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Video Poker - The Basics

After Blackjack and Craps, video poker gives you some of the best odds in the casino if you play it right. It combines some of the fun of a slot machine with some of the fun of a table game, all without rushing you to play. This is why many professional gamblers use video poker as a means of relaxation in between the demands of blackjack or a table poker game.

For many years now, video poker has steadily increased in popularity in the casinos. While many video poker machines may look like slot machines, make no mistake about it - they are not! Unlike slot machines, video poker is a combination of luck AND skill.

The cards are dealt randomly, just as in a real poker game. The house's edge is determined by how much it pays for the various combinations of winning hands. Different machines have different payout schedules for the various poker hands, so be sure to choose a machine with a favorable payout schedule.

In order to play video poker with any chance at winning, you must know the basics about playing five card draw poker, which is beyond the scope of this article. We'll assume you know the basics of the game and how the various poker hands are ranked.

To play a video poker machine, you simply insert one or more coins (usually up to a maximum of five) and push the "deal" button. Five cards are dealt to you on the screen. You choose the ones you want to hold by pushing the "hold" button underneath each card.

You then push the "deal" button again and you will be dealt the number of cards you choose not to keep, to form your final, five card poker hand. If you end up with a winning combination, you are paid according to the payout schedule.

It's as simple as that! Many video poker machines have a payout schedule that is 97 or 98%. In another article, we'll explain the schedule with the best odds.

Until then, good luck!

Tom is the webmaster at http://www.blackjack-for-everyone.com, which is a website dedicated to turning beginning Blackjack players into serious recreational players.

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