Video poker is known to be different than any other game in the casino,
for one mighty good reason. On the right machine (say, a full pay deuces
wild box) with the right strategy (say, the right strategy card to work
from) the player can achieve a house edge that actually goes below 0%.
Which of course means it is now a player's edge. So in effect, playing
video poker perfectly on the right machine can turn you into a long-term
winner. No other casino game that exists offers a house edge below 0%.
Video Poker is based loosely on five-card draw poker. In effect, video
poker rules revolve around the basics of poker play, but instead of playing
against other players, you're playing against a computer. The only true
artifact that relates video poker and classic poker is the ranking of
poker hands, which occur in each game the same way - based on traditional
If you're interested in learning the 'rules' associated with expert play,
then what you're truly interested in is video poker strategy, and you
should visit our page dedicated to just that. If you're just looking for
the basics, and some good pointers, keep on reading!
Video poker is like draw poker. Each player (ok, it's just you) is dealt
five cards, and they are given to option of keep as many as they wish,
or discarding as many as they wish. Any cards that are discarded are replaced
with new random ones. If this second hand achieves a winning poker hand,
you get paid. The specific details for proper video poker strategy rely
on the style of game you're playing. Jacks or Better for instance pay's
gives back what you put into the machine if your hand has a pair at least
a pair of jacks.
The highest ranking hand possible. All five cards are in both sequence
and common suit. Example: A(hearts), K(hearts), Q(hearts), J(hearts),
Five cards both in sequence and common suit. Example: 10(diamonds), 9(diamonds),
8(diamonds), 7(diamonds), 6(diamonds)
FOUR OF A KIND
Four cards of the same rank. Example: 5(clubs), 5(hearts), 5(spades),
Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. Example: K(clubs),
K(diamonds), K(hearts), 4(spades), 4(clubs)
Five cards of same suit. Example: K(diamonds), J(diamonds), 9(diamonds),
6(diamonds), 3(diamonds), 2(diamonds)
Five cards in sequence ( Aces are used as high only ) Example: A(clubs),
K(diamonds), Q(clubs), J(hearts), 10(spades)
THREE OF A KIND
Three cards of same rank. Example: 9(clubs), 9(diamonds), 9(hearts), A(spades),
Two groups of two cards of same rank. Example: 4(clubs), 4(diamonds),
J(hearts), J(spades), A(clubs)
JACKS OR BETTER
Two cards (Jacks or better) of the same rank Example: 8(clubs), 4(diamonds),
J(hearts), J(spades), A(clubs)
The process by which you learn video poker strategy revolves around knowing
which cards to hold on to, and which cards to get rid of. These decisions
have been worked out ahead of time by mathematicians (finally, something
useful from math), and are sometimes referred to somewhat incorrectly
as video poker rules specific to a certain game.
Some basic notes to help your brain see the differences between video
poker from regular poker:
In Video Poker there is no dealer who represents the house. There is only
a machine, which has no interest in beating you. There are no other players,
so there are no other player's hands you need to try and figure out. Additionally,
this means that you do not run the risk of being beaten by another player.
If you have a strong hand, you win. Oh, and you can't bluff (besides,
machines aren't so easily fooled by that long practiced poker face that
tricks your friends on Fridays).