Online Video Poker - Rules, Tips and Where to Play Online
Most forms of video poker stem from five-card draw poker, where the player receives five cards and can decide to keep none, any or all of them before drawing replacements for any he or she chooses not to keep. Brick and mortar casinos generally have physical hold and draw buttons, though online play often requires clicking on the cards themselves. The object is to make the strongest hand possible based on the standard rankings of poker hands. A minimum hand is needed for a winning wager, and this is sometimes indicated by the name of the video poker game. For example, Jacks or Better poker requires the player to have at least a pair of jacks to win that hand.
Video poker can also incorporate game mechanics that aren't commonly found in a normal poker game, like the use of wild cards or jokers. Anything that makes it easier for players to form a winning hand also leads to a corresponding increase in the minimum hand needed to win. The best possible hand, a royal flush, usually awards the top prize in any given video poker game, and playing strategies are formulated with that fact in mind. Like slot machines, video poker can usually be played within a range of credits per hand, so for a $1 game, players might be able to wager as much as $5 per round.
Another similarity that modern video poker shares with slots is its inclusion of bonus games that introduce additional wagers with additional risks at the end of a completed round. Popular bonus rounds include variations on a double or nothing gambit like deciding if the next card will be higher or lower than the one displayed on screen.
The most important thing to keep in mind while playing video poker is the minimum hand needed to win, as it makes no sense to hold a single 10 if a pair of jacks or better is needed to win. Like blackjack, many people have devoted time to devising mathematically correct plays for common variations of video poker, and much of the resulting information is available online. It's also usually wise to play for the maximum number of credits in each round, as the biggest prize for a royal flush at max credits is often many times greater than one hit while playing for less.