Video Poker is essentially draw poker but in a slot machine format. After placing a bet players choose to either Hold or Discard from the five cards dealt and get a second deal, or to stand with the dealt hand. It has very quickly become the most popular game of chance amongst casino players in the US. In a recent survey in Las Vegas eighty percent of people questioned said that they regularly played video poker.
There are however some important differences between Video Poker and traditional Table Poker which are worth noting:
1. It’s not possible to bluff
2. There is no need to try and figure out what the hands of the other player’s are.
3. In Video Poker the House/Casino is in the shape of a machine rather than a dealer and their is no attempt by the machine to directly beat you.
4. A good decision in Video Poker may very easily be a bad one for Table Poker., so strategies should be kept separate between the two.
5. You don’t have the risk of another player beating another player with an even better hand. If your hand is strong enough then you win automatically, it’s just a question of how much.
Since the introduction of Video Poker in the beginning of the 1980’s, it has grown into one of the casino’s most popular games. Unlike Table Poker, which is a game played against other players at a poker table, Video Poker is played on your own directly against a machine which uses video technology only to create a Poker hand for you and not against you.
Video Poker is based around classic Five Card Stud, it challenges the player to create the the best possible five-card hand in 2 draws, with new cards being dealt for any discarded ones.
Payoffs differ depending on the hand which the player builds but the payoff starts from as low as a pair of Jacks all the way to a Royal Flush. In the same way as slot machines, Video Poker machines come in a range of denominations, with the 25c and $1 machines being by far the most popular. A lot of casinos also offer progressive payoffs or other bonuses for Royal Flushes and other special hands. Video Poker also comes in differing models including ‘Jacks or Better’,'All American’, ‘Deuces Wild’ and ‘Jokers Wild’.
The rank of the various hands from highest to lowest with common payouts are as follows:
1 . Royal Flush, 250 to 1
2 . Straight Flush, 50 to 1
3 . Four of a Kind, 20 to 1
4 . Full House, 9to 1
5 . Flush, 6to 1
6 . Straight, 4to 1
7 . Three of a Kind, 3 to 1
8 . Two Pair, 2to 1
9 . Jacks or better(A Pair), 1 to 1
Five of a Kind is the highest possible hand but only when using a Joker or Wild Cards.
Note: Las Vegas regulations have a stipulation that the outcome of any hand of Video Poker must not be affected by the actual number of coins played. Therefore if you get a good hand with a one coin bet, you would have been dealt exactly the same hand even if you were playing with a two or more coins bet.
House advantage 3% average