Useful & Practical Video Poker Tips For Beginners

Video poker is a popular casino game derived from the game of five-card draw poker. One of the most popular casino games in past decades, it remains just as popular to this day.

The Basic Rules

Though there are many variants of video poker, the most common types operate under a standard set of rules:

  • Five cards are dealt to the player.
  • The player may choose to keep or discard any, or all, of those cards.
  • Any discarded cards are replaced by new cards, ensuring the payer always has five.
  • If the resulting cards contain a winning “hand”, i.e. correct combination of cards, they will win the corresponding prize.

The Hands and Rank

The standard hands of video poker, from highest to lowest in rank and payout, are as follows:

  • Royal Flush – A, K, Q, J, 10, all of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush – Five cards of the same suit in a sequence.
  • Four of a kind – Four cards of the same rank.
  • Full house – Three cards of the same rank + a pair.
  • Flush – Any five cards of the same suit.
  • Straight – Five cards of different suits in a sequence.
  • Three of a kind – Three cards of the same rank.

The following additional hands are available according to common variants of video poker:

  • Two pair – Two pairs of cards of the same rank.
  • Jacks Or Better – A single pair of Jacks.

The ranking of suits in value, from highest to lowest, is as follows:

  • Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs.

The Variants

The most common and popular variants of video poker include Jacks or Better, Joker’s Wild, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, and many others. Though they all follow the same basic rules, each variant has its own unique set of special rules, features, and bonuses. So always be sure to check the rules, features, and paytable before playing.

General Tips & Advice

  • Always Check & Compare The Paytables
    Even though some video poker games may look the same, that doesn’t mean they pay out the same. Compare the paytables to find the one that pays the best.
  • Always Look At The RTP
    Look for the payback percentage of the games, also commonly called RTP, Return-To-Player. The higher it is, the better, i.e. the greater the odds you will have of winning. For an even greater advantage, it is recommended that one at least has a general awareness and understanding of how RTP works.
  • Practice & Training
    A number of free-to-play games and video poker trainer apps are available online and at app stores. These are a great way to learn everything about video poker, and the variants, without having to risk losing your money.
  • Play Responsibly
    Careful and responsible money management is one of the most important and understated factors when it comes to playing any casino game. Set a strict budget and loss limit, and always stick to it, no matter what. Furthermore, always try to pace the frequency of your betting at a reasonable and manageable level.

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