you can see them. There is no uniform payout structure because they are all based on the specific machine you are using. If you’re playing standard video poker, the payout structure will be based on a 52-card deck. On the other hand, a game where jokers are wild would have a 53 or 54-card deck, and also a different payout structure.
Hands are determined by a random number generator, and the probabilities of each hand occurring are set by the casino. These probabilities differ from machine to machine, and from casino to casino. Depending upon where the casino sets the probabilities and payouts, your odds of making money with video poker can vary greatly.
One other thing to keep in mind with regards to payouts is that you will win more money based on the size of your wager. For instance, if you are playing a machine with the maximum bet of 5 coins, instead of one coin, you will earn much more money with a winning hand…..you may even win the jackpot!
Video Poker Jackpots
In addition to the money that’s earned by getting hands listed on the payout charts, the biggest draw to video poker is that you could win a huge jackpot in one hand. In fact, most professional video poker players sit down to their machine with one goal in mind – to win the jackpot.
Of course winning the jackpot isn’t easy because, on average, you will need to play over 25,000 hands before hitting a royal flush. You will also need to be the max amount of money allowed as well, which can get pretty expensive. But when you do get a royal flush, winning the jackpot is well worth it since most of them are worth $10,000 or more!
Video Poker Tips
Since probabilities of winning and payouts differ amongst video poker machines, you must know which ones offer the best odds. And that brings us to the first video poker tip in that you need to seek out machines that provide you with the best chance to win money. In live casinos, most video poker machines will provide a payout table for you under the glass of the machine. Online casinos may also provide their video poker payout information; if you can’t find this info, email the casino and request it.
As far as how you play video poker, your overall goal should be to land the jackpot. This means that you may have to give up small gains at some point in order to take a chance at the jackpot. For instance, if you had a pair of queens (this gives you back an original bet), but you were holding four suited cards, you would want to discard one of the queens to take a chance at a royal flush. Also, make sure that you’re betting the maximum amount of money, which is usually 5 coins. This ensures that you will actually hit the jackpot if you get a royal flush.