Playing Video Poker requires an understanding of the various poker hands.
Video Poker card suits
Video Poker is played with a 52-card deck split into four different suits. This suits are: Clubs - Diamonds - Hearts - Spades.
Neither suit is more or less powerful than another except on specialized machines.
Video Poker card ranks
Each of four suits contains 13 cards. Cards rank from lowest (2) to highest (10) in value. Above the numbered cards are the Jack, Queen and King. The Ace is ranked as the highest card but can also be ranked as a 1 if required.
Video Poker hands
A poker hand consists of 5 cards. There are various card combinations in Video Poker and each combination has a different value based on the difficulty and odds of getting such a hand. They are listed below in order of difficulty from the most difficult (and most points) to the easiest (and fewest points).
Remember that the cards will not usually be in order when displayed on the screen.
This is the highest value hand possible. It contains all "royal cards" (Aces, King, Queen, Jack, and a 10), all in the same suit.
At some Video Poker versions the Royal Flush can be named 'Royal Flush Natural' or 'Natural Royal Flush', that means that the hand was formed without Wild cards.
On the contrary, some games feature 'Wild Royal Flush' where wild cards are used, for example
- Joker Royal Flush - at Joker Poker, where Joker is Wild.
- Sequential Royal
- Hi Royal Flush
- Lo Royal Flush
The five cards must be in sequential order, and they must be of the same suit. This is both a straight and a flush in the same hand.
The Ace can be used as a low card in order to achieve a straight flush e.g.. Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 all of the same suit.
Four cards of the same rank, such as four jacks. It's often called "quads" or "4oak"
Aces and Eights Video Poker has special payouts for four of a kind:
- Four of a Kind (Aces or Eights) - Four of a Kind consisting of Aces or Eights
- Four of a Kind (Sevens) - same as Four of a Kind, but the cards have to be Sevens
- Four of a Kind (Others)
Aces and Faces Video Poker is another standard poker with higher payouts for:
- Four (Aces)
- Four Jacks, Queens, Kings
- Four of 2-10
A Full House (also called "Full Boat") contains 3 cards of the same rank along with 2 other cards of the same rank.
Five cards of the same suit. They do not have to be consecutive.
Five consecutive cards, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. They need not be of the same suit. An ace can be used in two ways. It can be have a value of 1, and be placed in an A, 2, 3, 4, 5 sequence, or it can also be placed above the king in a 10, J, Q, K, A sequence.
Three cards of the same value along with 2 other unrelated cards. Example: three "tens". It's often called "trips" or "3oak".
It contains 2 cards of the same rank and another 2 cards of the same rank There is also a fifth unrelated card. Suits are different.
Two of the five cards are the same value. The cards must be jacks or higher to be considered a winner (eg. Jacks or Better Video Poker). But some machine will not pay for a pair of any kind but will require two pair or three of a kind as their minimum winning hand (eg. Dueces Wild).
It is the lowest type of hand possible. You cannot create a better hand with your 5 cards then what remains . This has no value to the Video Poker player.
Wild cards can be used as any other card in the standard 52 card deck. The hand that is made up using a wild card is sometimes valued equally to the normal hand and sometimes it is valued less - this all depends upon which machine you are playing.
The most often used wild cards are the 2's (deuces), jokers and 7's.