video poker for beginners

If you’re not an expert poker player, or have yet to try the game, Video Poker is an excellent starting point. It’s quite easy to learn and comes without distractions in the form of a dealer or other players. Actually, once you’ve got the basics, you might even decide to stick with it for a bit longer. You see, Video Poker is not just for beginners. Many seasoned gamers still play it loyally and even choose it over the respective table game and live ones. There is a reason for this! When using the right strategy, this game can deliver better odds than most of the other ones you’ll find online. Before you decide to commit long term, however, check out our Video Poker for Beginners guide, learn the basics and give it a go. 

How to Play

As in regular poker, the goal of the game is to form the best possible hand using 5 cards. Normally, the best hand ever is Royal Flush, which is 10, J, Q, K and an Ace, all of the same suit. It’s followed by Straight Flush or 5 suited cards in a sequence. Next comes Four of a Kind (4 cards of the same rank), Full House (three of a kind plus a pair), Flush (5 suited cards which are not in a sequence), and Straight (5 cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit). On the lower end, you’ll find Three of a Kind, Two Pairs and a Pair. Now, this is standard, but different Video Poker varieties come with special rules, so make sure to double-check the pay table and hand rankings before you receive your first hand.

When the game starts, you’ll be dealt 5 cards face up, and given the choice to keep or replace any or every one of them. Once you draw a new one, it makes part of your final hand and can’t be discarded and replaced. 

No Opponents

While playing regular poker, you’ll be facing either other gamers or at least a dealer. These are the people you need to beat, meaning if your hand outranks theirs, you win, and if it doesn’t, you lose. In Video Poker you have no opponents; all you need to do is form a qualifying hand and you’ll get paid according to the pay table. (Reminder: check the minimum hand needed to qualify)

Numerous Varieties

The great thing about Video Poker is that there are loads of different varieties on offer, and while we recommend you stick with one until you learn it properly, having many options might make the game more interesting in a long run. Jacks or Better is one of the simple variants, and the difference in ranking vs those mentioned above is that instead of any pair, the lowest qualifying hand is a pair of Jacks or higher. Aces and Eights Video Poker offers special payouts for four Aces, four 8’s and four 7’s (don’t ask us why 7’s, it’s just how it is). Loose Deuces is a game which prompts you to collect as many 2’s as possible, because they act as wild cards (will substitute for any card in the deck) and provide higher payouts when they participate in a Straight Flush or when they form Four of a Kind. Double Bonus Poker changes the payout table by including 3 different levels of payouts for Four of a Kind, while Joker Poker uses a 53-card deck which includes a joker. The joker is a wild card, and within the pay table you’ll see a few non-standard winning hands as the result.  One is Five of a Kind (4 identical cards + joker), and another Royal Flush which includes a Joker. Too much for you at the moment? Don’t worry about it. Just stick with the basic variant to start off, there’s plenty of time to explore what else is out there. 

How Many Coins to Play?

Video Poker games will give you option to bet 1 to 5 coins. Naturally, more coins bring higher awards for the same combinations. But if you place maximum stakes, the payouts will significantly increase. However, while you’re still learning the ropes, you’re probably better off playing as many hands as you can on the available budget. So start modestly and then work your way slowly to the top. 

Gamble

Some Video Poker variants will offer you to gamble after you’ve won. The deal is double or nothing, and to win it, you’ll have to pick a higher card than that of the dealer. Should you take this offer? Normally we recommend that you do if you want to maximise the return on your investment. But at this stage it might be better that you pass and enjoy longer playtime instead, giving you the chance to learn more.  

Now that you’re familiar with the theory, put the above into practice. Springbok offers a variety of different Video Pokers which you can play not only on your desktop but on the go as well. Just make sure to have your iPhone or Android device on you!