Online video poker rules and table poker rules are similar in that they use the same hand rankings; beyond that, they are two completely different games. As you are playing against a machine rather than another player, the objective of the game is simply to get the best hand that you can. At the start of the round, the computer deals you a hand of five cards. You then need to decide which cards to hold and which to discard. Once you have made your selection, the machine will deal replacement cards for the ones that you discarded. If you hold a winning hand at the end of the round, you receive a payout. This is similar to 5 card draw, except there are no other player's hands to worry about.
It is important to learn the values of particular hands when playing video poker as your pay outs depend on the hands that you hold so that you will decide to discard or hold depending on these combinations.
From highest to lowest, video poker hands are as follows:
- Royal Flush – Ace through 10 of the same suit (A,K,Q,J,10).
- Straight Flush – Five consecutive cards, all of the same suit.
- Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same value.
- Full House – A "Three of a Kind" plus "One Pair".
- Flush – Five cards of the same suit, regardless of values.
- Straight – Five consecutive cards which are not of the same suit.
- Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same value with different suits; the remaining two cards are not a pair.
- Two Pair – Two cards of the same value and two cards of another value – the remaining card is irrelevant.
- One Pair – Two cards of the same value – the remaining cards are irrelevant.
Video Poker Variations
There is an ever-growing number of different variations of video poker. Each video poker variation will have different pay tables, and it is important to be familiar with the variation of video poker that you are playing because that will effect the cards that you choose to discard or hold. If you receive a much greater bonus from a straight, you might give up a pair in an attempt to achieve one.
A few common video poker variants:
There are many more variations and themes for online video poker. Your casino will have detailed information on each specific game type.
- Aces and Faces video poker – this variation of video poker has high pay outs for combinations of four Aces or four face cards.
- Deuces and Joker video poker – this variation is played with a 53 card deck. Deuces and the Jokers are wild cards and can be substituted for any card of any value or suit.
- Deuces Wild video poker – the four twos (deuces) act as wild cards. This means that the twos can be substituted for any other card of any value or any suit in order to complete a hand combination.
- Double Joker video poker – this variation uses a 54 card deck so that there are two Jokers (wild cards) that can be substituted for a card of any value or suit.
- Jacks or Better video poker – a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces makes up the lowest paying hand.
- Jokers Wild video poker – this variation of video poker is played with a 53 card deck – 52 cards plus one Joker. The Joker acts as a wild card that can be substituted for any card of any value or suit.