So, you’ve decided to try one of the most popular games at a casino: video poker. Lucky for you – most real money video poker games can consistently pay over 100 percent of a players’ original investment with the perfect strategy. For this reason, video poker is one of the most regularly lucrative casino games around. No wonder it’s so popular! It’s really a good game for players of all levels, and what’s best is that it’s real easy to learn! Though there are tons of varieties of video poker available, they all operate more or less in the same way.

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While classic poker is a game of observation with compelling social dynamics, with video poker the stakes change because your greatest opponent is yourself! As a beginner, it can be difficult to gauge precisely what style of play is right for you. Once you’ve mastered learning how to think at the moment and react accordingly you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful poker player. This is precisely why video poker might be the perfect game for you. Have you wanted to learn how to play? Or are you simply looking to gain an advantage the next time you decide to hit up a casino or play online? We’ve got what you need. Planet 7 Casino has created this super easy guide to video poker to give you the edge. Join us to learn more!

Basics of video poker

Video Poker StrategyVideo poker was first popularized on the casino floor during the 1970s; and has grown to become one of the most popular forms of gambling worldwide. Whether in bars, casino floors, or online gambling, there are hundreds of varieties of video poker. New players can rest assured however, because all forms of video poker more or less adhere to the guidelines of classic five-card poker, that picking up the game is quick, easy, and fun.

The major difference between video poker and classic poker is that instead of playing other opponents you play a computer/machine. Video poker comes with a low house edge and entices players with the possibility of large wins. In fact, video poker offers some of the best odds in the casino. For those that like anonymity and prefer playing alone, video poker is a good alternative to slot machines because with the right strategy you are about five times more likely to hit a jackpot.

Upon their inception nearly 40 years ago, video poker machines entered casinos across the United States and became regulated by state and independent gaming agencies. The machines are required by law to deal cards in random sequences using a virtual deck of cards and a computer program. The rules were first enforced by the Nevada Gaming Commission and later became adopted nationwide. These rules are now the standard used by gaming authorities throughout the world. Any establishments or online companies that have these machines are subject to rigid tests to ensure complete compliance with legal requirements and fair play before they can be offered to players publicly.

The rules

The rules of video poker are simple. You are dealt five cards randomly, and decide which ones to keep and which to discard simply by clicking/tapping on the video screen. Once your cards have been selected you continue by hitting the draw button. This gives you a set of replacement cards for those cards that you do not wish to keep. Certain hands and combinations of cards similar to those found in standard five-card poker ensure a win. Low hands like pairs in games such as jacks or better pay out less than higher hands like straight flushes or four-of-a-kind. Wagers are generally made by betting from 1-5 credits, and the payout amounts follow according to the type of game you are playing.

Most video poker games are played using the standard 52-card deck model. As an example we’ll use winning hands for Double Bonus Video Poker (no wilds). Most versions use this set up for winning hand combinations, but of course many other popular varieties exist that modify the high and low hands, or add wild cards as well as bonuses for certain hands. Winning hands (from lowest to highest) are as follows:

Jacks or Better – J♠ J♥

Two Pair – 5♠ 5♥ 8♣ 8♦

Three of a Kind – 5♠ 5♥ 5♣

Straight – 5♠ 6♥ 7♣ 8♦ 9♠

Flush – 5♠ 6♠ 10♠ K♠ A♠

Full House – 5♠ 5♥ 5♣ 8♦ 8♠

Four 5 through King – 4 of a kind from 5s to King of any suit ♠♣♦♥

Four 2, 3, or 4 – 4 of a kind twos, threes or fours of any suit ♠♣♦♥

Four Aces – A♠ A♦ A♥ A♣

Straight Flush – 9♠ 8♠ 10♠ J♠ Q♠

Royal Flush – 10♠ J♠ Q♠ K♠ A♠

In most versions of video poker once a player attains a winning hand, they can choose to double up for a chance to earn twice their winnings. This is done by beating the dealer’s card, simply by choosing a card blindly from an arrangement of cards face down. If the player’s card is higher than the dealer’s they can choose to keep their winnings or play again to up their bankroll. Not sure what card to pick? Why not try a lucky number!

Video poker varieties

video poker varietiesThere is a staggering variety of video poker games available, and with the advent of mobile and online casino gaming, the scope of games is only getting broader. Generally speaking, all forms of video poker function more or less in the same way. As all operate by using a 52 card deck model, the key differences relying on the forms of wild cards or bonuses.

The most popular varieties include wild cards like Deuces (where the number two card serves as a wild card) or Joker’s Wild (where joker cards are wild). Players can utilize these cards to get any combination of a standard hand. Special payouts are also awarded to players who manage to get five-of-a-kind or other combinations that solely incorporate a wild.

Multi-play poker versions are also extremely popular. In these poker varieties players start with a base hand, but can choose to play that particular hand in multiples (with bets placed on each). In other words, each additional played hand draws from a separate set of cards that is added to the base. Multi-play varieties can base hands that can be played in sets of three, five, ten, fifty or fifty two and even up to one hundred plays of the same hand at once. This results in much faster play when compared to classic poker or playing with a live dealer, as the odds, speed of play and bets are increased significantly.

