Video Poker: Casino Game


Video Poker is one of the newer contenders of the casino games, but it has quickly rocketed to the forefront of both online and casino gambling. Video Poker first reared its head in the 1970’s in a primitive form, not yet ready for public consumption. Then throughout the 80’s it began to sweep through the casinos, beginning to hold its own among the other classic games on the floor. It’s a computerized, single player version of poker, and is a highly entertaining, easy alternative to the original. Video Poker is played at an arcade-style computer booth. The player approaches the machine with either a coin or token (in newer machines, paper receipts are given out with cash value), and this value will be the equivalent of one “credit” at the machine. You use your credits to make bets. The player places a bet and is then electronically dealt a hand from a virtual deck. The five-card hand appears on the screen in the form of cards with large typeface, and the player is then asked to evaluate this hand. He is then given the opportunity to exchange any number of cards for new ones, dealt from the same virtual deck. After these cards are exchanged, the value of the hand is determined by the machine’s computer.


Video Poker Machines


Video Poker machines pay out based on a specific pay tables that are normally available at the casinos or on the casino websites. These pay scales generally begin at the low end with a pair of jacks as the base hand for a payout. This means that any pair below the jacks is a valueless hand. They then work upwards, awarding higher payouts for higher valued hands. Sometimes there is what’s known as a “progressive jackpot”, or a jackpot that keeps increasing the more the machine is played rather than paying off at the same amount the whole time. These progressive jackpots are usually reserved for the highest hands available, namely the Royal Flush and the like.

One thing that comes to mind when a gambler plays against any kind of computerized machine is: what if it’s swindling me? Well, the answer is a mixed blessing, both a great comfort and a minor concern to the gambler. The truth of the matter is that Video Poker machines are supposed to be strictly regulated. Gambling commissions worldwide are set up as guards against such scandal. However, the catch is that there is no worldwide standard of regulation. Each place you play may have a different standard, allowing for more (or less) freedom for casino employees or gamblers themselves to rig the machine for an automatic payout. Although admittedly (and thankfully) it is highly difficult to hack into a Video Poker machine, thanks to both the sturdy construction of most machines and the strict security employed at most casinos.

Video Poker is a great option for today’s gambler, but before you settle in for the night, make sure it’s for you. Many people find the single-player computer screen to be a far less daunting challenge than the traditional poker played around a table against several other gamblers. But there also isn’t much room to strategize; most Video Poker machines operate on a basic five-card draw system and the only choice afforded the player is how much or little to bet and which cards to keep or discard. With only the single round to make your play, a seasoned poker player might be shocked to see just how quickly they’ve won or lost their hand.


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