Video Poker Guide
Video Poker has been around since the 1970s when Dale Electronics introduced the first Video Poker machine in land-based casinos. 'Poker-Matic', as they were known back then became an instant success, inspiring online casino game providers to add them to their games repertoire more than twenty years later. The popularity of video poker stems from the fact that it has one of the lowest house edges amongst casino games, in some cases sporting an RTP as high as 100%. Video Poker online is an excellent game for those players who enjoy a game of skill without the pressure of a live table, allowing privacy and the possibility to play at one's own pace. In this online Video Poker guide, we provide you with some Video Poker strategy tips and go over the various Video Poker versions available for Canadian players.
Where to play Video Poker from Canada
Since Video Poker is an incredibly popular game, many online casinos offer a good selection of Video Poker and its variants enabling players to choose the poker game that they enjoy the most. Many online casinos offer a welcome bonus for newly registered players often consisting of bonus money which they can use on any of the Video Poker games available. It is difficult to find bonuses tailor-made for poker games, however, any regular bonus which consists of bonus money can usually be used on Video Poker options. Below we have compiled a list of online casinos featuring a good choice of Video Poker games, all of which are offering a generous welcome bonus to newly registered players.
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What is Video Poker?
Video Poker saw its introduction in land-based casinos in the 1970s and was played from random number generated machines similar to slot machines. The possibility to play privately at your own pace without having to take a seat at a live poker game made it a popular choice amongst poker players, earning it a place at online casinos, which today offer many interesting variants of the game.
Video Poker is based on the traditional five-card draw poker and is played with a standard 52 card deck. Just like a standard poker game, the round starts by placing a bet, the value of which is usually determined by the type of online Video Poker you choose and the limits imposed. Once the bet is placed, pressing the 'Deal' button will allocate you 5 randomly drawn cards. Choosing which cards to keep and which cards to discard is perhaps the most crucial step as it will determine the strength of your hand and the outcome of the game. Once you've chosen the best cards that are believed represent the best option, you can click 'Draw' and have your discarded cards replaced by randomly selected cards. The hand is evaluated, and payout handed out if you have a flush, a straight, two pairs, or a Royal flush. The amount paid out depends on the value of your hand as well as the paytable of your chosen game.
To help you choose your cards wisely and put together the best hand we have compiled a list of the most important Video Poker terminology and their meaning:
- Action - describes the amount of money wagered
- Bust - when additional cards are drawn but the hand does not improve
- Deuce - a term that describes cards displaying the 2 value
- Flush - a hand consisting of 5 cards of the same suit
- Full House - a hand made up of 2 cards if one rank and the other 3 cards of another rank
- Hold - the act of keeping the cards that are deemed to make up a good hand after the initial deal
- House Edge - expressed as a percentage, this describes the advantage that the casino holds over the player in a specific game.
- Jackpot - this is the top payout possible and requires either a Royal flush as the most common combination or else another combination depending in the rules of the game being played.
- Jacks or Better - This is one of the most popular variants of poker and requires at least a pair of hands in a single hand to receive a payout.
- Royal Flush - the key to the jackpot, this hand consists of an Ace, a Queen, a King a Jack and ten-value cards, all belonging to the same suit.
- Straight - cards from a different suit in consecutive order
- Wild Card - a card that can substitute all other cards
- Two Pairs - a hand made up of two pairs.
Video Poker Strategy
Knowing the rules and the basic terminology of Video Poker is not enough to help you win at one of the games with the lowest house edge, thus we will share some tips to help you formulate an excellent strategy that will help you win often at your favourite Video Poker game.
Video Poker Tips
- Don't play by guessing. Always choose your strategy before you sit for a Video Poker game. If you are still learning the rules of the game then engaging in a few games of free Video Poker is ideal as it will teach you the ropes without risking any of your money.
- Choose the right table. One of the best features of Video Poker is the paytable that is accessible to players right from the beginning, giving you a clear idea of your expected return. Different Video Poker games come with different pay-tables, thus it is important to search carefully for a table that offers a good payout percentage, ensuring a decent return from your experience.
