Video Poker is a draw poker in slot machine form. Players Hold or Discard from five cards showing and get a second deal, or stand with a pat hand. It has become the most popular game of chance among casino players in the U.S. Eighty percent of respondents to a recent survey in Las Vegas said they played video poker.
There are important differences between Video Poker and Table Poker worth noting as follows:
- In Video Poker the House is represented by a machine not a dealer and the video machine does not attempt to beat you.
- You don’t have to figure out what the other player's hand could be like when playing against other players.
- You cannot bluff.
- You do not run the risk of being beaten by another player. If you have a strong hand, you win. In Table Poker, you could have a strong hand like three of a kind and lose to another player who has a better hand.
- A good decision in Video Poker may be a bad one for Table Poker. What is advantageous to hold in Video Poker may prove disadvantageous in Table Poker and vice versa.
Since its introduction in the early 1980's, Video Poker has grown into one of the casino's most popular games. Unlike regular Poker, which is played against other players at a poker table, Video Poker is played individually on a machine that uses video technology to create a Poker hand.
Based on classic Five Card Stud, Video Poker challenges players to build the best possible five-card hand. The player is dealt five cards and has the option of discarding any or all of the cards. New cards are dealt to replace the discards.
Payoffs are based on a scale, paying players for hands as low as a pair of tens or Jacks all the way up to a Royal Flush. Like slot machines, Video Poker machines are available in many denominations, with 25c and $1 machines being the most popular. Many casinos also offer progressive payoffs or bonuses for Royal Flushes or other special hands. Video Poker provides variety too, with versions ranging from ‘Jacks or Better' to ‘Deuces Wild' and ‘Jokers Wild'.
The ranking of hands starting from the highest are as follows:
- Five of a Kind
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- A Pair
Five of a Kind is only possible when using a Joker or Wild Cards and is the highest possible hand.
Las Vegas regulations require that the outcome of any hand in Video Poker not be affected by the number of coins played. If you get a good hand with one coin bet, you would have been dealt the same hand with two or more coins.
House advantage 3% average