Poker is one of the most popular gambling forms available today and for that reason, there are thousands of variations around today. For those aren’t comfortable or experienced enough to sit down at a tournament table, the technological world has opened up incredible opportunities to indulge in a game or two from the comfort of our own homes. Even those wanting to practice their techniques can benefit from a round or two of poker online, which is why it has become such a popular phenomenon across the globe.
If you’re considering indulging in a spot of online poker, we’re taking you through how you can choose the idea game for you, below.
Video Poker, Or Live?
When playing poker online, there are generally two types of game you can play – one against a live opponent, and one against the computer. In most cases, a video poker game will feature gameplay against a set of odds or a scoring system that is specific to the game of choice. As with a bricks and mortar casino, online casinos or game developers will have their own form of house odds, which you’ll be up against directly without another opponent to bet against. Understanding a video poker strategy can be very different to standard poker tables – In some cases, it can feel like placing blind bets, but can actually work out in the player’s favour.
For example, in a case where you have a potentially winning hand, the fear that another player has a better hand is eradicated. The game will likely pay out certain amounts for winning hands, rather than the best handed player gaining the entire betting pot.
On a live poker table, you get all the thrill of a standard poker game, without having to leave the comfort of your home. You can play live against other players across the globe, with the additional challenge of having no faces or behaviours to read to determine a bluff. Instead, you’ll have to decide dependant on their betting patterns.
The form of game that works best for you will depend on personal preference, but you could try your hand at both to see which feels best. In most cases, casinos will offer free bets or plays to begin with to let you try out how the
Which Variation Works For You?
There are thousands of variations of video poker available but deciding on the best for you could be a case of trial and error. Regardless, knowing where to start can help you hit the ground running. While the list of variations is extensive, there are a few types in particular that are most common today:
- Jacks Or Better
Jacks Or Better is more commonly known as ‘Draw Poker’, and is one of the most popular forms online. It’s arguably one of the simplest, with pay tables starting pay outs starting from hands featuring a pair of Jacks, or anything better. These slots use random number generators in order to determine which cards become available, however each game or online casino will have its own odds so it’s important to find this out before you opt for any one game.
Most versions of video poker are based off of Jacks or Better, so understanding the basics and developing a strategy can help set you up for other variations.
- Bonus Poker
Bonus Poker is played in the same way as Jacks Or Better, with the main difference resting in that certain hands come with higher payouts – hence the ‘Bonus’ name. These hands are typically of the Four Of A Kind variety, for aces, 2s, 3s and 4s. Unlike standard poker games, a Four Of A Kind hand made up of 2s could receive a higher payout than one made up of 5s or 6s, for example.
- Double Bonus
This is a further variation of Bonus Poker, which offers additional bonuses on Four Of A Kind hands. The level of bonus can differ dependant on the game provider, so it’s important to make sure you’re looking at pay tables before you play.
- Deuces Wild
In Deuces Wild, 2s turn into wild cards, in which it can substitute for any card you see fit. For example, a hand featuring three of a kind could become of a four of a kind simply by holding a 2, which would substitute in for the fourth card. For this reason, 2s become one of the most valuable cards in the deck and should never be discarded throughout play.
- Joker Poker
Similar to Deuces Wild, Joker Poker sees the two Joker cards added back into the deck. These cards are used as wild cards, which act as any other card necessary in the deck. In some cases, there will only be one Joker. The payout will remain the same for winning hands, regardless of whether they were made up naturally, or using the Joker wild card.
- Tens Or Better
Tens or Better is another poker variation that works in a similar way to Jacks or Better, however the biggest difference sits in that you can receive payouts for lower valued hands than with the standard form. This makes a winning hand more likely in the long-term, due to the higher number of possible hands.
With so many variations available online, all easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection, Video Poker has become a staple in the gambling community. Whether you’re a casual gamer looking to try your hand at a game or two, or you’re a regular player wanting to practice your strategies, there’s something out there for everyone. Where will you begin?