How to Win in Video Poker
The roots of video poker dates back to the 1970s when an idea to correlate a television screen to a processing unit was formed. It was at the same time personal computers were being introduced. In the late 70s, video poker evolved through a notable brand name. Video poker machines were added to casinos in the 1980s, and fans flocked to the machines, which they considered less intimidating than the tables. Plus, the machines offered better odds. Casinos have long caught up to the odds, issuing 25-cent and higher machines, and slicing payouts.
Video poker is extremely similar to table poker. The player feeds the machine money, and then presses “deal.” After receiving the cards, the player can discard for new cards from the same deck. If the player’s hand matches one of the machine’s winning combinations, the machine pays out, using the pay table. Pay tables figure the payouts. The minimum winning hand could be a pair of Jacks. The pay table moves on to other winning combinations, such as three of a kind, straights and flushes. Full houses, four pair and royal flushes are included on the pay table, just like casino table poker. Video poker is also a game that wins players progressive jackpots, which is for the higher rollers.
Video Poker Variants
Variations of video poker may entice faithful table poker gamers. In one game, twos are wild. A player holding four aces and a two pays out well. The game is labeled with words like bonus, double or triple. Those who are quick thinkers may prefer multi-play poker where players start with base hands, but draw from different decks each time. Names of multi-play poker games always have a number in front of them. For example, players can choose from five, 10 or 50-play games. The multi-play even reaches 100. A little video poker trivia is one player could sit through a total of 500 hands before receiving four aces, and 100,000 hands before nailing a royal flush, the highest payout. The trivia applies if wild cards are not used.
Contemporary video poker games were known as “Full Pay” and “Short Pay.” As video poker progresses, different games pay higher than full pay. Payback percentages are based on the long term predicted value of the original wager. If a game is perfectly played, the payback percentage is 99 percent. Games do have a payback percentage of 100 percent or more. Jacks or Better, in full pay mode, uses a 99.54 payback percentage. But, don’t depend on the casinos to let its players know where to find the Full Pay machines. Casinos want the players to find that out for themselves. Specific hands pay more than others, just like casino poker. The secret is in the bets. For players who are dealt a virtual royal flush on the maximum bet of five coins, called credits, can expect to win more than players who bet three coins.
One of the most common poker games is Jacks or Better. It’s also called Draw Poker. A pair of Jacks begins the payout. A full house pays out at nine credits. A flush is six. In Jacks or Better, the Royal Flush is the highest at 4,000 credits with a five-coin bet. A straight flush comes next with 250 credits. The straight flush is followed by four-of-a-kind, and full house. The payback percentage on these games ranges from 98.4 percent to 99.5 percent. Tens or Better is also a video poker variation. Wins begin with a pair of 10s, and this game pays out more for full houses and flushes. Deuces Wild lets players substitute tows for any card. Four-of-a-kind hands payout nearly 50 percent. On average, a player is dealt four-of-a-kind every 15 hands. The payback percentage in Deuces Wild exceeds 100 percent.
Strategy in Video Poker Games
In Deuces Wild, players want hands like the natural royal flush, four deuces, five-of-a-kind and the wild royal flush. Natural royal flushes stand on their own without a wild card. Wild royal flushes include a deuce or deuces. Video versions may offer bonus poker games in which payouts are higher for hands other than royal flushes. There are many bonus poker games, and double bonus games. Payouts are accompanied by bonuses, and the payback percentages are much higher. The double bonus games are more of a challenge. Then there are the double-double bonus games. These video poker games make it possible to win on certain four-of-a-kind hands. For example, a player could win 2,000 credits on a five-coin bet for holding four aces with a two, three or four. Four fives is also a winning hand.
The outcomes of video poker games are unique because they are determined by the players. Once the deal button is pushed, players have 32 ways to play their hands. Players need to think about which way is the best. Video poker tips say it is possible to figure out the best way on computers because the machines are able to mathematically analyze the 32 ways. Players need to know about their resources before they attempt video poker. Strategy charts are a great resource. Once players locate a strategy chart for video poker, they must follow the steps to winning. The first step is a player carefully notes the hand before studying the chart to see if hand matches spots on the chart. If a player held four hearts and two kings, the chart’s match would be under four to a flush or high pair. The player should choose the highest match, and hold on to the cards that match it. Say the player holds four clubs and a nine of spades. The four clubs are seven, eight, 10 and a jack.
The obvious hand is a straight. Four clubs can also make a flush. According to the chart, the straight is higher than the flush, so the player should choose the straight. The royal flush, as expected, has the highest expected return. The nine of spades is of some significance because if it were a club, the player’s hand would be a straight flush. This is called four to a straight flush. If the player wants a straight flush, the nine will be discarded in the hopes that a nine of clubs will be dealt. Some strategy charts come within an accuracy of 0.1 percent, which is close to perfect. Predicting wins closer than 0.1 percent is rare, if it exists at all. There are a lot of video poker programs that generate strategy charts for all the virtual games as they apply to the respective pay tables. These may be researched on the internet, and are developed by video poker experts.