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Online Video Poker Basics

Author: Sylvia Garcia

In order to play a game of Video Poker you must first choose an online casino, download the software then create your player account. Once that is done you can go in and choose from among the many variations of Video Poker and get started. For the purpose of this article I will discuss one of the most basic video poker games, Jacks or Better.

Here is what it looks like at All Star Slots:

As the name indicates, the payoffs begin when you have a pair of Jacks or better cards. You win 1 time your bet with a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces, 2 times your bet with any two pair, 3 times your bet with a three of a kind, and so on…

You insert money to play by clicking on one of the denominations on the bottom right of the screen (i.e. $5, $25 or $100). You then choose how much money you want to bet per hand by selecting the credit size (in this case the range is from $0.05 to $5 per credit). Use the left and right arrows to increase or decrease the credit size. Finally you choose how many credits you’d like to bet per hand of Video Poker(this amount varies from 1 to 5).

Most experts recommend betting five credits per hand in Video Poker because you’ll receive a significant bonus if you make a Royal Flush when betting five credits. If five credits seem too expensive for you, then you should decrease the denomination ($0.05 -$5.00) until you can afford to comfortably play five credits per hand.

When your bets are selected, click Deal/Draw to play. You will be dealt five cards. As in regular poker, you choose the cards you want to keep (hold) and discard (draw) the ones you don’t. If you win you’ll receive a payout. If not you will be prompted to begin a new hand.

It is important to study the pay table when selecting a video poker machine to play. The pay table lists the hands that the machine pays out on – Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair and finally Jacks or better (a single pair). These are classic poker hands and you should already be familiar with what you need to qualify for each hand.

The payout will depend on how many coins you play per hand. The ideal video poker machine should offer a single coin payout for Jacks or Better, rising to two coins for Two Pair, three for Three of a Kind, four for a Straight, six for a Flush, nine for a Full House, twenty-five for Four of a Kind, fifty for a Straight Flush and two hundred and fifty coins for a Royal Flush, as in the example above. This payout schedule is known as a 9/6 because it gives a nine-coin payback for a Full House and pays back six coins for a Flush when you play a single coin.

Remember that all video poker games are set up to give the House (Casino) the advantage so it is important that you choose a 9/6 machine to get the best odds possible. On a 9/6 machine the return (your chance of winning) is 99.5% with only a half-percent going to the house.

While it may seem like an inconvenience to go from machine to machine looking for the best ones to play, when you consider that the winning percentage can vary from 99.5% to 95.1% or lower, it is certainly worth the meager effort. After all, it’s about winning and protecting your investment.