Poker guide - Video poker strategy online

How to play Video Poker online - complete guide

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Video Poker playing strategy begins before you put your money into a machine. There are many different games, and the same game can have a different payout schedule from casino to casino.

You need to determine which available machine has the best payout schedule and then use that machine. It is recommended that you become very comfortable with playing one particular video poker game before trying your luck with others. Jacks or Better is considered as good a video poker game as any for the beginner; it is widely available, has a high average return and its winning hands are identical to those used in five-card draw table poker.

In the main, payouts depend not only on your hand but also on the number of coins you play. Royal Flush bonus payouts, for example, virtually always require that you play the maximum number of coins. On the one hand, it may be tempting to practice a game using the minimum number of coins; on the other hand, were you to hit a bonus Jackpot hand, but not qualify for the bonus Jackpot, would you feel like an absolute drooling idiot?

In truth, deciding which machine is the most advantageous requires that you put on your thinking cap. Though in general you want to play the machine with the highest jackpot, it often is the case that the higher jackpot for a Royal Flush is made up for by lower payouts for lesser hands.

The element of luck in video poker stems from your cards being pre-determined by a random number generator. That random number generator is randomly spinning through numbers that the machine understands as combinations of cards. When you push the Deal button, the random number generator automatically prompts the machine to put in place your first hand as well as a replacement card for each of your initial five cards. Your chances of receiving a particular hand through a random number generator are the same as in table poker.

The element of strategy, once you have determined the best available video poker game for play, stems from your option to discard; it follows that you want to discard in the manner that gives you the greatest chance of winning. For all of the most popular video poker games, people have printed up strategy cards that tell you how to discard for any given hand. Basically you just need to recognize the highest-ranking combination of two or more cards in the hand you have been dealt and then discard those which are not a part of the winning combination in the hopes that the new cards will increase the value of your hand. Some strategy cards will tell you that if your first hand contains no winning combinations, you should discard all five cards. A keen eye, however, can often select one or more cards from a non-winning combination which could just as well be retained.

In summary, optimal strategy is always relative to the particular video poker game you are playing. Building up your strategic acumen by consistently playing the same game/same payout combination is the best road to success.

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