Video Poker - Learn to play video poker

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How to play video poker:

 One of the most popular casino games, video poker is also one of the easiest to learn to play. And considering that whether you play video poker at the online casinos or the land based gambling halls, it's always controlled by the computer (hence the name video poker), one really doesn't even have to know how to play the game at all. Just put in the money, push the button and the machine will do all the work for you. Of course, what fun would this be?!?

 Learning the basics of video poker will certainly improve your experience with this great casino game. And it's not all that hard, really. We assume that you already have a basic understanding of how the cards work, i.e. Ace being the highest and Deuces being the lowest, diamonds, spades, etc. So here is how video poker works:

 When you first begin playing video poker you will be dealt five random cards out of a single virtual deck. This is call the first draw. During the first deal you will have the option to select any number of cards to "hold" - from no cards at all to all five cards. You will learn a bit later why would you chose to hold all five cards. Once you have hekd your chosen card, you get the "second draw", i.e. the cards you did not hold will be substituted with random cards. The goal of holding cards during the first deal is to achieve a match comparable to the payouts table in the second draw, which will be show on the video poker machine (whether online or offline casino). Here is an example of a video poker machine. Note the five cards dealt and the payout table displayed above them:

video poker machine layout

You can make the following matches:

  • Jacks or Better - a pair of Jacks or higher cards, i.e. Queens, Kings and Aces. This is truly specific to the video poker machine, as some will offer a payout on tens, while others would do so only on pair of Kings or Aces. The payout is often 1:1, i.e. you get your bet back.
  • Two Pairs - any two pairs.
  • 3 of a kind - pretty self-explanatory, you will get this payout if you get any three cards with the same face value, for example three Kings.
  • Straight - any five cards of consecutive value. For example - 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. The suit of the cards makes no difference, i.e. you can match spades with harts etc.
  • Flush - any five cards of the same suit, but which are not of consecutive value. Example - Ace, Eight, Three, King and Deuce, but all clubs.
  • Full House - the full house consist of a pair and three of a kind. This is a full house - Ace, Ace, King, King, Ace
  • 4 of a kind - four cards of equal face value.
  • Straight Flush - Just like the flush, but the cards must be of consecutive value, except when the highest card is an Ace. If that's the case, that would be:
  • Royal Flush

As one can see, it's pretty simple to play video poker. Draw once, hold card which you believe would be best suited to make one of the payout matches and draw again to substitute and see if you are a winner. To make it more interesting, most online casinos have many variations of video poker, but they all follow the principles outline above. Some USA online casinos even offer multi-hand video poker games in excess of over 100 hands per deal.

Do you want to practice playing video poker? Below we have a free video poker game which you can also play for real money at that online casino. It's great to hone your skills before you decide to play video poker with real money: