How to play video poker
Video poker comes in many flavors and variations, but most machines are
based simply on the classic poker game of five-card draw. In this situation
you are dealt five random cards from a 52-card deck. Some machines add
a 53rd card in the from of a joker.
You are allowed just one opportunity to improve your hand by "drawing"
cards. This means you get to decide which of your five original cards
you want to keep, and which you want to replace with (or discard for)
other random cards from the deck.
Don't confuse yourself now, when you play video poker it may remind you
of real poker because of the mechanics of five-card draw. The strategies
you employ in each game though have nothing to do with one another. Ranking
of the poker hands is the only further relation.
Random Card Generator?
Instead of trying to beat each player at the table like in real poker,
when you play video poker for profit, you're intent is to beat the pay-table
of the machine you're at. The RNG (Random Number Generator) is not what
dictates the pay-table of a video poker machine, as it does in a slot
machine. Instead, the RNG is used to draw 'random' cards from the deck;
in effect it 'shuffles' the deck for each hand.
This is important to note for anyone who has ever played slot machines.
The payback for each machine is determined by the pay-table and the player's
skill, not by the RNG. Therefore the number of coins you play has no effect
on the payback percentage. Playing 'max coins' does not have the same
meaning as in slots. Each coin simply acts as a multiplier for the payout,
without affecting the percentage. Many players play maximum coins if the
machine only qualifies max coin players for bonus rounds, where payouts
are disproportionately greater.
If you're planning to play video poker in a land-based casino (as opposed
to an online casino, both are possible), the first thing you want to do
when you sit down to play is remember to put in your slots club card.
Part of the profitability of Video Poker comes from the comps you accumulate
To play once you have put your coins in, simply click the deal button
to receive your original five cards. Most machines will indicate if your
original five cards already form a winning hand right away by highlighting
it. Other machines will not automatically hold the cards that are a winning
hand, and you have to choose to hold them yourself.
Choose which cards you want to keep by clicking the hold button below
each card, or on some games simply touch the card. It's important to make
sure the machine you're playing follows this standard. It's uncommon,
but not impossible to come across a machine that offers a 'discard' button
instead of a hold button under each card. Playing online the problem seems
to come up fairly often. Be sure you know if you're holding or throwing
away the cards you click.
The cards you choose to discard are thrown away and replaced with new
random cards, giving you a full set of 5 again. This is your final hand,
and if it's a winner, so are you.