Video poker comes in the form of a variety of different games, each with their own peculiarities. As you might expect, the one thing that they have in common in that they are all based on poker. Since their appearance in the 1980s as a regular feature amongst the pantheon of casino games, video poker has become one of the biggest hits for casinos, both in their online and traditional formats. Although many casinos run regular poker tables for different formats of the game, played amongst casino visitors with the casino hosting and providing the dealer for a % of all the money played, video poker was developed as a more suitable format of the game for casinos. It is faster and the players play directly against the video dealer. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular video poker games:
Jacks or Better
In Jacks or Better the game starts with a single shuffled deck with the player dealt five cards face up. The minimum winning hand is, as the game’s name suggests, a pair of jacks or better. A pair of jacks usually has a payout ratio of 2:1 and the odds rise to 800:1 for a Royal Flush. A full house would be at around 10:1. The player has to place the wager before the cards are dealt however. Once the cards are dealt the player must select which, if any, of the five cards to retain and the remainder are replaced with a new deal. This is the final hand and whatever cards the player has at this point is what the bet is paid out or lost on.
In Joker wild the game follows a similar pattern to that of Jacks or Better. The difference is that payouts start at two pair, so having a single pair, no matter its value, is still a losing hand. Each pack contains a single Joker which counts as whatever card would be most useful to the value of the hand. If you have a pair of threes and the Joker then the Joker would become a three, giving you three of a kind. Again bets are made before the game starts, the player is dealt five cards and keeps those they want with the remainder replaced, at which point the hand is evaluated.
There are many other kinds of video poker. Players should find strategy cards online which show the odds of retaining or replacing cards depending on the combinations and base their decisions according to these. The odds are always in favour of the casino but these strategy cards, based on statistical probability theory and the outcome of thousands of played hands will help you reduce those odds to their optimal.