Although video poker and online poker (also known as internet poker) are both electronic versions of the popular game of poker that can be played over the internet, they are two distinct and different games.
Online poker is basically poker played on the internet. You can even play online poker on your mobile device with special apps designed to maximize your online poker playing experience. Yes, there are still many nuances to the way the game is played in person and online, making them different in many ways, but for the most part, they are the same game with characteristics like betting rounds, bluffing and most notable, the game is played against at least one other player.
Video poker, though based on the popular poker variant five card draw, does not have betting rounds. The totality of the wagering takes place at the start of the video poker hand and then no more betting happens. There is no bluffing and you do not play against other players. Your wagers are made against the house.
Is There Skill in Playing Video Poker?
There sure is, but perhaps not in the way you imagined. Unlike regular poker there is no hand reading necessary, and you don’t have to outwit your opponents, you simply play the optimal strategy for the game you have chosen.
So then where is the skill? The skill is in knowing what types of video poker games to play, seeking out those games and avoiding the games that will cost you money in the long run.
There are many variations of video poker from Deuces Wild to Jacks or Better just to name a few. The key to selecting a good game is understand which games are the loosest and pay out the highest percentage of money that they take in.
What is the House Edge in Video Poker?
The house edge in video poker is one of the lowest of any casino game available, but the odds do change depending on the amount that the game pays out for achieving the best hands in the game.
Many video poker games will return more than 90% of the money they take in over the long run, but that still means that the house is taking 10% of every bet you place. But, if you learn which games to look for, how to identify the games that pay out the best, and maximize your use of player benefits that are given by a land based casino or online gaming site, you could find yourself playing the game at an advantage.
Tips for Video Poker
The following are some good tips to playing video poker that can be used to gain an edge at the game:
- Compare the payouts of the games. To do this, look to see how much a particular video poker game pays out for its top hands, like a Royal Flush, a straight flush, four of a kind (or five of a kind if there are wild cards) and full houses.
- Play the maximum number of coins. It is better to play a lower denomination game and max out the number of coins played, than to play a bigger game and play lees coins. This is because the best odds on a video poker machine are payed out when playing the most coins.
- Always use a rewards card when available. Using a player card or rewards card allows you to collect perks that the house gives you for just playing the game. Though they take time to accumulate, these rewards can mean the difference of playing a game at a disadvantage and playing a game that has tilted in your favor.