Video Poker Rules by Online-Casinos.com

At first glance, a video poker machine looks very similar to a regular slot machine - however there is a big difference. Video poker is (in part at least) a game of skill, whereas playing slots is strictly a game of chance. Before playing video poker for money you should know amongst other things the rankings of video poker hands.

Video Poker Machine

Basic Video Poker Rules

At first glance, a video poker machine looks very similar to a regular slot machine - however there is a big difference. Video poker is (in part at least) a game of skill, whereas playing slots is strictly a game of chance.

Before playing video poker for money you should know the poker hand rankings and a bit about how a video poker game works.

The first thing you must do to play proper video poker is to forget what you know about 'regular' poker, with the exception of the hand ranking system. You should also forget about keeping that 'kicker'. Also note that in video poker, an Ace is not better then a Jack. This is because you are not playing against any other poker players - just the video poker machine and the paytables - and the machine does not pay more for a pair of aces then a pair of jacks.

The objective of the video poker is to get a winning poker hand, paid off according to the paytable on the machine. There is no bluffing, no other players, just you against the machine.

When playing video poker you put your coins in the machine and start the game by being dealt 5 cards, dealt randomly from a single deck with 52 cards. (This assumes a 'regular' type of machine, bonus video poker games may have a joker or other additional cards in the deck.)

In video poker the poker hand rankings are as follows - from the highest hand to the lowest:

  1. 5 of a Kind (only possible in variants with a wild card)
  2. Royal Straight Flush
  3. Straight Flush
  4. 4 of a Kind
  5. Full House
  6. Flush
  7. Straight
  8. 3 of a Kind
  9. Two Pairs
  10. A Pair (normally minimum a pair of jacks - if in jacks or better)

Then you have the option to discharge or hold any or all of your 5 cards. Pressing the 'hold' button underneath will allow you to keep the card in question in your poker hand.

Once you've chosen what to keep and what to discard, you then click on deal and the cards you chose to discharge are replaced with new cards.

Finally, you can see on the paytable on the video poker machine if you have won anything or not - if you are playing jacks or better video poker you will need at least a pair of jacks or higher to win.

Note the paytable above. You can see that if you play one coin per game, a Royal Straight Flush will get you 250 coins. But if you play 5 coins per game a Royal Straight Flush pays 4000 coins. 5 times 250 is only 1250 coins; so there is a significant bonus in playing the five coins. If you are playing to win; you should always play the maximum number of coins allowed. If that's getting too expensive, you should look for another video poker machine that accepts lower coin denominations.

Now look at the paytable above again; note the payout for a full house and a flush when one coin is played. A full house pays 9 and a flush pays 6. That is good, but not all Jacks or Better machines offer 9/6 for these hands. Always look for the good jacks or better video poker games offering 9/6 odds - also known as 'full pay' video poker.

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