Video Poker Machines: Machine Overview
By: J Finney
With the increase in the popularity of poker over the last few years, more and more players are turning to video poker machines to satisfy their poker playing sweet tooth. Players have found that not only is video poker relatively easy to learn to play, but it is also a great way to hone real life poker skills. As a result, the video poker machine has been placed in an ever increasing number of establishments.
One of the most appealing aspects of the video poker machine is that the odds of winning are some of the best you’ll find in a game of chance. Video poker comes in just below Craps and Blackjack in the odds-of-winning department. Along with good odds, the video poker machine gives players the chance to take their time in making decisions, which allows the player to develop a strategy on the fly.
At a glance, the video poker machine could be mistaken for a slot machine, for they tend to have the same basic shape. Slot machines are a game based solely on chance, while with a video poker machine player skill comes into the mix. Although the slot machine and the poker machine both use the element of random display of images, the poker machine allows the player to keep and throw away chosen cards.
One of the first things a player should do is to look at the payout schedule of each machine considered for play. Look to see which machine pays out the best for each combination of winning hands. Just because the machines are located in the same area doesn’t mean they all payout the same.
In order to play video poker, the player must know how to play the regular game of Five Card Draw Poker. If you already know how to play Five Card Draw Poker at the poker table, then you will be quite at home on the video poker machine.
Video poker machines accept varying amounts of coins, with the general range being between one to five coins. The machine pays out on a winning hand based on the amount of coins used. More coins equal a higher payout on a win. Therefore, it pays to always use the maximum coin allowed on your chosen machine.
After coins are inserted into the machine, and the player hits the ‘deal’ button, cards are dealt out in a random fashion, just as if the player were in a real poker game. The player is dealt out five cards on the screen. The player then uses either a ‘hold’ button to choose the cards to keep, or uses a ‘discard’ button to throw away unwanted cards.
Most video poker machines make use of the ‘hold’ button, but always be sure which button your current machine uses. It only takes a second to glance at the controls, and it might save you from losing your first hand due to a mistake.
Once the choice has been made of which cards to keep, the player then hits the ‘deal’ button again. The player is then dealt out a number of cards equal to those that were discarded. If the player winds up holding a winning hand, then the video poker machine pays out relative to the payout schedule.
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