A Comprehensive Guide to Video Poker 

Video poker is a thrilling, fast-paced casino games with high payouts. Learn how and where to play in the Philippines with this easy guide.

Video poker is one of the most exciting casino games. Virtually all online casinos in the Philippines offer this opportunity. One of the main advantages is that this game has a low house edge, making it easier to win. But unlike with regular poker, you play against the computer.

In order to enjoy this exciting game, players still need to learn the different poker hand combinations. Fortunately, all variants of video poker use the same poker hands. In this guide, we’ll be taking a closer look at everything you need to know about this thrilling game. You’ll learn about the history of the game, how to play, the different hand rankings, and winning strategies. 

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What Is Video Poker?

Video poker is an easy-to-play casino game available on numerous online and land-based casinos in the Philippines. Basically, it merges the immersive experience of online slots with the game rules of traditional 5-card poker. Besides the simple rules, this game allows players to enjoy it alone unlike other online poker games. So, there is no need to deal with pit bosses, dealers, or other players. Unfortunately, the exact origin of poker is not clear.

Poker became popular on the East Coast and other regions despite being considered unfair. Initially, the game was played with 20 cards before advancing to 32 and later 52. However, the first video poker was created in 1970 with the advancement in technology. At first, the game was not received well, but it eventually gained popularity. Nowadays, there is a high demand for it at virtually all real money casinos.

How to Play Video Poker

How to Play Video Poker

The objective of video poker is to make the best possible five-card hand. Of course, the player receives an initial set of cards at the beginning of the game. But unlike other poker games, in video poker, you can switch as many cards as you like. This way, you can create an optimal card combination to win. 

The game uses the same poker hands as traditional table poker. So, at the beginning of the game, you’ll draw five cards. You can then discard the cards you don’t want and replace them. After the last draw, cards will be checked to see if they correspond to any poker hands. You’ll then receive a prize. 

To simplify, here are the steps for playing video poker:

  • Choose the game variant you want to play;
  • Select one of the columns on the paytable to enter your credits; 
  • Enter the amount you want to stake; 
  • Click on “Deal” to receive your five cards;
  • Use “Hold/Cancel” to choose the cards you want to hold from the original five;
  • Press “Deal/Draw” again to save the cards you previously held and replace the others.
  • Optionally, you can choose to double your bet or not;
  • Receive your payouts.
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Hand Rankings in Video Poker 

In order to play video poker, players must know and understand the various hand combinations and their ranking. Here are all possible options, from strongest to weakest:

  • Royal Flush – Consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all in the same suit. 
  • Straight Flush – It has five consecutive cards, all in the same suit.
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same value. 
  • Full House – A full house had 3 cards of the same rank and two cards of another.
  • Flush – A poker hand consisting of five non-consecutive cards of the same suit. 
  • Straight – Consists of five consecutive cards, but not in the same suit. 
  • Three of a Kind – A hand with three cards of the same value.
  • Two Pair – This hand has two different pairs of cards and a random fifth.
  • Pair – Two cards of the same value in a hand are a pair. 
  • High Card – A hand that contains no matching cards. The highest value card determines the strength. 

A Basic Glossary

There are a few video poker terms you must understand before starting this exciting gme. Here are the most common terms: 

  • Bust – Losing in video poker;
  • Cashback – Refunds you receive when you lose a hand;
  • Comps – Stands for complimentary. These are the incentives a casino offers;
  • Cycle – The average number of hands for the jackpot to fall comprises a cycle;
  • Deuce – Any card with a value of two, e.g. two of hearts;
  • Drawing Hand – The initial five-card hand that players start with;
  • Expert Hand – A card with strategy suggestions to increase the probability of winning;
  • Hand Pay – The payout players receive when they win the jackpot with a hand;
  • Deal/Draw – A deal is the first card you receive, while a draw is the second round of cards;
  • Hold/Cancel – After the initial deal, you can hold as many as 5 cards before the draw. You can also cancel the hold before the draw;
  • Payback/Return – The payout percentage for playing a certain video poker game;
  • Variance/Volatility – The highs and lows you experience when playing the game;
  • Full Pay/Low Pay – Refers to high-paying and low-paying variants of video poker.
Popular Video Poker Variants

Popular Video Poker Variants

Thanks to advancements in technology, video poker has evolved over time, and now Filipino players can enjoy different variations. Here are some of the most popular options at top online casinos in the Philippines

Jacks or Better 

This is the most popular variation of video poker. It also has a high payout, which stands at 99.54%. In this variation of video poker, payouts start at one pair of jacks. Full-pay Jacks or Better is also called 9/6 Jacks or Better. This is because a full house’s payoff is 9 times the bet, while that of a flush is 6 times the bet. Of course, there are also many low-pay Jacks or Better games.

