Playing online video poker
Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. Whether you’re sitting around the kitchen table with friends, playing in a land-based casino card room or looking for that river card in your favourite online casino the high stakes, high adrenaline game of poker epitomises the romance an thills of gambling worldwide.
In the online casino world, the game of online video poker is a growing favourite. While it has yet to reach the popularity of blackjack or roulette, it is fast catching up – due in no small part to the latest tech developments and the incredible variety of new online video poker games available from the top games providers.
The Guru believes that the lack of other players is what keeps online video poker back. Online poker, in specialised poker rooms, still offers players the chance to pit their wits against their opponents and to bluff their way to a win, or call out a rival who thinks they have the upper hand.
With online video poker it’s just you versus the machine. Even online Live Dealer poker pits you against a dealer rather than physically matching skills with other players.
However, what a lot of poker enthusiasts overlook is that poker is not just about bluffing your way to a win, it’s about knowing which hands are winners, setting up your run of cards, tossing what is dross and picking the ones that will ensure victory, and waiting for the dealer to reveal their hand.
What is online video poker?
Online video poker is a series of popular poker games that you can play at online casinos. Rather than playing against other opponents, you are playing against a dealer in the form of a games programme.
There are a staggering number of different online video poker games available, each one with a slightly different set of rules. In general, they all follow the same basic basis: You have a hand of cards that you need to build in order to beat the dealer.
Building your hand is quite easy but also rather difficult for beginners. There are a set number of combinations that you can make with your cards. If your chosen combination is better than the dealer, you win.
Where can I play online video poker?
The Guru recommends these online casinos for South African players who are looking for a fair and fun online video poker experience:
What are the winning hands in online video poker?
In general, and from lowest winning hand to highest (and most rare):
- High card – the highest single card in a hand e.g. an Ace
- One pair – a pair of cards of equal value e.g. two Jacks
- Two pair – one pair of cards of equal value plus a different pair of cards of equal value e.g. two Jacks and two fives
- Three of a kind – three cards of equal value e.g. three Queens
- Straight – five cards of consecutive value not in the same suit e.g. ten of hearts, nine of clubs, eight of heart, seven of spades, six of diamonds.
- Flush – five cards of the same suit but not consecutive numbers e.g. ten of hearts, eight of hearts, six of hearts, two of heart, Ace of hearts.
- Full house – three cards of equal value plus two cards of equal value e.g. three Jacks and two eights.
- Four of a kind – four cards of equal value e.g. four Jacks.
- Straight flush – any straight in the same suit e.g. six of hearts, seven of hearts, eight of hearts, nine of hearts, ten of hearts.
- Royal flush – the ultimate hand, five cards in the same suit, consecutively from ten to Ace e.g. ten of spades, Jack of spades, Queen of spades, King of spades, Ace of spades.
There are also various wilds that can take the place of any card when building your hand. For example, in Deuces Wild all two’s are Wild Cards and can be substituted into cards you need. So, in a hand that consists of two Kings, two nines and a two, you can use the two as a Wild to create a Full House of three Kings and two nines.
What types of online video poker are there?
That is hard to answer because new variations are always being developed by games providers for online casinos.
The most popular versions are:
- Texas Hold ‘em
- Casino Hold ‘em
- Caribbean Hold’em
- Caribbean Stud
- Three card poker
- Deuces Wild
- Jacks or Better
- Aces & Eights
- Double Bonus Poker
These are really just a few options on offer. Before you settle to play any online video poker game at an online casino, make sure you read and understand the rules of play.
If you want to try a really fun and complex poker game, try playing Pai Gow poker – highly recommended by the Guru.
Are there any online video poker strategies and tips to win?
As with all casino games, the odds are always with the house and there are no guaranteed strategies for winning. Having a good understanding of poker will help you to play a better game and have more fun. The Guru recommends you read the basic rules of online video poker here to give yourself a better understanding of this fast-paced and thrilling game.
Can I play online video poker on my mobile device?
At certain online casinos, yes. Check your online casino offers mobile gaming and then look for video poker. Our top recommended online casinos all offer a mobile gaming platform either from an app or available to play from your mobile device browser.
The Guru recommends you do this before playing online video poker:
- Always check the rules before you start playing.
- Try a free or demo version or use any free bonus promos from the online casino and test the game before you play for real money.
- Set a budget and stick to it.
- Use winnings to carry on gambling and put your initial stake aside to play another day.