The Ultimate Guide to Video Poker
Video Poker games first appeared in brick and mortar casinos back in 1976. In order to take advantage of the emergence of video terminals, this new hybrid came to be. The revolutionary fusion of new technology and an old casino classic soon became a favorite for many. Recently, with the invention of online casinos, video poker games have massively grown in popularity. And of course, with new variations coming up regularly, casino players are always entertained.
Nowadays, many Singaporean punters love video poker because it offers some of the best chances of winning online. Our video poker guide is designed to help you understand the basics of the game so that you can go on your journey right away. We’ll uncover everything from how to play and hand rankings, to use strategies and how to choose where to play.
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Video Poker in a Nutshell
Video poker is, in fact, an umbrella term for simple casino games based on 5-card draw poker. Hence, whichever variant you play, knowing the basic principles of regular poker is key. So, in these single-player games, your objective is to create as valuable a poker hand as possible. Therefore, you win cash in video poker if you manage to create a hand above a certain value. Generally, that will be a pair of jacks.
First, you’ll be dealt five cards, face-up, through a video screen for each round. Then, you’ll have to choose whether to hold any cards for the ‘draw’. Also, you can hold any number from 0 to 5. Finally, all cards that are not held are then re-dealt and the last hand is evaluated.
Brief History of Video Poker
When you trace the history of video poker, you’ll discover that it has great similarities with slot machines. Certainly, in today’s online casinos you’ll come across a huge variety of video poker games. Most commonly, in a casino’s line-up, you’ll see popular options like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild. But you might wonder how come there are so many variants and how they came about.
It all began when the first poker machine was invented by Sittman and Pitt Company. The game had 5 drums, each with 10 different playing cards. Later on in 1898, Charles Fey created the Card Bell. After that, a little later he created a poker machine, known as the Skill Draw. Those inventions were essentially the precursors to video poker as we know it today. However, the first modern video poker machine was designed in the 1970s. And from then on new variants have been emerging regularly.
How to Play Video Poker
In Singapore, many people love video poker games because of the simple rules and low house edge. Hence, players have made it a widely available choice at online casinos due to high demand. Especially because of the chances to land a big win, we recommend video poker for players of all skill levels. Mostly because similar to other game variations, you play against the house. But of course, the best part is that you get decent payouts. For those who need a little guidance, here is a step-by-step how to play video poker:
- Choose your bet size and enter the amount.
- Click on the ‘Deal’ button to get your first five cards.
- Select the cards you wish to hold on to.
- Click on the ‘Draw’ button and all cards that are not holding will disappear. They will be replaced with new ones.
- Results will be evaluated now and payout of the game is in order.
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With so many variants out there, it’s vital to know the hand rankings for the different types of video poker games. However, they all originate from the regular poker game that we know and love. Hence, if you already play poker you won’t have trouble with the video version either. Regardless, here are the different hand combinations you could get in descending order:
Possible Hand Combinations in Video Poker
- Royal Flush: This is the strongest hand. It has the highest possible payout which is 250 to 1 in a standard game. The Royal Flush has 5 cards with an identical suite – Jack, Ten, King, Queen and Ace.
- Straight Flush: The Straight Flush should have 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, except for 10, J, Q, K, and A. The standard payout for this hand is 50 to 1.
- Four of a Kind: This hand is formed by 4 cards of the same value. The odds of getting this hand on your first draw are 1 in 4,000.
- Full House: For a Full House you will need 3 cards of the same value and 2 cards of another. It has odds of occurring of 1 in 700.
- Flush: This hand requires five non-consecutive cards of the same suit. The best possible payout for a Flush is 6 to 1. The odds of getting this hand in your first draw are 1 in 500.
- Straight: A straight hand is 5 consecutive cards that are not suited. The payout for this hand is 3 to 1 or 4 to 1, depending on the game. The odds of winning with a straight hand are 1 in 256.
- Three of a Kind: This hand is exactly what the name suggests – three cards of the same kind. This hand offers a payout 3 times the original bet. The odds of landing this hand in video poker are 1 in 50.
