Video Poker

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Video poker refers to a specific type of poker game based on the standard five-card draw poker format. However, it is played on slot-machine-like video gaming machines. This earned it the name “poker slots.” Nonetheless, there is a significant distinction between it and slots. 

Video poker, in contrast to slot machines, requires some degree of skill. This is because success depends on playing each hand according to the poker hand rankings. The game, though popular at land-based locations, is now common online. 

Here, we’ll explore how to play video poker games at Indian online gambling sites. Read on to also learn how to choose the best online casinos where you can play the game video poker. 

History

Video poker was sold for the first time when it became cheap to combine a monitor like a TV with a solid-state central processing unit. The first of these machines came out around the same time as the first personal computers, in the mid-1970s. However, like the machines we have today, they were very simple to play.

Video poker became more popular when SIRCOMA, ( Si Redd’s Coin Machines) introduced Draw Poker in 1979. During the 1980s, video poker became more and more popular in casinos because people found the machines less intimidating than table games. 

Video Poker in Online Casinos

At the end of the 19th century, the first online casinos opened. Microgaming, a well-known company that makes software, was the first to make online video poker games in 1994. The online versions of the game were a huge hit with the new generation of Internet users. Video poker blew up the industry because it combined the skill of poker and the simplicity of slots. 

With online casinos, you can play the game wherever you want. You just need an Internet connection and a PC, a tablet, or a phone (Android or iOS) to get started. Also, the Random Number Generator software is used in the online versions to make sure that all game outcomes are random. So, the results of no game are fixed; they are all honest and fair. 

How Does Video Poker Work?

While the layout of video poker games may be similar to that of slot machines, the underlying gameplay is completely different. The most important change to the way the game works is how much information the player can see.

When you play a slot, your winnings are determined by the combination of symbols that appear on the screen. For instance, if you wager INR10 and obtain three red cherries in a row, you might win INR1,000.

In video poker, the action unfolds over five “stops.” The result in each of those stops is drawn from a conventional deck of playing cards rather than symbols on spinning reels. The standard deck size for video poker games is 52 cards. However, some games utilize 53 cards with a wild card joker.

There is an expected return percentage for these games. This can be calculated by comparing the payouts for various hands with the probability of receiving that hand.

In video poker, the payout for a winning hand is determined by its poker hand rank rather than by some random combination, such as getting three cherries. In most cases, a royal flush will get you the most money, followed by a straight flush.

Video Poker Rules

If you’re familiar with the rules of standard poker, switching to video poker will be a breeze. If you haven’t played before, the guidelines are simple. To begin with, there is a wide range of video poker games available. This means picking the option that best suits you. 

You need to have at least the lowest-paying hand in order to win the game. Pairs of jacks, for instance, are the lowest possible hand in the game Jacks or Better. 

Furthermore, you should know the relative strengths of all the hands you’ll be playing. Each of these hands has a different payout, which is always shown at the top of the paytable. 

It should also be noted that the hands are organized from largest to smallest. The highest paying hand is a Royal Flush. The significance of these hands will be revealed at a later time.

Wild cards are an additional feature in some forms of video poker. The Deuces (2) or Joker is often used as the wild card. In Deuces Wild, for instance, the number 2 acts as a joker. In a similar vein, the Joker card acts as a wild symbol in Joker Wild.

How to Play

It’s easy to play video poker. The goal is to get a unique set of cards that you can use to win. In every casino game, you have to place a bet before the game starts. 

Video poker is played with credits or coins instead of chips, which is different from other card games like blackjack. You can bet up to 5 coins per hand in a casino. Some of the coins are worth as little as INR100. Some other sites also let you bet as little as INR10.

Once you’ve made your best bet, press the deal button. Based on the 5-card draw rule, the RNG software will pick 5 cards for you at random. Depending on the cards you’re using and the type of game you’re playing, you may choose to keep or throw away some of your cards. 

You can also throw away all your cards to try to get a better hand that wins. After the draw, if you have a winning hand or set of cards, you will get paid according to the paytable.

Here is a simple summary of how to play video poker. 

  • Choose how many credits or coins you want to bet.
  • Press the Draw/Deal button to get cards.
  • Choose “hold” to keep any good cards. All of the other cards will be discarded.
  • Once you have a few cards in your hand, click Draw/Deal to finish your hand.
  • If you win, you get paid out.
  • If you want to play another hand after you finish the current one, click “Draw.”

