How To Play Video Poker

By: Gen Wright


Video Poker has so many forms, its hard to keep track of what is what. Of course, you could look at the instructions while you are sitting at the machine, but why not memorize some of the ways to enjoy this pile of metal and wires? I've spent some time in casinos and learned some of the different games when it comes to video poker, and I want to share some of the more popular ones with you so you can learn how to play video poker before you even sit down. I'll even break out some of the payout percentages too so you know just what it is you are looking for.

Deuces Wild

Deuces wild is a fairly easy game. If you know how to play five-card draw, then you are already three quarters of the way there. The game starts by dealing five cards. Any twos you come across can be substituted for any card you want. So if you have these cards (I'm going to leave suits out) 8-9-J-Q-2, the 2 becomes a 10 and you've got a straight. The payout is pretty decent too. In most casinos, Dueces wild has a theoretical return of about 101 percent. That means that if you play perfectly, with the maximum credits, you can double your money in very little time.

Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better is another relatively easy game and actually has numerous cousins. (10's or better, kings or better, etc.) The game plays the same way as 5-Card draw, except that in order to win, you must have a pair of, you guessed it, Jacks or Better. So if you draw that last 3 to get a pair of 3's, sorry my friend, try again. The theoretical return for this game is about 99 percent. In other words, if you were to spend a hundred dollars on Jacks or Better with perfect play and a maximum bet, you would expect to lose about a dollar.

Ace Invaders

Ace Invaders is a different animal. Ace Invaders is a three line poker game. The top two games are played like stud Poker, and the third line is played like traditional draw poker. Once all the games are played, then the payout system kicks in. You see, Ace Invaders doesn't pay out immediately. First the game checks the top line for a paying combination, and then pays out for that. Then it checks to see if any of the top cards help you on the second line, or are aces. Those cards drop down and become part of the hand on the second line. This repeats itself on the second line, paying out, then checking to see if the cards would help on the first line, and then drops those cards down again before finally paying out on the first line. Finally, after all that, the third line is calculated. A bit confusing, but you get to understand after a while. The theoretical return on Ace Invaders is also a little tricky. The top two hands hold about a 65 percent return. However, in order to compensate that low return, if you win the bonus hand, the return is around 200 percent. Not too shabby after you figure out all the other stuff.

These are just a sample of how to play video poker, and the games that are out there, and the ones that I find the most profitable. Of course, it is up to you to pick your winners, and have fun!

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Learn How to Play Video Poker by reading Video Poker Books.

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