How to Choose the Best Video Poker Game
New players have a hard time picking a video poker machine, mainly because there are hundreds if not thousands of video poker games out there, and all can be played with different pay tables and special rules.
This article is going to teach you the difference between all the video poker variations and pay tables, so you can choose the best possible machine based on your preferences and personal goal.
Comparing Different Types of Video Poker Games
The first choice you have is which video poker game you will play. There are many variations out there, but there are about a dozen video poker games that are most commonly played.
If you would like to play a simple game that is easy to learn, we recommend playing Jacks or Better. The proper strategy for Jacks or Better is easy to master, and there are no wild cards or bonus payouts to worry about. Jacks or Better is definitely our pick for new players.
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Some of the more fun video poker games include the wild card games such as Deuces Wild or Joker Poker. You have a much better chance to make a big hand like a Wild Royal Flush or Four of a Kind than in the non-wild card games, so these become really thrilling.
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If you are trying to make money by playing video poker, you will need to play a game that has a 100%+ return. Some games that can pay over 100% include Deuces Wild, Double Bonus, and Double Double Bonus. However, before you can be sure that the game is profitable, you need to check out the pay table on that particular machine. More on that now...
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Comparing Pay Tables on Specific Machines
The next thing you need to check is the pay table on the specific video poker machine you are considering. Although Deuces Wild is inherently a 100%+ game, some casinos choose to use lower paying pay tables which reduce the return to under 100%, thus making it unprofitable.
Once you have decided on a video poker game to play, we recommend heading over to our video poker pay tables section to see how good the pay table on your machine really is.
Besides just the game type and pay table, some machines throw other twists at the player:
Progressive machines are positioned together in a bank, and offer a large jackpot for hitting a royal flush. Each progressive machine that is in the bank takes a small cut of each bet you make and puts it into the jackpot. Then, whoever makes a royal flush receives all of the money. From there, the jackpot resets and starts growing all over again.
Progressive machines usually use low-paying pay tables, so they are bad gambles in general. However, once the jackpot reaches a high enough amount, the machine actually becomes profitable. Learn how big the jackpot needs to be at our progressive video poker guide.
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Another twist a machine might throw at you is to let you play multiple hands at once. You can play two, three, four, ten, fifty-two, or even one-hundred hands at a time. These games allow you to bet more per hand, but do not change the profitability of the game in any way. Learn more by reading our full guide for multi-hand machines.
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