Playing online poker can often be a little daunting. Joining a table of other players whether you’re in the real world or are utilizing online poker video streams can be a nervous experience. The pressure of being faced with other real opponents can often be too much, and you’ll find yourself nervous and making mistakes. Video poker is a great alternative to mainstream poker if you want to indulge in this popular card game without the stress of pulling a poker face and trying to compete against other players with vast experience. And, if you want to improve your chances of winning, there are ten top steps to take.
1. Learn the Game
This may sound obvious, but learning video poker thoroughly before you start putting in large wagers is the best way to improve your winnings. If you don’t know the game well, you could lose large bets on simple errors which you could have easily been avoided. So, it is essential to not throw yourself in the deep end, and first take a moment to understand the rules, regulations, and how video poker differs from table poker.
2. Understand Video Poker Differences
Whilst video poker allows you to enjoy the popular game of poker there are, understandably, some important differences. As a slot title, it has many aspects which are traditional to the slot game, including betting. You’ll normally find that you can wager between one and five credits, or simply opt for the max bet by pushing the appropriate button. After selecting your wager amount, the cards will be then dealt, with you able to have any discarded cards re-dealt for your final hand.
3. Maximizing Winnings
Each casino which you play video poker at will have slightly different payouts for certain hands. It is important that you know these when you start to play, because it may help you make certain decisions in which cards to discard when opting for your final hand. There is also the chance to ‘double up’ if you win. In this case, both you and the video slot will pick a card. If you have the higher value, you’ll double your winnings for that particular hand, making your win all the more enjoyable.
4. Chance Wins vs. Strategy
Whilst real table poker is often more about strategy than it is chance, with you often being able to bluff a poor hand to a win, video poker is solely about chance. You have no opportunity to bluff your way through, and so you should always consider your card options very carefully. It is only on the strategy of what you do with your hand which can get you the winnings you want, so there is no chance to win by simply outdoing other players.
5. Card Rankings for Video Poker
Video poker card rankings fall in line with other traditional card games, and are therefore easy to understand. Each deck is valued from lowest to highest, with number cards holding their pictured value. Jack, Queen, and King are all trump each other respectively, whilst the Ace can play both the lowest and highest value in the game.
6. Hand Rankings in Video Poker
Whilst the rankings associated with hand values differ from venue to venue, most will fall into a specific range. After your final hand is assessed, you can generally expect around 2,000 points for a royal flush with maximum bets. Points drop considerably after this, with a straight flush gaining around 250 points, and four of a kind offering 125 points. At the lower scale, you can expect 15, 10 and 5 points for three of a kind, two pair and a pair respectively.
7. Progressive Jackpots
A huge benefit of video poker is that you have the option to join a progressive jackpot, offering the chance to really win big. However, if you want this chance you’ll need to always place maximum bets. This means that, unless you’re very experienced and have a high bankroll, it’s better to opt out and concentrate on consecutive smaller wins if you only have a small amount of money to play with.
8. Reducing Your Errors
Human error can play a huge part in your losses, with simple mistakes, or a lack of concentration, often making you miss wins which could have seen you win big. You should always strive to play a perfect game, concentrating on avoiding all errors rather than trying to rush towards a win. Mistakes will not only diminish your bankroll quickly, but even cost you a shot at the progressive jackpot if you’re playing maximum bets, so concentration and avoiding all errors is paramount.
9. Casino choice with High Payback Rates
If you want to ensure that you’re going to have favored odds of winnings, it’s important to consider your casino before you even start playing. It is important to remember that you’re playing for money, and so avoid becoming dazzled by amazing animations and great sounds on machines which may pay out less. If an online venue doesn’t offer good payback rates than avoid it at all costs or you could be losing money which would be getting you gains elsewhere. Always avoid online casinos which don’t offer 100% payback rates, and choose somewhere which gives you the best odds.
10. Watch Your Bankroll with Caution
Like all gambling, video poker can easily get you caught up in the moment. Before you know it, your bankroll’s gone and you either have to stop playing, or have to start depositing more money. It’s important that you always pay attention to your bankroll and make considered choices as you go. If you’ve started out playing maximum bets but are on a losing streak, consider reducing your wagers so that you have enough time to find your lucky moment. Whilst you may want to hit the big bucks, if you use up all of your bankroll quickly, you won’t be hitting any bucks.