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Video Poker Guide for all Newbies

By: Sarah JonesMarch 29, 2019

Have you ever wanted to know how does video poker operate? Or even, find the solution to simple questions such as what the main difference is between the spinning reels of slot games and poker hands? Today, we are going to learn basic hand combinations, how to find the best payout video poker games/machines and which casinos have the best payout versions and who built the first ever video poker game.

How Does a Video Poker Game Operate?

Have you met those video poker games online or in your local casino? And you can’t still tell the difference between video poker and a classic slot game? No worries, though. You are certainly not the only one, and the confusion is often met among inexperienced poker players. Nonetheless, we are all here to learn. And as Benjamin Franklin, the only founding father of the US, puts it briefly:

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” Benjamin Franklin

Thus, we are ready to put all the clichés about video poker to the test.

Coming back to the topic of slots and video poker games, the difference is that slot games depend heavily on luck. Slot games operate in a cheerful manner: making a bet, then spinning the reels, and waiting early to get the outcome. On the other side, video poker games imply the rules of conventional poker. You can build your strategy, take the house edge down, and even score a better win in comparison to slots. What’s more, video poker games provide a payback table. It can help you determine your pay-out percentage or select the machines that are programmed to pay the highest dividends.

How to Calculate Payback Rate

When you are going over various pay tables of video poker games, take notice of two metrics – the full house and flush hands. In the very first column, the payback can vary with 8 to 6 points while flush odds often switch from 5 to 6 and vice versa. Reducing payback odds with a single point results in decreasing the overall payback portion with an estimate of 1.1%.

In short, a game that offers 7 points for a full house and 5 points for a flush cut the total RTP down to 96.15%. It is probably the weakest rate you could get on a video poker game. Still, the rate matches the average for slot games.

Frequently, slot games provide RTP rates of within a 93% – 96% range and very rarely reach 97%. On the other hand, a video poker game holding 9 points for a full house hand and 6 points for a flush is going to deliver 99.54% of your bet back over a long-term play.

However, our practice has shown us that it is not the limit, only the beginning. There are some games that provide 99.64% and 100.15% return, the titles of which you can get to know here.

If you would like to calculate the return of your favourite video poker game, you can encounter varieties of video poker calculators. Otherwise, you may like to brush off your strategy skills for each of your hand? There are some computer software programmes designed to help make better choices in terms of which cards to keep and which to get rid of.

According to statistics for each hand of poker, there are 32 different decisions that you can make. Though, a strategy chart may also help you in a similar fashion to the software, although it may produce a little less accurate result. On the good side, it costs as much as £5.

How to Play Any Video Poker Game: Basic Rules

Some versions may differ from each other but what the basic rules are that can apply for all video poker games whether you are playing online or in a casino?

Video poker games, as well as online poker styles like Texas Hold’em or Caribbean Stud, imply the algorithmic process in the determination of each hand. Therefore, numbers are only generated by the algorithms of the game and then translated into card images. The duties of game testing laboratories are to make sure that games are not manipulated, and the algorithms provide a certain degree of randomness.

The video poker games are played with 52 cards or 2 decks. The random number generator provides the numbers for your hand and the ones that are visible on the screen/table. Then, you must decide which ones of your cards to keep or discard according to the traditional poker rules and the strategy charts for getting the best possible outcome of your play.

Poker Hands: Most to Less Powerful
Royal Flush 10, J, Q, K, A
– rare and involving highest straight cards from ace to 10 in the exact same suit
Straight Flush 5,6,7,8,9
– 5 cards of following ranking and same suit, second in power flush after the royal flush
Four of a Kind 3, K, K, K, K
– four cards of the same rank
– combination could be of different suits
Full House 10, 10, 10, A, A
– 3 cards of the same rank + 2 cards of the same rank more
– cards could be in different suits
Flush K, 7,3,4,5
– 5 cards of the same suit
– if two flushes fight against each other, the one containing highest-ranked card would win
– Ex. Q, 3 ,2 ,8 ,7 of diamonds would win against J, 8 ,5, 2, 3 of spades
Straight 2,3,4,5,6
– Any 5 cards in following order
– The suit is of no importance (major difference to straight flush, a combination of 5 cards in progressive order and same suit)
Three of a Kind A, A, A, x, x
– 3 cards of the same rank in different suits
– The best ‘trips’ are 3 aces, followed by 3 kings… and down to the card lane of strength
Two Pair 10,10, A, A, x
– 2 cards of the same rank + 2 other cards of the same rank
– The best combination is 2 x Ace + 2 x King
One Pair 5,5, x, x, x
– Like the previous one but it is only 1 pair of two cards of the same rank that you need, other cards must be random
High-Card x,x,x,x, J
– 5 unpaired cards, not in order
– The highest-ranked card defines the value of the hand
– ex., an Ace card in the hand would defeat any other high-card hand.
– The lowest hand in poker

Are Video Poker Machines Random?

