The rising popularity of video poker

10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace of Spades. Royal Flush

Whether you know your poker hands from High Card to Royal Flush, there could be a game that you might not have tried yet. Video poker, bingo games, and other slot-based games give players the ability to learn how to get the best returns with a few simple strategies.

In this article you’ll find everything you need to know about video poker. From covering the different types of video poker games to the best video poker strategies, we’ve got you covered.

What is video poker?

It’s possible to play video poker without having an in-depth knowledge of poker. Whether playing online or on a video poker machine, also known as pokies, many players find the simple gameplay and ways to strategize appealing.

The gameplay for video poker begins with the player being dealt five cards. The player now can discard any number of their cards if they believe they can get a better winning combination with the new cards. After all the cards have been drawn, the player wins if their poker hand matches a winning combination. All the combinations of winning hands plus their payout value can be seen in the ‘pay table’.

Due to the game being computerised, there are many variations of video poker. We will explore some of the different variations in the next section.

Variations of videopoker games

Video poker is a classic, simple game with many variations. Players can easily find one that fits with their preferences. Look at some common variations of video poker games:

  • Jacks or Better is the standard for video poker. The main objective of this game is to get a pair of jacks, or better, as the minimum hand to win.
  • Aces and Faces is based off Jacks or Better. Here, the winning combinations in Aces and Faces are tied to the face cards and aces in the pack, to make Four of a Kind hands. While the game is simple to learn, Aces and Faces has a higher volatility than some of the other variations.
  • Deuces Wild is again like Jacks or Better with a twist. In Deuces Wild, all the twos are ‘wild’, where it’s possible to count them as another card. For example, if you have from the same suit a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and a two – you now have a Royal Flush. There are usually low returns for Deuces Wild compared to the other variations as with the help of wild twos as it’s much easier to get a winning poker hand.
  • The difference of Double Bonus Poker is the extra high payouts for Four of a Kind hands. In all the variations, Double Bonus Poker is the most volatile. While it’s harder to hit the jackpot with high volatile games, the prize money is usually among the highest jackpots to win.

Where can you play real money games?

Now that we have covered some variations of video poker, it’s time to play video poker online. NetEnt offers a smooth gaming experience where you can play Jacks or Better Double Up for free.

For players that like a little extra excitement, NetEnt offers a Double Up gamble feature. After every winning hand you get the opportunity to double your winnings. To take advantage of this feature, all you need to do is guess the colour of the next card. It’s that easy!

Keep reading to find out the best strategies to maximise your success when playing video poker online.

What is the best video poker strategy?

Your expected return can be always calculated from the pay table – being able to read the pay table and strategize will give you the best opportunity to calculate your expected return. Before we dive into how to read and use the pay table to your advantage, look at some other strategies to maximise your success.

One easy video poker strategy is to find tables detailing how many cards to keep and how many cards to discard depending on your hand. For example, with Jacks or Better, there are many online resources considering statistically how many cards would be the optimum to discard to maximise the success of your hand.

Another optimal strategy is to bet to your maximum. The number of credits you bet rises proportionally to the amount of cash to be won in the jackpot. This means you can only hit the top jackpot when betting the maximum number of credits. Although this is alluring, always remember to bet within your limits.

How to read a pay table when playing online casino games

Being able to read and select a good pay table is crucial to succeeding at video poker. It can be confusing and difficult to understand at first, however it’s simple once you master the skill.

A pay table will list all the winning combinations of hands possible, as well as how much you can win for these combinations. You can find examples of pay tables for every variation of video poker, and when coupled with a strategy list, it will help you to strategize and predict possible winnings. It’s in a player’s best interest to find a pay table with a good payout level!

The legality of video poker casinos

From New Zealand’s Gambling Act of 2003, ‘remote interactive gambling’ is strictly prohibited. They define this as gambling at a distance through devices such as mobile phones and computers. While this law is upheld within the country of New Zealand, it doesn’t prohibit gambling that is conducted overseas. For example, if a website offering gambling services is based overseas, it wouldn’t be illegal for someone to participate while in New Zealand. Pokies at pubs, bars and clubs are also all legal to play.

Always be sure to check where gambling websites are licensed and regulated before playing. Websites like NetEnt are licensed and regulated in several places, including the United Kingdom and Malta, ensuring they are adhering to strict rules.

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