How To Practice Video Poker
Last Updated: September 7, 2021
You are probably familiar with a widely spread Texas Holdem game, where you sit at the table and compete with other players, but what about video poker?
Since the time when poker was introduced to the general public, people were always trying to figure out new formats and ways to entertain new players.
Video poker is one of such formats, but instead of competing against other players, you are playing against a machine, hence the name “video poker.”
The gameplay is quite simple. You are given five cards, and then you can choose which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to throw away and replace them with new cards.
Your goal is to make the best possible poker hand combination, and then you get paid based on the payout structure of the video poker machine. There is no need to learn starting hand ranges or advanced strategies to play this game.
All of this sounds very simple, and it is.
If you know how to play the game “5 card draw,” then you already have a good understanding of how to play video poker, and today I want to break down a couple of things that you might want to know.
Video Poker is a Really Popular Game
One of the main reasons why video poker is so popular is because you can actually make decisions that influence the outcome of the game.
If you have some knowledge of the odds in poker, then you will be able to increase your chances of winning by a huge amount.
Casinos have the smallest house edge on video poker compared to other games, so it is one of the best games for the player.
Of course, this only stands true if you know how to play video poker and are making mathematically sound decisions. Knowing which cards to draw can massively increase your chances of winning.
While you may have heard that people have winning systems for playing casino games like roulette, there is no such thing. It’s very much based on chance, and you actually can’t influence the outcome of the game, so you need to know the truth while playing.
It is only normal because casinos are a profit-seeking business, and they need to outset their expenses, so all games are set to rake them a profit.
The same is for video poker, you will not be able to win in the long run, but since the house edge is smaller, you have more chance to have a profitable session compared to other games.
Here are some tips that will help you to practice video poker, and hopefully win more.
Know the Rules
There are so many different poker games out there, and each one has different rules which will govern poker hand rankings and the payout you will get overall.
The most popular video poker games you can find in most casinos are “Jacks or Better” and “Deuces Wild.”
As the name somewhat implies, in Deuces Wild, you will soon find that Deuces count as any card. This means that you will want to hold your two’s when you are choosing which cards you wish to discard.
In Jacks or Better – you will need to make a pair of Jacks or a better hand, as the name suggests, to get a payout.
There are other popular game variations like Double Bonus where you get paid double the amount when compared to four of a kind if you can get four aces, but everything else stays the same.
When you play Joker Poker, you will have a joker added to the mix.
There are many variations, so always make sure to know the rules and odds when you sit down to play a specific game since this will help to avoid costly mistakes like discarding a deuce in “Deuces Wild” and will increase your chance of winning.
If you want some help, then this video poker guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Always Bet Maximum
When you play video poker, you will be given a choice of how much you want to bet on every hand, just like when spinning a slot wheel.
You may have heard that it is better to bet to the max in the slots, as this gives you a chance to win the biggest jackpot, and while this is true in some games, there is a very good reason why you should be betting to the max all the time when playing video poker.
The payout for the best hand is much bigger percentage-wise when you bet the max, so you are essentially decreasing the house edge by doing so.
If you pay attention to the pay tables, then you will know whether or not betting to the max is the best strategy for you. If you are playing video poker and this has a progressive jackpot, then you will need to bet the maximum amount if you want to be able to qualify.
It’s also worth noting that with a lot of video poker games, you will get a bonus payout if you decide to bet the maximum. When you bet the max of 5 coins and then manage to get a royal flush, you may come out with a multiplier of 800 instead of just 250 that you get with smaller bets.
You shouldn’t count on getting a royal flush too often, so just think about it in a way that betting the maximum possible amount is decreasing the house edge, and it will be quite simple to make the right decision.
Don’t Rush When Making Decisions
You may be used to playing specific video slots where you push a button and then see a result. You may then spin again with a moment’s thought, and the cycle repeats itself.
Video poker should certainly not be played in this manner.
You need to take a few minutes to make sure that you are making the right decisions and that you are also aware of which cards you need to hold and which ones you need to discard.
There is no bonus if you play fast in video poker, so you need to be deliberate with the moves you make, and you also need to make sure that you are happy with the over poker strategy.