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Video Poker Rules

Everybody knows how to play poker. It is a very popular casino card game. Traditionally, it is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The player who gets to have the best hand wins a particular round. There is a slight variation when it comes to video poker. It is basically played using a machine and thus the dealer becomes the machine itself. You manipulate the machine by pressing appropriate buttons if you want to keep a card, throw one, or draw another. A card you throw will be replaced with a new card. Once you are done, your hand will be checked. If it is any of the winning combinations, you will be paid.

The video poker can be likened to a slot machine in some ways because it is computerized. Obviously, video poker only came to be in the late 20th century when computers slowly started to replace mechanical devices. When video poker was introduced in the 1970s, it overtook the popularity of slot machines. Many players grew tired of slots and found video poker more exciting to play with. They were more challenged to play poker that inquired skills and tactics, in contrast to slot machines that relied on luck to get a winning combination.

There are many kinds of video poker machines with varying house advantages also. It can be from -1% to 0.7%. This game offers big opportunities for players to win which could not be found in other games. And this is also why many players are attracted to this game. The avid players of video poker take time to study the game and perfect their strategies. Before delving on those matters, one should first learn and memorize the rules.

To help you better understand the rules, bear in mind that video poker was derived from the actual poker card game. Thus, the rules are very similar except that video poker is played with a machine that is run by a computer chip. The dealer therefore is the machine. It is also the one that pays you for your winnings instead of a real person.

First, be familiar with a payoff table. It is where winning hands are placed. You will find here five columns in order of betting size starting from the left. You put your coins or bet on a chosen column.

The objective of the game is to get a winning hand. There are many possible winning combinations but you must get a higher combination than the machine to win. So to start the game, place a bet first. This will make you eligible to play a round. You will then be dealt with five cards. These five cards are not fixed. Meaning, you can replace them if you think you can still improve your hand. This is where strategy, skills and tactics will come in. Once satisfied with your hand, the machine will reveal its own hand. You win if you beat the machine.

If you go back to the payoff table, you will see that the five columns are ranked from minimum to maximum allowable bets. To be eligible to play for the highest payout, you should bet maximum. The maximum bet is usually a five-coin bet. The minimum is one coin.

It is very important to master the possible winning hands so you could strategize accordingly. Start with the ranking of cards. Ace is the highest. It is followed by the face cards king, queen and jack. Next are the number cards from ten to two. Two is the lowest value card.

Your hand will be reevaluated if you ask for replacement cards. The final hand you are holding will be given points based on hand ranks.

Hand Ranks

The hand ranks are named to make the game easier. Each hand is composed of five cards. The descriptions that will follow will start from the highest and strongest hand and down to the weakest.

Royal Flush is considered the strongest possible hand. It is composed of an ace, king, queen, jack and ten of the same suit. Notice that the five cards are of consecutive rank starting with ace, the highest valued card.

If it is any five consecutive cards that do not begin with ace, but is still of the same suit, it is called Straight Flush. For example is eight, nine, ten, jack, and queen of clubs. It can also be two, three, four, five and six of diamonds.

Next is Four of a Kind. This combination is composed of four cards of the same value plus any other card. For example, it can be a queen of all suits plus a three, or it can be a ten of all suits plus a seven.

The hand is called a Full House if it is composed of a triad and a pair. A triad is any three cards of the same value, and a pair is any two cards of the same value. A full house can be three cards of ten plus two cards of eight.

A Flush is any five cards of the same suit that are not of consecutive values. If it were of consecutive values, it will already fall under Straight Flush. Thus, a flush can be an ace, four, two, jack and six of spaces.

If the hand is made up of five cards of consecutive values but of different suits, it is called Straight. An example of a straight hand is that of seven of clubs, eight of clubs, nine of diamonds, ten of spades and jack of hearts.

In Three of a Kind, the first three cards are of the same value but the last two are not a pair. Notice the difference from a full house composed of a triad and a pair.

In Two Pair, the hand is made up of two pair plus a fifth card of any value. It can be a pair of tens, a pair of eights and a two. Note that the two pairs are of different values. If the two pairs are of the same value, then the hand is already considered Four of a Kind.

The lowest combination is called Pair. Obviously, it is composed of any two cards of the same value.

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