Poker is one of the most popular card games on the planet. It’s a great strategy game that can bring big winnings for players. But not everyone loves to play against, and other real players. For those people, there is another option – to play a video poker machine. These machines are so popular with players that most, if not all, online casinos offer some form of video poker machines.
Video Poker – A Brief History
Video poker machines actually originated way back in 1891. Originally, they were known as poker slot machines, and worked very similarly to a regular slot machine, as players put in coins to spin the reels and see results in front of them.
The reels displayed the images of playing cards, and players were rewarded with wins as they got better hands, such as Three of a King, Full House, and Flush.
In 1901, draw poker machines were created. That allowed the player to “hold” certain cards from the first spin, and then spin again to get their final hand. This version closely resembled a poker game called Five Card Draw.
In this game, players are dealt five cards to start and then have the option to hold onto a certain number of cards, getting new cards dealt from the deck for each one they decided to discard. The draw poker machines worked very similarly to this game.
It wasn’t until the 1980s, though, that video poker machines as we know them today were developed and accepted. Once they were, though, they exploded in popularity.
How do video poker machines work?
Today’s machines operate similarly to the original ones, but they look different. Players still put up an original bet and are dealt five cards from a traditional 52-card deck. The cards just appear on the playing screen, though, and don’t appear in a reel like a slot machine.
Modern machines use a random number generator to decide which cards appear in which slots, both for the first deal of the game and for any subsequent deals.
While all video poker machines work in the same way at their core, there are a ton of variations. Most of them require that you have at least Two Pair to win a prize, and the prizes you win increase as the rank of your hand gets better.
Some offer intricate Wild cards that give the player the opportunity to get better poker hands easier, but they often have a higher requirement for payouts. For example, a video poker game with a Wild may require you to have at least Three of a Kind to win a prize.
Some machines are called Class II, which means they more closely resemble a bingo than a slot machine. In Class II, you’ll be competing against other places for one prize. Class III video poker machines are the more common ones and are played with random number generators and are independent of each machine.
Free VS Real Money video poker
There are some online casinos on the market that provide players with the opportunity to try their video poker games for free before risking any real money. Which is a nice feature, especially if you are unfamiliar with how video poker works or you are new to poker.
It’s always a good idea to try your hand at a new game for free first before risking any real money. Get comfortable with the game and then play for real once you are ready.
Top Video Poker Software Providers
Microgaming is one of the largest providers of games to online casinos. They have a large selection of video poker games, including multi-hand games where you can play more than one hand at once.
Microgaming offers the classic video poker games such as Aces and Faces, Jacks or Better, and Deuces Wild. They also offer games such as Tens or Better, All American, and Double Double Bonus.
Playtech is another popular software development company that has a strong selection of video poker offerings. They, too, offer Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and All American games.
Playtech also offers a progressive jackpot video poker game, and this provides players with a great opportunity to hit it big on a video poker machine, much like they can do at traditional slot machines that have progressive jackpots.
NetEnt has perhaps the largest selection of video poker games among the online casino game developers. Their offerings include the classics, as well as Deuces Wild Double Up, and Joker Wild Double Up.
The NetEnt games almost all have a bonus game feature, and that makes them unique among their competitors. Most of the video poker games don’t offer as many bonus games as traditional slot machines, but NetEnt has integrated this exciting feature into many of their video poker games.
Video Poker Casinos – tips on how to choose one
Choosing a game is a very personal decision. If you are new to the game and are just looking to have some fun, then you should stick to simple games such as Jacks or Better. It is the simplest and most straightforward version of the game.
If you are a traditional slot player, you might gravitate more toward the video poker games that have progressive jackpots and/or bonus games. These are the ones that have the biggest opportunity for the large payouts.
Video Poker Casinos – FAQ
Are all video poker games the same?
All video poker games start with the same basic goal (to make the best five-card hand) and then have their own nuances from there.
Are there video poker machines that are like slot machines?
No. These machines now don’t have reels like traditional slot machines do.
Do video poker machines require you to play against other people?
No. You are playing by yourself, and the payouts come from the casino and not other players.
Do you need to know in-depth poker strategy to play?
No, although you should familiarize yourself with what cards makeup what poker hands, as well as the ranking of worst to best hands.
Are there any variations of video poker games?
Yes. Many video poker games offer Wild cards that you can use to turn into any card you wish in your quest for the best poker hand.