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Video Poker Playing Rules

Poker Hands   Video Poker   Jacks or Better   Deuces Wild   Jokers Wild

Video Poker is a simplified poker game played on a machine. In order to play the game, it is first necessary to understand basic poker hands.

 

B asic Poker Hands

A poker hand consists of 5 cards. The ace is considered the highest card, followed by kings, queens, jacks, and so on. The lowest card is a two. The object of the game is to get the best hand possible. The various poker hands are described below from lowest to highest:

No pair - This is the lowest possible hand, containing 5 separate cards that do not match up to create any of the combinations below.
One pair - If two of the five cards are the same value, it is a one pair. Example: two jacks.
Two pair - Two pairs in the same hand. Example: two jacks and two fives.
Three of a kind - Three cards of the same value.  Example: three aces.
Straight - Five consecutive cards, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. They need not be of the same suit. An ace can be used in two ways. It can be have a value of 1, and be placed in an A, 2, 3, 4, 5 sequence, or it can also be placed above the king in a 10, J, Q, K, A sequence. 
Flush - Five cards of the same suit. They do not have to be in any order.
Full House - 3 cards of the same value, along with a pair. Example: Three Kings and two Aces.
Four of a Kind - Four cards of the same value, such as four jacks.
Straight Flush - This is both a straight and a flush in the same hand. The five cards must be in sequential order, AND they must be of the same suit.
Royal Flush - This is the best possible hand in poker. It contains an A, K, Q, J, and a 10, all in the same suit. 

 

Basic Video Poker

In video poker, you do not play against other players, as in traditional poker. Insatead, you play against the machine. This means that all you have to do is get a certain hand or better in order to get paid. 


Video poker is basic draw poker, as follows: 

  1. You wager a certain number of coins/credits, usually between 1 and 5.
  2. The machine deals you five cards. 
  3. You can keep or discard as many cards as you like. To keep a card, click the hold button underneath the card. 
  4. When you have selected the cards you want to hold, click on deal/draw
  5. The cards not being held are replaced with new cards. If your new set of cards contains a winning hand, you get paid. 

There are three popular versions of video poker. They are: Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and Jokers Wild.  Each one is described below.

 

Jacks or Better

This is the most popular version of Video Poker. Basically, you need to get a pair of jacks or better in order to get paid.

Let's assume you bet five coins. If you get a pair of jacks or better, you get five coins back. The machine might call you a "winner," but don't be fooled. You deposited five coins to begin with, and you just got your original five coins back, so you haven't won anything at this point. 

In order to really win, you must get a two pair or higher. The amount of coins you win depends on how good your hand is. A typical payout schedule in Las Vegas is shown below. 

Hand

Payouts Per Coin

Royal Flush

250-800, or Progressive*
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 6-9
Flush 5-6
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 2
Pair of Jacks or Better 1

*There are two types of video poker machines. One will pay you a straight number of coins for the royal flush, and the other will pay you a progressive jackpot. In a progressive jackpot machine, a percentage of each coin dropped goes into a jackpot, which is paid out to the next recipient of a royal flush. Jackpots can sometimes be worth tens of thousands of dollars. 

 

D euces Wild

In the Deuces Wild version of video poker, all deuces are treated as wild cards. This means that whenever you get a 2, you can use that card as any card you like. You can therefore change it's face value and/or suit to work with the hand you have. With Deuces Wild, you have a far better chance of getting good hands. The casino compensates for this by offering a tighter payout schedule. You only get paid with a three of a kind or better.

Below is a typical payout schedule in Las Vegas.

Hand

Payout Per Coin

Royal Flush

Varies
Four Deuces 200
Royal Flush w/Deuces 25
Five of a Kind 15
Straight Flush 9
Four of a Kind 5
Full House 3
Flush 2
Straight 2
Three of a Kind 1

 

Jokers Wild

Jokers Wild is five-card draw poker with the addition of one joker.  This means you are playing with a 53-card deck instead of the usual 52 cards. The joker is a wild card, and can be played as any card you want.  

The existence of a wild card increases your chances of getting a good hand, so the payout schedule is adjusted accordingly. You need a two pair or better to get paid. Below is a table showing typical payouts in Las Vegas. 

Hand

Payout Per Coin

Royal Flush

Varies
Five of a Kind 100
Royal Flush w/Joker 50
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 20
Full House 8
Flush 7
Straight 5
Three of a Kind 2
Two Pair 1



 
 
 
 
 


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