Video poker is offered at both online and offline casinos worldwide and was the cornerstone of what started the big poker boom. Well that and Chris Moneymaker winning the WSOP 2003 of course, which took poker to a completely new level.
The difference between video poker and the so called club poker lies in who you’re playing against. Video version plays exactly like a slot machine and you play against a set pay-table. The game has a negative expectation in most cases and unless you find one of the really rare high paying machines, the house edge will be roughly 0.2 to 1% when playing optimal strategy.
Club poker on the other hand is always played against other players and the house only profits by taking a cut from pots of certain size. This makes it beatable and tens of thousands actually live from simply playing poker professionally.
Is Video Poker Beatable?
While there are some variations of video poker that can actually be beatable with perfect strategy, such as the full pay deuces wild that can be played for above 100% returns. Needless to say, these machines are extremely rare and if you happen to find one it probably won’t be in a big casino and thus will have relatively low limits.
So even though you can’t make money playing video poker, it’s still one of the most player friendly games in casinos. Games where the house edge is approximately 0.5%, given that you play optimal strategy, are fairly simple to find.
This makes the game an equally good bet to slot machines, but much, much better than regular slot machines or roulette.
Most Common Game Types
Jacks Or Better is probably the most commonly found and popular game variation of video poker offered online. The name of the game comes from the most important payout rule – to qualify for a payday, your hand has to be a pair of jacks or a more valuable combination. Typical return while playing this game variation is approximately 99.50%, again, given that you play a decent strategy.
Deuces Wild is a popular choice among slot machine players since all deuce displaying cards can substitute for any other ones, thus making the game-play more exciting and frankly the hit rate of winning combinations more consistent.
Full pay deuces wild, which is a variation that is close to impossible to find, can be played profitably. The expected return can be over 100% according to the Wizard Of Odds, but you do have to play perfect strategy.
Tens Or Better plays just like Jacks Or Better with the main difference being that a payout is awarded for a hand combination that is equal or better than a pair of tens. Since more combinations now offer payouts, the hit rate of wins is a little bit higher here when compared to the JOB.
Though the house edge is fairly similar, since most payouts are a tad smaller to make up for the difference in combinatorics.
Playing Online With Bonuses
Most players get excited when grasping the concept of clearing online casino bonuses while playing video poker. The truth is that it’s close to impossible. Yes, the house edges are small and the bonuses seemingly big, but almost all casinos exclude video poker from wagering requirement contributions.