Video Poker For Texas Holdem Players – Is It Worth Trying?
Many poker players aren’t particularly keen on playing slots, but video poker just might be an exception, and there are a couple of reasons for it.
First of all, this is a game where you actually make decisions rather than just randomly spinning the wheel, so it surely adds some appeal.
On top of that, the payout % is one of the best compared to other games. It means you will be able to enjoy the game much longer and have more fun at the same time.
All in all, if you take video poker for what it is – an entertaining game, I think it can bring you some good time, and you might enjoy it.
However, you should not blindly jump to this game without knowing the most important things, and this is where this article comes into play. I will give you some tips and guidelines that will help you make video poker experience even more enjoyable.
Choose the right game
Not all video poker casino games are equally good for the player, so you should pick wisely.
Depending on the payout structure, some games can give you very poor odds, so it is worth spending some time to realize the actual offer.
Of course, Jacks or Better is probably the most popular game and one that you can use as your starting point.
It is a basic game, where you have no wild cards and only one drawing round, so it makes everything much easier and leaves less room for mistakes. On top of that, it has around 99,5% payout, so you surely won't be losing your money fast.
As the name suggests, you will get paid when you make a hand with a pair of Jacks or a better holding after drawing, so again, not much room to confuse something and make mistakes, which makes this game perfect if you are starting.
Learn how to play it
Video poker rules are not too hard to learn if you played any poker format. It has standard poker hand rankings, so even if you are not an expert in this game, you can quickly get a hold of what means what.
However, it is important to understand that you will not be playing a game with community cards and different betting rounds. Instead, video poker games are playing in the form of “draw poker.” More specifically, 5 Card Draw.
When the hand is dealt, you get 5 cards and can choose which ones to keep and which ones to discard to make the best possible combination.
When the hand is finished, you will be paid depending on your hand strength according to the “Payout Table” and the number of chips you bet. As simple as that.
You do not need to bluff, learn when to raise or other moves so you can relax and enjoy the game. Thanks to its simplicity, video poker can give you good entertainment after the hard day without any need to make complex decisions.
Compare the payout structure
Here is a standard video poker payout table, so let’s take a look at the numbers.
As you see, here you get 6 to 1 to your bet when hitting a flush and 9 to 1 for a full-house.
While other payouts usually stay the same in various games, some slots like to pay 5 to 1 for a flush instead of 6 and 8 instead of 9 for the full-house.
While this does not look like a huge difference, it actually is, and this massively increases house edge over you.
So if possible, you always should be looking for higher payouts of 9 to 1 and 6 to 1 when you choose to play video poker, or you will be simply leaving money at the table.
Always bet the maximum
Video poker has a specific payout, which always rewards betting the maximum coins. Even if the payout for all other hands except Royal Flush is equal, the bonus for making the best possible hand makes betting 5 coins the most profitable play.
Let’s take an example. If you hit Royal flush betting from 1 to 4 coins per hand, your bet will be multiplied by 200 or 250 depending on the game, but if you play 5 coin game, you are likely to get 1:800 multiplier, meaning you will get 4000 coins when you get it.
Of course, you will not be hitting this hand a lot, but once you do, you want to make the most out of it. This thing alone will decrease the house edge, so it is not a myth but a valid strategy to use.
Take advantage of bonus offers
Most land-based and online casinos offer some kind of bonuses for players looking to gamble, so it is important to take advantage of that extra edge.
It can even turn the odds in your favor by either offering some kind of cashback, rewards for time spent playing, and even free meals.
So if you are playing in a live venue, make sure to insert your bonus card when you start playing so that the casino could give you proper rewards. All of this is much easier in the online world, and most of the time, everything is tracked automatically, so you only need to choose where to play.
Manage your money
While everyone playing Texas Holdem knows how important proper bankroll management is, the same can be said about video poker.
Of course, playing video poker, you will not encounter nearly close to as big swings as in traditional Texas Holdem game, yet you still have to know the numbers.
If we assume you are playing a solid strategy, you can expect the casino edge to be lower than 1%. It means that every time you bet $100, you will lose 1$ to a casino. However, that is your long term expectation, and it does not mean you can’t lose your $100.
So to make sure you reach that long run and avoid going broke on the process, you should have a healthy bankroll. Moreover, if you are often playing, there are a couple of rules that will help you:
- Have a separate bankroll for gambling from your everyday cash
- Set win/loss limits – how much you can spend in one sitting
- Do not spend a bit portion of your bankroll in very unfavorable games
- Keep track of your winnings and loses over time so that you can see the actual result when you want it
Summary – Playing Video Poker Games
If you consider all of these tips, I am sure you will be able to have a pleasant experience trying video poker games.
Of course, you should not expect to win in the long-run cause these games are made to earn money for the casino, and you will not be able to beat the math behind it.
But sure enough, you can get lucky and take down the jackpot, so why not try it?
After all, if you are only going to lose 1% of your bets, you can enjoy this game by spending only a couple of bucks per hour, so not that big of a risk if you ask me.