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Video Poker Game Guide

Video Poker Game Rules

What is Video Poker in a Nutshell?

Video poker is the highly successful combination of two of the most sought-after games in the gambling industry – slots and poker. It is the perfect blend of chance, skill, excitement and fun and, as such, millions of players make a beeline to the many different variants of video poker available at land-based and online casinos today.

What is the Object of Video Poker?

After players are dealt five cards, they need to decide which to keep and which to discard. The ultimate object is to create the highest hand, based on traditional poker rankings. Different pay tables may apply to video poker variations.

What are the Card Rankings in Video Poker?

As mentioned, video poker is based on the game of poker and therefore it is important to recognize the various card rankings before one can attempt to play video poker. The most important element of these rankings is the number or image on the card – the suits of the cards are of little importance. Royal cards are ranked with the King being the highest, followed by the Queen and Jack. All other cards are valued according to their numerical standard, with 10 being the highest ranking number card, and two the lowest. The Ace in the pack is considered the highest card of all, including the King.
What are the Hand Rankings in Video Poker?
Using the card rankings as a basis, players need to create the best possible hand rankings using a combination of the cards they are dealt. Hands in video poker are ranked as follows, from lowest to highest:      

  • One pair
  • Two pairs
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full House
  • Four of a Kind
  • Royal Flush
  • Five of a Kind (when a wild card feature is present in the video poker variant).

What is the Game Process of Video Poker?

The classic video poker game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards against the dealer. Over the past decade, software companies have created different variants of the game, with new additions, changes and exciting features. The basic premise of the game, however, remains the same.      

  • Players insert between one and five coins into the video poker machine.
  • The machine deals the player five cards.
  • This is where the skill element of video poker comes in: Players need to make a decision regarding which cards to keep and which to discard. Special attention should be paid to the specific machine’s pay table, as well as the card rankings.
  • Players can decide to discard all, some or none of their cards, depending on the five cards that they have been dealt.
  • If any cards were discarded, the video poker machine replaces them with new cards.
  • Players are thereafter paid out according to the pay table if they managed to form a winning combination with the cards that were dealt to them over the two rounds of playing.