Play Online Video Poker

Video poker is a popular online casino game that has its origins in a combination of two other popular casino games. The game of video poker is essentially a basic poker game that is played by one person on a gaming machine that looks like a pokie, or a slot, machine. Video poker is a five card poker game that has been played in land-based casinos since the 1970s, it has become more and more popular since online casinos began. The game, while it might look like a pokies, is based not only on luck but on skill too. There is a large selection of video poker games found when playing at online casinos.

History of Video Poker

Video poker as we know it was patented by Bally Gaming, although the company did not continue to develop the game. In 1975 by Si Redd, who had designed the game at Bally Gaming, got permission to take the patent on video poker so that he could go out on his own and develop the game further. Redd created a company called SIRCOMA that later became IGT. SIRCOMA and the Fortune Coin Company developed the Video Bell Machine. Draw Poker, the game that offers both the hold and draw options, was launched in 1979.

It should be noted that the original pokies machines that were created in 1891 by Sittmann and Pitt were essentially poker machines since cards were used on the five drums, and players needed to make up poker-style hands to win. These original pokie machines, however, did not develop immediately into video poker, and rather into pokies, with video poker talking almost another 80 years to come to the gaming market.

In the 1990s, when online casinos began, video poker was offered, and became popular with players. Since that time, there have been a large number of video poker variations that have been developed, ranging from the well-known Jacks or Better game to other popular choices such as 10s or Better, Aces and Faces, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, and more. The game can also be played as both single-hand and multi-hand games.


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Odds

One of the great attractions of playing video poker is the low house edge. The game does have to be played at optimal video poker strategy in order to benefit from the low house edge, however, even a fair knowledge of how to play poker will increase the player’s odds of winning. While there are many different video poker games, and each comes with its own odds, it is clear that the odds of winning with a lower hand are greater than those of winning with one of the top ranked hands. Different versions of video poker will pay out differently for the various hands, especially when there is a special hand for which the game has been named. When the odds of getting a specific hand are low, the payouts for that hand are high.

The odds of winning with two pairs is 1 in 21, while the odds of winning with a Royal Flush is 1 in 665,000. Jacks or Better, when optimally played, comes with a house edge as low as 0.46%, and a game like Deuces Wild comes with a negative house edge, which is almost unheard of in casino gaming. When Deuces Wild is played with optimal video poker strategy, the house edge can be as little as -0.75%, which is clearly an advantage to the player and not the house.


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Game Rules

Video poker is a fast-paced game that is easy to learn to play. Once a player knows the basic five-card poker hand combinations, it is easy to play video poker, and the skill that is required to increase the odds of winning is in choosing which cards to hold in order to stand the chance to make the best possible poker hand. This game is played against the computer software, and not against other players.

To begin play, players will place a bet. After this has been done, the five cards are dealt face up. The player can then decide which cards to hold. It is possible to hold all, some, or none of the original cards dealt. After the player has chosen which cards to hold, the remaining cards are replaced with a second deal. The hand that now shows is the final poker hand that will be ranked according to the combinations it shows.

While video poker hand ranks differ from variation to variation of the game, the hand rankings usually go according to the regular five-card poker hand rankings for the most part. When the game offers a special combination, that combination would change position in the hand rankings or would be added in at a higher level. In a game such as Jacks or Better, the lowest possible hand will be a single pair of Jacks. Players should note that they are only paid out for the highest possible hand rank in the game version that they are playing

The following are the basic five-card poker ranks from the lowest hand to the highest hand:

  • Pair - two cards that show the same value
  • Two Pairs - two pairs of two cards of the same value
  • Three of a Kind - three cards of the same value
  • Straight - five cards in numerical order in varying suits
  • Flush - five cards that are all in the same suit that do not have to be in numerical order
  • Full House - a three of a kind and a pair in the same hand
  • Four of a Kind - four cards that have the same value
  • Straight Flush - five cards in numerical order in the same suit
  • Royal Flush - the highest possible hand with a series of cards in numerical order, in the same suit, that end in an Ace.

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Strategy and Tips

Make sure to know the rules, or at least the pay tables, of each video poker game that you play. Before you change your card/s you need to know which hands are counted as wins and which hands hold the highest values in the video poker variation you have chosen. In addition to this, when choosing a game, it is also important to compare the pay tables of the variations to choose which comes with the best payouts for the lower ranked hands.

