There are many varieties of video poker and we take a closer look at the most popular ones further down in the article. However, there are some features of most video poker games that are similar: They are usually developed based on regular five card draw poker. Here you get five cards dealt and can keep and exchange the cards you want before the second deal. The main difference between video poker and five card draw is that you do not play against other people, only against the machine. You bet the desired number of coins (usually between one and five), press the deal and get five cards dealt. For serious players, the cards in the video poker machines are dealt randomly as required by industry standards.
For each hand you play, the fifty-two cards are randomly shuffled and will be dealt in the order the algorithm has calculated that they should come in. The machine should not be programmed to know which cards you have received after the first hand, and all Outcomes should be completely random regardless of how much you have bet and which cards you choose to keep. As the cards are dealt randomly, the payback percentage of the various Video Poker Games can be calculated, and if you play strategically perfectly, the house advantage will be significantly reduced, in some cases you even have a small advantage if you play mathematically perfectly.
However, it is assumed that you play perfectly and that you play so long that you get the royal flush at least once. Statistically, royal flushing is extremely rare and very few use perfect strategy. For that reason, the real odds are in the machine’s favor even though the mathematical odds in some cases are on the player’s side. Jacks or Better is the most common video poker variant, the classic that is easy to learn and therefore a great game to start with.
If you have been awarded a pair, you win, as the name implies, only if it consists of a jack, a queen, a king or an ace. Better hands (two pairs, three of a kind, etc.) do not have to consist of jacks or cards of higher value to win. Here is a somewhat more elaborate strategy you can use to increase your chances of winning in Jacks or Better (this strategy applies to full pay 9/6 Jacks and Better, more on that under different types of video poker games).