The Rules of Video Poker

A New Game

The first time you see a video poker machine it will be easy to mistake it for another variation on the ever present slot machine. While outward appearances are similar video poker and slots are very different games. When you play a slot machine you are in a game of chance. There is no real skill involved. Video poker, like regular poker, involves a good deal of skill. The one real similarity between video poker and regular poker is the hand ranking system. This remains the same no matter what machine or what casino you play in. The first thing you need to understand is this ranking system. If you are already a regular poker player you will have an advantage. Even within the ranking system there are differences.

The Differences

In regular poker for instance if two players each have a pair the winner will be determined by the level of the cards. Aces of course beat any other pair. In video poker, since there are only two players, you and the dealer, a pair is simply counted as a pair. You will no longer need to hold on to a "kicker" card. All wins are based on the pay table, which uses the ranking system to determine who won. Also since it is just you and the machine you will be paid according to the ranking of your hand as opposed to the dealers. It is not necessary to bluff either. The machine plays a steady game and nothing you can do will affect how it plays. Obviously having some video poker tips will help you along here.

There are two types of video poker machines. A regular machine will deal a five card hand from a standard 52 card deck. A bonus machine will usually add cards, changing the odds of getting certain hands and giving both the player and the machine many more possibilities to consider. If you are not familiar with the poker hand ranking it is as follows:

  • If you are playing in a game that includes wild cards it is possible to get five of a kind. This hand beats any other hand.
  • A Royal Straight Flush is considered to be a ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, of the same suit.
  • With a Straight flush you are allowed to have one or more none face cards, in order, and they must all be of the same suit.
  • The next highest had is Four of a Kind.
  • A full house is considered to be two of one card (two kings for instance) and three of another (three sevens for example) making up your five card hand.
  • Next in the ranking is the Flush. This is five cards, any order, of the same suit.
  • Three of a kind is next.
  • Two pairs of any suits follow three of a kind
  • Finally a single pair is at the bottom. In some games you are required to have at least a pair of Jacks at least to be able to bet.

The Play and Pay Table

When you are dealt you five cards you can choose to stay pat or exchange any combination of your cards for new cards. This is done by selecting either "Hold" or "Deal" buttons.

The pay table pays different odds, depending on how many coins you put in or how much you bet. It usually ranges anywhere from 1-6 coins and the difference between them can be as high as six to one. Always follow the reliable video poker tips.

Finding the Best
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