It is possible to play video poker that is connected to a progressive jackpot. If you choose to play these casino games, make sure to bet the max bet, or else a jackpot win will not be paid out at the full progressive jackpot amount. Online casino players will find that there is nothing worse than ‘winning the jackpot’ and then discovering they would not be paid out because they did not wager the maximum bet.

Players should not change any cards if the initial hand shows a royal flush, a straight flush, a four of a kind, or a full house. If a player has three of a kind, they can discard the other two cards in order to try for a four of a kind or a full house. Having noted that, if a player holds a flush or a straight hand, and four out of the five cards form part of a royal flush, it may be worth discarding the ‘odd’ card out and trying for a royal flush. Even if the player does not get a royal flush, they have fairly high odds of getting at least a pair. It is not worth breaking up a straight flush to try for a royal flush.

While the game is easy to grasp, it is certainly worth trying out the different variations as free games before beginning Real Money play.


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Game Buttons Information

Video poker game buttons make the game easy to navigate the game in just a few clicks. At the start of the game, players will see the following four buttons:

  • Bet One: Place a bet with a single coin. If the player would like to add more coins to the bet, this button is pressed until the desired coin number is shown.
  • Bet Max: Players who wish to place the maximum bet can press this button. Since the max bet has been chosen, the hand will automatically be dealt.
  • + and - : These buttons are used to either increase or decrease the coin size or denomination that is being used for betting.
  • Deal: Use this button to deal the hand of cards. This button is used again after cards have been switched.

After the initial betting, the following buttons will be seen:

  • Hold: The Click to Hold button is seen on each card. Players need to click that button or card in order to hold the card.
  • Held: Once a card has been held, this button will appear. Should a player change their mind or possibly have clicked the card in error, clicking on this button will release the card.

After the hand has been dealt again, many versions of the game offer the following buttons to choose from:

  • Double: This is a feature by which players can choose either double of nothing if they had received a payout. The player will click on a face down card on the side of the screen. If the card is higher than the face-up card that is showing, the player will double their winnings.
  • Double Half: This is the same as the Double button, however, it is only used for half the winning payout.
  • Collect: When you have finished playing, use this button to collect the payout and have it added to your online casino account.

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Glossary

Deuces: Twos are deuces, and in some games, the two can act as a wild card, such as in Deuces Wild.

Max Bet: Placing a bet with the maximum number of coins.

Double: This is like the gamble option in pokies. Players play a side game in order to try and double their winnings.

Double Half: This is the same as Double, however, only half the player’s winnings are gambled.

Hand: The set of five cards that are dealt at the beginning of the game.

House Edge: The advantage that the casino, or the House, has over the player.

Multi-Hand: Players can play more than one video poker hand at the same time. It is often possible to play up to 100 hands in one round.

Pay Table: This is a table that shows the various winning hands and the payouts that will be awarded when they are achieved.

Progressive Jackpot: With each bet that players place, this jackpot will increase slightly, and will keep growing in size until it is hit.

Suit: Clubs, Heats, Spades or Diamonds that are seen on the cards.

Wild: A wild card, also known as a Joker, can be used to substitute for other cards in order to help create additional winning combinations. In some games, a specific number, such as the twos, or deuces, are considered to be wild cards.


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Opening an Account and Play for Real Money

When you have learnt the basics of poker hands, and have finished trying out video poker games using the free play option, you can then move over into the Real Money video poker games. In order to do so, you will need to open a funded account at Mansion Casino Australia.

To open a Real Money account is easy and straightforward for players. Simply fill in the details requested, making sure to give your correct contact details, including a valid email address that you will check regularly. At this time, players will also need to choose Australian dollars from the currency list offered. After the details have been filled in, players will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions of the online casino.

After the sign-up process, go to the cashier section of the casino site to fund your account. To fund an account, you need to choose which method of payment you would prefer to use. After you have made that decision, you can fund your account and begin Real Money play. Players can then claim their online casino Welcome Bonus for new players, after which they can go to the casino lobby or games tab in order to choose which video poker game to play from your new online casino account.

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