Published on September 7th, 2006 3:44 pm EST

These days, Video Poker is incredibly popular for many reasons. First, it combines the fun of playing a Slot machines (still the most popular online casino game type) and Poker, which is very hot right now. Though it is not the ultra-popular Texas Hold ĎEm, the five-card draw that is played on Video Poker is a lot of fun and uses the same general premise and hierarchy of cards as Hold ĎEm.

But no matter how much fun a game is, it is always a good idea to know what you are doing and have a few tips to increase your chances of winning. Anytime you can walk away from an online casino with some money still in your pocket, then you are a winner. And rest assured that if you heed the advice in this article, you will greatly increase your chances of doing just that. Here are some tips that anyone can use while playing Video Poker- from the savvy veteran player to the newest of newbies:

1. Always go into a Video Poker session with a strategy. Decide how you want to play- aggressively to go after a larger payout, or more passively for smaller wins. There is no right or wrong here- it is just your preference. But if you are satisfied with smaller, more frequent payouts, then you will play to try and get things like pairs or three of a kind. If you are looking for larger but less frequent payouts, then you would want to play for higher hands like straights, flushes or full houses. This can alter your strategy a whole lot, so decide how you want to play and then go for it!
2. Always play max coins. This is the same advice we would give to any player who is playing not only Video Poker but also any other type of Slot machine. The reason for this advice is that the more coins you play per hand, the bigger your payout. For example- letís say you have a pair of Aces, not a bad hand and a guaranteed payout on every type of Video Poker variation. If you played a single coin, you payout is likely to be something along the lines of three coins. But if you played two coins, you might double that to six coins, a big increase. In some cases, playing max coins can more than double your payout. So if you want to get paid better on your winning hands, always play max coins.
3. If your machine has an auto hold feature, skip it. Auto hold means that the machine decides which cards to hold in each hand, and which to discard and replace. The reason you donít want to use auto hold is because the machine does not play at an optimized strategy. It will likely pay to give you a smaller payout like for pairs instead of trying to get a higher hand like a flush. You should always decide for yourself what to hold and what to discard in each and every Video Poker hand you play. This goes back also to point number one, which is to have a strategy. If you use Auto Hold, not only are you violating rule one, but this one as well.
4. If there are Video Poker games that have a Progressive or bonus jackpot, try playing those. These are usually easy Video Poker games like Jacks or Better, but if you hit on a Royal Flush or some other specified hand, you can win a much bigger payout than on a machine that does not have a jackpot. It could be only a few dollars difference in payout- or several thousand dollars! Progressive Video Poker games or bonus games do not usually cost anything extra to play compared to their regular counterparts, so you might as well take advantage of them and try to win a big jackpot. You may just end up very happy that you did!
5. The final piece of advice may sound very simple- and thatís because it is. The Kingís final piece of advice is to know the rules of the game you are playing. Why give such obvious advice? Because there are so many variations in Video Poker and many of the machines look similar or the same. But what wins at one game may not win at another, so you need to be aware because this can affect your overall strategy. For instance- you may play a game of Video Poker called Jacks or Better. That means that to get a payout, your hand must be at least a pair of Jacks. A pair of eights will not win you anything. You MUST be aware of this so that you can play accordingly. The other reason is that letís say you switch to a game that looks just like Jacks or Better, and you keep your pair of Jacks. Then you find out that this particular machine requires a pair of Aces or better for a payout. Now you are out of a potential payout because you did not pay attention to which Video Poker game you were playing. Always know what game variation you are playing.


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