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
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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
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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