Veteran casino fans might not need an explanation for the term “video poker.” After all, this game type has been around for decades and is widely available online as well as in live casinos. In the past 10 years or so online poker has experienced amazing growth, but this isn’t the same game as video poker.
Let’s get a basic definition for video poker and compare it to the more elaborate form of online poker played at casino and poker room sites: Cake Poker, and Carbon Poker. From the start, we should identify this as a casino game similar to slots in that the game is played by an individual on a monitor or computer screen. Though video poker has been available for about 40 years, the real growth of this game came in the mid-1980s through 2000.
Coins and Credits
Video poker play resembles slots in that the player inserts coins or deposits money to get credits. But instead of choosing the “Spin” button to activate slots reels, the player chooses the “Deal” button to draw cards. In many versions of the game, the player can then discard or hold cards to try to make the best hand. Payouts are made based on the strength of the final hand.
Some of the traditional machines start paying out with a pair of Jacks (Jacks or Better). Payouts increase up to the Royal Flush. As with many slots games, the player often has a better chance to win larger amounts and get to the jackpot if he or she plays more coins/credits.
Most states regulate video poker very closely to ensure that this electronic game is random. The emphasis is on making video poker a game of chance based on the same 52-card deck that is used in other forms of poker.
Variety – The Spice of Life
We mentioned the Jacks or Better version of video poker earlier, dubbing it the most traditional type of game. But new video poker machines and online-casino games have added a lot of variety to this pastime. You might find a video-poker machine that is based on having 2s as a wild card – Deuces Wild. Payouts change of course, with the jackpot win being four deuces or a natural royal flush. You may find a 10s or Better game or some other variety as well.
If you see the term “full pay” associated with a video poker game, live or online, rest assured that this game pays as close to 100 percent as possible. But even full-pay games usually offer a 99.5 payout for every $100 wagered.