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A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Video Poker

Discover everything you need to learn in our beginner’s guide to Video Poker and you will be playingand hopefully winning in no time at all.

Over the last few decades Video Poker has become incredibly popular, both online and at land casinos. The games give you the chance to develop your poker skills and win a huge amount of money, while having a truly enjoyable time.

At Casino Las Vegas you will find a number of different types of Video Poker game and if you have never played before then it can look a bit daunting. However, there is no need to worry. Here we will guide you through all of the different variants, clear up any confusion you may have, and you will be playing in no time at all.

The Video Poker Basics While there are numerous video poker variants available, nearly all of them work in the same way. The aim of the game is to build the best five-card poker hand you possibly can. Most Video Poker games are a variant on 5 Card Draw. This means that in nearly all of the games you will receive five cards, you can then choose which to hold and which to discard, the discarded cards will be replaced, and then you will be paid out according to the strength of your hand.When playing a game the first thing to do is select your coin size.

These will often range from about €0.01 right the way up to €100. You then need to decide how many coins you wish to bet per hand, most games will allow you to bet anywhere from 1 to 5 coins per hand. You should always try to bet the maximum number of coins possible and the reasons for this are explained later.You will see that some Video Poker games are described as being 4, 10, 25, 50, or any other number of lines. The lines refer to the number of hands that you are playing simultaneously.

This means that the number of coins you bet per hand will be multiplied by the number of lines. Of course, the more hands that you are playing the better your chances of winning.Once you have set your coin size and the number of coins you are betting you just need to click on ‘Deal’ to receive your first five cards. If you are dealt a winning hand then in most games the cards in it will automatically be held. However, you can unselect them and choose to hold other cards instead. When you are happy with your selection click on ‘Deal’ once again (sometimes labelled ‘Draw’) to replace your discarded cards. Your hand is assessed and you will be paid out according to its strength.

Types of Poker HandRegardless of which variant of Video Poker you are playing, the basic types of poker hand are the same. Only two things will vary, the minimum hand required to win a payout and the amount paid out for each type of hand.Here is a quick explanation of the different hand types:

  • Two/Three of a Kind –This is a hand that contains either two matching cards or three matching cards. For example, two or three 2s.

  • Two Pair –This is hand containing two pairs, for example two 2s and two 4s.
  • Full House –This is a pair together with three of a kind, for example two tens and three kings. It doesn’t matter what suit the cards are, as long as they have the same value.
  • Flush– This is a hand where all the cards are the same suit, for example, 4, 5, 7, K and A of clubs.
  • Straight– This is a hand with five cards in sequence, for example 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Once again it doesn’t matter what the suit is and the Ace can be used at either the beginning or end of a sequence.
  • Outside Straight– This is a set of cards that can be made into a straight with another card on either end. For example, 9, 7, 10, 8, 3 is an outside straight because either a 6 on the low end or a Jack on the high end will turn it into a straight.
  • Inside Straight– This is a would-be straight with a hole in the middle. 9, 2, 10, 8, 6 is an inside straight because only a 7 will turn it into a straight.  It is important to know the difference between inside and outside straights as when playing Video Poker you would never bet on an inside straight becoming a straight as you only have one chance of completing the straight.
  • Straight Flush– This is a hand that is both a straight and a flush. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of diamonds.
  • Royal Flush– This is a straight flush composed of the highest cards, such as 10, J, Q, K, A.  This is the strongest hand in video poker and if you see it then you know you are in for a big payout.
Video Poker Variants As mentioned, atCasino Las Vegas there are numerous different types of Video Poker games for you to enjoy. Here isa quick guide to each of them.

Jacks or Better Many Video Poker variants are named after the minimum hand needed to win a payoutandJacks or Better is one such game, if you don’t have at least a pair of Jacks then you will notwin anything. A Pair of Jacks will win you back your stake, and the payouts steadily increase as youprogress through the more valuable hands. For instance, two pair can payout 10 coins, while a Royal Flushcan payout a massive 4,000 coins!

Deuces Wild Here is another good example of a Video Poker game whose name gives you a big clueabout how the game works. InDeuces Wild all the 2 cards are wild, meaning that they can substitute for all of the other cards.Thanks to this it is much easier to form winning hands, but you will have to form more valuable handsto win a payout. In Deuces Wild a pair is not good enough to win, you will need at least three of a kindto hit the money. In this game it is possible to form a 5 of a Kind hand, and this of course pays outmuch more than 4 of a Kind. The most valuable hand is a Natural Royal Flush, four Deuces can payout upto 1,000x coins, and a Royal Flush containing wild cards pays 125 coins.

