Poker in its various forms is one of the most popular games ever, not just in casinos, but all over the world. It has become a massive past-time game and reached near sport-like coverage on TV. As poker grew in popularity through the 20th Century and technology improved, a new variation of the card game emerged. It was called video poker.
Combining the amazing gameplay of traditional poker with the fast-paced nature of slot machines, video poker became an almost instant success. It is now one of the most beloved games at online casinos and is especially good if you like to play with casino bonuses. For example, if you get Pocketwin free spins, video poker is a good choice for using your bonus plays.
What Is Video Poker?
Video poker takes the card game we know and love (with some minor tweaks) and merges it with the instant thrills of video slots. When the game was first introduced, it meant gamblers no longer needed to sit at a game table and could instead get in on the action quickly and easily. That’s why video poker quickly became a popular choice on the floors of casinos around the world.
Like a traditional slot, bricks and mortar locations require players to insert money or a ticket credit into the machine to start play. Online the process is slightly different because developers include a free to play option.
Video Poker Variants
Like physical table poker, the video version of the card game awards winners with more money for the better, or more difficult, winning hands they achieve. Since it first emerged, several main variants of video poker have become popular, each with slightly different gameplay elements and pay tables.
Jacks or Better: Jacks or Better is also known as Draw Poker and is the most common version of video poker, while also being the version most other variants are based off. Unlike traditional poker, the lowest winning hand in this variant is a pair of any Jacks or a better pair (Queens, Kings, or Aces).
All American: All American is based on Jacks or Better but offers an improved payout for flushes, straights, and straight flushes. However, payouts for full houses and two pairs are less. This is not among the most popular video poker variations these days, but is available from some developers.
Tens or Better: As the name suggests, Tens or Better is similar to the Jacks or Better variant, but it lowers the minimum winning hand to a pair of tens.
Joker’s Wild: A fast paced and exciting video poker game, Joker’s Wild introduces a single joker card to the standard 52-card deck. This joker acts as a wild and will replace any other card to make a winning combination. For example, if you hold three 9 cards, a single 8 card, and a joker, the wild joker will act as an 8 card to form a Full House. The Joker’s Wild variation also adds a new winning hand, the five of a kind (a four of a kind and a joker wild) to the Jacks or Better base.
Deuces Wild: In deuces wild, all 2 cards in the deck act as a wild card and will substitute any other card to help form a winning hand. Four of a kind hands are common in this game, usually accounting for about a third of the payback percentage.
How to Play Video Poker?
once you start you will have to select the level of bet you wish to make and press “deal”. Five cards will be dealt face up in the main game window, similar to five card draw poker. Each card can be exchanged for new ones drawn from the same virtual deck. For example, if you discard the 10 of Diamonds, you will not be able to get that card again.
The idea of exchanging cards is to potentially help the player form a winning (or better) hand combination. If the player does make a winning hand, the machine will automatically pay out related winnings. It is worth remembering in video poker you are not playing against any other players, you are simply trying to find a winning hand.
All online video poker games will have the paytable showing winning hand combinations clearly visible. There are several variations of video poker (detailed below) which have different paytable elements, although all are based off standard draw poker winning hands.