Video poker online – rules and hand ranks

Video Poker Rules

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We all enjoy getting the opportunity to make money, don’t we? Consequently, it’s no wonder why so many of us enjoy gambling every now and then, which not only provides us with an opportunity to win some money, but also with an opportunity to have a little fun along the way.

Video poker rulesGambling has been popular for centuries upon centuries, and providing we’re careful and know our limits, there is absolutely nothing wrong with gambling in the slightest. These days we can gamble on pretty much anything, including the weather. One form of gambling however, which has been around for many decades now and is just as popular now as when it was first conceived, is video poker.

Here we’ll be taking a look at a brief history of video poker, plus a basic overview of the rules. So, if you’re sitting comfortably, let’s head back to the 1960’s.


Video poker - the game of the 20th century

Video poker rulesThough mechanical poker machines were around in the early part of the 20th century, they weren’t incredibly popular and in reality they used to go through stages of being popular, then not so popular.

Thinking back, the reason for this could very well have all been due to the fact that sometimes players won, whilst other times they didn’t. In any event, they weren’t hugely popular at that period in time. By 1964 however, electronic games were quickly growing in popular and thanks to a company known as ‘Nevada Electronics’, the first electronic gambling machines were introduced in the form of what was known as the ’21 machine’.

These machines were very popular and as a result more and more companies quickly began developing their own in an attempt to cash in on their popularity. Numerous machines were developed, though one in particular became incredibly popular, a machine called Poker-Matic, which was developed by a company called Dale Electronics.

In the 70’s computer technology was improving and advancing and because of this video poker machines became a common sight in casinos all over the country. It was thanks to a man named Si Redd that video poker really took off. Si was working for a company known as Bally and developed an idea for a video slots poker game. He pitched the idea to his bosses who weren’t keen.

Si however, convinced Bally to allow him to patent video poker, which changed everything. Si went on to make a deal with the fortune coin company and together they introduced a bell video slot machine which evolved into a draw poker machine which was insanely popular.

He formed a company known as Sircoma, which was actually an acronym for Si Redd’s Coin Machines and these poker machines were then mass produced on a huge scale. By the early 80’s, this video poker machine was the most popular machine in most casinos all over the country.

Later on, Si changed the name to IGT (International Game Technology), a name still recognizable and iconic in the gambling world to this very day. Draw Poker was the earliest variation of the game, with the lowest hand possible being just two pairs. The game evolved, as did technology, though to this day video poker is still incredibly popular.


All you need to know - video poker rules

video poker rulesVery simply, video poker works in pretty much the same way as a real game of poker, though instead of real cards, the game is played on a machine, with the cards being displayed digitally on the screen. If you have ever played classic 5-card draw poker with your friends, then you'll grasp the rules of video poker instantly.

Players insert money into the machine, which then begins the game. Players will press the DEAL button and will then be dealt 5 cards and will be provided with a chance to get rid of them in exchange for replacement cards which will be drawn via the same virtual deck. 

From here, it all basically depends on the value of your hand, whether or not you get a payout or not. Video poker games are incredibly popular, and if you know what you’re doing and develop a strong video poker strategy, you can maximize your chances of winning. One of the best video poker tips out there, is to fully understand the strength of each hand.


Rank of hands

As mentioned, with video poker, the idea is to form the strongest possible hand out of the cards you are dealt. You play against the machine, not other players, and it is the strength of your hand that will determine whether you win or not. Here’s a look at the best possible hands.

Royal flush

The strongest possible hand in poker. Royal flush is an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all of the same suit:
A♠, K♠, Q♠, J♠, T♠. 

The probability to hit the royal flush in first draw is extremely small - 1:649 739 (0.000154%).


Straight flush

Five consecutive cards all of the same suit, so for example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of hearts: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Also extremely rare and the odds here are 1:72 192 (0,0014%).


Four of a kind

Four cards of the same rank, so for example king of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades (K, K♣, K, K♠). 

Four of a kind (also called quads) happens not often than 1:4164 (0,0240%).


Full house

Three cards of one rank and two of another, so for example: J♠, J, 9♣, 9, 9

Chances to hit full house: 1:693 (0,17%).


A Flush

5 cards, each of the same suit, for example: A, J, 6, 3, 8

It's just a bit easier to draw a flush than full house - 1:508 (0,367%).


A straight

5 cards consecutively but of different suits. So for example: 5, 6, 7♠, 8♠, 9♣. 

The odds here are: 1:254 (0,76%).


Three of a kind

Three cards, all of an equal rank. Example: 4, 4♣, 4

Three of a kind (or trips) will appear on your screen not more often than 1:46,3 (2,87%).


Two pair

2 cards of one rank, and two of another, so for example: A♠, A, 3♣, 3

In long term calculations, 2 pair come once in 20 times (7,62%).


One pair  

2 cards of the same rank, for example 2 Queens (Q♣, Q). Probability here is 1:1,36 (49,9%).

Notice: in most of the online video poker games, payouts count from Jacks or better. It means, that you pair must at least as high as pair of Jacks (J, J♠).


If you have read everything already and got familiar with the rules, please also visit our guide, which will help you with your future conquers. Having those tips and strategies mastered helps in taking right decisions and smart managing your bankroll.

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