On the paytable for video poker, there are five columns with different hands. You win based on how many coins you’ve bet (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5). 

The Hands in Poker

Now you know how to play the game and what the rules are. Here are some of the most common hands in online video poker. Depending on the type of game you play, these hands will pay out in different ways. 

Always remember that the goal is to have the best hand. The round starts when you get your cards and ends when you win, or “fold.”

Royal Flush

A royal is a hand that has an Ace, King, Jack, Queen, and 10 all in it. For a Royal Flush, all of these cards should be the same suit. For instance, when the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 are all hearts. You can also have all spades, clubs, or diamonds for the A, K, J, Q, and 10 cards.

It’s the best hand you can get and beats every other hand automatically. It’s a golden hand that would be impossible to get. In some games, this hand may start the progressive jackpot feature, if it has one.

A Straight Flush

It is made up of five (5) cards in order of value. For a straight flush, these cards should all be the same suit. For example, four, five, six, seven, or eight cards, or all spades, clubs (also called “flowers”), hearts, or diamonds. It’s also the second-best hand you could get.

Four of a Kind

This is a hand with four (4) cards of the same rank, as the name suggests. For example, four Queen cards of any suit, such as diamonds, hearts, clubs, or spades. Also, the hand can be Aces from any suit.

Full House

A full house is a hand with three cards of the same rank and two cards of a different rank. For example, seven spades, seven diamonds, seven clubs, four diamonds, and four clubs of hearts.

Flush

It has five (5) cards of the same suit that are not in any particular order. For example, you can win this hand if you have an Ace, 5, 3, 4, and 10 in the same suit.

Straight

The opposite of a straight flush is a straight hand. In a straight hand, you don’t have five cards of the same suit in a row. Instead, you have five cards of different suits in a row.

Two pairs

Two pairs is a hand with two cards of the same rank and two cards of a different rank. For example, K (clubs), K (hearts), 4 (diamonds), and 4(spades).

Jacks or better

This means that you have two Jacks, Aces, Kings, or Queens.

The Importance of a Playtable

Before betting any money on slots, it’s important to look at the paytable. The same is true for video poker, where the payouts for different hands can vary a lot from game to game.

When it comes to payouts, there are two main types of video poker games: “full pay” and “short pay.” Full-pay machines have an average RTP (return to player) of over 99%.

Some video poker games even say that their RTP is higher than 100%. Still, it’s important to note that these percentages are based on the player’s making the best decision for each hand. Paytables for online video poker should be easy to find and can usually be found in the “information” section of each game. 

Video Poker Strategy 

There is no way to use a cheat sheet to win video poker games. Even in the games with the lowest house edge, the casino always wins. However, if you use the right strategies, you can increase your chances of winning and try to beat the house.

The strategies depend on whether you discard or keep some of the first five cards you are given. Keeping some cards can make your hand better, but it can also ruin it. So, our video poker strategy for beginners will tell you what cards to hold and when to hold them to improve your chances of winning. We’ll also explain other strategies you can use to boost your winning chances. 

Know What Cards to Keep

We recommend that you always keep a Straight Flush, Royal Flush, Four of a Kind, Two Pair, Full House, or Three of a Kind. However, if you have three of a kind, you should remove the top two cards to have a chance at a four-of-a-kind. You’ll also have a chance of getting a full house if you do that.

If you have two pairs, you should get rid of the fifth card. You’ll have a better chance of getting a full house that way. You can only split a straight or a flush if you have four cards and are still one card away from a royal flush. 

For example, if you have a K, Q, J, A, and a 9—all hearts—throw away the 9. If you leave the 9, you have a chance at the Royal Flush, which requires a 10. (hearts). If you get any K, Q, J, or A, you could also have a Jacks or Better hand. Also, split up a pair of JoB with four cards to get a Straight Flush or Royal Flush that isn’t as good. 

Play with the Maximum Coins

When playing video poker, you aim to get the royal flush. The only way to achieve this is to play with the maximum number of coins. True, you can play with a few coins, but the only way to get the bonus for a royal flush is to bet all per hand.

However, betting with the maximum coins means wagering more money. So, if you don’t feel comfortable with the five-coin bet, you might want to drop down to a lower bet amount. Only one thing is different: you won’t play for the jackpot.

