Video Poker is a casino card game that is played on an electronic gaming machine as opposed to a real life gaming table, and one of the many benefits of choosing to play such games is that they tend to offer some of the highest payout percentages of any casino game!
As such it is likely to be a category of casino game that most people will be interested in playing, as there is a very good chance you will get more of your stake money returned to you over the long term as winning payouts.
However, video poker is also a game that is a semi skill one, and as such you do need to fully master playing any variant to ensure that you do get the best pay backs possible.
This guide is going to let you know not only how to play video poker, and also how to play it perfectly but I will also be introducing you to the many different variants you will come across and will also be letting you know what the payout percentages are on each variant covered, if you do play them with the very best strategy in place!
How to Play Video Poker
The basics of playing video poker is that you will first need to select a coin value to have in play and then choose just how many coins you wish to have in play per hand dealt out to you.
It is often beneficial for player to play the maximum number of coins per hand they play, as most video poker variants have an enhanced jackpot payout up for grabs when they do play maximum coins hands and are then dealt out the winning hand combination listed on the pay table of the game they are playing.
Once you have chosen your stake levels then all you are required to do is to click or tap if you are playing on a mobile device, onto the deal button.
By doing so you will then be randomly dealt out five playing cards, you must then decide if you would like to hold any of those cards into place for the second stage of the game. You hold the cards by simply clicking onto them and the word held will then be displayed on the card or the cards you have held.
You are then required to click or tap onto the deal button a second time, and by doing so the cards you have not held are removed from the screen and new ones are randomly dealt out of the pack to replace them.
The ultimate aim when you are playing video poker is always to try and get dealt out in your final hand, any of the winning hand combinations that are listed on the pay table. If you do you are then paid out the associated number of coins listed on the pay table for the hand you have formed, and the more coins you do stake and wager the higher that payout will become.
Best Ways to Play Video Poker
As you are faced with making decisions when playing any type of video poker games in regards to which of the initial five cards you can hold and which one you wish to discard and get replaced with new ones, the way you play off each and every single hand can and will affect your winning chances!
Not many video poker players have the time or ability to learn every single initial hand combination that is dealt out to them and then how to play those hands perfectly, but there is a way to get the game you are playing to do all of the hard work and thinking for you!
That is by you turning on and activating the auto hold option setting that most video poker games will have on offer to players.
When you do make use of that option stetting and have it always switched on, when you very first five playing cards are dealt out to you the game will then scan the cards you have been dealt out and will then hold the best ones as per the best strategy for the variant you are playing, so you will never make any strategic game play errors with that options settings switched on and activated!
Single Hand Video Poker
The most commonly available variants of video poker will have been designed as single hand games and as such when you choose to play them you have just one hand in live play on each game you play off.
The pay tables are what you do always need to check through carefully, for you will find video poker games with the same name at many different casinos sites all using different gaming platforms, but the pay table and therefore the payout percentages can and will vary depending on where you choose to play them.
Obviously for you to get the absolute maximum winning hand combinations dealt out to you and more of your stake money returned to you as winning payouts over the long term, the variants which do come with the highest possible payout percentages are always going to be the ones that you should make a beeline to play.
If you fancy playing single hand video poker at for example a casino site offering the Microgaming range of games then thee All Aces variant is their best paying one by virtue of the fact its pay table is set to return a payout percentage of 99.92% over the long term!
Multi-Hand Video Poker
It you do want to have the absolute maximum chances of winning and possibly winning big when playing video poker games then you should seriously consider getting stuck into playing some of the multi-hand video poker games that every single one of our featured and top rated casino sites have on offer to their players.
When you play such games you will find you can put into play more than one hand per game, some multi-hand variants offer three hands per game, however you will find some other variants that can and do offer 5, 10, 50 or even 100 hand options.
One thing you will also discover when playing such games online or on a mobile device is that usually the coin value settings can be lowered down to a lower amount than when you play single hand variants, to make them affordable to all players!
The pay tables can and do often sometimes vary in regards to both single hand and multi-hand variants of the same name, so always make sure you check the pay tables to ensure that you are not playing one with lower pay backs and a lower overall payout percentage!
Progressive Video Poker
The only thing that you do need to keep in mind when playing any progressive video poker game is that you are often required to both play each hand or the maximum number of coins permitted and those coin values are often fixed coin values.
As such it is very true to say that for players who are on something of a small and modest bankroll and gambling budget, such games can be quite expensive to play.
What you will also have to ensure you are going is playing these types of video poker games with the best strategy in place to take into account the way the jackpot is paid out to you.
However, if you do have the gambling budget and bankroll to be able to sustain a very large number of base hands, then you will have plenty of fun playing progressive video poker games, and the more hands you do play off the more chances you will then have of being dealt out the jackpot paying hand.
You will find out how the jackpot is awarded on any progressive video poker games you come across by checking their respective pay tables, so always check them out!
