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Video Poker Rules
 
Video Poker is based (some say loosely) on five-card draw poker. In effect, video poker rules revolve around the basics of poker play, but instead of playing against other players, you're playing against a computer. The only true artifact that relates video poker and classic poker is the ranking of poker hands, which occur in each game the same way - based on traditional poker rules.

If you're interested in learning the 'rules' associated with expert play, then what you're truly interested in is video poker strategy, and you should visit our page dedicated to just that. If you're just looking for the basics, and some good pointers, keep on reading!

Video poker is like draw poker. Each player (ok, it's just you) is dealt five cards, and they are given to option of keep as many as they wish, or discarding as many as they wish. Any cards that are discarded are replaced with new random ones. If this second hand achieves a winning poker hand, you get paid. The specific details for video poker rules rely on the style of game you're playing. Jacks or Better for instance pay's gives back what you put into the machine if your hand has a pair at least a pair of jacks.

As your first rule of thumb, memorize or print out a copy of the rank of poker hands.

ROYAL FLUSH
The highest ranking hand possible. All five cards are in both sequence and common suit and the high card is an Ace. Example: A(hearts), K(hearts), Q(hearts), J(hearts), 10(hearts)
STRAIGHT FLUSH
Five cards both in sequence and common suit. Example: 10(diamonds), 9(diamonds), 8(diamonds), 7(diamonds), 6(diamonds)
FOUR OF A KIND
Four cards of the same rank. Example: 5(clubs), 5(hearts), 5(spades), 5(diamonds)
FULL HOUSE
Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. Example: K(clubs), K(diamonds), K(hearts), 4(spades), 4(clubs)
FLUSH
Five cards of same suit. Example: K(diamonds), J(diamonds), 9(diamonds), 6(diamonds), 3(diamonds), 2(diamonds)
STRAIGHT
Five cards in sequence ( Aces are used as high only ) Example: A(clubs), K(diamonds), Q(clubs), J(hearts), 10(spades)
THREE OF A KIND
Three cards of same rank. Example: 9(clubs), 9(diamonds), 9(hearts), A(spades), 8(clubs)
TWO PAIR
Two groups of two cards of same rank. Example: 4(clubs), 4(diamonds), J(hearts), J(spades), A(clubs)
PAIR
One pair of two equal value cards constitutes a pair
HIGH CARD
When the hand you are left with has no pairs, and is not a straight or a flush, its relative value is determined by the highest value card. When two players have no pairs, straight, or flush the winner of the tie is determined by the highest value card in the hand. If the highest cards tie, the tie is broken by the second highest card. Suits are not used to break ties.

The process by which you beat video poker revolves around knowing which cards to hold on to, and which cards to get rid of. These decisions have been worked out ahead of time by mathematicians (finally, something useful from math), and are sometimes referred to somewhat incorrectly as video poker rules specific to a certain game. We feature two such video poker strategies on our strategy page.

Some basic notes to help your brain see the differences between video poker from regular poker: In Video Poker there is no dealer who represents the house. There is only a machine, which has no interest in beating you. There are no other players, so there are no other player's hands you need to try and figure out. Additionally, this means that you do not run the risk of being beaten by another player. If you have a strong hand, you win. Oh, and you can't bluff (besides, machines aren't so easily fooled by that long practiced poker face that tricks your friends on Fridays).


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