Learning how to play video poker
Play like a Video Poker Pro with this quick guide
One of the most popular casino games of all time and the star of classic movies such as The Cincinnati Kid and Casino Royale, perennial favourite poker is the game we associate with gambling at its most enticing. So of course, we’re going to make a big deal of it in our Wishmaker Casino! Sexy and sophisticated, poker intimidates and enchants in equal measure – what more could you want from your gambling thrills?
It all started in the 17th century, and since its beginnings, poker has grown into one of the biggest pastimes and even sports across the world. And now it’s available in video form! It’s a game that requires some skill and strategy, and therein lies its appeal.
Don’t be afraid! If you can play poker with confidence, you’ll be looked upon as a seasoned pro, and this guide will reveal the tips and tricks you need to know your game. Video poker is easy to learn and provides you with reasonably good odds of walking away with money in your wallet, so let’s get started!
To play like a pro, you need to know the rules
Luckily, the rules of video poker are very straight forward. Your aim is to create the best five-card poker hand you can with the cards dealt to you. As you may have seen, there are plenty of video poker variations in our casino, but the core rules tend to stay the same across them all.
Video poker differs from the card game in that in some versions it has a slot element to it. However, unlike most slot games, this one demands a bit of skill. You’ll increase your chances of success at video poker if you know all the best card pairings beforehand.
How to play
Video poker uses the standard poker hand rankings, so if you’ve played poker before it will be quite easy to catch on. At the start of the round, you will be dealt five cards, and you can hold on to them all or discard any of them if they don’t fit your game plan.
To get rid of a card all you have to do is press the draw button, after which you will receive a random replacement card. If the trade is successful and you have a winning hand you win the round, if not then you lose.
Before you play your hand, you need to make a bet of between one and five coins. As with all other games the higher your bet is, the bigger your potential winnings become. If you’re playing for the long term and aiming to hit the jackpot, the best strategy includes betting the maximum on all rounds.
While video poker requires some skill, it is still a luck-based online casino game. Betting the minimum when you’re just starting out might seem like a good idea - the game will last longer, and your losses won’t be too severe. On the other hand, imagine how frustrating it would be to get a royal flush on a low bet hand! You’ve got to be in it to win it, and this is the game to swish your wishes and take a gamble!
The returns you get will depend on the variation of video poker you’ve chosen to play. If you want more information on the returns, you can head over to the paytable of your chosen game for a detailed layout with all you need to know. You’ll quickly see how much you can win or lose with every type of bet you place.
Remember that you only get a payout on your highest-ranked hand. If you’ve managed to get a full house, a pair and a three of a kind, for example, you will only receive a payout on the full house.
The various forms of Video Poker
There’s a wide variety of video poker titles from which to choose, each with its own additions, rules and charming little twists. Some of our favourites are Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Joker’s Wild.
Jacks or Better is probably the most popular video poker game. The aim in this variant is to get a pair of jacks or better to win (see what they did there?). In Deuces Wild, any two in the deck can be used as any other card of rank or suit; although it might seem a lot easier to win with this game, the payouts are a little less than in the other poker variants. Finally, the Joker’s Wild game is played with a 53-card deck - the standard 52-card deck and a joker. It works a lot like Deuces Wild, as the joker can be used as a replacement for any card or suit.
Know your stuff
Hold your horses! Before you rush over to start testing out your new-found knowledge and insight, here are some simple tips you can use when first playing any of our video poker variants:
If you have a pair, three of a kind, full house, four of a kind, straight, flush, straight flush or royal flush, then choose to hold instead of play.
If you have a three of a kind or a pair, the smart move would be to ditch the spare cards to make room for a bigger and possibly higher-value hand.
Another tip would be to hold your jacks at all costs unless you are one card away from a low straight flush or the royal flush. It’s always better to opt for the higher payout, as long as you do so strategically.
And lastly, as you’re getting rid of your cards always hang on to a low pair instead of high-value cards such as the king or queen. The low-value cards might be useless in other games, but in video poker, they could well earn you higher winnings than the other cards will.
Now that we’ve given you our secrets on how to successfully play one of the greatest casino games of all times, you’re ready to put your knowledge to the test. Remember, video poker requires a combination of luck and strategy, and the bigger your bets are, the higher your winning could be.