Many of my friends, family members and even sometimes strangers ask me about Video Poker: how to play it, about its difficulty level, tips on how to master the machine, the flushes and so on. And of course, I decided to write a post to all of you who want to become a video Poker Expert. It’s about time we master the game and share the information all around.
Don’t misunderstand me, playing video poker is very easy and a lot of fun, if you know what you’re doing. The game is based on Five Card draw Poker and comes in a number of variations. Just keep in mind, that the main difference of playing video poker compared to a live game of poker is that fact that you are not competing against other players, in this game it’s only you and the computer. The similarities come in the way of the outcomes (and rankings) of the hands that will determine whether or not you win or lose.
Nice to Meet You, Video Poker!
- When you start the game, just like in a five card draw, you are dealt five cards. You now have the option of keeping (holding) as many of these cards as you like and discarding as many as you like.
- Once you have chosen the cards to discard (usually done by clicking on the cards or on the “hold” button beneath the cards that you would like to keep), the computer will automatically replace the discarded cards with new ones in their place, making another five card hand. It is this hand that determines whether you win or not.
- If you have a combination that matches one on the pay table (usually basic poker hands) then you’ll win the according pay out.
- Also remember that in Video Poker, like slot machines, the amount you win will vary depending on how many coins (amount of money) you are playing per hand. These totals will be outlined for you on the games pay table and it is important for you to read over this table in order to fully understand what you are getting into.
Your Friends: The Poker Hands
Ok guys and gals, now that you know the basics of the game, if you really want to become the master of video poker, memorize these hands. This is the number one step to being a master.
- Royal Flush: This is the best poker hand possible. This hand consists of exactly a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and An Ace, where all must be of the same suit. For example, 10d, Jd, Qd, Kd and Ad.
- Straight Flush: This hand consists of five cards in numerical sequence and of the same suit. For example, 4h, 5h, 6h, 7h and 8h.
- Four of a Kind: A hand that consists of 4 cards of the same rank and one other. For example, 10d, 10h, 10s, 10c and 4h.
- Full House: A hand consisting of 3 cards of the same rank along with cards of another rank. For example, 8h, 8s, 8c, Qc and Qd.
- Flush: A hand consisting of 5 cards which are all of the same suit. For example, 3s, 7s, 10s, Js and As.
- Straight: A hand consisting of five cards in numerical sequence (suit doesn’t play a role). For example, 7c, 8c, 9s, 10h and Jd.
- Three of a Kind: A hand consisting of 3 cards of the same rank and any two others. For example, 9d, 9h, 9c, Qs and Kd.
- Two Pair: A hand consisting of two groups of pairs and one other card. For example, 4c, 4d, 8s, 8c and Ad.
- Pair: A hand that consists of only two cards of the same rank and any three others.
- High Card: This is a hand that does not contain any pairs or higher, any straights and no flush. In this card the value of the hand is based on the highest card in the hand.
I promise that these are all of the facts that you need to know in order to rule the machine. Also, keep in mind that one of the best features of this game is that unlike a conventional poker game, if you make a hand, you are guaranteed to win. Even if you are holding a full house, in a poker game, there is no guarantee that you will win the hand. And BEST OF ALL, you don’t ever have to put a Poker face on!