Video Poker is incredibly popular in Las Vegas casinos. Interestingly, it is only in recent years that slots have overtaken poker machines in popularity in the casinos.
Video poker can pay out really well, but only if you know how to play the game properly. That's why so many players have their favorite version of video poker (like 'Bonus Poker' and 'Jacks or Better' and refuse to play any other versions.
There are quite a few reasons for the appeal of the Video Poker machines, including very high payback rates (if you play the correct strategy) and also that they offer players a game of poker on the fly.
There is no need to spend the hours involved with a real table game, you can just sit and play for 5 minutes, then move on.
Video poker has been around for over 30 years, although it really only became popular in the 1980s, mainly due to the fact that personal computers began to get powerful enough to offer a game to home users.
During this time, the game also became popular in casinos as a real money game. Players can play for pennies, right through to many dollars per hand and so appeals to players of all levels.
The game itself usually follows the same schedule as Texas Holdem, the game that is most popular on the TV and indeed, throughout the US and Canada.
The game is initiated with the deal. Five cards are dealt to the player and the player is given the opportunity to hold or discard any of the cards. The idea is to get the best hand possible and the machine pays out certain wins above a certain threshold of win.
So, for example on Jacks or better, the machine would pay out on any hand that has a pair of Jacks or better (i,e, a pair of queens, or three of a kind).
In addition, the payouts become larger, as the power of the hand you get is better. So, you will get a much larger payout for a hand comprising 4 of a kind, than you would if you had a pair of jacks
The payout of all the games is always clearly displayed and there are all sorts of different varieties of game to play. Jacks or better video poker is one particular game, but other games involve Jokers (as wild cards). So, there are also games like Jokers Wild Video Poker on offer in most casinos too
In other games, there are wild cards other than jokers. For example, deuces wild video poker is really popular in the casinos. In this game, all the 2s are wild.
Some people like to play multiple hands at once. For those players, you will see quite a few machines where the player is offered 5 hands at once. There are even machines offering 50 hands at once. For example, you can get 50 hand jacks or better and also 50 hand jokers wild games both online and in casinos.
Another interesting game for something different, is Hi Lo video poker, which adds the aspect of the higher lower game you might see in the Play Your Cards Right game show.
Some video poker machines are attached to progressive jackpots. With these games, if you hit the best win (a royal flush), you will get an enormous jackpot prize. Usually, the jackpot is only available to players that are wagering 'max' bet - this means that they need to play the top domination per hand
5 Hand J W
Pai Gow Poker
50 Hand J Wild
5 Hand J or B
Hi Lo Poker
50 Hand J or B