Video poker emerged in the late 1970s at the same time as computer game technology was coming to the fore. This means that video poker machines are closely related to the emergence of classic games like Space Invaders or Pacman. However, video poker was not an instant success, with many casino and poker players wary of the reliability and honesty from a machine version of their favourite game.
In the 1980s though, there was an acceptance over what video poker provided and the game became a staple part of what casinos offer to players. The game appealed to players who enjoyed poker but didn’t like the human interactive element while it also meant that there was always a poker option to play, even if no poker games were taking place at the table. This was an element that was enjoyed by both players and casinos.
As computer technology has evolved and progressed, so has the capabilities of video poker. Even with online casinos and mobile casinos increasing the opportunity to play casino games, video poker remains a game that is very popular amongst casino and poker players.
How to Play Video Poker
When you come to play video poker, you will find that there are single hand video poker games and multiple hand video poker games. The single hand video poker is the more traditional of the two and remains the version that is most popular amongst players. Classic video poker games like Joker Poker, Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild are all famous examples of single hand video poker games.
As the name suggests, these games are played out with one hand. This means that players get 5 cards to play with and construct their hand with. Obviously the individual single hand video poker games have their own individual payoffs so you will want to check each game to see what you are playing for.
The nature of multiple hand video poker games is different but again, the clue to what is on offer can be found in the name. In multiple hand video poker games, you can play more than one hand at the same time. The amount of hands you can play in one game varies and can be any number up to 100! The most common options are 5 hands, 10 hands, 25 hands, 50 hands and 100 hands.
In this style of game, a player receives 5 cards and they select the hold cards from the 5 cards. These hold cards will then be present in every single hand that you play. Understandably, if you get lucky with the initial cards, such as getting two pairs, you are in line for a handsome pay-out over the course of the game. This is down to the fact that every hand you hold will contain these cards.
With respect to odds, there is not a great deal of difference between the two types of games. It is important for players to study the individual pay-out schedules on offer for the different games and then to make up their own mind over which game is best for them. The multiple hand game will pay out at a quicker rate than the single hand game but you should be prepared to burn through your bankroll quicker with this version. It is also important to note that the variance is greater for multiple hand games than it is for single hand games. If you have a bad set of cards in hold, your losses will be larger but if you have a good set of cards in hold, your losses will be larger. This creates a larger variance when playing multiple hand video poker games. If you have a limited bankroll, opting for the single hand game may be of greater benefit than the multiple hand benefit.
Any casino game which provides players with the chance to win a lot of money is going to be popular. Progressive games are extremely popular with players, even though the odds of winning a major prize are slim. The opportunity provided by progressive games are very appealing for players and this is what is on offer with progressive jackpots. With video poker, the progressive jackpot is usually triggered around hitting a Royal Flush but some games have a progressive jackpot based on specific suits.
There are full pay and low pay video poker games to choose from, with some of the most famous poker games being available. Around the world, games like Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild and the various incarnations of Bonus Poker ensure players keen on playing. Jacks or Better also features extensively in the wide range of low pay video poker options.
Video Poker Tips & Strategies
Many of the tips provided to video poker players are common sense strategies. However, one good piece of advice that players should heed is to always bet on the maximum level of coins. This provides players with a higher likelihood of a big pay-out.
While there is no guarantee of success due to players not knowing what cards will be turned over after holding and discarding their original cards, there are strategies to choose which will minimise your losses. There is extensive analysis available to players which details the hold and discard strategy that players should undertake for every single possible hand that has been dealt. Much in the same way that there is a distinct strategy for optimal blackjack play, there are tactics that video poker players should adopt.
With an optimal strategy in place, there are some video poker games, particularly video poker games that have a high progressive jackpot, where a +EV strategy is possible. Games like Jacks or Better, Full Pay Double Joker Poker, Deuces Wild or Double Bonus can all provide players with a positive expected value. There is certainly no guarantee of success from playing video poker games but by being smart and following the recommended tips, players can minimise their losses and enhance their chance of success.