Let’s Play Video Poker Online
The video poker machines were born in the 1970s and quickly attracted plenty of gamblers for a number of reasons The blend between the popular poker game 5 Card Draw and the visual appeal of arcade games contribute to a unique experience. On top of that, video poker is one of the casino games with the lowest house edge. This is the reason almost any online casino nowadays offer at least a couple of variations of this popular game.
What Do You Need To Know About The Rules?
There are plenty of different video poker variations, but the basic rules are usually similar. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and sometimes there are jokers included. Each round starts when the player is dealt 5 cards. Similarly to 5 card draw poker, he can decide to keep or replace each of them. For each card replaced, a new one is dealt. The main target is to get the best possible combination. Here are the winning hands in video poker, from the weakest to the strongest:
- One pair – two matching cards of the same rank. In most video poker games it’s not a winning combination and in others they have to be at least jacks to count;
- Two pair – two separate pairs of cards of the same ranks;
- Three of a kind – three matching cards of the same rank;
- Straight – five cards in a sequence (of different suits);
- Flush – five cards of the same suit (not in a sequence);
- Full house – three of a kind and a pair;
- Four of a kind – four matching cards of the same rank;
- Straight flush – five cards of the same suit in a sequence;
- Royal flush – Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace of the same suit.
The return of each combination depends on the specific video poker variation. Usually, the pairs will return your initial stake and the Royal flush could bring you a more than 2000x win.
The power of the wilds in video poker
One of the biggest differences in video poker compared to the classic 5 Card Draw is the wild. It could be the joker or the deuce in most variations, or some other card. The wild can be used as any other card in the deck to complete a winning combo. For example, if you have one pair and a wild, your final hand is three of a kind.
Because of the wild, there are a couple of special hands that are part of some video poker games:
- Five of a kind: four matching cards of the same rank + a wild;
- Royal flush with a wild: 4 cards from the Royal flush combo and a wild. It usually pays less than a natural Royal flush, but the reward is still huge;
- Four wilds: if you hit 4 wilds, the prize is usually bigger than the normal four of a kind.
What To Look For When Picking An Online Casino For Video Poker?
There are a couple of things you need to know if you want to play video poker online:
- What variations are available? – check how many video poker machines are offered for a couple of reasons. You need to find an option with a low house edge. Also, it’s good to switch between the different video poker games so it doesn’t get too boring;
- How much do video poker games contribute to the opening bonus? – most online casinos won’t even count wagers on video poker towards the wagering requirement of their opening bonus. If you want to get a bonus, check if you can clear it by playing video poker first;
- Are there any special promos for video poker? – that’s rarely the case because of the low house edge, but some casinos do offer the occasional promo for fans of this particular game;
- Is video poker available on the go? – playing on mobile is a common thing nowadays and you want your online casino to provide at least a couple of video poker games on the go.
Obviously, some online casinos offering video poker are better than others. Use the criteria above to find the one that suits you best.
What Are The Most Popular Variations?
There are probably hundreds of variations of video poker online. Here are the most popular among them:
- Deuces Wild: as the name suggests, deuces are the wild symbol in this particular variation. A single pair is not a winning combination, but the house edge is still very low thanks to deuces;
- Jacks or Better: there are no wild cards in Jacks or Better. However, this is one of the few video poker variations that will pay if you hit a pair of Jacks or higher. As a result, the margin of the casino is among the lowest;
- All American: the gameplay in All American is exactly the same as in Jacks or Better. The difference comes in the payout table. In this particular variation of video poker, the higher ranked combinations will bring you much larger prizes. However, the rest pay less compared to Jacks or Better. The house edge in both is above 99.2%, but the distribution of the rewards is different.
Our Final Verdict On Video Poker
Online video poker is one of the best options for casino players for a number of reasons. It is an entertaining game that combines the thrill of slots and arcades with strategy and decision-making. On top of that, video poker online is one of the games with the lowest house edge. If you pick the right operator, you could beat the odds and become a long-term winner.