Video poker is essentially the merging of two very popular online casino games, poker and slots. The game uses the skill elements and features of poker, as well as the chance factor of slots to bring players one of the most sought after pastimes at sites such as Casino.com Ireland. The odds are particularly player-friendly, and the house edge can be brought down once players have learned the knack of the game. There are many variants of online video poker available, each one with its own unique features. While video poker is one of the newest games found at casinos around the world, it has become well known for its generous payouts and hours of entertainment offered to players.
To understand the history of video poker, one would need to examine the history of slots and poker. Slot machines were developed by the US inventor, Charles Fey in the late 1800s, with the first machine, the Liberty Bell, marketed in 1887. Slot machines soon developed into a billion dollar industry, and are among the world's most popular casino games. Fey's 'draw' feature on slot machines could be seen as the first type of hold and draw feature that is found on video poker games today.
Forms of card games were played in medieval days, but poker as we know it today was developed in the United States in the mid 1800s and played on the riverboats of Mississippi. The Joker in poker is an important element of video poker.
In the 1960s, Nevada Electronics produced electronic games, pioneering the way for the creation of roulette, poker and horseracing machines. As technology developed, the casino industry saw an improvement in monitors and game types. A video bell slot machine was developed by the Fortune Coin Company in 1975, which later became a draw poker machine. Draw Poker was introduced by IGT (then SIRCOMA) in 1979, paving the way for the mass production of video poker machines.
In the 1990s, online casinos introduced video poker, with the added advantage of allowing players to choose several variants of the game under one virtual roof. Today it is possible to find games such as Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better and All American – among others – at online casinos such as Casino.com Ireland.
One of the attractions of video poker is that it one of the few games where it is possible to bring the house edge down so much that the odds can be brought in favor of the player. Video poker is game of skill, and therefore the challenge is to become good enough in the game to change the odds in your favor.
Assuming long term, optimal play, the odds of video poker in some of the variants are as follows: Jacks or Better – 99.54%, Deuces Wild – 100.75%, Double Joker Poker – 99.96%, Deuces and Joker Wild – 99%, Double Bonus Poker – 100.17%.
The odds in video poker are first determined by the number of cards that are in the deck (ranging from 52 to 57, depending on the variant being played). The odds are then determined by the cards dealt to the player and the cards that the player decides to hold on to. This shows the blend between elements of chance and skill in video poker.
Expert video poker players will recommend learning the basic winning strategy of video poker machines in order to maximize the chance of winning. Strategy charts are available online to teach players the way to improve their odds on popular forms of the game. It is possible to tweak the basic strategy of one variant of video poker to suit another form, thus improving the odds on a wide range of games typically found at Casino.com Ireland.
The objective of video poker is to achieve the best possible poker hand, based on the cards dealt. It has an element of skill in that players have the opportunity to improve the cards they are originally dealt by swapping them for others.
The first move in video poker is to choose which variant to play and to add coins into the machine. Once players choose the number of coins they wish to play, they press 'deal' and five cards are dealt to them. Players need to decide which cards they wish to keep back (hold) to create their ideal poker hand, and which they wish the discard. Cards not chosen are replaced once the 'deal' button has been pressed again. This will result in a final hand being dealt, and winning combinations are paid out according to a predetermined pay table and the variant of video poker being played.
The majority of video poker games are played with a deck of 52 cards. Game rules are generally the same across all variants, with some differences.
In Jacks or Better for example, at least one pair of Jacks is required in order to start winning. In Deuces Wild video poker, the number 2 (deuce) is the wild card and stands in for others in order to form a winning hand. In Jokers Wild, in comparison, the Joker is the wild card and players require a rank of two-pair in order to form a winning combination.
Ten Play Power Poker sees players dealt 10 tens instead of the usual one, which makes for very fast and exciting video poker action.
In progressive video poker, a separate jackpot exists which continues to grow until one lucky player hits the big prize and takes it home. When the jackpot is won, it is reseeded and starts growing again.
Video poker is a very simple game to play and the machine has very few buttons. Players will nevertheless want to familiarize themselves with them so that they can understand how the video poker machine works. These are some of the buttons one may find on a typical video poker machine:
Bet One: By pressing this button, players wager one coin at a time for up to five coins.
Bet Max: One click of this button sees the maximum number of coins (five) wagered.
Bet: The player clicks on chips to wager on the game, before deciding how many coins to wager (1 – 5).
Draw Deal: After the bet is placed, cards are dealt. This button is also pressed after the player has already been dealt cards and has decided which cards to hold on to.
Hold: Players click on the cards they are interesting in hanging on to in order to 'hold' them.
Cash Out: This button is clicked when players want to end their gaming session and cash out their winnings.
Aces and Eights: A form of video poker where landing 4 Aces and 4 '7s' earns the player an extra payout.
Aces and Faces: A form of video poker where landing 4 Ace cards of the same rank earns the player an extra payout.
All American: A form of video poker where landing a Straight Flush sees good payouts.
Bet Max: The maximum bet that can be placed on the video poker machine.
Bonus Deuces Wild Video Poker: A form of video poker where deuces (2's) act as wild cards.
Cash Out: Players request to have their credits moved into their account.
Complete Hand: A winning video poker hand where all cards are used in a combination.
Deuces: Cards to the value of 2.
Deuces Deluxe Video Poker: A form of video poker where extra payouts are awarded for combinations such as four deuces, royal flush with a deuce and others.
Deuces Wild Video Poker: A form of video poker where deuces act as wild cards.
Full Pay: The ultimate payout on a specific game.
High Card: Cards which are Jack, Queen, King or Ace.
Jacks or Better: A classic form of video poker.
Kings or Better: Two Kings are the minimum required to form a winning hand.
Max Bet: The maximum number of coins wagered per spin.
Multi Play: Multiple hands of video poker are played at once.
Odds: The chances of winning in a game of video poker.
Payout Schedule: A predetermined table which shows which prizes are paid for winning hands.
Progressive Jackpot: A side jackpot that is added to when certain games of video poker are played, and which grows (progresses) until it is hit.
Quads: Four cards of a kind.
Rank: The value of a card.
Royal Flush: A video poker hand which consists of a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace.
Straight: Five cards in sequence but not of the same suit.
Straight Flush: Five cards in sequence and of the same suit.
Three of a Kind: A video poker hand which consists of three cards of the same denomination.
Tens or Better: A form of video poker where at least a pair of tens are required to start winning.
Two Pairs: A video poker hand which consists of two pairs.
Wild Card: A card that substitutes for others in the pack to help form winning combinations.
Wild Royal: A wild card that is used to form a Royal Flush.
At Casino.com Ireland, it is possible to play video poker for free or for real money, in both download form or instantly off the browser using Flash technology. In all cases, it is required to register for an account. When players want to play video poker for real money, whether download or Flash video poker, they need to fund their account. The process is very simple and requires just a few minutes to complete.
The steps are as follows:
You have now created a real money account to play video poker at Casino.com Ireland.