Video poker is gradually replacing popular games like slot machines by virtue of the high returns and the transparency in the pay structure. Moreover, the basic game strategy is simple and is used for almost all its variants. The primary differences between variants are only in the paylines for winning hands and an added twist for greater excitement.
In video poker, the basic strategy is to make the best winning hand. Most video poker games are played with a 52-card deck, with minor exceptions in certain variants. You will be dealt a 5 card hand from the deck. You have the option of holding on to all the cards dealt or can choose to discard any or all of the cards. Once you have decided on a hand to hold, you need to click on a ‘hold’ button, which is displayed on the video screen. After clicking on the hold button, you need to hit the ‘draw’ or ‘deal’ button, in order to get your discarded cards replaced. The machine offers you a replacement card for each of the cards that you have discarded. With the new cards, you must make a hand. The hand will then be judged by the machine and if it is a winning hand, you will be paid out according to the pay structure for winning hands. The pay structure is also displayed on the video screen.
The hands are ranked similar to conventional poker games, wherein a Royal Flush is the highest ranked hand and a Pair is the lowest. There are minor variations in winning hands in certain video poker variants.
The betting is traditionally done with 1-5 coins, where 5 is the maximum. The returns of a winning hand will also depend on your bet, wherein a 5-coin wager offers the maximum returns. When you have finished playing, you can click on the ‘cash-out’ button on the screen. On hitting this button, your earnings will be paid out.