Game Variations - Video Poker

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Casino Video Poker Differences

One of the most popular forms of lower-level casino gaming is video poker. Video poker machines are popular at casinos around the world as well as racetracks and saloons. They are also very popular online.

Video poker is generally based on the classic poker game five card draw, where a player is dealt five cards, then discards from 0-5 cards and is redealt the amount of the discard in hopes of building the best five-card poker hand.

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There are several variations on this basic theme available on most video poker machines:

Jacks or better: The name says it all; for a pair to count, it has to be jacks or higher. This makes it easier to pay for straights and flushes and discard smaller pairs. But a air of jacks represents the minimum return. As with all video poker, the bigger the hand, the bigger the return.

Deuces wild: In this game, all 2s are wild cards, meaning they can be whatever you want. Payoffs do not start until three of a kind, however. The fun thing about a game like deuces wild is you will see quads roughly once every 16 hands.

Joker poker: A 53-card deck that plays like jacks or better. But the joker is wild in this game and plays as anything. You could conceivably get five of a kind in joker poker. The joker gives added options when you have one on the initial draw in trying to make your hand.

Bonus poker/double bonus: This game is like jacks or better, only the payouts are higher for bigger hands. It will vary from casino to casino, but four of a kind will pay more in bonus poker.

Aces and eights: This offers larger bonus payouts for four aces or four 8s. There are no wildcards and the game plays similar to jacks or better.

There are many other different variations, but these are the most common. Jacks or better and Deuces wild are the ones you will see on most video poker machines. With a basic understanding of the rules of five-card draw, you can become a successful video poker ace.

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