Top Video Poker Strategy Tips
Video poker is one of the most popular games found at online casinos, combining the fun of electronic gaming machines with the thrill of the poker table. What’s more, video poker is the game with the best return to player in the entire casino, so it represents the best possible chance to make some money when you play – if you follow the right video poker strategy tips.
The Different Types of Video Poker
The first thing to look at is the different types of video poker available to online casino players, and there is certainly a large amount of them. Below you’ll find some of the more commonly seen ones though, which can be found at nearly every good online casino:
- Jacks or Better. This is the standard version of video poker, and the one that all others are based on. There are no quirks – simply get a pair of jacks or better and you win a prize.
- Deuces Wild. This version really ramps up the excitement, as it sees deuces (twos) acting as a wild card, meaning that they can replace cards to create winning hands.
- Double Bonus. Double Bonus follows the same pattern as Jacks or Better, with one added caveat: the prizes are much greater when getting four of a kind.
- Double Double Bonus. As with Double Bonus, the prizes are better for four of a kind, plus it provides bigger prizes if the other card is a high one.
- Aces and Eights. This variation also differs from the norm when it comes to four of a kind hands, with four Aces or four eights paying out a larger amount.
Of course, there are many, many other versions of video poker found at online casinos though, and you’ll stumble across them as you get more adept at playing the game. It is best to start with Jacks or Better first, in order to learn the basics, before then branching out into other variations like ones you can try for free here at EnergyCasino.
How to Play Video Poker
Video poker essentially sees you trying to make the best five-card poker hand possible, therefore it is vital that you understand the different hand rankings of the game. So, if you’ve never played poker before, here they are:
- Royal Flush. The best hand you can possibly get, it sees you getting a run of cards from 10 through to Ace, all of the same suit.
- Straight Flush. This is the same as a Royal Flush, however it can be achieved by getting any five consecutive cards of the same suit.
- Four of a Kind. This is pretty self-explanatory, as it happens when you get four cards of identical value in your hand.
- Full House. This is when you get a hand that includes both a pair and three of a kind (see further down for explanations).
- Flush. A hand that contains any five cards all of the same suit – one of the more commonly seen higher paying hands in video poker.
- Straight. This is when you get five cards that are consecutive in your hand, which can be of different suits.
- Three of a Kind. Once again, this is pretty self-explanatory, as it is simply when you get three cards of the same value in your hand.
- Two Pairs. When you get two sets of pairs in a hand, which happens quite regularly when playing video poker.
- Pair. When you find just a pair of the same value of card in your hand. Usually, the pair has to be jacks or higher to win a prize when playing video poker.
It is very important to look at the video poker rules before playing any version of this game though, as they will often reveal specific requirements for each hand, or often show that some hands are ranked higher than similar ones (such as four Aces/eights being higher than all other four of a kind hands when playing Aces and Eights).
Now that you know the hand rankings, here’s how to get started playing online video poker. The first thing to do is select how much you’d like to bet, with most video poker games having a wide range, therefore meaning that both low and high stakes players will be happy. Once that’s been decided, you can get the cards dealt.
You’ll now have five cards in front of you, but they aren’t your final hand. Instead, you’ll have one chance to swap the cards you don’t want for new ones. Make this selection and see what you manage to get.
You’ll now have your completed hand, and you’ll win a prize if the hand is good enough to match a step on the paytable. If not, simply have the cards dealt again and see if you get luckier next time.
How to Win at Video Poker Every Time
One amazing thing about video poker is this: some machines actually have an RTP of over 100%, therefore meaning that, with perfect play, it’s possible to make a profit in the long term when playing them and to win at video poker every time.
Of course, only the very best can do this though, as it relies on never putting a foot wrong. While the tactics needed to guarantee these profits are long and complex, there are a couple of things that new players can do in order to increase their chances of winning at video poker every time they play.
The first thing to do is make use of the practice feature at most video poker games, instead of playing for real money straight away. The game plays in exactly the same way as normal when using practice play, and it will allow you to make rookie mistakes without actually losing any of your own money. You can start to play for free at EnergyCasino. Just sign up for a free account through this link and launch one of the many free video poker games on the platform.
It's also really important that you only play one type of video poker, instead of flitting between a number of them. This might seem a bit boring, but it allows you to develop your skills to their maximum and therefore best understand how to win the maximum amount of money. As already mentioned, start with Jacks or Better, as it’s the most basic form of the game, as well as the one found at most online casinos.