For poker games that do not utilize a wild card, the rarer hands that players seek are genuine four-of-a-kind hands or the most sought after hand in poker, the royal flush. These hands usually have the highest payouts to the player, but also the lowest odds of actually having one turn up. Want to feel inspired? Check out these great poker films to have you feeling like a pro in no time!

Pay tables and returns

Video Poker pay tablesVideo poker is extremely popular because of its low house edge, so one could argue that the old adage “the house always wins” might not necessarily apply to this game. As a rule of thumb, players should look for pay tables with the most liberal payouts. If played properly the player has the advantage.

Video poker is the only game on the casino floor that tells you what you could earn by implementing perfect play. For instance, if you’re used to playing slots, you never know what percentage the slot machine is set up to pay out to you. If you’re savvy, you can always calculate a video poker’s payback percentage by looking at the pay table listed on the machine.

The pay tables are displayed on the video poker machine or game screen. Under ideal conditions and with the right strategy, video poker games can pay out over 100%, so look around before settling on one. This will help increase your bankroll.

Video poker tips every player should know

1 – Bet max coins

This is good advice if you are looking to maximize your payouts. Since the odds of hitting a coveted royal flush or four aces is typically rare, once you do hit it you want to have betted maximum coins to get the full payout. For instance, the full value of a royal flush is a payout ratio of 800 to 1. If you wager lower this will dwindle down to about 250 to 1. Even if you aren’t seeking these particular hands, with winning hands for max bets you can always choose to double your winnings against the dealer’s card by choosing from the deck. If you guess correctly multiple times you very quickly increase your bankroll by double or even triple.

2 – Check the pay table

Always check the pay table. The great thing about video poker is that unlike slots for instance, you actually can determine your payout odds before you place your first bet. Since video poker has an incredibly low house edge, with the perfect strategy a player can actually profit over 100% of their initial investments consistently over a given period of play. Just be sure to check the pay table first, as certain payout and strategy combinations can be the difference between a 99% payout vs. 97% for instance, in the long run, the gap between these two figures will definitely add up. Pay tables are always listed on every poker machine or for online versions on the screen itself. Be sure to familiarize yourself with it before you play to know how much each hand returns.

3 – Apply strategy relevant to the variety of poker game

Let’s say you’re playing a form of video poker with wild cards (where wilds count for any card in the deck) and you’re dealt 5♠ 5♥ 8♣ 8♦ 7♠. How should you proceed to play? The question is: do you hold one or both pairs of cards? The correct answer relates to what variety of poker you are playing. If two pair is a winning hand you can proceed to pick two pair for a guaranteed win. However, if only three of a kind or jacks or better count as the lowest possible winning hands, then you would have to pick a single pair if you aren’t anticipating a full house. It’s that simple.

4 – Practice before you play

Be sure to practice online before you decide to play for real money. There are various types of computer software available for download that allow you to get familiar with hands during play or even instruct you on which hands are better to help enhance your gaming strategy. Almost every real money online casino also offers free play options either directly through your web browser or as a downloadable feature. Play for free to practice at Planet 7 today! A little bit of practice can make a big difference in your results and can be the difference between winning and losing!

5 – Play for the appropriate stakes

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win, most people will win some of the time. However, we have to be mindful of the times that we lose. Always gamble with an amount that you are comfortable with and never gamble more than you can afford to lose. If losing one hundred credits will end up bankrupting you, then you should reconsider or at the very least lower your stakes. Pay attention to the minimum bets listed when choosing an online casino game. Starting low and playing with modest amounts can mean all the difference in the long run. This way you can afford to absorb the punches when they come. It’s all about enjoying the game and not leaving the table with your entire bankroll empty.

Video poker and what you should know

  • Video poker comes in many varieties, online or on casino floors, but all types more or less follow the rules of classic five-card poker
  • Video poker players do not play other opponents, instead a computer randomly selects cards from a digital 52-card deck (without jokers – except for Jokers Wild machines) that allows players to choose which cards to keep and which to discard
  • Standard video poker allows player to bet 1-5 credits per hand, payouts for winning hands can be doubled if you beat the dealer’s card, and players’ odds are better than with real money slot machines
  • With perfect video poker strategy, players can earn over 100% of their initial investments consistently as video poker games have an extremely low house edge, pay attention to the pay tables to know what odds a particular game has
  • Always bet max credits, apply the right strategy, and practice before you play for real money. These will guarantee you consistent wins in the long term!

Now that you’re starting to feel like a true card shark, Planet 7 Casino is the perfect place to start fattening your pockets. We offer some incredible casino games, and of course video poker! Try Bonus Deuces Wild to catch those lucky twos! Or why not Aces and Eights? One our most popular video poker games. Sevens Wild will make you difficult to tame once you hit that jackpot! Visit Planet 7 Casino to earn some real money today!

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A staff writer at Planet 7, Kate Church is an avid reader, professional writer and lover of games. After taking her Bachelor of Arts degree in English writing and a minor in journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, Kate has traveled the world, seeking out adventure, knowledge and games of skill and chance.