Poker is a game that’s been around for centuries in one form or another. Video poker may sound like a modern invention, but the first poker machine was invented in 1901, so its roots go back much further than many think.
Obviously, in the early 20th century, poker machines weren’t video poker; these arrived on the scene in the 1970s. In the decades since, video poker has enjoyed a surge in popularity, and now there are many different variants that can be played.
Microgaming is well-known for slots, but they were one of the first companies to offer online video poker in 1994.
Here’s a closer look at video poker and how to play.
The Basics of Playing Video Poker
If you know how to play traditional poker, there’s not much more you need to know. The rules are very slightly different, but the basics are more or less the same.
There are various types of video poker, but the principles are all very similar.
Players will receive five cards to start, with the computer taking the role of your opponent. With video poker, you won’t be playing against the real-life competition, unlike other forms of online poker and live poker tournaments.
Check your hand and figure out which cards you want to discard, and which ones you want to keep. Once you’ve discarded the cards you don’t want, you will receive replacements from a single draw.
Your hand will then be checked for any wins – any prizes due will be paid. The amount you could win depends on the type of poker you’re playing and other factors.
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What is a Winning Hand in Video Poker?
There are a number of winning hands in video poker and a hierarchy which dictates which hands are the best.
The main winning hands you could hold include:
- A pair (two cards with a matching face value)
- Two different pairs
- Three of a kind (three cards with matching face values)
- Straight (five cards in a numerical sequence such as 7,8,9,10, J)
- Flush (five cards from the same suit)
- Full house (three of a kind and a pair)
- Four of a kind (four cards with matching face values)
- Straight flush (five cards in a numerical sequence which also come from the same suit)
- Royal flush (five cards in a numerical sequence which also come from the same suit and run from 10-A)
Not all types of poker will include every winning hand, and in some variants there may be extra hands that result in a prize. For example, in Deuces Wild the joker is used to create five of a kind.
Winning at Video Poker
Video poker varies from traditional poker because you don’t need to beat your computer opponent. You just need to produce a winning hand. This is what makes it very different to other types of poker and why it’s an easier game to play.
With video poker, you only need to focus on your own hand and what might be a winning strategy rather than beating an opponent who may be more experienced.
Learning how to form different types of poker hands and how much you could win on each can help to maximise your payouts.