Video Poker

Introduction to Video Poker

Video poker is based on the Five Card Draw version of poker and is played on a video machine that looks similar to a slot machine. The object of video poker is to get the hand that offers the highest payout where different hand types offer different payouts. Most video poker machines pay out over 95%. Many intelligent gamblers are surprised to find out that video poker offers some of the best odds of all the games offered in the casino.

Video Poker is popular because it is one of the few video-based games that mixes luck with an element of skill where a player's choices influence the outcome of the game. Certain video poker machines actually have a positive expectation at certain times if played perfectly.

How to Play Video Poker

To begin each round of play the player must make an initial bet of one or more credits. After this bet is made, you hit the "Deal" button and five cards are dealt to the player and are shown on the screen. The player then given the option of holding or discarding as many of these cards as he wants. The cards that are discarded are then replaced with new cards from the deck. This new hand represents the player's final hand. If the hand is good enough to be one of the payout hands, the player is awarded the number of credits specified in the payout table. Some machines offer progressive jackpots for the royal flush.

Video Poker Hand Rankings

Hand Name Hand description
Royal Flush A, K, Q, J, and 10 all of the same suit.
Straight Flush Five cards in sequence and all of the same suit (such as J, 10, 9, 8, 7 of hearts).
Four of a kind Four cards of the same rank (e.g. 9, 9, 9, 9, 2).
Full House Three of a kind, plus a pair (e.g. 8, 8, 8, 5, 5).
Flush Five cards of the same suit (e.g. A, J, 10, 7, 2 - all of hearts).
Straight Five cards in sequence. (Ace can be high or low)
Three of a kind Three cards of the same rank (e.g. 6, 6, 6, Q, 2).
Two pair Two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank (e.g. K, K, 2, 2, 5).
Jacks or Better A pair of either jacks, queens, kings, or aces.

Video Poker Technology

Inside the video poker machine is the Random Number Generator ("RNG"). An RNG is a piece of software that uses an algorithm to ensure a random calculation that determines the outcome of game. The RNG runs hundreds of times per second and calculates billions of possible outcomes for every set of cards. Every time the player acts (presses a button or deposits a coin), the outcome is determined by the RNG.


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