When you think of a casino, you surely envision a place with glittering lights, elegant servers, dealers, and a whole floor where you can play some great slots games while you wait for the table of your choice to have a free spot for you. But the slots are not the only games you can play without assistance. In fact, there are many electronic casino games you can use to kill time in a casino - but none of them as much fun and easy to learn as video poker. And this short guide will teach you how to play it.
Video poker is basically a single-player Five Card Draw. For those unfamiliar with the game, Five Card Draw is one of the oldest, and most popular poker variants. It is simple, easy to learn, and perfect for grasping the basics of the game - it is often the first poker variant learned by beginners. Yours truly has learned Five Card Draw at the age of seven. Video poker is a game with a considerable age - it predates the slot machine. Of course, it was not called "video" back then. The poker machine was invented in 1891, but it had its shortcomings: it couldn't be fitted with an automated payout mechanism due to the high number of its possible combinations. It was forgotten for a long time, until the mid-1970s, when the computers and monitors of the times made it viable for the first time. And they have been around ever since, sitting in casino floors, gas stations, pubs, and hundreds of online gaming destinations alike.
Video poker is a game of Five Card Draw played against a computer. It uses a single deck of 52 cards, sometimes with added Jokers. The hand rankings are similar to "real" poker: one pair (sometimes a pair of Jacks) is the lowest hand to pay out, and the Royal Flush pays the most. All hands, and the associated payouts, are listed on the game's screen.
In real life casinos, players will need to feed the machine with coins, or use other methods to add credits. The game has buttons for Deal, Hold (for each card), and Gamble. Just like in a game of proper poker, players are dealt five cards, are given the opportunity to hold or discard any number of them, and be dealt new cards instead. The resulting hand is evaluated, and the win is paid out according to its value. The Gamble button takes players to a side game, where they can double (or lose) the amount they just won. Here players usually need to guess the color of the next card to be revealed, or whether it will be higher or lower than the previous one. Video poker is easy to learn, and simple to play. It's a fast-paced, entertaining game, often way more entertaining - and profitable - than slot machines.