Video Poker

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These casinos offer impressive Welcome Bonuses and allow free game play to help you learn the rules before risking your own money.

Master the Poker Hand

Video poker games remain popular with casino players. While they resemble slot games, they are very different. Luck is important, but you also need to understand the basic game of poker.

Before trying your luck at any video poker game, you should know the rankings in a poker hand. Here are the rankings in terms of importance from least valuable to most valuable.

At the most basic level, you have a high card. In a deck of cards, you start with the number 2 and it progresses to an Ace. (2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A).

Matching card values make up the next trio of hand ranks. With a pair, you get two identical card values, such as a 10-10 or A-A. If you get two sets of pairs, that's even better and is called two pairs. Next up is the Three of a Kind. With a Three of a Kind, you get three matching cards. A pair and two pairs are less important than a Three of a Kind.

With a straight or run, you get a numerical sequence of cards. (9-10-J-Q-K). This hand beats high cards, pairs, two pairs and three of a kinds.

A flush is when you get five cards in the same suit. Holding five hearts in your hand is an example of a flush.

If you get a pair and a three of a kind in the same hand, you have what is called a full house.

Landing four of the same value is known as a Four of a Kind. It's not an easy hand to get, so few hands can beat it.

A straight flush occurs when you get a flush in the same suit. Getting 9-10-J-Q-K and all cards are spades is a straight flush. If you happen to get a 10-J-Q-K-A in the same suit, it's the highest card hand in poker and is known as a Royal Flush. Land a Royal Flush and you're guaranteed to win big!

Playing the Video Poker Variations

With online video poker games, the set up usually resembles a slot machine. Your betting options are at the bottom of the screen and there is a deal button to get started. Cards are dealt, usually you have an option of playing one hand or multiple hands, and you hold cards if you think they're valuable.

Once you've held your valuable cards, you get to have the other cards removed from the screen and replacement cards are dealt. At this point, any winning hands are named and your winnings are revealed.

In Jacks or Better, only card hands with pairs of Jacks or higher will be worth any cash. For example, if you got an 8-8-9-Q-K, the hand is worthless because your 8's are lower in value than a jack.

Another game version, Deuce is Wild, changes all 2's to whatever number is needed to give you a win. If you have been dealt 2-2-J-A-A, you have a great hand because those 2's become Aces.