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Video poker has become a mainstay of today's online casinos. Video Poker games and the Poker slot machines that came before them are much like the slot machines and online slots with the difference being that you have more decisions to make and a much more strategic game to play. This is because you have to decide on the strength of the hand that you have received and decide upon how you are going to play it.

Obviously before playing video poker you should familiarize yourselves with poker hands and how they are scored. Once you understand how these works you will be able to pick up the slight variations between video poker games very easily. The core is the poker hand, so learn this and you will have the game down.

The game of video poker is almost identical to poker with the difference being that you have only one opponent to play against and that is the computer. Get the better hand and watch the machine payout. It's as simple as that!

General Information

Playing really couldn't be more simple. The game starts with you being dealt a five card hand. Your objective is to improve this hand and to try and beat the computer with it. You can change cards, always to a maximum of five cards in hand, and if there is a particular card you would like to keep you press the “hold” button. Be sure to do this when you are certain there is a card you want to keep because pressing the start button without holding any cards will change all the five cards you were initially dealt.

Poker Card Values

The following is a list of card values going from the lowest to the highest. Memorize them and practice them over and over again. This is the only way to become a good poker player:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace.

The individual card values help one not yet much, much more important is to get a good hand.

Poker Hand Values

The way the above card values are combined created poker hands of differing values. The better the hand, the higher your chances of winning. The following list is the values for all hands in the game of poker. Learn these too; they are of paramount importance to the game.

  • Royal Flush: This is the best hand possible in poker and is worth 2000 points. The hand consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, but they must all be of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush: This is the next best hand and is worth a total of 250 points. The way you make a flush is by having any four consecutive cards of the same suit.
  • Four Of A Kind Four of a kind is worth 125 points and as the name states involves having four cards of the same kind (different colors are allowed).
  • Full House: This is worth 40 points and involves having three of the same kind and two of the same value. So, three tens and two eights are a full house. Bear in mind that a full house with three aces is worth more.
  • Flush: A Flush is worth 25 points and involves a hand of five cards of a single suit in any order.
  • Straight: This hand is worth a total of 20 points, and is composed of five consecutive cards of any suit, with the straight worth the most points being 10, jack, queen, king and ace.
  • Three Of A Kind: Worth fifteen points this is a three card hand of same value but different suits.
  • Two Pair: A two pair is worth ten points and is basically two pairs, each being of a different hand, with two aces and two kings being of the highest value.
  • One Pair: One pair is worth five points and is composed of a pair of equal value and different suits, the highest One Pair is composed of two aces.
  • High Card: This is the hand worth the least points in poker. The hand is composed of five unrelated cards and is only worth as much as the highest valued card, which is the ace (the lowest is the 2).

Most popular video poker variations.

Now a few words on the most popular variations of video poker and how they are played. o finally say a few words on the three most popular poker games:

  • Jacks or Better
    One of the best known poker variations available online. The hand values are the same as those mentioned above except the lowest hand possible involves a pair of jacks, all other hands above these are identical to those listed above.
  • Jokers Wild
    Played with a regular deck of cards plus a single Joker. The Joker is used to replace any card and so can increase a player's chances of winning. The caveat being that payouts are lower Also the lowest hand that will payout is a two pair, all hands above this are identical to the hands above.
  • Deuces Wild
    This variation involves two deuces (2 cards), also known as wildcards, which means that if you get one of these cards you can make these cards be of whatever value you want. Because this variation favors the player you can expect the payouts to be lower. As such the lowest possible hand that will get you a payout is Three of a Kind. All other hands are identical to those I identified above.

Also it should be known that nowadays nearly all online casinos have a free play feature where you can hone your skills before playing for real money. These are great for figuring out exactly how the game works before you spend any of your hard-earned cash.

Hint: Also it is important to pay attention to the payout table of each machine. This will aid you in your hand construction as you play.


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