Poker has been around for centuries. The game’s origins can be traced to the 1700s in France.
Over time, poker won over the hearts of gamblers across all continents, and the advancement of technology made it even more popular. Today, over 100 million people worldwide play online video poker, making it one of the most loved games.
The game has such a wide appeal thanks to its straightforward yet absorbing rules. They require you to implement different strategies and make your experience even more enticing. In addition, poker exists in many different variations, so you will never get bored playing. On top of that, you still need to have a bit of luck to go along with your strategy.
Video poker has low house edges and attractive payouts. Therefore, it is no wonder why Internet users across the globe flock to online casino operators drawn by the thrill of the gameplay and the allure of winning.
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Rules of Video Poker
Learning to play poker is an easy and enjoyable process. The rules are simple, and you can master them in no time. There are many different poker variations, but the basic concepts are pretty much the same for all of them.
A set of preset rankings is used to determine the strength of a poker hand. The hands’ values remain the same across the different types of poker games.
However, their meaning may differ according to the specific variation. For instance, in low-ball poker, the lowest hand value is the most desirable. The list below represents the winning hands from best to worst following the standard poker rankings:
This means to simply mislead your opponents into thinking that your hand is better than it actually is. This is usually demonstrated by your manner of betting. Sometimes, you can still win a poker game by bluffing.
In general, playing poker entails placing a required bet at the beginning of a hand. These types of wagers are also known as the “ante” or “blind.”
Most poker variations will involve both a small and a big blind. Generally, the big blind is twice the size of the small blind.
The dealer is the figure who determines the order of the blinds and how players make their bets. This action usually takes place clockwise.
The game mechanics
To make things even clearer, let us explain in detail how a typical poker game is played. We will use Texas Hold’em, which is currently the most preferred poker variation worldwide.
Depending on whether you are playing RNG or live poker, the computer or the dealer will deal you two cards.
You will be asked to make a blind bet.
As the first betting round unfolds, you will have to bet according to the strength of your hand.
You will be dealt three upturned “community cards.”
The second betting round commences.
The fourth upturned community card, commonly referred to as “The Turn,” will be dealt.
The third betting round unfolds.
The fifth community card – “The River” – is dealt.
The final betting round proceeds.
You have to reveal your cards and find out if you win.
Poker Bets: The Basics
Let us begin by explaining the structure of online poker bets. There are three main betting structures, also called limits, as follows:
Pot limit (PL)
The maximum amount you can bet equals the size of the pot
Fixed limit (FL)
The amounts you can bet and raise are fixed. Typically, wagers in fixed-limit games have two sizes – the small bet and the big bet
No limit (NL)
The size of all bets and raises is unlimited
Another thing you should be familiar with is the concept of betting rounds. All types of poker games present at least a single betting round. Most include at least two. The so-called “community card games” like Texas Hold’em and Omaha may include up to 4 betting rounds.
What is important to know is that each round invites you to employ different strategies, so you need to be well prepared and think things through.
Following the forced bets, the first round of betting begins. Players usually have the several betting options to use depending on their confidence in their hands.
Match a bet or a raise
Increase the size of your present wager within the current betting round
Withdraw from the hand and forfeit all the bets you have placed
As long as the first bet has not been placed, you can choose to pass or check. This is regarded as equivalent to betting zero
Betting all your money. You can use this bet when you do not have enough funds to call a bet. It allows you to wager the entire amount you have left
Video Poker Types
As we already mentioned, online poker is extremely diverse. This is actually a great thing for players.
The reason is that the game’s basic rules are pretty much the same in all variations, whereas you still get to enjoy a lot of variety and thrilling features across the different formats.
This is the most popular online poker game. Because of its simplicity, Texas Hold’em is very suitable for beginners. However simple, Texas Hold’em is filled with thrill and excitement because it entails lots of strategizing and intuitive action. The gameplay includes five exposed community cards and two hidden role cards.
Texas Hold’em also comes in several variations itself, with the two most popular ones being Limit Texas Hold’em and No-limit Texas Hold’em. Trying the first one is an excellent idea if you are a novice because the predetermined limits will prevent you from losing big, thus giving you a chance to learn the rules and master the gameplay.
No-Limit Texas Hold’em, also known as “The Cadillac” is more suitable for players who have already gained some experience. There are no maximum wager restrictions here, so brace yourself for some exhilarating action.
Omaha is a very attractive poker variation thanks to the highly dynamic action it provides. It is quite simple to play and much resembles Texas Hold’em, with the main difference being that you receive 4 hole cards, 2 of which cover your last hand.
You can find online several variations of Omaha poker. One is Omaha Hi, where the high hand wins, as you might have guessed by the name. In Omaha Hi-Lo, a high and a low hand divide the winnings.
Talking about multiplayer Internet-based poker games, Pro Limit Omaha is a very popular choice. This variation allows for diverse limits including pot limit and no limit. This game attracts high-rollers because it allows you to bet greater amounts.
Seven-Card Stud Poker
This is a classic poker game played with two private and two community cards. There are three variations of the Seven-Card Stud Poker, which you will often encounter online: Card Stud Hi, 7 Stud Hi-Lo, and Razz.
In Card Stud Hi, the straight-up high hand wins the entire whole pot. Hi-Lo is slightly more complicated but equally interesting. On the contrary, in Razz, the lowest possible hand wins, and the game is usually played with fixed limits.
Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean stud poker is a unique, very entertaining combination of poker and blackjack. Online players love it, as it gives them a touch of both worlds. The game is easy to play and allures gamblers thanks to the several moneyback options. However, the “double down” option also allows you to slip unintentionally and gamble more than you would like.