- Stick to your bankroll. Video Poker is one of the games with the lowest house edge and in some cases with a return to player of almost 100%, however, it does not mean that you will win all the time. Thus, it is important to decide how much you are willing to bet beforehand and to stick to your plan.
- Always hold a royal flush, a straight, four of a kind, three of a kind, full house or a two pair.
- When holding a three of a kind, discard the other two cards in hope of getting four of a kind.
- If you were dealt a two pair, substitute the 5th card for the chance to be dealt a full house.
- Always keep a low pair instead of a single high card.
These are only a few strategy tips to help you play better at Video Poker. The best way to learn the game is to practice and the demo versions available at many online casinos are an excellent way to put into practice the various strategies available online without risking any of your money. If you want to explore online Poker into more detail we invite you to check out our guide about Poker Rules for Beginners.
Free Video Poker
As we have mentioned before many Video Poker providers allow players to play free Video Poker through their demo options without betting any real money as a way to test the game and decide whether it is the option that is the most entertaining for you. Most online casinos offer the demo options to their players, providing an excellent opportunity for players to practice their tactics before betting real money.
Another opportunity to play free Video Poker games is through a generous online casino bonus. Although it is rare to come across a casino bonus specially designed for Poker players, many of the bonus money offered either through a welcome package or a reload promotion can be used on any of the Video Poker games, with the added benefit of winning real money. Of course, it is always advisable to check out the full terms and conditions of an offer as in some instances Poker may be excluded from the offer.
Types of Video Poker online games
Players seeking to play online Video Poker will discover that there are various variants to choose from, all having their own set of rules and paytables. The basics will always remain the same, however, to help you distinguish the different types of poker we are going to explore some of the most popular options that we often encounter at online casinos that accept Canadian players.
Deuces Wild Video Poker
Deuces Wild is perhaps one of the most popular variants of Video Poker, available at the best Canadian online casinos. In this Video Poker version the cards bearing the value of 2 act as the wild, substituting all of the other cards in the same way a wild symbol in a slot game substitutes all other symbols. The attraction of this game lies in the Return to Player possibilities which vary from 98% up to even 100%. The higher RTP, also means that payouts are slightly lower, especially since it is easy to make Deuces combos.
Jacks or Better Video Poker
Jacks or Better Video Poker is ideal for those beginner players who want to learn how to play and win at Video Poker. It is easy to find this version available as it is extremely popular, both for the simplicity of its gameplay and for the higher payouts that are usually associated with this version. As the name of the game suggests, the aim of this Poker version is to obtain a pair of Jacks or better cards to receive a payout.
Joker Poker Video Poker
In this variation, the Joker cards act as the wild, substituting all other symbols, raising the possibility of forming some impressive combinations. Kings or better, have the lowest winning hand, allowing the casino to keep the house edge. Although the game is focused on Joker cards, a royal flush without Jokers will always beat a hand that is made up of Joker cards, however, all other payouts are the same whether there is a Joker or not.
Double Bonus Video Poker
Double Bonus Video Poker follows the dame gameplay of the original version, however, with an interesting addition that ups the gameplay considerably. In this version when you have a winning combination you get a choice to either cash-out or try to double the payout by selecting one card out of 5 that are face down on the screen. If the card of your choice is higher in value then the original face-up card your payout is double, however, if the value is lower you lose all of the payouts.
Why you should play Video Poker
Although many players tend to dismiss Video Poker for the lack of graphics and special features, this straightforward game and its variants will always remain all-time favorites among poker enthusiasts who enjoy a quiet game, providing plenty of privacy and time to put into practice their best strategy. Add to this the fact that Video Poker comes with a very low house edge, and we'd say you shouldn't miss out on this great casino game if you love poker! Check it out at the online casinos we recommend on this page to make the best of it and to claim a good bonus!
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