Find Games With the Best Paytable

If you want to beat a video poker machine, you need to find the best paytable. When it comes to Jacks or Better, there are a lot of different pay charts. However, the house edge is different for each pay chart. 

So, when you play Jacks or Better video poker, you should always think about going for one that pays 9/6. This is because a 9/6 is a fair return that pays nine coins on a full house and a flush pays six coins.

When you play games that give you less than the 9/6 pay, you tend to lose more. It also means that the game has a higher house edge. In this case, you are giving the casino more profit (money) per hand, thereby losing your money faster than you realize.

Play Games with Progressive Jackpots

One of the main reasons why almost all casinos have progressive jackpots is to give players more chances to win big with a small bet. Some of the best progressive jackpots can be found in Jacks or Better video poker games. However, you only have a chance to win if you use the best strategy and play the best games.

The problem is that many progressive Jacks or Better video poker games have poor payouts. You should be careful to only play progressive jackpot games on machines with a decent payout.

Variations

In online casinos, there are tons of video poker variants that you can play. These games either have a section dedicated to them or are part of the table game selection. On some gambling platforms, you can search for these games if there’s a search box. 

The number of variants available on these platforms can make it overwhelming to choose one. That’s because they have different features and varying pay tables. While we can’t discuss all the popular variations you’d find on these platforms, we’ll explain the popular variants

These include:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Tens or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Aces and Eights

It’s worth noting that variations of the game like “Bonus Poker” offer better payouts. There could be jackpot and multiplay variations of the game. Multiplay variants allow players to wager on multiple hands at once.

Jacks or Better

Players who want to learn how to play video poker online should start with this version. This is because the paytable is easier to understand than in the other versions. It is also one of the most common versions that you will find in online casinos. The game follows the gameplay of 5-card draw poker, but you only need one deck of 52 cards.

In this variation, you need at least a pair of Jacks or better to win. The Royal Flush is the best hand here, and it pays out 4,000 coins if you bet a maximum of 5 coins. 

Deuces Wild

One of the most exciting versions of video poker is Deuces Wild. All 2s are wild in this variation. The 2s can therefore replace any other cards to aid in the creation of a stronger or winning hand. A winning hand in this variation, however, is not a pair of jacks. 

When a Royal Flush is made possible by the wild card, the hand is typically referred to as a Deuces Royal Flush. After the regular Royal Flush, the Deuces Royal Flush is the second-best hand.

Tens or Better

A popular variant of Jacks or Better is Tens or Better. The only difference between it and Jacks or Better is that a pair of Tens counts as the minimum winning/payout hand.

Aces and Eights

The last variation is Aces and Eights, which is also like Jacks or Better. Here, you’ll get more money for a four-of-a-kind of either eights or aces. With a maximum bet of 5 credits, you will win 400 coins if you get two hands, four eights, or four aces. Also, it is played with one deck of 52 cards. The payout plan is also like the one for Jacks or Better.

All of the above versions are easy enough for beginners to play, so you should start with them before moving on to others. You can also get used to the game by playing it for free in different casinos before you play your favorite version for real money.

Other Variations of Video Poker

Besides the options listed above, there are other video poker variants that you can play for real money. One of these variants is Jacks or Better Power Poker. 

In a regular video poker game, you aim to create the best five-card hand from the cards you have. However, in this version, you aim to make five different poker hands in one game.

The game begins with you receiving five cards, which will be called your “decision hand.” Next, you have the option of retaining any of the cards and discarding all of them. 

The held cards will then be used to make the four hands of video poker. When you click “Deal,” the rest of the cards will be given out. Five poker hands are made, and your payout will depend on how strong your hands are

The payouts in the game are as follows:

  • Pair of Jacks or Better – 1 coin
  • Two Pairs – 2 coins
  • 3 of a Kind – 3 coins
  • Straight – 4 coins
  • Flush – 6 coins
  • Full House – 9 coins
  • 4 of a Kind – 25 coins
  • Straight Flush – 50 coins
  • Royal Flush – 250 coins

For example, your first hand is A, 4, 8, 8, and K, and you decide to hold both 8s. These appear in the next four hands you get. If they form any of the combinations in the paytable, you get a corresponding payout. 

Why Should You Play Jacks or Better Power Poker

You can only wager on one hand at a time in standard video poker. Missing out on a straight or flush can have a significant impact on your bankroll.