Joker Poker As the name suggests,Joker Poker is played with adeck of cardsthat contains a joker, so 53 cards in total. The joker is a wild card and it will substitutefor all of the other cards to help you form a win. However, as there is just one joker in a pack, youcan win payouts with a pair of Kings or better (unlike Deuces Wild, which requires 3 of a Kind). In thisgame a Joker Royal Flush can payout 500 coins, a 5 of a Kind hand can payout 1,000 coins and a NaturalRoyal Flush will payout a massive 5,000 coins!

Aces and Faces As the name suggests, this game offers enhanced payouts for hands that have combinationsofAces and face cards (Jack, Queen and King). As such, there are special payouts for 4 Jacks, Queensor Kings of up to 200 coins, and a special payout of up to 400 coins for four Aces.

As usual, the RoyalFlush is the strongest hand and will payout up to 4,000 coins.

2 Ways Royal2 Ways Royal is based upon Jacks or Better but it gives you two ways of forming a Royal Flush, hencethe name. The game has two kinds of Royal Flush, a Hi Royal Flush and a Lo Royal Flush. The Hi RoyalFlush is the standards 10, J, Q, K and A in the same suit. The Lo Royal Flush is the cards 2, 3, 4, 5and 6 in the same suit. Both of these have the potential to payout up to a massive 4,000x depending onthe number of coins bet. The game also offers enhanced payouts for Four of a Kind (up to 200 coins).

All AmericanThis is another game based upon Jacks or Better, but it offers enhanced payoutsfor Straight Flushes. This means that if you are betting five coins per hand you can win payouts of 1000coins for a straight flush. The game’s top payout is 4000 coins for a Royal Flush when bettingfive coins per hand.

10’s or BetterThe name of this game pretty much gives it away. It pays out if a hand containsat least a pair of 10s. As it is easier to form winning hands the game pays out slightly less for a Flush,a Full House or Four of a Kind. However, it offers enhances payouts for a Royal Flush when betting lessthan the maximum five coins. For instance, if you are betting one coin and have a Royal Flush it paysout 800 coins whereas Jacks or Better would payout just 250 coins.Megajacks This is exactly the same as Jacks or Better, but it gives you the chance to win a progressivejackpot. If you are betting the maximum of 5 coins per hand and you have a Royal Flush then the jackpotis yours.

Pick ‘em Poker This is a simplified version of Video Poker and is a great choice if youare new to the game. In the game you have just one choice per round. You will be dealt two cards andtwo stacks of three cards. You will be able to see the top card of each stack and you then need to choosea stack to use to complete your hand. You then win based upon the strength of your hand. As you haveless control in this game it will payout for hands of 9s or better. Furthermore, a Royal Flush can payout6000 coins while a Straight Flush can payout 1199 coins and 4 of a Kind can payout 600 coins.

Bonus Features Nearly all of the Video Poker games atCasino Las Vegas offer one small bonus feature. After a winning hand you have the chance to try todouble your payout by playing a small game. You will be shown one face up card and need to pick fromthe four face down cards to find one that is higher in value. You get only one pick but if you choosecorrectly then you can repeat the process. This way you can keep doubling your winnings until you reachthe double up limit. You can also choose to gamble just half of your winnings.

Basic Video Poker Strategy The most basic of Video Poker strategies, regardless of which variantyou are playing, is always to bet the maximum number of coins possible per hand. This is because thepayouts for the top hands are always far bigger when betting the maximum number of coins. For example,most games will payout 250 coins for a Royal Flush when betting one coin, 500 coins when betting twocoins, 750 coins when betting three coins, 1000 coins when betting four coins, but then a massive 4,000coins when betting five coins. Thanks to this, by playing with the maximum number of coins you give yourselfthe chance of much larger returns, even if you have to play with a smaller coin size.Video Poker strategieswill vary slightly depending on the variant you are playing. But here we will explain a basic Jacks orBetter strategy, as this is the most popular form of the game, and you should be able to derive otherstrategies from it.The strategy works to a very basic principle. Below is a list of hands and you needto pay the highest hand that you can. The list shows you which cards to hold depending on what you havebeen dealt.

