Basics of Video Poker

> The most entertaining Game!

play pickem poker for freeVideo poker is one of the most entertaining and profitable games for the player in both live and online casinos. With a much better payout than standard slot machines, video poker combines the thrill of slots with the strategy of table games. In these games you get to make decisions which can directly affect your outcomes.

There are many variations of video poker to choose from. You can even find games which have a bonus feature. No matter which one you play, all of them share an important aspect. You are simply trying to make the best five card poker hand that you can. The better the hand, the higher your payout will be.

Video Poker is Based on Real Draw Poker

Even if you have never been to a casino or played casino games online you are probably familiar with the game of poker. It's one of the most popular card games in the world and is also played in many homes for fun or even for real money. Poker has been around for a very long time and was a legendary game of the American West before the first casinos appeared in Las Vegas.

click to play

There are many kinds of poker. You are probably familiar with Texas Hold 'Em which is played each year at the World Series of Poker. Most of the televised poker events also play this variation of the game. In video poker the type of poker most often used is draw poker. Specifically, 5 Card Draw. You will be dealt five cards and then given an opportunity to hold the cards you like and draw new cards to make a hand. You get only one draw and you can even choose to draw an entirely new hand of five different cards.

Once you make your draw you will be paid if your hand qualifies for a payout. Some video poker machines pay for a pair of Jacks or better. Some require you to have two pair or three of a kind to initiate a pay. The payouts increase as the value of your hand rises. In other words, you will be paid more for a flush than a straight because a flush is valued higher in real poker. The order of hands is the same in video poker as it is in the real thing.

The Ranking of Hands in Video Poker

Here is a ranking of hands in video poker. They are listed from lowest to highest:

  • One Pair (Most video poker games only pay for a pair of Jacks or better)
  • Two Pair
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full House
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Royal Flush


Here is a full description of each with a few examples:

One pair is two cards with the same number value. Example: 8-8, 7-7, or A-A.
Two pair is two individual pairs. Example: 8-8 and 7-7, A-A and K-K.

Three of a kind is three cards of identical value. Example: A-A-A.

A straight is five cards in consecutive order of different suits. Example: AC-2H-3D-4S-5H

A flush is any five cards of the same suit. Example: AH-KH-9H-6H-2H.

A full house is three cards of one value and two of another. Example: A-A-A and K-K.

Four of a kind is four cards of the same value. Example: 10-10-10-10.

A straight flush is five cards of the same suit in order. Example: AC-2C-3C-4C-5C.

A royal flush is A-10 of one suit. Example: AD-KD-QD-JD-10D.

As you can probably see from looking at these examples, making a royal flush is statistically harder than making two pair. Therefore, the payout for it is higher. Many video poker machines award a jackpot for hitting a royal flush.

The Royal Flush in Video Poker

Anyone who plays video poker online will tell you that making a royal flush is the Holy Grail. This hand can often culminate in a jackpot payout. Some video poker machines even have a progressive jackpot tied to the royal flush.

A royal flush is very hard to make. You may draw at it hundreds of time before seeing it appear. Even so, you should always try for the royal flush when you have an opportunity to do so. You will never hit this elusive hand unless you draw for it!

How to Play Video Poker

The basics of playing video poker pick'em poker are the same whether you are in a live casino or playing poker online. To begin, you select the video poker game that you would like to play. Two of the most popular video poker variations are Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.

Once you have chosen the game you will deposit money into the machine if you are playing live. If you are playing online you only need to click and the money in your account will be added to the machine for wagering.

You will then decide how much money you are going to bet on each hand. Most video poker machines have a minimum bet of $0.05 per hand. The payouts increase as you increase your minimum bet. This amount of money will be deducted from your balance each time you press or click the DEAL button. Once you have clicked on DEAL, five cards appear on the screen.

You now have a choice to make. You can discard none or all of these original five cards and receive new cards. Let's say that you have been dealt A-A-2-4-6 on your first hand. You can discard 2-4-6 and draw three new cards. You are attempting to draw another A and improve your hand. You are only permitted one draw.

Once the draw is complete you will be paid if your final hand qualifies for a payout. If it does not you will receive nothing and the entire process begins again. This cycle continues for however long you want to play. When you are finished you simply cash out your winnings which are added back to the original balance of your online casino account.

Bonus Games at Video Poker

If you choose the right video poker game to play online you may have an opportunity to play a bonus game. Bonus games give you the opportunity to play free games or win multipliers that can increase your payouts. You should always choose a video poker game that offers a bonus round if the game is available.

Hot Roll Poker is one of the more popular video poker variations with a bonus game. There are several different varieties of this bonus. One popular variation gives you the bonus whenever a Joker with a pair of dice on it appears in your selection of cards. You will then roll the dice to determine a multiplier. You can continue rolling on each hand until you roll a seven.

Other video poker games give you free games when you hit a certain hand. For example, you may be awarded free games when you are dealt a four of a kind. During these free games you will not have to wager an amount. You will simply be dealt free hands and collect a payout for any hand that you make.

You can really rack up the profits when you play video poker that offers a bonus. Be sure to check and see what must be done to trigger the bonus round. You will then want to draw at that hand each time you have a chance. If the bonus is triggered by a full house, try to make this hand whenever you have a three of a kind or two pair.

Can Video Poker Be Beaten?

You must always remember that video poker is a casino gambling game just like any other. This means that it has a built-in advantage for the house. Even so, your chances of beating the game for a profit are greater than they are with other games.

For starters, video poker such as Pick em poker allows you to make decisions that directly affect your odds. A regular slot machine does not give you this option. In video poker you can try to improve your hand. On a slot machine you are stuck with whatever the machine decides to deliver on a given spin.

Another benefit is that video poker uses a standard 52-card deck on each play. The cards you are dealt are determined by a random number generator. The game does not have to be rigged in anyway to operate. It is random and fair.

With sound money management and some discipline you can indeed play video poker profitably online. Why not check out one of the online casinos we recommend and create an account? You can play video poker from the comfort of your own home right now!  

More Video Poker Related Posts.

Here are some more posts related to video poker that you may find useful,