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Tips and information about Video Poker

VIDEO POKER GENERAL RULES
Video poker is the fastest growing game in the casino, outstripping even the ubiquitous slot machines. Video poker offers the player the thrill of knowing that his or her strategy at a given game is the determining factor in what edge the casino will have in the long run. In fact, some video poker games are so close that expert strategy can actually give the player the edge. The problem for most players is that there are almost 200 different machines each requiring a discreet set of strategies. At first this statement might seem daunting but in reality video poker players discover which machines they enjoy playing and they tend to stick with those. Thus, you'll hear some players stating that they only play Jacks-or-Better Draw Poker, or Deuces Wild Poker, or Joker Poker. In fact, these three varieties are the most common and the most popular. Of course, within these machine families there are dozens of variations.

Like slot machines, a computer chip containing a Random Number Generator or RNG runs video poker machines. This RNG constantly selects number series that represent card values. Video poker machines are programmed to simulate a 52 or 53 card deck with a random shuffle. Once a card is "dealt" it can't be dealt again until a new game begins. Unlike slots the astute video poker player can know exactly what edge the casino has over him or her by analyzing the payout chart on the front of the machine.

All video poker games will deal out five cards to the player. The player then gets to choose whether he wants to hold or discard one or more cards. Each discarded card will receive another card in exchange. The five-card hand will then be paid off according to the posted schedule.

JACKS OR BETTER
Jacks or Better  is extremely popular because it is easy and quick to play but still contains an element of strategy.

To begin you choose what denomination of coins you wish to use, ranging from 25 cents to $5. You then deposit coins into the machine and bet up to five coins on the hand. Once the cards are dealt you may select which cards to change  in the second deal. After the second deal you are paid out based on the rank of the resulting poker hand.

Jacks or Better  is the classic version, using no wild cards and only one "deck" of cards. The minimum payout hand is a pair of Jacks, hence the name! This game most accurately represents the odds of poker, and gives high payouts for good hands.

Minimum Bet: 25 Cents

Maximum Bet: $ 25

PAYOFF

Rank

Hand

Description of hand

Example

Payoff

1

Royal Flush

A, K, Q, J, 10 of same suit

10S, JS, QS, KS, AS

250:1

2

Straight Flush

Five cards of same suit in sequence

4D, 5D, 6D, 7D, 8D

50:1

3

4 of a kind

Four cards of the same rank

7S, 7C, 7D, 7H

25:1

4

Full House

Three of a kind plus a pair

3D, 3S, 3C, KS, KH

6:1

5

Flush

Five cards of the same suit

3H, 7H, 10H, QH, AH

5:1

6

Straight

Five cards in sequence

5C, 6D, 7C, 8H, 9S

4:1

7

3 of a kind

Three cards of the same rank

JH, JS, JD

3:1

8

2 Pair

Two pairs of different rank

5H, 5S, 9C, 9S

2:1

9

1 Pair

Two cards of the same rank

AS, AD

1:1
Nothing - - - 0

WINNING SYSTEMS
For video poker we will be using the same basic chart and strategy that we use for online blackjack. You will still need to find out how many decks are in use to chart the cards appropriately. Below is an example of a single deck chart:

Card played:
Suit:
A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K
D
      x             x    
C
        x                
H
                x        
S
  x                      

As opposed to online blackjack, which is a strictly by the numbers game, video poker has a few nuances that make it a little more difficult to master, but the potential payouts are faster and larger.

BET THE MAX
Always bet the maximum coins allowed on every hand. If you can not afford to do this on the one dollar online games, then step down to the quarter games first. It is essential to have the max coins played when you finally hit a big hand.

USE YOUR CHART
Take your time, and carefully mark every card that is played on your chart. Knowing what cards are available will help you in making your discard decisions. If you have two Kings and two Fours, for example, but your chart shows you that there are 4 Kings left in a four deck game...but 10 Fours left...throw away the Kings! Go for that 4 of a Kind!

CREATIVE DISCARDING
The online casino video poker games are constructed with complex algorithms that make sure that each shuffle of the deck is a random deal, but to also make sure not to pay out more than it has taken in. To accomplish this the online casinos take advantage of the fact that most people play video poker in the same way that they play regular poker. They will keep mediocre paying hands (such as two pair) because they were taught to do so...but think it through logically. The best that two pair can get you is a full house, which at best pays 15-1. The online casinos will gladly payout full houses all day, don't fall into that trap! Go for the JACKPOT hands every time. Throw away one of those two pairs and go for four of a kind. Every time you draw cards you should be trying to draw into: Four of a kind, Straight Flush, or Royal Flush. It is this creative discarding that will beat the sly algorithms that are expecting you to play differently.

ADVANCED SYSTEMS
Hold any pair, high or low, rather than keeping one or two high cards, even if they are suited.

Don't be tempted to hold two high cards, even if they are suited and connected

If you don't have a pair, hold any card above a Ten to a maximum of two.

If you have three high cards, hold only two, and hold the lower of the high cards because you have a better chance of making a straight.

If the two of the three high cards are suited, only hold the suited cards.

Keep all five cards in a straight rather than discard to go for the straight flush

Keep all five cards in a flush rather than discard to go for the straight flush.

Break up a straight to go for a royal flush.

Break up a flush to go for a royal flush.

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