Video Poker

Video Poker gives you the chance to edge the house

Video Poker was able to develop alongside the emergence of computers and as soon as it became commercially viable for these machines to be built on a large scale, production moved into overdrive. The first Video Poker machines arrived in the 1970s but they didn’t start to become popular until the 1980s. Video games in arcades had a head start on the Video Poker industry but both found fame and fortune in the 1980s. Casinos immediately saw the benefits of these machines which could provide poker games for players at any time of day or night.

It would be fair to say that a great number of people can feel intimidated at the poker table and would avoid these games at all costs. This would mean that the casino would be losing out on potential income and if there is one thing that a casino hates to miss out on, it is money. The advent of the Video Poker era meant that players who were not keen on the human interaction element of poker games should still indulge in the popular past-time. All of this meant that casino visitors got the casino experience they desired and the casinos were able to bring in more money from their punters. There is not always a win: win situation in a casino but the emergence of Video Poker is definitely one of these situations!

Many Video Poker machines also provide regular opportunities for players to double their winnings with the turn of one card. This sort of offer is not for everyone and it definitely depends on the gambling nature of the player but there is a chance to win a lot of money in a short space of time when playing Video Poker if your luck is in and you can hold your nerve.

Video poker games, which are played against a computer, are only offered as side games. You can play video poker at Party Casino, if you like more variation, or even video games with progressive jackpots.

Jacks Or Better is the most popular Video Poker game

Merge Gaming Side Games - Video Poker - Jacks or BetterThere are a number of variations in the Video Poker arsenal but one of the most popular and common games would have to be the Jacks or Better game. As the name suggests, the payoffs begin with a pair of jacks and then containing upwards. Other names for Jacks or Better include Draw Poker or 9/6 Jacks or Better, which is derived from the fact that the payoff reward for getting a full house is equivalent to 9 credits whereas the payoff reward for a flush is 6 credits.

Every casino or machine could set its own payoff limits but there has been a generalisation in the market that allows players to know what they are aiming for. For the different outcomes in the game, the payoff equivalent for one credit is as follows:

  • Royal Flush: 250 credits
  • Straight Flush: 50 credits
  • Four of a Kind: 25 credits
  • Full House: 9 credits
  • Flush: 6 credits
  • Straight: 4 credits
  • Three of a Kind: 3 credits
  • Two pair: 2 credits
  • Jacks or Better: 1 credit

Armed with this knowledge, video poker players know what each relative hand is worth, which is crucial in knowing what to play for. Maximising your return is always an essential part of the process for any online Video Poker player. However, even though Jacks or Better is the main game that online Video Poker players turn to, it is by far from the only game that can hold interest in a casino.

Joker Poker is a strong variant on the Jacks or Better Video Poker game

Merge Gaming Side Games - Video Poker - Joker PokerGiven that Jacks or Better has become the cornerstone of many Video Poker players gaming habits, it is no surprise to learn that a number of variations on this game have been introduced to the industry. One of the more popular variations would have to be the Joker Poker game, which is similar to Jacks or Better but has an important twist in proceedings. The difference comes with the fact that rather than playing with the 52 card deck, the game plays out with a 53 card deck. The additional card in the game is the Joker and the Joker card acts as a wild card. This means there is a higher chance of winning but this is reflected in different odds being applied to the game.

The use of the Joker as a wild card means that 5 of a kind is possible in this game. Obviously this is not a hand that features in the majority of online casino or Video Poker games so many players like the kudos that comes with being able to play this hand. The notion of the wild card provides an added element to Video Poker and Joker Poker is not the only wild card variant that players can opt for.

Deuces Wild keeps the wild card Video Poker games coming

Another popular form of Video Poker is Deuces Wild, a game where all of the twos are wild cards, wild cards being able to substitute for any other card in the deck. As the availability of the wild card makes it potentially easier to pick up a winning hand, it is no surprise to see that the odds and payoffs also alter to reflect this. This is something that Video Poker players have to keep in mind when choosing their game but sometimes the increased likelihood of winning is all that a player needs as an encouragement. It may not be the game that will help you break the bank of a casino but it can be the game that makes you feel like a winner, an important factor for many people who turn to online casinos for fun and excitement.

Merge Gaming Side Games - Video Poker - Deuces WildNever discard a deuceThe pay-outs on the Deuces Wild game begin with a three of a kind and the Royal Flush still remains the top prize. However, a four of a kind is known to produce a special jackpot in many of the games so this is something that can be well worth playing for. It is said that with the right strategy on a full-pay Deuces Wild game, it is possible to obtain a payback that is slightly higher than 100% but it can be difficult to find this style of machine. However, there are definite tactics that can help you become a winner when playing Deuces Wild. Some pertinent playing tips include:

  • Never hold on to 2 pair as this will remove the chances of getting 4 of a kind
  • Choose a pair over a straight draw or 4 card flush

These are just some basic rules to get you started with Deuces Wild.

Video Poker is a simple addition for any casino site and it regularly features on both the instant play versions and download software games. Even though there are benefits to both styles of play, some casino sites will only provide the download variant for their game. There are gameplay, graphics and security reasons for downloading the software from your casino site but the merits and benefits of this choice can be different for every player. The fact that Video Poker is a simple game without too much need for impressive graphics makes it a perfect choice for online casino sites to provide in either format. Given that Video Poker is often a game that players turn to in between waiting for other games and tournaments to begin, it makes sense to make it as widely available as possible.

Video Poker is more than just a stop-gap game

However, you would do well not to consider Video Poker as merely being a stop-gap on a casino site. Many players who like poker but do not like the need to bluff and interact with others will instinctively turn to Video Poker as their main online option. There are many different skills required to win poker tournaments and even though some players are confident in knowing the rules and understanding what hands to aim for, they can struggle to take on their opponent. The emergence of Video Poker was a boon for these players, providing an outlet for their skills and talents without penalising them for not enjoying the camaraderie that can sometimes define poker games.

As technology continually improves, the graphics, speed and layout of Video Poker games will continue to be more attractive but it is the gameplay that remains the important factor in these games. A player that is willing to work hard and play optimally as best they can is likely to find that they can have an edge when playing Video Poker. This alone makes it a strong choice for many online players because there are not too many online casino games that provide the opportunity for players to hold an edge over the house.

For this reason alone, Video Poker will be a popular game but it is far from being the only factor in the enduring popularity of the game. With so many casino games to choose from, it is inevitable that there will be a wide diversity of favourite games but the simplicity, quick-fire nature and chance to win involved with Video Poker means that this is definitely the game of choice for many online casino players.