Overview – Video Poker

Video poker has always featured among the most popular online casino games ever since they first appeared on the Internet back in 1995. And unsurprisngly, the number of video poker variants, and indeed the options within the games, has increased significantly over that period. Of course, while every video poker stalwart is familiar with the simplicity of the original Jacks Or Better Video Poker, the new games require a whole different strategy, not least because the new win combinations become more complex. Thankfully Microgaming software-licenced online casinos, of which there are plenty, now include an “expert” mode which the player can use to get the software to hold the best cards according to the correct strategy for the video poker game variation they have chosen.

This becomes increasingly important with games such as Double Double Bonus Video Poker or in wild card games such as the ever-popular Joker Poker (or even Double Joker Poker if you’re feeling greedy!). The number of wild-card video poker games seems to grow by the day. Of course, we’ve always known the Joker is wild, but the Deuce (“2″) is equally significant – well make that essential if you are playing video pokers such as Deuces Wild or Loose Deuces obviously – as the name implies! Where things start to get a bit trickier is in the differences between payouts at the various casinos. If you really want to, you can go for a combination of wild cards and play Deuces & Joker Video Poker with it’s massive payout for a true Royal Flush countering the somewhat measly smaller payouts. One for the bigger players!

In general, the type of software a casino uses dictates the paytable. For example, All American Video Poker at Microgaming casinos will all be the same, but at Cryptologic software-based casinos, the paytable, while the same across the software, is different to Microgaming’s. To further complicate matters, casinos powered with RTG software have the option to change the video poker paytables individually. this is good for “competitive edge”, but not so good for a player trying to work out what the house edge is! I’m only generalising here, but playing Video Poker at Microgaming gives generally better odds than at other casinos, though it’s marginal and, if you ask me, the Cryptologic video poker experience is more fun. the downside is that Crypto casinos don’t have a “hold” function, so you’re on your own with strategy!

Not all video poker variants are fun. I’m not a great fan of the aforementioned Jacks Or Better, and who on earth plays Tens Or better? Not me that’s for sure. I’ve yet to try the more niche and rarely found Louisiana Double Video Poker, but I’ve done the rest at one time or another and I always end up back on Deuces Wild or maybe the rather fun Aces And Eights. I tend to play 3 or 4 hands simultaneously, sometimes 10 if I’m feeling in the mood. Nowadays you can play 50 or even 100 hands simultaneously – probably even 200 by the time you read this – but I find the payout’s tend to be often and small as a result. Unless you bet big!

One final important tip: always, always, always play MAXIMUM COINS! Look at the paytables and you’ll see a jump in the amount paid for a Royal Flush on “max coins” that is disproprtionate to the previous jumps in payout. If you don’t play max coins, you increase the house edge significantly – and that ain’t a good thing if you want to come out ahead!

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