Video Poker Basics

A very popular game among gamblers from around the globe, video poker offers an exciting fast paced gambling experience with a low house edge. As with anything worthwhile in life if you want to get the most out of your game you need to learn how to play properly and how to choose the right machines to play. This article is the first step to winning - understanding how the games work.

How Video Poker Machines Work

In essence video poker is a very simple game from a math standpoint. You have a single deck of 52 playing cards (53 in some cases) and these cars are constantly being shuffled by the random number generator (RNG) located inside the machine. When you press deal the first five cards from the top of the deck are displayed on the screen. You can then select to hold or discard the cards.

Pressing deal a second time the cards you decided to discard are replaced by new cards that are taken from the same deck. The cards that you did not keep cannot be dealt a second time around. After the second deal is complete you are awarded any wins and the whole process starts again. Each hand is in no way related to the last or the next and every hand is a random selection of cards.

How Much To Bet

The majority of machines give you the option to play between one and five coins per game. You should always play five coins. Why? There is (almost) always a bonus for playing five coins per game on the royal flush. On most games the RTP will be lower if you play less than max bet. See the table below.

Differences in RTP Based on Coins Played
1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Return % 98.37% 98.37% 98.37% 98.37% 99.54%

Video Poker Vs Slot Machines

It is not uncommon to find players who put video poker games in the same class as slot machines. While there are a few similarities such as the fact that they are both machine games they are in reality totally different games. You always know what the odds of hitting a royal flush are but you will never know what the chances on lining up the jackpot symbols on a slot game are.

The other big differences are the fact that playing and winning on video poker requires some skill and the fact that the long term pay out percentages on video poker are in general far better than those on slots. Knowing this, hopefully next time you are deciding between a slot or a video poker game you will know which decision is the smarter choice.

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Myths Busted

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Video Poker History

Find out the history of the modern day versions of video poker.

Game Variance

Learn how game variance works and how it can effect your playing time.

Play Online

Play video poker online at these recommended online casinos