Great Video Poker Games and Strategies at a Glance

Added on December 4, 2018, in Game Reviews, Poker Games by Dejan Gavrilovic

Video Poker: Meet Yourself

World of Online Video Poker Games and Strategy at Glance

The mid-1970s are interesting years for present online gamers. Really? Yup. Video games emerged and became commercially available, riding the wave created by William Higinbotham and his Tennis for Two, the first video game in the world introduced in 1958.

World of online video Poker

Poker, the U.S. invention and national pastime dating back to 18th century, followed the electronic suite promptly.

William Si Redd, an American businessman and philanthropist, founded Sircoma — company that eventually became the International Game Technology — and brought us video poker in 1979, in form of Draw Poker. Back in those days, everybody wanted to give it a shot.

Since then we’ve been enjoying it on the casino floors or pretty much everywhere. With the advent of the Internet came the online video poker, and the rest is…

…history.

Now:

Fast forward to today

Thirty years later, with so many games at hands, we hear that the real questions are:

How can we choose the right fit? And, is there any ample resource we can turn to, hopefully covering all there is to know about the video poker?

Glad you asked. Welcome.

The basic rules

The Basic Rules

The rules of online video poker are pretty much based on conventional poker, so learning them should be a no-brainer. The key difference between the two is the goal:

In online video poker, it is to beat the device instead of other players.

The game has three key buttons that regulate gamers’ actions:

  • DEAL, to confirm the bet and to deal five random cards;
  • HOLD, to be used to select the card(s) you wish to keep if you don’t opt for the clean slate;
  • DRAW, the button that will replace cards not held with cards from the rest of the deck.

Once you have set the bet to a particular amount you deal your cards, hold the ones you deem valid, and draw the rest of the deck.

Feeling lucky? Go for it!

Few words about hands ranking for the road, though.

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The Hands Ranking

As in land-based poker, the hands — the particular combination of your five cards — are ranked from strongest to weakest in the following fashion:

  • Royal Flush — five particular cards of the same suit: a King, a Queen, a Jack, an Ace, and a Ten;
  • Straight Flush — five cards of sequential rank, of the same suit;
  • Four of a Kind — four cards of the same rank (e.g. four nines);
  • Full House — three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank;
  • Flush — five cards, all of the same suit, not in sequential rank;
  • Straight — five cards of sequential rank, not all of the same suit;
  • Three of a Kind — three cards of the same rank;
  • Two of a Kind — two cards of the same rank.

Important to know: the rankings may vary depending on game version and manufacturer. Therefore you should always look for the paytable of your selected online poker game and check it out.

Notice two vital parameters here: the paytable and the game selection.

Let us quickly elaborate.

The paytable

The PayTable

The paytable contains all information about possible winning combinations and their payout. Naturally, the payout varies depending on the hand’s rankings in conjunction with your bet.

What is a bet? The number of coins you decided to play per one hand. More you bet, more you can win. And lose.

How to choose wisely? We’re getting there.

The Game Selection: House Edge

The House Edge is another important factor. It is the advantage that the gambling game has over you, as you play, and it results in guaranteed percentage return to the house over time.

Plainly speaking, it defines your odds of winning. Or, you could also read this like…

…The House Edge is your certain percentage of loss on what you bet.

Now, online video poker has fairly low House Edge. How low?

Well, if you see the game with 9/6 mark, it means that your payout probability is 99.50% and that the House Edge is 0.50%. Consequently:

  • 8/5 refers to 97.30% payout probability and 2.70% House Edge;
  • 7/5 to 96.15% payout probability and 3.85% House Edge;
  • 6/5 to 95% payout probability and 5% House Edge.

If you were wondering, the 9/6 denotes that the game pays out Full House 9 to 1 and Flush 6 to 1, the 8/6 tell us that Full House pays out 8 to 1 and Flus 5 to 1. You get the picture. By playing the 8/5 poker game you are to run out of your money faster than in 9/6 one.

This game indication is mandatory consideration for every player since it shows you how beneficiary the device can be for you. You can calculate the house edge of your favorite Video Poker game over at Wizard of Odds here.

VP Strategy

Remember “how to choose wisely” question? Right. Now that you’ve decided on the number of coins you are to play per one hand (careful: more is always more, particularly when we lose!) and you’ve deciphered the House Edge, you might think you’re ready to hit it.

VP strategy

Bad news: you’re not there yet.

Good news: we’ve got you covered.

Come again?

See, deciding on bet and odds is only half of the way. The other half is knowing what cards to keep and which ones to throw away. And therein, my fellow players, lays the rub.

Though for you in our hands it may more feel like a warm massage. Therefore relax, and welcome to the world of poker strategy.

We know what you’re thinking right now. “So I have to go through another thousand words in order to learn all about strategies!?! Please.” (Author’s remark: my editor thought the same.)

You don’t. For two reasons.

Number one:

The Wizard has already compiled an extensive guide that covers not only the systems you can use but also a number of poker games variations. With hundreds of different options to choose from, you can rest assured that you’ll find answers to all of your questions.

Number two:

Not even ten thousand words would properly cover all strategies for video poker.

One way or the other, at the end of the day, you should go out and make your own strategy. For real. The one that fits you, your character and desires, the most.

The random number generator

The Random Number Generator

Armed with the right strategy and the theory of poker game you are now ready to be deployed. Almost.

Yup, we have one more thing before we send you off.

Once you’ve started to play you will rather sooner than latter ask yourself:

Are those cards I’m being dealt phony? Is anyone trying to rob me of my money?

The answer is NO, provided you play in one of the online casinos with a good reputation and that you use trustworthy software provider.

Why? Because there is this thing called the Random Number Generator (RNG). It is the component of poker device that defines the randomness of the cards draw. Without any intention to take you on technology journey through the RNG land, what is important to understand is this:

If you play video poker game made by proven software provider in the reputable casino, you can rest assured that the game outcome is not predetermined in any way.

Operators that fit the bill of those two criteria use various independent testing companies in order to secure that algorithms are working as programmed and promised as they should.

Others? Not necessarily so. In fact, you should avoid every option short of the ones we mentioned.

All righty. Ready for the Games?

Don’t you give us that “well, it was about time” look! You know what they say:

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Indeed. Particularly when we consider our money.

So, with all angles covered and without any further ado, we suggest you make your choice from one of the great interactive games and delivered by the trusted manufacturer, the IGT.

Why would you do so? Because:

  • They are all vetted by industry experts and 5-star rated;
  • They are presented with relevant game information included (rules, rankings, pay table, number of hands);
  • They are accompanied by the list of online casinos you can play them in;
  • Each casino is complemented with the review and software platform introduction, plus enticing sign-up bonuses;
  • To top it all off, you enjoy in immense online community knowledge and support.

Endgame

And so the game begins, off you go. We wish you nothing but the best, though remember…

…No matter who you are and where you come from, regardless of your background or motivation, the poker will not give you only the money.

That is if it gives you the money, and that is no small if.

The most important thing poker will lead you to is — you.

You will meet yourself over there, on the table or behind the screen. You’ll get introduced to your limits and your heights; we hope you never meet your lows although they do come with the territory. You’ll learn about yourself a lot, and we believe that each one of you will be a good student. Not only of the game but of oneself and life.

See you at graduation.

Until then — good luck, stay safe, play wisely.