Video Poker is one of the most popular sections in virtually every casino in the world. Though you will often find these machines taking up large portions of the casino floor, you may be surprised that they actually offer a very, very low house edge. In some examples, they may not even have a house edge whatsoever. If you look hard enough you are likely to come across machines that pay out over 100%, making them one of the best casino games you can play.
Now, there is a catch to video poker that differentiates it from the neighboring slot machines, and that is the skill required to play any given game correctly. Just as games like Blackjack have proper strategy, so too do Video Poker machines. In order to generate the highest return possible, it is imperative that players understand both the rules of the game and how to play their hands 100% correctly. Below is a chart with each video poker variation, where we go over proper strategy in full detail.
Video Poker Variations
There are many, many different variations of Video Poker, ranging from regular Jacks or Better machines to Double Joker poker with Progressive Jackpots and multi-play machines. It may seem that Video Poker is very basic and simple at the surface, and sometimes it can be, but when you start to dig a bit deeper, you will find that there is an endless selection of games that can be played.
Your preference in Video Poker machines is going to depend on a number of variables, including your tolerance for variance, your willingness to learn new and sometimes more complex strategies, and whether you would like to chase after large Progressive Jackpots or to instead play regular games with fixed payouts.
Use our complete video poker guide for information on just about everything you can imagine when it comes to playing VP. Whether you are playing online or in a casino, these articles will help you to find the best games and maximize your return at video poker.
Types of Video Poker
In terms of variations, there is a seemingly endless lists of different Video Poker games available. For the sake of simplicity, there are two different easily identifiable varieties of VP, and they include multi deck (or multi play or multi game) machines and regular, single hand games. The bulk of games that are available in casinos are single hand/deck games. This means that players are dealt one board of cards using one deck and that hand is played independently of the next hand.
With multi deck Video Poker, the entire screen will be filled up with different, unique hands. Payoffs in each of the games vary and depend upon the specific type being played. As is the case with any machine, or any game in the casino, the more money and bets being risked, the larger the potential payoff.
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Jackpots in Video Poker
Video Poker games usually have their biggest Jackpots realized when a player manages to land a Royal Flush. Now, while this is the general rule of thumb for max pay wins, it is not the only way that a Jackpot can be achieved playing VP.
Some games have specific hands that payout the most, even if they may not be the most difficult hands to actually make. Certain games pay out more for specific types of four of a kind hands. Others may pay a bonus if a certain hand is made including the use of a joker, and so on and so forth. Video Poker has a very, very long list of game types, so if you look around long enough, you can find all sorts of different unique ways that you can win the max at a machine.
Progressive Video Poker
The big chases in Video Poker are the Progressive Jackpot machines. A Progressive VP machine works the same way that a Progressive Slot Machine works. As players play at a machine and do not make the hand required to win the Progressive payout, the pot continues to build. A little bit of each loss is added to the Jackpot until a player eventually makes the winning hand required for the payout.
The most interesting facet of Progressive Video Poker machines is that they can sometimes, in fact, be profitable. In order for a VP machine to be profitable, however, it will need to remain unhit for a long period of time. In addition, while the machine may technically be “profitable,” it is only profitable theoretically and under the assumption of never ending play. Once the Jackpot resets, it will no longer offer a positive return. Beyond this, you will, in all likelihood need to eventually actually hit the Progressive to realize a gain. With all of that said, it is always better to play a game in the casino with a long term positive expectation than it is to play one that will normally achieve a loss for the player.