Compared to regular online poker games, video poker simplifies things for the player; although it cuts out the advantage a player gains with bluffing. The odds of winning are five times higher than playing slot machines. The only casino game that beats video poker in terms of house edge is blackjack.
There are a few additional tricks and strategies that increase those odds in your favor substantially, but first a short explanation on how to play the game.
How to Play Video Poker in 3 Quick Steps
1. Place your bet! Afterwards, you’re dealt five cards, select which ones to KEEP and hit the DRAW button to get replacement cards for the ones you did not pick.
2. Your goal is to create a strong hand following the traditional poker hands and combinations, the higher the combo the bigger the payout.
3. The paytable determines the amount you win per hand. There are five columns in the paytable because you can bet 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 coins. Each coin has a set value established by the player.
Bonus: Nailing the Royal Flush is like hitting a small jackpot and your regular payout could be quadrupled.
The best piece of advice would be to test any of the video poker games online before hitting the casino or betting serious money. You can go play online video poker for real money, or practice first for free.
3 Simple Strategies for Winning at Video Poker
These are basic strategy tips to get you started, but if you are looking for an advance strategy with the aims of maximizing return, visit the Wizard’s strategy for Jacks or Better.
1. Always bet the maximum amount of coins, which will be 5 coins. Do this by selecting “Max Bet”. The reason behind this strategy is to increase the payout for when you hit the big combo’s or the Royal Flush.
2. The best paying machines will always be hidden or away from the main corridors in a casino. Always try to avoid corner machines or those that are in the spot light. The marketing guys know those spots attract the most attention and so they place the lowest paying machines on those areas.
3. Always check the paytable before playing the game. The winnings of any video poker game is determined by the paytable. Video poker games will be the same no matter the casino, or if you play online. A quick look at the tables reveals huge advantages to the mathematical eye.
Below you will find a real photo of two different video poker games, same in every aspect except the one to the left pays 9 & 6 for Full House and Flush, while the right one pays 8 & 5 respectively.
What does a house edge of 99.54% vs 97.29% mean? It means the casinos is keeping 0.46% vs 2.71%, or said differently the casino profit on that second machine is 5.9 times higher! Always play the game with the lower house edge.
The real edge and best tip we can give you is to find the video poker game where the paytable has the highest payouts. In Vegas, the best video poker machines are found downtown. The difference in payment could actually be seven times more. If you do play online video poker, be sure to do the same thing.
Video Poker vs. Slots: Odds of Hitting a Royal Flush
The odds of hitting a Royal Flush are 1 in 40,000.
The odds of hitting a jackpot on a slot game are 1 in 262,000.
On a typical video poker game you would play $1.25 with a 5 coin bet each time. The goal is to play 400 hands per hour with a house edge of 97.5%. The probability of hitting the Royal Flush is once every 66 hours, but overall your losses with that formula should be more or less $6.25/hour while we wait for the big payout to hit.
Compare that to following a similar strategy on slot machines with an expected loss rate of $40/hour until the jackpot hits. Slot games are also run by random number generators, so there is no proper strategy to help you win.
Video poker allows you to make smarter choices that increase your odds of winning. You can’t bluff, but you can always get a bigger payout!