Video Poker Rules
Video Poker is one of the most exciting new casino games that combines the huge payouts of slot machines with the skill of draw poker. The rules of online video poker are the same as casino video poker – to make the best possible poker hand.
Typically, the poker game is Five-Card Draw. In this variation of poker, the player is dealt five cards and is able to keep or discard one or more of the original cards dealt in order to be dealt new cards that will improve her hand.
All video poker machines have listed on them what is called their payout schedule. This tells the player how much he will be paid for each poker hand based on how many coins were inserted. The poker hands are as follows from lowest to highest:
- High Card
- One Pair
- Two Pair
- Straight (five sequential cards)
- Flush (five cards all of the same suit)
- Full-House (three-of-a-kind plus one-pair)
- Straight Flush (five sequential cards all of the same suit)
- Royal Flush (straight flush consisting of 10, J, Q, K, A)
Most video poker machines will NOT pay any hand worse than a pair of Jacks (these machines are called “Jacks-or-Better” machines and do not offer wild cards). Wild card video poker machines sometimes require the minimum winning hand to be two-pair or even three-of-a-kind (depending on the TYPE of machine).
Video Poker Advanced Online Strategy
Video Poker is a skill game that can be beaten using a combination of playing skill and mathematical knowledge. It is important to pay attention to the “pay schedule” presented on the front of each machine. The smart video poker player realizes that the important information to look for is how much a machine pays for a Full-House versus a Flush.
Advanced video poker players realize that a “Jacks-or-Better” machine that pays out 9 coins to 1 for every Full House and 6 to 1 for every Flush (classified as a 9/6 machine) can be beaten using perfect Basic Video Poker Strategy.
The other machine that offers the advanced online video poker player an edge is the 10/6 Deuces Wild machine. This has been proven based on computer modeling. While other machines are fun to play, even if you use Perfect Video Poker Strategy you will not win.
Similar to the Basic Strategy for Blackjack, there are hard and fast rules that define the Basic Video Poker Strategy whether you are playing video poker online or in a casino. This strategy for the Jacks-or-Better game is as follows:
Jacks-or-Better Video Poker Strategy
- In any hand containing a Jack discard everything and keep the Jack (unless the hand is already a winner, four to an open-ended Straight, four to a Flush or three to a Straight Flush or Royal Flush).
- In any hand containing only one card Jack or above, keep the lone high card and redraw.
- In any hand containing a pair lower than Jacks, keep the pair and discard everything else (unless the hand is four to a Straight or four to a Flush)
- In any hand containing two-pair, keep both pair and discard the odd-card.
- In any hand containing three-of-a-kind keep the three-of-a-kind and discard the other two cards.
- In any hand containing four to a Straight, keep all four Straight cards and draw (unless the Straight draw is NOT open-ended and your hand contains a Jack)
- In any hand containing four to a Flush, keep the four Flush (unless the hand contains three to the Royal in which case you would draw to the Royal Flush)
- In any hand containing four-of-a-kind just hold everything since a one-card draw can’t improve you.
- In any hand containing three to a Royal Flush discard everything else and go for the Royal (unless the hand is already a Straight Flush)