The basic rules of video poker – in other words, what makes up a good poker hand – are the same as the traditional card game, except that instead of playing against other people, you get dealt a hand of virtual cards and then get a payout according to what you can create, by holding and discarding. What constitutes a ‘good’ hand will depend on the game being played, but that is made very clear from the outset. The payouts are also very prominently displayed because they vary from game to game; in the absence of live opponents, this is the only way to make the game fun.
You don’t have to be a brilliant poker player to play video poker and in fact you don’t really have to know much about the game at all to be able to play. The winning hands and how much they pay out are on the screen and because you are the only player and the pack is virtual, dealt by a random umber generator programme, you can’t play with any real strategy, as you would in a real game. You need to know how to build a winning hand by holding on to certain cards and discarding others and often that is simply a matter of luck anyway. But for a fun way to play poker online, this certainly does the trick.
Video poker was one of the first arcade games of the seventies computer chip boom to make it online and many people play it rather than conventional poker. It has better odds in your favor, certainly, and some people actually play it for a living, although that applies more to the live game than online. It needs a steady nerve and the strength of mind to know when to step away from the screen and like all gambling, online or live, you should know your limit and stick to it, certainly not trying to bet yourself out of losses in any circumstances. The good thing about video poker from an online player’s point of view is that you know exactly what your possible payout could be right from the outset. It is worth shopping around to find which website has the best payouts, because they can be variable.
Fans of online video poker mostly have their favorite games, and there are certainly loads to choose from. The most common is usually called Draw Poker – also sometimes called ‘Jacks or better’ because payouts start to kick in at a pair of Jacks – with variants paying out more for four Aces, or certain four of a kind hands. These are usually called Bonus – or even Double Bonus and similar names. The payouts differ and the hands can look quite similar at a glance so look carefully before you start to play. One misconception about video poker is that it is a fast game, played at break neck speed. This really stems from the old live slots days when you just fed a video poker machine with tokens and didn’t really think too hard about it. Nowadays, playing online, you can consider your cards with care and can actually come out on top.