How to Play Video Poker

June 5th, 2010

The basics

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Video poker is based on draw poker, and allows you to play anything from one hand at a time to fifty. Whilst playing fifty hands of poker at once may sound daunting, it is actually very simple.

The basic idea is to get the best poker hand that you can. The majority of video pokers have a ‘minimum’ hand strength of a pair of Jacks or better, but it is worth checking out the requirements for the particular game that you are playing. It is also worth checking out whether the machine you are playing on has any wild cards or a progressive jackpot, as these can lead to some major payouts!

Single hand video poker

Single hand video poker is a good place to start if you want to learn how to play video poker. Jackpotjoy has a great selection on video poker machines, and the Jacks or Better game is a great machine to start playing. It is a single line game, but also has seperate progressive jackpot that often reaches many thousands of dollars. To hit the jackpot, you need to hit a Royal Flush.

To play a single line video poker, you need to firstly choose what amount you are betting. Most single line video pokers vary fom $0.05 up to $5, but it is worth checking on the machine that you are plaing. All machines also let you bet more than one coin – usually up to a maximum of five. This means that you are able to wager up to $25 per go on most single line video pokers.

Once you have decided what amount you wish to bet, you should hit the ‘Deal’ button, or, if you want to bet the maximum, hit the ‘Bet Max’ button. 5 cards will be dealt to you. If you are dealt a winning combination, then the game will automatically hold the winning combination. If you want to hold any other cards, just click on them. You will then have to press ‘Deal’ again. This will deal a new card for every card that has not been held. Whatever is dealt out now will form you winnng combination.

If you win, you also have the option to double, double half or collect your winnings. If you choose to double or double half, then one card will automatically be selected. You will then have to choose from four other cards in the hope that the card you choose has a higher value than the exposed card. If you win, you get double your bet. If you loose, then you loose you bet. If you draw, then you are offered the options double, double half or collect again.

Multi hand video poker

Multi hand video poker operates on the same principles as single hand Video poker. Once you have chosen the bet and the amount of coins you want to bet, click the ‘Deal’ button. This will cause 5 cards to be dealt, the same as on single hand. Again, if a winning combination is dealt, the winning cards will automatically be held. If you wish to hold any other cards, then you should select them. Then, press ‘Deal’ again. This will cause not only the hand infront of you to be dealt, but up to 50 others.

Double, double half, collect

As mentioned above, when you win on video poker, you are offered a choice of doubling, doubling half or collecting your win.

Double – Try and double your winnings by choosing the winning card

Double half – Bank half of your winnings, and try to double the other half by choosing the winning card

Collect – Bank your winnings

Luck or skill?

Video poker is a game of both luck and skill, and many players like to develop their own strategies to suit their style of play. We have the following tips though to help you on your way!

1) Take your time. Think about all of the different outcomes and possibilities on every game. There is no time limit, and no one to tell you to hurry up.

2) Aces are not the best cards to get – Jacks are, so hold them over any other cards if you can. This is because you get the same payout for two Jacks as you do two Aces, but the jacks give you a much higher chance of catching a straight, or even a royal flush.

3) There are dozenss of different machinces to choose from – make sure that you learn the payouts for each one to make sure youare getting the best return for your bet!

4) Never hold any single card if you are holding a pair. It reduces the return on the bet by over 5%

5) If there is a jackpot for a royal flush, hold any combination of three or more cards that could produce a royal flush – even if it means discarding lower wins.

6) Never draw 5 cards if you have a jack or better showing – always hold it.

The best way to learn to play is of course to have a go at playing for free at an online casino.