This is another poker variation that is played predominantly online. It is a multiplayer game, where you have five total draws before you reveal your cards. The online format includes two betting rounds after each draw and after all hands are revealed.
Deuces Wild is another extremely popular video poker variation. It is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The game’s name derives from the fact that deuces (2s) act as wild cards.
Jacks or Better
If you are wondering what the most popular video poker game is, Jacks or Better is the answer. Your goal is to get at least a pair of Jacks to win.
Video Poker Odds
Now that we have discussed most of the poker games available online as well as the main types of bets, let us look at the winning odds.
The first thing you need to know is that video poker has the highest RTP % of all online casino games. The figures usually vary between 97-99 %.
💡Tip: It is important to note that the Deuces Wild online poker version offers the best odds. Experienced players can even hit beyond the 100 % RTP mark in this game.
Another poker variation with great winning potential is Jacks or Better. This format is especially favorable to novice users as it allows them to advance their RTP to 99.52 %.
Always check the RTPs of the online poker products you intend to play by clicking the “Info” button within the game. You need to be also aware that the odds may vary according to the casino.
You will find the odds for the main video poker combinations in the table below. Odds for live poker are calculated in a slightly more complex manner. However, there are many free and paid online calculators you can use for this purpose.
Four of a Kind
Three of a Kind
Pair J, Q, K or A
If you are curious to know more about payouts, please check the table below. However, you still need to be aware that payouts may also differ according to the online casino.
4 of a Kind
3 of a Kind
Jack or Better
Video Poker Strategies
Online poker is a fun and easy game to play. Therefore, all you need to do is master the rules and learn a few basic strategies if you are a beginner.
Strategy 1: Find the right strategy table
There are many possible hand combinations in poker, and you need to think and react fast. Sometimes, especially if you are a beginner, it might be hard to remember all hand combinations. Here is where strategy tables come in handy. There are plenty of them online, so you can simply search and find the right one to fit your game and keep it close to you when you play.
Strategy 2: Adopt an assertive style
Being assertive and even aggressive can help you a lot, especially if you play in different tournaments. Betting hard on a few hands might bring you great success if done correctly.
Strategy 3: Pay attention to the details
No matter how many online poker strategies you have mastered, you still need to use them appropriately according to the situation. Therefore, make sure you are fully present in the game and address the changing circumstances.
Strategy 4: Be careful with the bluff
Now, bluffing is an essential poker skill all experienced players must learn. However, be careful not to overdo it. Pulling too many or too reckless bluffs may result in substantial losses.
Strategy 5: Learn when to fold
The great thing about online poker is that it is a dynamic, action-packed game, where a lot of hands are dealt. If you have a poor hand, simply save your money for another one.
5 Simple Steps to Kickstart Your Online Video Poker Play
Poker is one of the most entertaining, simple, and rewarding games to play online. If you are worried about getting started the right way, please follow our 5-step guide below.
Choose the best online casino
Many online gambling websites offer video poker games. However, not all of them are high quality. Some of the things you need to consider when selecting an online casino include the providers’ list and product characteristics. You should also look for valid licenses, advanced security protocols, trusted payments, etc.
Get a great welcome bonus
There are all kinds of welcome bonuses for video poker players out there. Live dealer promotions are also abundant. Overall, it is not hard to find a good-quality welcome deal. However, never forget to read the welcome bonus terms and conditions.
Select a poker game
Most online casinos offer extensive computer-based and live dealer poker selections. Go through the games’ info to learn if a release is what you are looking for.
Make a deposit
If you intend to pursue real cash winnings, you need to make a bet. We suggest you begin by wagering small amounts. As your advance in your skills and experience, you can increase your wagers.
Implement the correct strategy
Now that you have learned the most important online poker strategies, you can approach your play with confidence and apply the things you have mastered.
Online Video Poker Tips
There are a few basic tips to saving money when playing poker at an online casino:
TIP 1: Practice for free
Most casino websites will allow you to try the games for free. It is wise to use the opportunity to practice in demo mode before wagering real cash.
Tip 2: Use the available software
There are many kinds of online software to help you calculate your odds and improve your play. Many of these products are free, so just Google them and start playing.
Tip 3: Observe your bankroll
Fortunately, online casino poker is largely accessible thanks to many games that provide stakes as low as $0.01 – $0.02. Of course, there are also plenty of high-roller options. The latter, however, are suitable for players with greater skill and experience. The general rule of thumb states that you need to complete 10-20 winning sessions on your current stake level before moving up.
Tip 4: Choose low-variance games first
This approach may not seem that entertaining if you are looking to dive straight into the big wins. However, low variance games are an excellent way to transition from demo mode to real money gambling. The reason is that while you may not enjoy substantial winnings, you also run low chances of losing big.
Tip 5: Avoid distractions
As we already explained, poker is nothing like the regular casino games based entirely on luck. Maybe you can multitask while spinning the reels on digital slots. However, online poker is a game of strategy and requires you to be fully present. Therefore, make sure to create a stress- and distraction-free setting while you play.
Tip 6: Look for the available promotions
Taking advantage of the existing bonuses is an excellent and budget-friendly way to play more and increase your winning potential.
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Author: Alex Casan
Alex Casan loves slots! He looks for new titles and slot features. Since Lucas is a designer he is also helping us with the graphic & technical aspects of TopCasinoSites.bet. As a freelance journalist he covers many aspects of gambling and writes guides on slots and other casino games.