A video poker is an electronic device of gambling and money that resembles a slot machine. Mechanically, it is inspired from the poker draw poker or closed versions.
The first video poker appeared in years 70. With the development of electronics and information technology, slot machine designers could combine a television screen and a processing unit in a single device. Some have had the idea to propose a poker game that is practiced exclusively alone. The success of video poker really appeared in 1979 when SIRCOMA, which later became IGT (International Game Technology), launches the game called Draw Poker.
During the 1980s, video poker became increasingly popular in casinos, many players found the devices less intimidating than tables. Today, video poker is required alongside the slot machines, blackjack and roulette as one of the most popular casino games.
To win money at video poker, it is necessary to form a paying combination, inspired by poker hands, via two card distributions. At the beginning of a game, the player is dealt 5 cards. He must choose those he wants to keep and those he wants to change. It is also possible to keep any or all of the cards. Then the player gets new cards that replace those he did not want to keep. If his hand form a paying combination, he wins the money in accordance with the provisions of payment table. Otherwise, it gains nothing.
There are many video poker variants. The main differences between them concern the paytable, the presence or not of joker and paying combinations. The most famous variations are called Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, All American, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and Double Bonus Poker.
Unlike the traditional poker, video poker is a solitary game. So the player does not need to consider the possible opponents reactions. It may be based solely on the probability to build his tactics. Moreover, as in blackjack, experts have designed a basic video poker strategy. It shows the cards to the players to change, according to the hand obtained, to get the best chance of making money.
However, as there are several variations of this game, there are several basic strategies depending on the version of video poker used. Nevertheless, a few tips are still valid, such as those summarized in the following table.
- If you have >>> Draw
- A fifth or more >>> 0 card
- Two pair, a hand near a bilateral straight or more >>> 1 card
- Three of a kind, three cards close to a straight flush or more >>> 2 cards
- A pair or two big cards >>> 3 cards
- A big card >>> 4 cards
- Absolutely nothing >>> 5 cards
The strongest possible combination to form on any video poker variant is a royal flush, that is to say, a hand consisting of a 10, a jack, a queen, a king and an ace of the same suit (spade, club, heart, diamond). When a player manages to get this combination, he wins a jackpot.
Most of the time the jackpot reaches a fixed amount. Nonetheless, some offer video poker to win a jackpot that grows with the bets of the players called progressive jackpot. On this type of device, a small percentage is levied on each of paris to swell the pot into play. As soon as it is pocketed, it returns to a relatively small amount and gradually increasing thanks to player‘s bets.