Online video poker allows you to learn and grow at your own pace. Another, more experienced player isn’t going to bluff you, and you needn’t worry about giving off any telltale signs. In addition, in most cash-based games, you are not playing the house.
• Play in the comfort of your home or on the go
• Bets can be pennies per hand
• Games typically offer bonus rounds
• No distraction
• Save time because hands complete and start quickly
Video Poker Games
• Texas Hold ‘em
• 7-Card Stud
Most online games revolve around 5-Card Stud, more specifically variations of Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. Jacks or Better Video Poker from Net Entertainment gets a nod from savvy video poker players because their games offer you a relaxed learning environment and the basic skill set you can apply to every variation of video poker on the market today. A popular alternative is Bonus Deuces Wild Video Poker by Realtime Gaming.
Video Poker – How to Win and How it Works
Online Video Poker Guide and Tips
Know your hand and its perceived value based on your game. Study that chart and commit it to your memory before you place a bet. This is another reason why you should learn on one or two games, preferably with exact or similar pay charts and hand values.
How to Play Video 5-Card Stud Poker
1. The dealer gives you five cards, face turned up
2. Review your cards against the game’s hands list (each game will have their own)
3. Keep the cards you want and tap hold
4. Deal/Draw to replace any cards you tossed out
5. If your hand is a winner, the casino or game pays out
6. Play another hand
This is a bare bones gist of video poker. Depending on the game, it can offer bonus rounds, like double or nothing, or another variable offering a higher payout. Pay tables or qualifying winning hands can vary too, such as not winning with just a high card or any pair. Many games require a pair of jacks or higher. Other games use wild cards. This is why it’s important to read how to win on each site or within each game.
• Avoid short pay games that have low payout tables
• Full pay games typically have a pay rate close to 100%
• Kickers, a table poker term, don’t matter in video poker
• Understand card values and terms
Strategy and Odds
Strategy begins with your initial draw.
What to hold:
• Pairs of Jacks or higher
• Royal Flush
• Straight Flush
• Full House
In most online video poker games, the above hands will be automatic wins. Now strategy comes to play mostly with a 3-of-a-kind. You’ll want to discard two cards in hopes of achieving a Full House. However, you could improve your hand with a 4-of-a-kind too. The same applies to any high value pairs; keep the face cards and discard the rest.
A Straight Flush is trickier to achieve if your hand contains mostly face cards. You have to choose between keeping your hand and tossing your non-face card in hopes of drawing the right card. Keep in mind that the Royal Flush is the highest paying hand in video poker, but you’re gambling a lesser win on slim odds. Whether you go for it is entirely up to you.
What to toss:
• Twos, unless part of a straight
• Your entire hand if you have nothing high
• If you’ve drawn 1 high card, toss 4 cards
• If you’ve drawn 2 high cards, toss 3 cards
Odds will vary between games and your initial hand. You might hear words like cycle, which refers to the unofficial odds on how many hands it takes before a Royal Flush, which is 30,000 played hands; however, this doesn’t mean your 30,000th hand will be a Royal Flush.
Betting strategies come a dime a dozen, with most saying bet the max. Once you’ve learned the ropes, yes, you should certainly follow this advice. However, if you’re learning, smaller bets will have less impact on your bankroll and allow you to play more games, thus improving your game strategy. This doesn’t mean you must bet the minimum, but you should keep your bankroll in mind more than your odds of drawing a Royal Flush. Never bet more than you can afford, set personal limits, and learn when to quit while you’re ahead too.
Famous Wins and Players
While casual players can still win big, some pros make a living from video poker with amazing success. Chris Moorman, for example, recently crossed the $15 million in total winnings threshold. His tournament winnings equaled $16,929, which began with a $500 buy-in. In the same tournament, after five hours of competition, 10 other players also won thousands in cash from the prize pool.