That’s why Multihand video poker is an excellent option. If your decision hand features strong starting cards, you can use those same cards in four additional hands. This increases your chances of winning significantly.

When playing Multihand video poker, every player should keep an eye on their bankrolls. You wager four times your initial wager on each hand, one wager per hand. A losing streak might have a significant impact on your bankroll.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino to Play Video Poker

Video poker is quite popular among players who want to enjoy the thrill of poker but in a much simpler format. Hence, it is one of the games you will find at many online casinos. However, you must pay close attention when trying to choose an online casino where you can play the game. 

The following are the factors to consider

Security and Licensing

Before choosing an online casino, you must be sure that it operates with a license. This proves that the site is well regulated and it takes the necessary actions to protect user safety. However, be sure that the regulatory authority is reputable. 

Furthermore, the online casino should have adequate measures to safeguard your personal and financial details. One of the most popular in the online gambling industry is SSL encryption. This technology hides your data, so it’s not easily accessible to malicious parties. 

Payment Methods

In order to play video poker for real money, one must register and fund their casino account. This is only possible if the gambling platform supports trustworthy payment options that you can use for transactions. The same applies when you’ve accrued enough wins and want to withdraw your earnings. 

Also read through the site’s terms and conditions to understand how it pays out. On many sites, you’ll need to verify your account by submitting a few documents via the platform. There are also gambling sites that take more time to approve withdrawals than others. 

Game Variety

Variety is the spice of gambling online. It becomes boring when there are only one or two variants to play. This leaves you no choice but to either stick to those titles or find another gambling platform. However, before you sign up, make sure that the online casino you choose has a good selection of video poker games. 

Another thing to look out for is the provider the operator works with. Reputable developers are known for their excellent gaming software. This means that playing their games offers a splendid gambling experience. Plus, they use honest random number generators to create outcomes. This ensures that players have a fair chance of winning when they play these titles. 

Mobile Compatibility

If you enjoy playing on a mobile device, you must be sure that the online gambling site has a mobile platform. This version of the casino should be user-friendly and compatible with your device. Also, ensure that you have access to an extensive game library, even though mobile devices have smaller screens. Plus, ensure that you won’t have a problem with funding your account and cashing out your winnings. 

Customer Support

If you have any problems playing games or making payments on the platform, you need to contact customer support. That said, an online gambling site must have excellent customer support. The service should be available around the clock and via multiple communication channels like email and live chat. 

Conclusion

Video poker is exciting. There are many variants you can choose from at some of the best online gambling sites in India. This gives you multiple gaming options for your entertainment. 

Before playing the game for real money, you must register and deposit at an online casino. This makes it necessary to find the best gambling sites that offer video poker in India. You can also play free video poker games if you’re not ready to risk real cash. 

FAQ

Is it legal in India?

Online gambling in general is legal in some parts of India. However, there are states where the act is considered illegal and there are dire consequences for those who play it. Therefore, you must be sure that playing video poker in your state is permitted before registering at an online casino. 
Once you’re sure that you can gamble without legal consequences, find an online gambling site with a good selection of video poker. Next, register on the platform and fund your account. You can also claim a welcome bonus if one is available. 

Where can I play Video poker in India?

You can play video poker at some of the best online casinos in India. Before registering on these sites, be sure that it has a license from a reputable licensing body. Also, ensure that the platform uses well-known security measures to safeguard your details. 
You can find these sites by reading reviews on trustworthy platforms. Expert reviews will explain more about what you should know about the gambling site before signing up. 

How to win in Video poker?

Winning in poker is quite easy. You aim to form the strongest five-card poker hand from the cards given. Depending on the strength of your hand, you get a payout following the paytable. Note that not all paytables are equal, so search for games with the best payout. 

Can I play Free Video Poker Games?

You can play video poker games for free at some online casinos in India. On some sites, you’ll need to register before you can play these demo versions. However, some platforms will let you access these games even without registration. However, with free games, you don’t earn real cash. 
If you want a chance to win at video poker, play the game for real money. For this, you must register at the online gambling site and fund your account. 

Author

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    I was born in Imphal, India. While pursuing a bachelor's degree in economics at the university, I accidentally became interested in casinos and sports betting, which led me to where I am now. I consider it my mission to tell people about Indian online casinos without embellishment, with all their pluses and minuses. I hope my work will help you immerse yourself in this amazing world of cards, chips and luck 🙂

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