Poker may be a gold standard for casino players worldwide, but its video format also shares a venerable pedigree. Tracing its roots back to the 1970s, when video first started becoming more diffused and commercially viable as a platform, video poker games became as much of a fixture as other slot machines soon enough.
By and large, video poker games more or less replicate the poker experience in a way that allows players to engage with the basic dynamics of this card game.
There's one big difference between traditional table games of poker and video poker games. The former leans heavily towards chance, where human players battle for dominance of the game based on luck. On the other hand, with video poker games, players are pitted against an automated system – thus putting the onus on them and their gaming strategy to emerge triumphant against the computer-based system.
A historical anecdote concerning the legal parameters of gambling illustrates this difference beautifully. Back in the day, the US state of Missouri passed a law which stated that riverboats which found themselves within the perimeter of the state, were forbidden from allowing games of chance to be played on boats. This meant that slots were certainly out of the question, as they are clearly games of chance relying on randomisation. But video poker games made it through, as a convincing-enough case could be made for them as being primarily games of skill, not chance.
The online realm has also been kind to video poker, and PlayFrank is a proud purveyor of video poker online, particularly among UK enthusiasts. Let's take a deeper look at what's on offer for the eager video poker player.
To get it all going, the first step for players is for them to place their bets. This is done by picking the coin size, and number of coins. Click the 'Deal' button. Get ready to receive your first set of five cards. Players can peek at their cards to determine which ones they'd like to keep, and which ones they'd like to swap for other, more desirable variants.
Next, players need to click the 'Draw' button. New cards will be handed to the player to replace the ones that were given away, thus creating the player's final hand of video poker. This final hand is then put side-by-side with the payout table. At this point, the player finds out how whether or not they're a winner, and if so, by how much.
So, now that you know how to play video poker, why not try a game yourself? At PlayFrank, we make it easy for curious-but-hesitant players by offering a demo version of free video poker. But wait, maybe you'd like to keep reading to pick up some handy video poker strategies?
The phrase 'go big or go home' is certainly apt for many gaming scenarios, but when it comes to your video poker strategy, it gains an even more specific relevance. To wit – it's always good to bet the maximum number of coins allowable, because this places the player in the running for all of the top jackpots. This is logical in many ways, though some players shy away from it. But they shouldn't!
It's also worth mentioning that those hesitant to bet so high straight away have a workaround available to them – they can decrease their coin size. In practice, this means that instead of putting one 5 coin out there, they should bet five separate 1 coins, which would then make them eligible for the 800-to-1 payout.
PlayFrank – as a leader of online gaming, especially in the field of UK video poker, has 14 different video poker games in its stable. These come from a total of five different software providers, and can be played for free in demo mode before players are ready to take the plunge and play for real money.
It is important to mention here that players in the UK will have to now register in order to enjoy the demo free-play mode. Good thing is, signing up does take too long and you will be able to enjoy all the games for free once you register.
Among these high-powered brands are the likes of Microgaming, IGT and Play’n Go, courtesy of which we've got Joker Poker 1 Hand and Jackpot Poker. Another gaming giant we're proud to work with is NetEnt, which brings us Jacks or Better Video Poker 1 Hand. Then there's Playson, who contribute Double Joker Poker.
Played with a single deck of 52 cards per hand and having no wild cards in the game, Jacks or Better Power Poker from Microgaming is a level up from the basic version of video poker. Giving players the exhilarating opportunity to play anything from 4 to 100 hands at a given time, players stand to be in the running to win a 4,000-coin jackpot. With added features like the Double or Nothing Bonus Round, this game is one jolt of true gambling energy.
An excellent starting game for those new to online video poker, Deuces and Joker from Microgaming adds a couple of twists to the traditional video poker formula. As the title suggests, two new cards are added to the standard deck. The Joker, which is a wild that behaves like any other card and helps you to secure winning hands. Then there's the Deuces, which are also wilds that considerably boost the player's chances of scoring a win. A lucky combination of both can lead to some substantial pay outs.
Fast-paced and promising some big wins for lucky players, Aces and Faces Poker by Microgaming allows players to shift from four to 100 poker hands at any given time, ensuring an exhilarating game of online video poker. Nabbing the Royal Flush means a 4,000 coin jackpot, which is no joke! Employing the basic rules of video poker with an added element of a hand of Jacks to enhance prospective payouts, this is an accessible game for all those with an online video poker itch to scratch.
As the title suggests, so shall it be. Tens or Better Power Poker from Microgaming pays out on hands picked from Tens or better – which makes for some great odds, whether you're a thrill-seeking, seasoned gamer or a more cautious player with an eye on the payout. The Royal Flush creates the potential of a 4,000-coin jackpot, too.
Aiming for an intriguing fusion between casino poker and video poker, Poker Pursuit is a dark horse of the Microgaming stable, having been around for quite some time. The way it works is that players are dealt three cards upon first placing their bet, and are then asked to either raise their bet or continue playing with their current bet. A slot machine experience of poker that is sure to appeal to more casual players.
Much like other Microgaming online video poker games, All Aces offers a solid base of video poker, with a something of a key twist. As ever, the clue is in the title, and the “all aces” aspect of the game has to do with the benefits the player gets upon scoring four aces. Securing this means a truly grand payoff for the player – second only to what they would get if they nab a Royal Flush.
An accessible online video poker game from Microgaming, Double Bonus Poker is sure to appeal to the more casual players. Played with a standard deck of 52 cards with no wild cards in sight, the game puts players in the running to win a maximum payout of 4,000!
Packed with a total of nine variations of video poker under one gaming roof, this title from IGT games sure brings to life the adage of “bang for your buck”. A truly exciting take on the video poker experience, the game allows players to toggle between any the nine games, switching from one to the other at a whim. However, in all cases the players will be limited to precisely three hands at any given time, watching three different hands play out in front of them after they've chosen their first cards.
Another multi-hand favourite from the IGT stable, the Five Play Draw Poker multi-hand works much the same way as the Triple Play variant, only the player is dealt out a hand of five cards instead of three.
Boosting the multi-hand concept even further, this additional title from IGT also operates in a similar way... except the player gets not three, not five... but 10 hands to play at any given time!
To make matters even more handy and flexible, PlayFrank online casino has ensured that all of their video poker games can be played on a comprehensive range of mobile devices.
Players don’t have to download any video poker app, or any other software, to gain access to our impressive catalogue of video poker games. All you need is an internet connection, a tablet or mobile device... and you're off!
We're sure that this overview of the world of video poker games online will have whet your appetite to actually try the game yourself. Whether you're a novice who'd want to test the ropes with a free demo first, or whether you're a seasoned player ready to plunge in and play for money, PlayFrank has got you sorted.
Our vast selection of video poker games is sure to have something that's up your alley. We look forward to welcoming you to our online casino.