Video poker is a mainstay in casinos around the world, and a game that feels as though it has been around forever. This game combines the jackpots and the luck-based gameplay that you find in slot machines and other electronic games, with the skill-based gameplay found in real poker. You don’t necessarily need to be a poker professional to win at video poker, but you do need to understand the rules.
Video Poker Basics
The younger generation may struggle to remember a time when video poker machines weren’t available in casinos, but if you go back a couple of generations you’ll find gamblers who still remember the excitement they felt when these games were first introduced.
Video poker machines were introduced into Vegas casinos in the 1970s, launched on a wave of excitement that followed all new technological introductions. Poker had been steadily growing in popularity back then and although it was not as popular as it is today, the gambling and luck-based aspects of these machines more than made up for that. More or less from the outset, there were gamblers who focused entirely on these machines, learning them in and out and becoming experts who could regularly cash out. That’s because whilst the gameplay does rely on luck, there is enough skill and knowledge needed for top players to beat them consistently.
In the modern age video poker has shifted to an online format, but the rules are the same, as are your chances of winning. In the most basic forms of video poker you pay your money and then you are given 5 cards. You then decide which ones to hold and which ones to redraw, before pressing the “Deal” button again. Believe it or not, that’s it. You are paid depending on your hand, with pairs generally returning your stake, and with big profits coming from 4-of-a-kind, flushes and full-houses.
Video poker uses the five-card draw format as opposed to Texas Hold’em, but don’t worry if you’re not used to this variant. As long as you know the hands then you’re good. Generally, you should never risk it all to play for straights when playing video poker. For instance, the chances of landing a 4, 5 and 6 when you’re holding a 2 and 3 are very low and if they miss then you’re probably not going to land anything. On the flip-side, if you hold a single pair then as well as aiming for three-of-a-kind and four-of-a-kind, you can also land 2-pairs and if nothing comes then you’ll still get have 1 pair and will still get a return.
With all of that in mind, you’re probably eager to get your hands on some virtual video poker, so where’s the best place to play?
Royal Vegas Casino
This casino has been in operation for a number of years, and one Google search will tell you that they have been getting things pretty much spot-on since then. Royal Vegas Casino have strived to out-perform their rivals since day one, and in an effort to do this they have created the best bonuses, the best loyalty scheme and some of the most attentive customer service you will encounter in an online casino.
There are also several video poker variants on Royal Vegas Casino, including Single Hand Video Poker and Multi-Hand Video Poker variants. The latter of these allows you to play with 2 or more hands, with 100 Play Video Poker dealing you up to 100 hands at a time. If this sounds too much then there is also a 50 hand version, a 10 hand version and a 4 hand version. All of these allow you to play as much or as little as you want on each individual hand, and they all offer huge payouts for a Royal Flush, which is when you get 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit.
As for the single hand games, these include Aces and Faces (focusing on the picture cards and the ace), Bonus Poker Deluxe and Jacks and Better. Many of these follow the standard video poker rules, albeit with some tweaks.
As well as a wide selection of video poker games, Royal Vegas Casino will also give you a big bonus to play them with. This bonus is paid out over the course of your first two deposits and goes all of the way up to $1,200. Once you work your way through this then you can also take advantage of the regular promotions run by Royal Vegas Casino and Fortune Lounge Group, which is a casino collective that Royal Vegas are a part of. There is also a generous loyalty scheme to join, where you can work your way toward big cash prizes just by regularly playing your favourite casino games.