Level-Up Video Poker games
One fairly new category of video poker game that you are going to find exclusively available at Microgaming software powered casino sites are a range of games that are collectively known as Level-up video poker games.
When playing them you will have to put into play four individual stakes, which you could lose at any stage of those games though!
The aim of Level-Up video poker games is to get a winning hand dealt out to you on the first hand, as by doing so you will then move onto a second hand. If that hand wins you are then dealt out a third hand and if that is also a winning one then a fourth and final hand is dealt out to you.
What makes Level-Up video poker an exciting game to play is that each hand comes with a different multiplier, the first hand has a x1 multiplier, but the second hand has a x2 multiplier, the third hand has a x4 multiplier and the fourth hand comes with a huge x8 multiplier!
Video Poker Payouts
When it comes to spotting which video poker machines are about to pay it is sadly impossible due to the fact that the game is completely random, however some people believe in the myth that video poker games go through pump and dump cycles, meaning that when it is in a pump cycle you are going to be feeding it coin after coin playing game after game and getting hardly any winning combinations appearing.
Whilst during the mythical dump cycle then the player can do no wrong with hand after hand being winning ones! This sort of thinking often leads players to look for games which they perceive as hot or loose, so if they sit down to play and they start to get dealt lots of winning hands in a short period of time then they will happily sit there playing that machine in the hope that an illusive Royal Flush is just around the corner.
To dismiss these myths are exactly that, myths, you need to know how a video poker machine works, quite simply at the heart of it is a random number generator, and the soul purpose of this device is to pick out a sequence of numbers which are then transformed into playing cards and then displayed on the screen.
The basic game play structure of a video poker game is that you are first dealt out five playing cards and using your skill or more so your judgement you should then choose to hold any of these cards in place and and therefore choose which cards to discard, all discards are then replaced with new cards from the deck, the aim of the playing video poker is to try and end the game with a winning hand combination that is displayed on the pay table and as by doing so you will win the respective payout attached to that particular hand.
The fact that a video poker machine is completely random means that you will never know when one is about to hit and payout, in fact it is quite possible to win the top prize payout on two consecutive games, although an extremely rare event, being random means anything is possible no matter how unlikely it is.
So should you have just seen a player losing a fortune on a video poker machine then there is nothing to be gained by jumping on that machine as it does not mean that the game should be about to hit even though that poor player has just filled it up! Conversely if a machine has just paid out a large win that doesn’t mean you should avoid playing it as another big win may be just around the corner!
Best Paying Video Poker Games
Depending on how you wish to define the term best paying, then some of the best video poker games to play if you are looking for the highest payouts are the progressive video poker machines, Blackjack Ballroom Casino for example has a couple of these kinds of games available and they are the Jackpot Deuces game and the Supajax game, so if big winning potential is something you are craving then perhaps you should consider giving either of these games a try.
However should it be the best paying video poker game you are seeking in terms of the ones that has the highest payout percentages and therefore the lowest house edge then our featured casino above features a game called the All Aces video poker machine and this is the one you should head too if you want to best chance of having a winning session.
What makes this video poker game so much better to play than all of the others, well it is the pay table which makes this game so very attractive to players, and due to the payouts achievable once you get dealt certain hands you will be playing on a game which boasts a massive payout percentage of 99.82%, leaving the house edge for the casino at a tiny 0.08%.
The house edge can also be slightly reduced by the addition of casino comps which most casinos offer players playing this or indeed any other video poker game in real money mode, however we should point out that most casinos will not permit a casino bonus to be used on this video poker game simply due to the tiny house edge!
This video poker game could be classified as quite a volatile one due to the nature of the pay table and the slightly reduced payouts offered for the lower ranked hands, however this is compensated with the higher ranked hands offering enhanced payouts, so at any moment you could hit several larger paying hands which will turn in a healthy profit, conversely you may end up getting lots of the smaller value hands appearing which will hardly make a noticeable difference to your bankroll, so it is swings and roundabouts really.
Video Poker Playing Tips
The one most important thing to remember when playing any video poker game is to always make sure that you play with the maximum number of coins in play on every single hand you play, the reason for us saying this is that in the majority of cases there is an enhanced payout offered for the Royal Flush hand when you play max bet hands, and playing anything less than maximum coins will greatly reduce the expected payout percentage of that machine and therefore increase the house edge, so always play maximum coins, adjusting the coin values to enable you to do just that should you be playing with a small bankroll.
Another tip is for you to do the maths when you are thinking of taking a casino bonus especially on the game of video poker, we say this as many online casino attach a massive play through requirement on video poker play when using a bonus, in fact many casinos won’t let you play video poker with any of their bonuses so another handy tip is to read through all of the rules and terms and conditions of any bonus you have been granted to see if you can indeed play video poker and what the play through requirements are should you be able to.