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The Basics of Video Poker

While most casinos make a majority of their holdings from hot machines, keep in mind that most of the time, two-thirds of those machines are video poker, meaning that this game has increased in popularity.

Just like live poker, with video poker, players are initially dealt five cards from a randomly shuffled deck. Most machines beep to indicate if a playing hand has been made. Players then choose what cards they want to hold, press the draw button and are dealt new cards to replace the discards.

Many people are attracted to video poker because it puts the player against a machine for a fast action game that has the potential to win a hefty jackpot. For more skilled casino players, video poker offers a bigger chance for long term profit.

Video poker machines do resemble traditional slot machines. However, the difference is how it is played – slots are won when a particular combination is made with certain symbols; with video poker it is based on a five card hand.

When it comes to video poker versus live poker, in live poker, the cards are dealt from a standard 52 card deck, or 53 cards in Joker Wild games. This deck is shuffled before every hand. After being dealt the initial five cards, players choose the cards to hold and which to discard to get a winning poker hand. However, there are differences. Here are the following:

  • In video poker the house is banking the game, yet the machine is not trying to beat your hand. It is more like solitaire, so attempting to bluff or read an opponent does not work because there are no opponents.
  • You cannot get a bad beat in video poker. Your straight cannot lose to that flush on another player’s machine. Each machine is different.
  • Some plays that may sometimes be correct in live poker are costly mistakes in video poker. For example, a common error is holding a “kicker” or other worthless cards.
  • Conversely, plays that are fine in video poker may be wrong in live poker.
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