The Basics of Online Video Poker

Online video poker is available as either a paid or free internet game for Canadians, and this gives individuals a lot of leeway when it comes to entertainment. It is not played at a table like other, more traditional poker games; rather, people play alone at a virtual console and work to create the hands that produce the best payouts.

Learning the Basics

First and foremost, it is necessary to understand that players have absolutely no way to reduce the edge that the house has over them. The cards themselves are dealt to players using random number generating technology, and this means that there is no 'shoe' and no way to effectively determine which cards are left in the deck. However, when getting started, individuals can look for the machines that offer the best odds and payouts. Choosing one with better payouts adds more to the bankroll over time. Finally, people need to understand the basic concept that all online video poker games are based on - Five Card Draw.

How It's Done

The first thing individuals will need to do upon choosing a variation is choose the amount they want to wager per hand. Of course, the more that is wagered, the more that can be won; this is especially true for the higher-paying combinations. Then, players will simply click the 'Deal' button and take a look at the five cards that appear at the bottom of the screen. The idea is to choose which cards to 'Hold' and which to discard in order to build the best hand possible. Clicking on cards will hold them, and clicking deal again afterward will replace those that the individual chose to discard. Then, the machine automatically tallies wins based upon the hand that was created.

Is There a Strategy?

While there isn't really any way to reduce the house edge here, there are some strategies that people can use to protect their bankrolls and perhaps even win more often. The first involves sticking to a budget and only enjoying machines that fit within that budget. Next, if possible, it helps to place the highest wager possible for any particular variant in order to enjoy the highest wins. Finally, individuals need to firmly understand how to build the best hands. For instance, someone who receives an Ace, two Kings, a nine and a four may think that it's best to keep the Ace but, in reality, the two Kings will already produce a payout and all of the rest should be discarded.

Different Variants

Last but certainly not least, it is necessary to learn about the different variants of online video poker and adjust strategies accordingly. For instance, with Jacks or Better (the most popular variant), there are no wilds and individuals only receive payouts for hands containing at least a pair of Jacks. In Deuces Wild, all of the twos are wild, but the payouts only start with a three-of-a-kind. Other variants exist and people are always encouraged to read the rules carefully before proceeding.