  1. Full House or Better
  2. 4 to a Royal Flush
  3. Straight, Three of a Kind, or Flush
  4. 4 to a Straight Flush
  5. Two Pair
  6. High Pair
  7. 3 to a Royal Flush
  8. 4 to a Flush
  9. Low Pair
  10. 4 to an Outside Straight
  11. 2 Suited High Cards
  12. 3 to a Straight Flush
  13. 2 Unsuited High Cards (if more than 2 pick the lowest 2).
  14. Suited 10/J, 10/Q or 10/K
  15. One High Card
  16. Discard Everything
Here are some examples of how to use this list.

Example 1You are dealt: 9 Clubs, 7 Hearts, Jack Spades, 3 Diamonds, 2 Clubs.Following the listabove the best you have is number 15, One High Card. You need a pair or Jacks to win a payout so youwill hold the Jack and hope to draw another one.

Example 2 You are dealt: Queen Spades, 8 Hearts, Jack Diamonds, 5 Clubs, 2 ClubsNow you havetwo high cards, Queen Spades and Jack Diamonds. You will hold them both as drawing a Jack or a Queenwill form a winning pair. This is number 13 on the list, 2 Unsuited High Cards.

Example 3 You are dealt: Queen Spades, 8 Hearts, Jack Diamonds, Ace Clubs, 2 ClubsYou are holdingthree high cards, Queen of Spades, Jack of Diamonds and Ace of Clubs. However, if you hold all threeit would be impossible to get a Full House. Therefore, hold the Jack and Queen; once again, this correspondsto number 13 on the list.

Example 4 You are dealt: 8 Hearts, Jack Clubs, Queen Diamonds, Ace Clubs, 2 DiamondsYou havetwo suited high cards so you hold them as they can become a Flush, or even a Royal Flush. This correspondsto number 11 on the list.Example 5 You are dealt: 5 Diamonds, 7 Spades, 5 Spades, 5 Hearts, 2 DiamondsYou have three ofa kind so hold them and hope to receive another 5 for four of a kind.

Example 6 You are dealt: 5 Diamonds, 7 Spades, 5 Hearts, 2 Hearts, 3 SpadesYou have a pair of5s, hold them and hope to draw another. This is number 9 on the list, Low Pair.

Example 7You are dealt: 5 Diamonds, 7 Spades, 8 Clubs, 2 Hearts, 6 HeartsYou have four to anoutside straight (5, 6, 7, 8). You need a 4 or a 9 to make it a straight so hold all cards but the 2.This is number 10 on the list.

Example 8You are dealt: 5 Diamonds, 7 Spades, 8 Clubs, 2 Hearts, 4 HeartsHere you need a 6 tocomplete the straight (it is an inside straight). You should never draw to an inside straight so allyou can do is replace all five cards.Example 9 You are dealt: 9 Hearts, 7 Hearts, 5 Clubs, 2 Hearts, 4 HeartsYou have four cards ofthe same suit, therefore you have four to a flush. Discard the five and hope for another heart. Thisis number 8 on the list.

Example 10 You are dealt: 9 Spades, 6 Spades, 3 Hearts, 5 Spades, 8 DiamondsYou have three toa straight flush (5, 6, 9). Hold the cards and hope to receive a 7 and 8 of Spades. The returns froma straight flush are far higher than a straight so you would draw to a straight flush, but not an insidestraight.

Example 11 You are dealt: 4 Clubs, 5 Spades, 6 Diamonds, 7 Spades, 7 HeartsYou could hold thefour to an outside straight (4, 5, 6, 7) or hold the two 7s for three or four of a kind. Looking at thelist above, a Low Pair is 9 on the list and Four to an Outside Straight is 10. Therefor you hold the7s.

Example 12 You are dealt: 4 Clubs, Queen Clubs, 6 Clubs, 7 Clubs, 7 HeartsYou have a pair, butyou also have Four to a Flush. Hold the four Clubs and hope to form a flush.

Example 13 You are dealt: 4 Clubs, 4 Diamonds, Queen Clubs, King Clubs, 7 SpadesHere the lowpair is higher on the list than the two suited cards so you hold the two 4s.

Example 14 You are dealt: 10 Clubs, Jack Clubs, Queen Clubs, King Hearts, King DiamondsHere thereis a potential straight (10, J, Q, K), a high pair (2 Kings), and three to a royal flush (10, J, Q).The high pair is the highest on the list (number 6), so you hold the pair of Kings. 



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