Video Poker is a digital form of Poker that can be played at top American online casinos or land-based casinos. In many ways, Video Poker is a hybrid between the card game and a slot machine, and many poker pros first started playing poker on these machines over the years. Video poker is also a great game to play when a player doesn’t feel like anything too stressful. In video poker, you don’t have to worry about beating other players or the dealer, so it’s a far more relaxing experience. Want to know more about video Poker? You’ve come to the right place.

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Online Poker versus Video Poker

You’ve likely heard these two terms before. Perhaps you thought they were the same game, or perhaps you were confused. Well, this is what makes online Poker and video Poker different. Online Poker can only be played online and is essentially an online version of a regular poker game. Gambler will play against other players and exactly as if they were at a casino or with friends.

Video Poker, on the other hand, can be played at a land-based casino or online. It is a simplified version of the game that sees players trying to make the best hand possible. The end result is then compared to the paytable to determine if they won anything.  As we said, video poker is a sort of hybrid between poker and a slot game.

Keep in mind though, these two terms are not 100% set in stone, and not everyone sticks to this naming convention.

Getting to Know Video Poker

Video Poker is a beloved casino game amongst American players. If you have any experience with poker, you’ll feel right at home. It does have some nice advantages over poker though, which become clear very quickly. Most gamblers have organised a poker night with friends or played at a casino. They know all too well that you can often get lots of bad hands that they don’t want to play with. This can mean sitting around for anywhere from five to 15 minutes, waiting for the round to end before they can try again.

Video poker doesn’t have this problem. It is just the player versus the game. The only goal is to make a hand that appears on the paytable and, just like that, they’ll win some money. On top of this, there are countless versions of video poker available. Some of the most popular include:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Crazy Eights

Each of these versions will have slightly different rules that change the game a little, but they all follow the same basic rules. Almost all forms of video poker will use the 5 Card Stud hand ranking system, so most players should be familiar with that.

The Basics of Video Poker

Top Video Poker America gameplay

Players need to keep in mind that in many versions of Video Poker, simply having a high card in their hand isn’t enough to win some cash. On top of this, a simple pair of cards normally isn’t good enough either, as most video Poker games need a pair of Jacks or better.

Video Poker is really easy to play as well. Players begin the round by placing their bet and clicking on the spin button. Once this is done, they will be dealt five cards, all of them face up. Players can then look through these cards and see what they have and what they’d like to keep.

Players can then select the cards they would like to discard. Once discarded, replacement cards will be dealt. Most Video Poker games allow players to get rid of all five cards if they choose. Once the replacement cards have been issued, the hand will be compared against the pay table to determine if the player has won any money. As we said, most games of Video Poker will require a pair of Jacks or better to start winning money.

Video Poker Tips

The term Video Poker encompasses many different games with slight rule variations. Is there a wild card? What is the minimum hand you need to get paid out? All of these factors will change with different versions of Video Poker. Because of this, there is no single set of rules for players to do well. But, there are enough similarities that we can provide our American readers with some general tips. For the sake of this example, let’s say that you’re playing Jacks or Better, which is one of the most popular versions of Video Poker.

Always remember, players can get rid of any cards that they don’t like, so don’t be afraid to use this. However, how do you know which to keep and which to get rid of? This knowledge comes with time, but here are some general tips. Remember, a pair of Jacks or better, means you’ve already won.

A general rule of thumb is if you have a winning set of cards, always keep those cards. Get rid of the extra cards, and maybe you’ll get lucky and your new cards will make your hand even better. We’d always recommend keeping a 3-of-a-kind, Full House, 4-of-a-kind, Straight Flush, and Royal Flush.  There are very few situations where it is a good idea to sacrifice a sure win in the hopes of something better. An example of this is that if you have a 3-of-a-kind, get rid of the other two cards. It doesn’t matter how good you think those other two cards are; there’s a chance you could turn your hand into a Full House if luck is on your side.

There are some exceptions that you can keep in mind though. Let’s say you’ve got a Flush of Clubs with a 9, J, Q, K, and an Ace. While you could take the win, you might also want to consider getting rid of the 9. You might be able to turn it into a Royal Flush by landing a 10 of Club. But this is totally up to how bold the player wants to be.

Video Poker History

We always think it is a good idea to look back at the history of a game and understand where it came from. Poker has obviously been around in one form or another for a very long time. Video Poker, on the other hand, can trace its origins back to the very early 1900s.

Charles Fey, the inventor of the slot machine, created the first version of Video Poker back in 1901. He took his slot machine and added the draw feature, which allowed players to hold certain reels in place and only spin the others.

Video Poker America History

The first proper Video Poker game was created in 1979 by a man named Si Redd. He was working for Bally at the time and created this new game. However, Bally was heavily invested in slot machines and was unwilling to roll the dice on a different game. He convinced the company to allow him to take the patent with him and start his own company, which was called SIRCOMA. The game was called Draw Poker, and initially, very little interest was generated. However, in the 1980s, its popularity would begin to grow as people found it more relaxing than playing at the tables. SIRCOMA would eventually become the company International Game Technology, IGT, which is still operational today.

Video Poker FAQs

How can I find a good Video Poker game to play?
What types of Video Poker can I expect to find online?
Will I need to download the game?
Does the House still have an advantage?
Will I be able to play for free?
Should I use a Poker strategy?