Options for Playing Video Poker
This may be already understood by those of you readers who already are familiar with some of the best video poker sites, and online casino games in general. But just to recapitulate, here are the types of video poker available for playing online. The main classic varieties of video poker are Deuces Wild, Jacks Or Better, Bonus Poker, Tens Or Better, Double Bonus Poker, Joker Poker, and All American. Later variations are really too numerous to name in even a very long article. Current popular trends to take a popular game like Texas Hold'em and adapt it for video poker. Conversely, we are also seeing live versions of some of the more popular video poker games.
Why Play for Real Money?
It is our personal opinion that it's always better to play for real money. In fact, it could be said that you don't really get the full of experience of a video poker casino unless you are putting real money on the line. The visceral thrill is just missing and one just tends not to really take the same seriously until one actually stands to win or lose something from the game. Of course, it's not a bad idea to play from time to time for free. An especially good idea is to try out and practice new strategies and tactics in a top online casino for free and then, once perfected, you can try them out for "real".
Classic Video Poker: Two Different Themes
In traditional (80s style) video poker, there are two different types of games, based on the two first options for playing when video poker made its debut back in the day. They have both been mentioned in the above paragraph; they are Deuces Wild and Jacks Or Better. These two types of video poker delineate the various styles of play you will encounter in just about any classic video poker game. In any of the best casinos for video poker, you will encounter many variations of both of these. The main difference with Jacks Or Better is that you get a chance to draw. This, of course, changes the game completely, adding a specific skill element to the gameplay.
Which Style is Right for You?
One thing a poker player who wants to play video poker needs to learn from the beginning: in traditional video poker, you aren't playing against anybody. You are trying to get the best hand possible and there's a scoring system that awards you points depending on the strength of your hand. It goes almost without saying that in the draw versions of video poker, the scoring can't be as generous as it can in the Deuces etc. kind of video poker. Having said that, however, Jacks type video poker when played by a skilled player can have an RTP as high as 99.54%, which is just about as good as it has ever gotten!
Other Variations in Video Poker to Keep in Mind
There are lots of newer variations in modern video poker, especially in the world of online gaming. These can be quite clearly divided into sub-categories. The first of these is comprised of games like Ultimate X, Dream Cards, and Quick Quads. These all tend to build on the traditional poker video paradigm, The other type of variations are video poker versions of traditional non-video poker and other similar games. These have completely different rules and paradigms to think through. Finally, we have versions of video poker games played as non-video poker, often with a live dealer. Video poker has truly gotten larger than life with that last step! Once again, these games require all-new strategies and tactics to succeed.
Pros and Cons of the Various Variations
The pros of playing classic video poker are simply this: the rules, strategies, tactics, etc. are well established and well-known. This can just as well be a con though; it really depends on your personality. Some people like to go with the tried and true, others get bored easily. So on the other hand, if you find you are getting bored with the same old video poker games, don't doubt to try out some of the newer and more innovative varieties. Often one wins big by going off the beaten trail and finding strategies that beat the odds in the newer games and it would be horrible advice to say anything against this.
Video Poker Strategies
At first glance, video poker is poker and the exact same strategies would apply. This, however, would be a pretty grave mistake. Video poker has a lot of fundamental differences. First off, at least in most versions of video poker, you're not playing directly against anybody. This means in more specific terms that you're not trying to get a better hand than anybody else. You are playing against a scoring system and trying to get the best possible hand to get the best possible score the most times possible. This can have significant effects on gameplay. It's also important to keep in mind how different stakes can change the scoring tables.
Video Poker Tactics
Tactics are even more important than strategy. Any military general worth his or her salt will agree with this. It applies to real life, chess, horseshoes, hand grenades, dancing and video poker equally! Let's look at a real-life example. If you had the first three cards of a royal flush, and another lower card of the same suit, would you draw one or draw two? The obvious answer is to draw one and minimize risk, but the best tactic in that situation is to draw two in most cases. This is because the royal flush pays out disproportionately more compared to a mere flush. In the long term, this will net you more winnings.
General Tips for Video Poker
Corollary to what we have just written in the above two paragraphs, the first thing you should do as a novice video poker player is to deeply familiarize yourself with the pay tables of the games you are playing. It's crucially important to understand, for example, how many times more is a straight flush worth than that pair of jacks. The other big tip is to stay on top of the various bonuses that may be on offer at any given time. Try your very best to always make the bonuses work to your advantage. Bonuses are another way to potentially make the odds work in your favour.
Video poker is a much deeper and more complex world than it would let on for the uninitiated observer. Now that we've gone through some of the subtleties and your various options for playing video poker online, you can go forth into the great wild world of the online casinos armed with some essential knowledge. This should serve to further deepen your experience. Hopefully, you will garner the many hours of fun and enjoyment from playing video poker that we have. In closing, we've also taken it upon ourselves to humbly compile this comprehensive list of the different video poker options currently available. Check it out and happy gaming!