A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Online Video Poker

May 12th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

If you were born before the latest generation of Texas Hold’em players, then chances are the first poker game you played was Five Card Draw. If this is true, then early experiences will serve you well when learning to play online video poker. That’s because the vast majority of video poker variations are designed around a Five Card Draw format.

Even if you’re totally new to the game of poker, understanding the basic objectives of online video poker is easy, and a relatively simple strategy can yield surprisingly good results at video poker games. Unlike live poker, video poker pits you not against other players but against the game itself, so there is no reward for cleverness or deception in video poker just for common sense and straightforward strategy.

To play a video poker hand, you must first make a wager. Players have the option of betting anywhere from one to five credits per hand. Most online video poker games let you change the denomination of your credits without switching screens. Once you’ve made your first bet, click the Play/Draw button and five cards will appear center screen. Click the cards you wish to hold, then click the Play/Draw button again and the remainder of your cards will be replaced.

Video poker wins are calculated automatically based on your final five-card hand. The obvious object of the game then is to hold cards that give you the best odds of achieving a winning hand. While the paytable for the most basic video poker game – Jacks or Better – starts the pay scale at a pair of Jacks or better (hence the name), some other variations that include wild cards may have higher starting hands. For example, many Deuces Wild games have a minimum qualifying hand of two pairs or even three of a kind. It’s important to know the minimum hand, so you’re not unwittingly pursuing non-paying combinations.

There are literally dozens of online video poker variations, but not all of these games were created equal. Sometimes games with exactly the same rules have different paytables. The end result is that some games are significantly more generous than others. The generosity of any given game is demonstrated by a number called its “payout percentage” Payout percentage tells you how much of what you bet you can expect to get back long-term (assuming you don’t always play until your money is gone). There are even a rare handful of video poker machines that – when played with the perfect strategy – offer more than 100% payback.

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How to Play Five Card Draw

March 18th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Five card draw can be found in casinos, poker halls, and private games across the world. Five card draw is the classic poker game from which many other poker games have developed. Playing five card draw is simple, and something every poker player should know how to do.

How to Play Five Card Draw

1. Five Card Draw is made up of the dealer and up to six players. The dealer works from one set of cards and also acts as the banker.

2. Every player will place an Ante bet on the table if they wish to be in that round. The Ante bet may have a minimum and maximum amount decided by the dealer. The dealer will deal out five cards to each player and himself going in order from the player on his or her right around the table.

3.  The players will examine their cards for a high hand. The cards in Five Card Draw follow standard poker rules with a pair being the lowest hand a flush being the highest. Occasionally, the dealer may set a wild card for the game. The wild card is chosen by the dealer and can represent any card in the deck.

4. The players will place their second bet. Players will then discard any cards (up to four) that do help their high hand to the dealer and he or she will deal new cards to the player. How many cards the players are allowed to discard is up to the dealer in each game but can never be more then four.

5. In some Five Card Draw poker games, the dealer allows for more then one discard. In this scenario, players are allowed to discard a second time. Players must place a third bet before discarding again.

6. Once all hands have been dealt, the players must choose to fold or show their cards to the table. The player with the highest hand wins that round and collects all bets.

The rules of Five Card Poker are straightforward and easy to follow. Five Card Poker is the most common game found at private poker parties, but it can also be found at casino and played online. Mastering Five Card Poker is a must for anyone serious about becoming a poker player as Five Card Poker serves as the base for many other poker games.

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