All About Video Poker
Video poker is a casino game that has much in common with slot machines, but it is a slot machine game combined with the rules of five card draw poker in a very specific manner. Video poker is often considered by many experienced gamblers to be vastly superior to slot machines because of the effect that skilled play has on the potential payback of the machine. While slot machines are programmed to pay back a certain percentage of the money that is fed into the machine, video poker pays back a percentage that can be affected by perfect strategic play.
Video poker games are easily played. The player wages 1 or more coins in order to get dealt five virtual cards on a computer screen. (A smart player always plays the max bet, usually 5 coins, since the max bet triggers the bigger payoffs on the higher ranked hands.) The player chooses which cards to hold and then draws cards to replace his discarded cards. The final hand pays out based on the payout table for the particular video game.
Depending on the payout schedule for the different poker hands on a certain machine, the payback percentage on a video poker can be very good indeed. Jacks or better with a "full pay", or the highest standard payback schedule, pays back at 99.5% with perfect play. A full pay deuces wild machine pays back at 100.7% with perfect play. In actual practice, players who don't play perfectly and make mistakes reduce the practical payback percentage on those machines by 6% or more, making video poker one of the most profitable games in the casino, especially since many video poker players play upwards of 500 hands per hour.
Learning how to play video poker with perfect strategy is not terribly hard to do. There are numerous video poker strategy guides available for sale, and Bob Dancer's excellent tutorials and software teach video poker strategy through a series of both charts and lists of principles that will work effectively for different learning styles.
The author loves to play video poker. Please feel free to reprint this article, but only if you leave all links intact.