The discussion about whether video poker machines are random or not is not raging under new skies. Many people would say that machines tend to display patterns of card numbers. Expert gamblers declare that after playing for a while, they can start noticing patterns. It is also not uncommon to read inspiring stories of masterminds manipulating video poker machines and earning millions.

It looks like video poker games online may represent a challenge for the bright minds out there. Additionally, subsequent the first deal, the random number generator algorithms keep working, while you make your strategical adjustments. Then, the program replaces the unsolicited cards with the ones out of the discard pile.

Though, it is impossible to get the exact same card that you just got rid of. It is true that the player has no influence on the initial draw, but they can shape the result of the game by taking appropriate measures. Therefore, a skilful player can reap the rewards of its acquaintance with the game.

4 Most Common Video Poker Games with the Highest Odds

Your odds improve when the video poker game offers wild cards, double and triple bonuses. An important detail that we did not mention is that 9/6 pay-out is the ultimate possibility for a variety of Jacks or Better video poker. 9 times full house would generate a pay-out of the 9x initial bet. On the other side, 6 times pay-out for a flush means that the player would get 6 times his current bet.

The optimal RTP for Jacks or Better is 99.54% while the minimum grounds the odds to 99.46%. The game does not allow for a pay-out unless the player gets a pair of jacks or higher value cards. You can find IGT’s famous version of Game King Jacks or Better at Genting Casino, Grosvenor Casino platform and even the new player on the iGaming market, Kaboo casino.

Deuces Wild, Loose Deuces, and all other video poker games that have wild cards usually assure a return of over 100%. The wild card in the deck replaces any card for a deuce increasing your winning occasions. The Deuces Wild RTP is 100.71% while for Loose Deuces is 100.15%. Bonus Deuces Wild, a game provided by Microgaming, you can discover integrated into the portfolio of Casumo casino, All British Casino games and CasinoCruise’s library of titles.

Bonus Poker/Double Bonus Poker offers pay-outs for some 4 of a Kind hand combination. Bonus Poker’s optimal pay-out points are 8/5 that makes 99.17% while Double Bonus Poker’s in the full house department is 10, and 7 for a flush hand totalling 100.17%. Test out Gaming Kind Double Bonus Poker on Party Casino’s online portal.

Joker Poker is similar to the Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker games, as it offers a wild joker card that can substitute any card. The game requires a pair of kings and higher value cards for a pay-out. RTP is about 100.64% provided that the most optimal game is played. The Joke Wild Multihand edition supplied by NetEnt, you can find on Dunder casino, and in BetVictor’s online gaming collection.

World’s Most Known Video Poker Game Manufactures

The best-known manufacturer of video poker games must be the IGT company that obtained its patent for the game in 1979. A long time ago, Si Redd, the inventor of video poker machines, produces a game named Fortune 1 Draw Poker. The pay-out activates when the player reaches two pairs combination of cards or higher hands. After 11 years since the patent was obtained, the video poker game becomes a hit among gamblers. Following, the IGT manufacturer introduces several games in one single packet named Game King. You could still find it online. The design has certainly been enhanced, the rules as well, as they offer many of the double/triple bonus poker versions included into the Game King bundle. Apart from the casinos preceding, you could also find IGT’s Game King at Party Casino, bwin Casino or InterCasino. Read more about bwin here and Intercasino here.

The IGT company shaped and transformed the video poker industry with the launch of other two famous games – the progressive Megabucks and the Triple Play Poker programmed by Ernie Moody. Nonetheless, the designer of the Triple Play Poker had its struggles in finding a supplier to develop the game and being rejected numerous times. Or else, rejecting employment offers that would have made him give up on his idea. In the late ’90s, Bob Bittman, the president of IGT, saw an opportunity in the game and he was correct for agreeing to produce the machine. The first terminal ever installed of the Triple Poker game was located SunsetStation, in the USA. Witnesses claim that respected older women were fighting to get a chance on playing the machine.

“We were all trying to figure out how to get one extra coin out of players. Ernie’s invention was able to get ten.” TJ Matthews, former CEO of IGT

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