Often billed as a wonderful marriage of the bright lights and graphics of slot machines with the strategy and mechanics of table poker, video poker started to become an extremely popular casino game back in the 1980s.
Since then the game has stayed popular. However, with the evolution of the internet, video poker has again found a resurgence. Over the years, the game has continued to evolve as all the big game development houses like NetEnt or Microgaming supply video poker games and always try to freshen things up.
The following is a look at the most popular video poker games right now.
Jacks or Better
One of the earliest forms of video poker, Jacks or Better is still one of the most common. Sometimes referred to as Draw Poker, the concept here is simple: to win, you’ll need a pair of jacks (or higher) in your hand. At the start of the game, you’ll be dealt five cards, you then choose which to keep or discard. Your aim is to build the best poker hand that you can.
To increase your chances of winning, you need to learn both the winning combinations (although some casinos will have a list beside the game for you) and learn the strategies of which cards and combinations you should keep before dealing your final hand. The higher your poker hand, the bigger the payout.
As with all the video poker games listed here, you’ll find you need a different strategy to normal poker in a casino or online. The hand rankings are the same, but that’s about it!
Joker Poker, also known as Joker Wild Poker, is a variation of video poker where you play with 53 cards rather than your standard 52. Your extra card here comes from a joker card being added, which is the strongest card in your pack.
The joker card can replace any of your cards to create a stronger hand, which increases your chances of winning.
Deuces Wild is like Joker Poker in that certain cards can be substituted for any other cards. Here, any 2 can be substituted for any other card in a pack. The benefit is that you have more chance of finding a 2 (or multiple 2s) than you are to find a joker.
This means you should never discard a 2 from your hand as it will always help improve that hand. For instance, perhaps you have three 7s dealt to you along with a 2 and another card. Now, your 2 can become a 7 meaning you have four of a kind.
Similar to Jacks or Better, the difference here is that you will receive a bonus payout for certain four of a kind hands – such as four aces. To play Double Bonus effectively, you’ll need a larger bankroll. This is because the time between wins on Double Bonus is likely to be longer. However, the appeal here is that when you do win, your winnings will be larger. You can even use the same strategy as you would with Jacks or Better, meaning you don’t need to learn anything new.
Double Double Bonus
This is basically Double Bonus but with much higher bonuses for getting your four aces. Because of this, you will find many online strategies that will help you ‘chase the aces’ in order to get the large payout. Again, you will need to be prepared for losses, as your aim here is to get the large winning jackpot that will cover those losing wagers.
Tens or Better
If you’re looking for a simple and enjoyable introduction to video poker, you may want to start with Tens or Better. This variation on Jacks or Better has a similar concept, the main difference being that you can get a pay-out on a pair of tens, rather than jacks being the lowest winning combination.
Here the winnings are smaller, but if you’re looking to practice the game and strategy, you at least have a better chance of winning multiple, smaller payouts. If you’d like to improve your all-round poker (normal poker and video poker), be sure to keep an eye on our poker guide articles.
Another variation on Jacks or Better, the differing factor in this variation on video poker is that there are different pay-outs on certain combinations. Here, a straight flush, straight and flush will all receive a higher pay-out than it would in Jacks or Better. Lower payouts will be given to a full house and two pair. Otherwise, the game is similar to Jacks or Better. You will likely wish to alter your strategy, though, based on the differing payouts, with more focus being put on building a flush or straight.
As with all video poker games, you want to hit a royal flush for the biggest prize – even boxer Floyd Mayweather hit a video poker royal flush last year, winning $100,000!