A strategic game, full of bluffs and deception. This is the image that poker conjures up for almost everyone. However, there is also a variant in which these characteristic aspects are totally subordinate: video poker. This straightforward version is all about pure knowledge of the card values. The stronger your final hand is, the higher the profit the casino has to pay out.
In this review, we highlight this simple and fair poker game that you can find at every online casino. If you want to go deeper on video poker advanced strategy, we suggest you visit this page.
History of Video Poker
Video poker is – by far – the “kid on the block” among casino games. Although real poker has a long history, the electronic version of the card game only saw the light of day at the end of the seventies. The direct result of the great popularity that erupted around the ‘big brother’ in the seventies. Especially in American casinos, many tried to play their way to a nice pot at the bright green tables, bluffing or not.
The first real machine on which video poker could be played was developed in 1979 by SIRCOMA: Draw Poker. It quickly proved to be a hit. Not only because it offered seasoned players the chance to polish their skills, but also because it gave newbies the opportunity to practice in peace. That is, to make the first steps into the wonderful world of poker, without any form of intimidation or pressure from opponents.
Due to the success of poker from the 1980s to the present, video poker has also managed to gain a prominent place in many online casinos. If only because the nature of the game is pure, fair and simple: straightforward. No bluff or deception, but knowledge and probability are needed to win as much of the house’s money as possible.
Goal of the online video poker game
Although there are several variants of video poker (see below), everything can be traced back to real poker. The goal is therefore the same as in the popular table game: to take the pot with your (final) hand.
This time, however, it’s not a tough battle at the green table, but rather a personal struggle: you have to remain with as strong a card combination as possible. In video poker, you don’t have to beat another hand, but you are rewarded according to the value of your final hand and the pay table. The stronger your hand, the higher the prize!
How to play video poker
The course of video poker, regardless of the variant, is as simple as the game itself: you place your bet and press the deal/draw button. Next, 5 cards appear on your screen. Based on this starting hand, you choose which cards to keep and which cards to give away, in order to create the best possible hand. Cards you no longer want are replaced with other cards from the deck. Now you hold the final hand, which will be rewarded according to the paytable.
What are video poker card values?
Important for the payout in video poker are the card values, because the profit gets higher the better a hand can be created. For this purpose, how could it be otherwise, use is made of the poker hands. These are ranked according to strength:
Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same kind;
Five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example: hearts 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8;
Four of a kind
Four cards of the same value;
A set of three of the same cards (“three of a kind“) and one pair (two of the same cards);
Five cards of the same suit;
Five consecutive cards;
Three of a kind
Set of three identical cards;
Two pairs with different values. For example: 3/3 & 7/7;
Two cards of the same value.
What are variants of video poker?
In the online casino you will find many different versions of video poker. The most commonly played variants are ‘Jacks or Better‘, ‘Deuces wild’ and ‘Joker Poker’. A brief introduction to these games:
Jacks or Better
The most popular video poker game of all. It is not only simple, since you just follow the conventional poker rules, but also has one of the highest payouts. This is partly due to the fact that an additional hand combination has been added to the aforementioned poker hands: the Jacks or Better, two cards of the same value (minimum Jack) and three other cards;
In this form of video poker, the deuces are used as ‘jokers’. They can therefore replace other cards in order to create a winning hand. If you have a hand with four twos, you’re in the clear;
In this variant, a joker is added to the deck (52 cards). With this wild you can then create an even stronger hand. How about a Five of a kind?
What are the advantages of video poker?
Of course, video poker lacks the atmosphere and the intense battle at the green table, but this is dwarfed by the many advantages that this form of poker offers. Besides the simplicity of the game itself (no opposition, pressure or other factors), it is also a game in which you can easily win money, as long as you are familiar with the basic rules and the strategies used: it is namely the game with the smallest house edge. In fact, you’re more likely to win a big pot in video poker than you are to get a big payout in one of the many slot machines – even with a high payout percentage (“RTP”).
In short, it pays to give video poker a chance. Before you start, however, it is important to find out which variant of this game suits you best. Moreover, we highly recommend checking the RTP per game: this can vary from 97% to sometimes even 100%. So doing a little research beforehand can’t hurt, we thought.
Video poker in the online casino
Video poker is ideal for anyone who enjoys poker: whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned firecracker. As long as you’re familiar with the rules of poker and the card values, pretty little can happen to you. In fact, you can easily and significantly grab some money – due to the low house edge and high RTPs.
However, if you want to get off to a flying start on your poker adventure, we recommend that you choose a reliable and secure online casino, as that’s where you’ll find the most enjoyable game variations of video poker. Moreover, these recognized digital gambling palaces often have a nice welcoming bonus on offer. And say it yourself: what’s better to start with a little extra in your pocket?