The #1 Site for Video Poker in Australia: Royal Vegas Casino
Often confused with pokies, video poker machines are a favourite of serious and professional gamblers around the world. However, you don’t have to be an expert to play video poker: it’s a simple enough game for anyone to pick up in minutes, while offering enough strategic depth to keep you interested for a lifetime. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about video poker.
Video poker is an electronic machine game that uses the basic structure of a poker game. While video poker machines may look like pokies, they are a completely different type of game, as players can utilize decision making and strategy to improve their odds. Most of these games are based on five-card draw poker, meaning players will have to decide how much of their initial hand to keep, and what cards to swap out in an attempt to improve their hand.
A video poker game begins with the player making a bet, usually between one and five coins. After the bet is made, the player will be dealt five cards. These cards are dealt randomly from a standard deck of 52-cards, though some games may also add one or more jokers to the mix as well.
The player will then have a chance to look at their hand and discard as many cards as they wish (including the entire hand if they so desire). Once the discards have been made, the computer will deal out new cards that are randomly selected from the remaining cards in the deck.
The new hand represents the final hand for the player. That hand is compared to the pay table on that machine. If the hand is at least as strong as the minimum needed to win, the game will pay out at the odds listed. The stronger the hand, the more the player wins for making that hand.
Many video poker machines have a gamble feature that activates at the end of every winning hand. This is a simple “double or nothing” game that allows players the opportunity to risk everything they’ve won on the equivalent of a coin flip: usually, by picking whether a card drawn from a deck will be red or black. If you choose correctly, your winnings are doubled; if you’re wrong, you lose everything.
Keep in mind that the gamble feature is always optional. If you’d rather just keep what you won, you can always decline the opportunity to play this feature. In addition, some machines will have a maximum payout, limiting the number of times you can play the gamble feature.
Multi-hand video poker allows players to play multiple hands simultaneously. The number of hands you can play varies by machine; some allow “only” four or five hands, while some may let you play up to 100 at the same time. Each hand must be played for separately: if you’re playing 100 hands for $1, that’s going to cost you $100 each time you generate a new hand.
Multi-hand games begin exactly the same way as a standard round of video poker. However, after you choose which cards to discard, the replacement cards will take place separately and randomly for each hand you are playing. The same cards can be drawn for multiple hands; it is as though each hand is being drawn simultaneously from separate but identical decks. You’ll receive payouts from each hand that wins, with all of those winnings totalled to give you your final payout.
Video poker payouts are usually expressed in a “for one” format as opposed to the “to one” format used in most casino games. If you’re a fan of pokies, you’ll be used to this, as most pokies use an identical system.
The “for one” payouts mean that your initial bet is treated as a payment to play the game, and it is lost at the start of each hand. The number listed on the payouts is what you’ll be given if you make that hand. For instance, making a pair of jacks or higher in Jacks or Better video poker has a payout of “1” – which means you’ll win your initial bet back, but that’s it. A video poker payout of “2” is the equivalent of winning even money, as you’ll win your initial bet and one additional unit.
A number of different games have become popular around the world. However, a few stand out as being particularly widespread, which means you can count on seeing them in virtually every casino or club you play in.
Jacks or Better may be the most popular video poker machine or all time, and is a mainstay of any video poker collection. Nearly as popular is Deuces Wild, a game in which all twos are considered wilds. Other popular machines include Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus, and Joker Poker.
Yes, playing video poker at online casinos is legal in Australia. While the government does not allow Australian companies to run online casinos, there are many online casinos that are operated overseas, and there are no laws preventing Australians from playing at these casino sites. If you’d like to try playing online, we recommend opening an account at Royal Vegas Online Casino.
Learning video poker strategy is important if you want to get the most out of each machine you play. While most plays may seem obvious, much of optimal strategy is actually counterintuitive, and it’s often very difficult to figure out what the right play is on the fly if you haven’t already learned the proper strategy.
For most games, optimal strategies are very long and complex. However, there are strategy cards and charts that are widely available for all of the most popular video poker games. In addition, there are often simplified versions of optimal strategy that come within a few hundredths of a percent of the payouts you would achieve with perfect play.
One of the reasons for the popularity of video poker among serious casino gamblers is the fact that, in some cases, the player can actually hold an edge over the casino. This is only the case when playing on certain machines along with the best possible pay table being used. For instance, a “full pay” Deuces Wild machine offers the player an edge of 0.76%. Of course, to get that advantage, players must use optimal strategy (or a strategy that is very close to it).
Many other machines have a very small house edge – one that can often be overcome with bonuses, promotions, and the benefits of loyalty programs. Examples include Jacks or Better, which has a house edge of less than 0.5% with the full pay table.
Each game has its own unique payout structure, so there’s a different answer to this question for every single game in existence. However, it’s nearly always true that the casino can make changes to the payouts, meaning that most machines do not offer the “full pay” table that gives the players the best odds.
However, these full pay machines do exist, and they’re worth looking out for. For instance, this is the full pay table for Jacks or Better:
Royal Flush: 800
Straight Flush: 50
Four of a Kind: 25
Full House: 9
Three of a Kind: 3
Two Pair: 2
This pay table is known as the 9/6 pay table, after the payouts for a full house and flush. Lower pay tables are commonly known by names like “9/5” or “8/6.”
Most payouts are the same no matter how many coins you play: they’re just multiplied by the number of coins, so your actual odds don’t change. However, you can usually only get the full payout for the jackpot hand – such as a royal flush in Jacks or Better – if you play for the maximum number of coins (almost always five). This means that it is necessary to play for the full number of coins if you want to get the best odds possible on a video poker machine.