Tens or Better

This variation of video poker shares many similarities with Jacks or Better. The only difference is that payouts begin with a pair of ten. In addition, payouts on full house and flush wagers are 6/5.

Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild is one of the most popular video poker variants. Players love it for the additional wild card feature. Basically, in this variation of the game, twos function as wild cards and have a payout of up to 100.8%

Joker’s Wild/Joker Poker

Joker Poker, or also Joker’s Wild, is similar to Deuces Wild in that there is a wild card in the mix. But in this variant, the wild cards are Jokers. This variation has a high return, and you can easily get a five-of-a-kind.

Bonus / Double Bonus / Double Double Bonus 

For the Bonus and Double Bonus variations, you receive a bonus when you draw a particular card combination. In Bonus Video Poker you get a bonus when you get a four-of-a-kind, while Double Bonus games reward hands with four Aces. On the Double Double Bonus, you receive a bonus on four-of-a-kind hands.

Playing on a Mobile Device 

Most online casinos in the Philippines are mobile-friendly and allow you to play video poker on the go. One of the most common ways to do so is through a standard mobile web browser like Chrome or Safari. Of course, players can access all the game’s features on their smartphones or tablets. In addition to instant-play options, some casinos offer downloadable mobile apps, usually for Android and iOS. The advantage of using apps is that they deliver a better, more convenient, and immersive experience. 

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Real Money Betting vs. Free Play

Most online casinos offer both free and real money versions of their casino games, including video poker. Free video poker gives you the opportunity to practice and hone in your skills before trying real money bets. Of course, it’s also risk-free. Once you’ve learned how to play and gain experience, you can try the real money versions. Besides more thrill, real money video poker gives you the opportunity to win big prizes. 

Mistakes to Avoid

There are a few things you should avoid to boost your chances of winning video poker:

  • Opt for full pay games. All variations of video poker have full-pay and low-pay games, with the latter having a reduced overall payout. 
  • Go for paytables with high returns. Some games have high profitability and the right paytable can help you derive the highest returns.
  • Avoid retaining the kicker. Many players make the mistake of keeping a kicker but this move is rarely effective.
  • Bet maximum credits. The more credits, the higher the returns on a paytable.

How to Choose the Best Video Poker Casino

If you’re looking to play video poker online, choosing a good casino site is crucial. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Licensing – It’s important for your safety to choose an online casino with a valid gambling license from a recognized body. For example, casinos in the Philippines are licensed and regulated by the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
  • Selection of Games – A decent online casino should have plenty of video poker games available. Of course, other options should be abundant as well.
  • Bonuses and Promotions – These are incentives that increase your playtime and boost your chances of winning. So, take advantage of casino bonuses.
  • Reliable Software Provider – Choosing a casino that offers games from a reliable software provider guarantees the security and fairness of the game.

Video Poker vs. Slot Machines

Because they don’t require any skill to play, online slots are the most popular games at real money casinos worldwide. Moreover, you can play progressive jackpot slots and win huge amounts of money. On the other hand, video poker has a higher payout, often exceeding 97%. In addition, you can employ numerous strategies to increase your winning chances.

Conclusion

If you love thrilling casino games, video poker is one of the best ones you can play. The game is exciting, easy to play, and has higher returns. Of course, this is why it has become very popular among gambling enthusiasts in the Philippines. Besides, video poker is available in just about any casino due to the high demand. But if you don’t have a gaming destination yet, our casino reviews can help find the right platform.

FAQ

No. Video poker comes in many variations but all of them pit the player against a computer via the immersive setup familiar from online slots.

Absolutely! Most online casinos offer a free version of video poker.

Unfortunately, there's no secret, but you can increase your winning chances by playing full-pay games and choosing paytables with high payouts.

Yes, it does. However, video poker has a high payout, which is advantageous to the player.

If you use the right skills or employ the right strategy, coupled with an element of luck, you can win a video poker game. However, there’s always a risk and never a guarantee.

It depends on your casino of choice. But generally, most operators offer mobile-friendly services.

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