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Video Poker is a popular game that can be played in casinos across the world, or alternatively at home on your PC, through an Internet connection. The rules are very straightforward and involve the player attempting to get the highest combination of cards possible in order to win money. In this respect it is much the same as a normal game of poker, minus the interaction with other players. Of course, techniques used in a physical game of poker, such as bluffing, will be irrelevant here.
The game of Video Poker begins when the player inserts credit (either tokens, tickets or money) into the machine and presses the ‘play’, ‘deal’ or ‘draw’ button. A hand of five cards will then be electronically ‘dealt’ on the video screen.
The Video Poker machine also has buttons with ‘hold’ written on them, and players should now choose which cards to hold and which to discard. For the cards the player wishes to keep, the ‘hold’ buttons should be pressed so that they light up. The player can choose to keep any amount of cards they wish, from all to none.
After the player has chosen which cards he or she wishes to keep, they should press ‘deal’ or ‘draw’, at which point any new cards are dealt if desired. The game is now completed, with the Video Poker machine scanning the hand to see if it matches any of the winning hands listed in the payment schedule.
Typically, the minimum winning hand on a Video Poker machine is a pair of jacks with the prize money increasing for each better hand. A common list of winning hands begins with jacks or better, moving on to two pairs, three of a kinds, straights, flushes, full houses, four of a kinds, straight flushes and finally royal flushes. It goes without saying that the payment schedule can vary from machine to machine, so that experienced players are able to choose the most profitable ones every time.
Once the initial round has finished, the player can either choose to stay on in an attempt to increase their earnings, or press the ‘collect’ button to retrieve any credits that have been won. Further, some versions of the game allow the player a chance to double their winnings, in which case a further game is played. There are also variations between individual machines, with some virtual decks including wild cards and other varying elements to increase playability.