- Two Pair: With this hand, you get a payout every time you have two pairs in your hands. It pays 2 times the original bet and the odds of landing the Two Pair hand are 1 in 20.
- Pair: The payout for the pair hand, which is just two identical cards, is 1 to 1. However, the odds of getting this hand are 1 in 2.381 on the first draw.
Video Poker Glossary
Besides the various hand combinations, there are a few terms specific to the game that are worth learning. But not to worry, we’ve put together all the information for you. So to make you gaming experience smoother, here are the most common terms you’ll come across in video poker:
- Bust – To bust means to either lose all your chips or be kicked out of a tournament.
- Cash Back – This is the money you earn on your losses.
- Comps – Comps are the points you earn when playing online, which you can then use towards your casino’s VIP program.
- Cycle – It refers to one over the probability of receiving a certain payout.
- Deuce – In video poker, ‘Deuce’ simply refers to a card with the number ‘2’ on it.
- Drawing Hand – A drawing hand is a hand that needs to be improved to win – either a straight or a flush.
- Full Pay – A Full Pay is a machine that pays better than others.
- Hand Pay – Hand Pay is simply the tip you give the dealers who facilitated the game.
Video Poker Variations
There are numerous video poker variations available at Singaporean online casinos. However, the number and type of games will vary from one casino to another. Some of the most popular variations you may come across include:
- Jacks or Better: This is the most common type of video poker. It offers a payout of 99.5%.
- Double Bonus Poker: This variation offers a bonus payout for four aces. Additionally, it has a payout percentage of 100.2%.
- Aces and Eights: This is a popular variant with high payouts on 7s, Aces or 8s. It has an RTP of 99.78% on the full-pay version.
- Bonus Poker: This type of poker offers decent payouts for certain four of a kind hands. It has an RTP of 99.17%.
- Aces and Faces: This variant has increased payouts for all four of a kind hand combinations. The payback percentage is 99.26%.
- Joker Poker: This is a single hand video poker variant. You play with 53 cards which are shuffled before each hand.
Play from your Mobile
With online video poker you can play all your favourite variations anytime and anywhere. Thanks to the ever-developing advances in technology, most games are now compatible with mobile devices. There are many mobile casinos that offer games via downloadable apps, too. But even without apps, most casinos offer instant play games which are accessible via mobile browsers.
Real Money Gaming vs Free Play
Punters from Singapore can choose to either play for real money or in free mode. Especially for new players, free mode is great as you get a chance to learn the rules. Also, you can develop a strategy to increase your winning opportunities.
However, with the free mode you won’t be able to win any real money. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of playing for real cash prizes. Not to mention the thrill of risk and the fun it brings.
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Tips and Strategies
Since video poker is a skill-based casino game, you can apply some strategies to increase your chances of winning. Here are some tips and tricks that may help your gaming expeience:
- Always play the maximum bet.
- Practice with the free mode first.
- Take advantage of the casino bonuses and promotions.
- Practice your strategy to get big winnings.
- Play at a “Full Pay” machine.
How to Choose Where to Play Video Poker
One of the biggest challenges for new Singaporean players is finding a reputable online casino. Of course, there are numerous sites out there. But not all of them are legit and safe to join. When sourcing for a good video poker casino, some of the key factors to consider include:
- Variety of video poker and other games
- Size and types of bonus offers
- Available payment options
- Compatibility with other devices
- The quality of customer support
Video Poker vs. Slot Machines
There are several similarities and differences between video poker and online slot games. On one hand, video poker games involve more strategy than slots. Additionally,there’s a higher payback. However, for top payback a maximum bet is required.
On the other hand, slots offer bigger progressive jackpots and reward more comps. Some might find slots a little more relaxing, too, as no skill is required to play.
Now that you have learned about video poker and how to play, it is time to try it for real. Remember to keep in mind the various hand combinations when playing. Employing some of our tips on top of your knowledge can also improve your chances of winning.
However, before you play at any online casino, you should ensure that it is licensed and safe. You can always check out our casino review library, read how we review online casinos, and find a great casino in an instant. But if you’re still exploring your options – we have some wonderful guides on various casino games, too.