Video poker

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VideoPokerThere are many different video poker games to explore, but almost all of them are based on five card draw poker. So, once you have learned to play one of these video poker games, it will be very easy for you to play the other ones.

Standard video poker is not played against other players nor against a (real or virtual) dealer. There is no hand to compare your hand to. Instead, the paytable will show you how great your poker hand needs to be for you to get paid. If you for instance are playing Jacks or Better video poker, you will get paid if you get pair of jacks or better (hence the name).

Playing video poker

Most video poker games follows this basic routine:

  1. Make your bet. You can usually chose to bet 1 – 5 coins.
  2. You are dealt five cards, face-up.
  3. You decide which cards to keep and which cards to discard. You can discard anywhere from 0 to 5 cards.
  4. All discarded cards (if any) are replaced with new cards from the deck. They are dealt face up.
  5. You now have your final hand. If it is good enough (see paytable), you get paid. The better the hand, the better the payment.

Video poker is not a game of pure chance; skill is also an element. You decide how many and which cards to discard (if any).

Jacks or Better video poker

Jacks or Better is one of the most common video poker variants. If you visit a gambling hall that only offers one type of video poker it will most likely be Jacks or Better video poker. As explained above, Jacks or Better video poker is a game where you get paid if you get a pair of jacks or better. Hence, you get paid for pairs from jacks and up, and you also get paid for anything above pairs, i.e. two pair, three of a kind, flush, etc. If you get a pair of tens or lower, you lose your wager.

Jacks or Better video poker is played with a standard 52 card deck. No jokers or other wild cards are used in standard Jacks or Better video poker.

Before you start playing Jacks or Better, it is a good idea to take a look at the paytable. Two Jacks or Better video poker machines can have vastly different paytables.

A Jacks or Better video poker machine that pays 9 coins for Full House and 6 coins for Flush (on a 1 coin bet) is called a 9/6 Jacks or Better. A 7/5 Jacks or Better will pay 7 coins for a Full House and 5 coins for a Flush (on a 1 coin bet), and so on.

Example of a commonly used paytable for 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker

Poker hand 1 coin bet 2 coin bet 3 coin bet 4 coin bet 5 coin bet

Royal Straight Flush

250

500

750

1000

4000

Straight Flush

50

100

150

200

250

Four of a Kind

25

50

75

100

125

Full House

9

18

27

36

45

Flush

6

12

18

24

30

Straight

4

8

12

16

20

Three of a Kind

3

6

9

12

15

Two Pair

2

4

6

8

10

Pair of Jacks or higher

1

2

3

4

5

As you can see, this paytable favors players that bet 5 coins per round. The payment for a Royal Straight Flush increases by 250 coins for each additional coin bet, up to and including the 4 coin bet. For the 5 coin bet, it makes a huge leap and pays 4,000 coins for a Royal Straight Flush on a 5 coin bet.