Online Video Poker has been increasingly popular since the introduction of Internet casinos in the mid-1990's, giving regular casino fans the ability to play their favorite video poker games online. Instead of paying ever-increasing gas prices to travel to the nearest local casino, or airfare to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Macau or any other major casino destination, gamers can simply power up the PC and play online video poker from the comfort of their computer chair.
The online video poker and online casino industry as a whole have rapidly grown over the years, offering more online video poker game variety, better graphics and speedier game play. The top online gaming software brands are especially well known for their ingenious deigns and multi-faceted playing styles.
Visit any of todays top MicroGaming Casinos, PlayTech Casinos and/or Cryptologic Casinos and you'll find a versatile array of online Video Poker games, including the classic favorites - Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, etc. - along with a few variants of these, commonly known as "multi-hand" or "power poker" games.
Online Video Poker games that fall into this group are those that allow a player to bet on more than one hand per play. Most MicroGaming Casinos offer multi-hand online video poker games with the option of up to 100-hands per play. PlayTech Casinos offer up to 25-line online Video Poker games, while CryptoLogic offers most all of its online Video Poker games in 1-hand, 3-hand, 5-hand and 10-hand varieties.
How To Play Online Video Poker
If you've ever played a video poker machine at a live casino, you'll find very little difference between that and the online video poker variety. Aside from clicking your mouse in place of pressing a button, there's only one defining divergence between the games - online casinos are well known to payout a much higher percentage than a brick-and-mortar casino. Live video poker machines average 80-88% payouts while online video poker average 95% and up.
Some online video poker games will require a download of the online casino software, while others are played directly in your browser via Flash. Either way, the actual game play is the same. When you load up the online Video Poker machine, you'll see several buttons used throughout the game. The most important button is the "Pay Table", which shows each winning combination and its respective pay out. Some online Video Poker games will display info directly on the screen, but power poker games tend to offer the button.
After understanding what it takes to win at the Online Video Poker game through the Pay Table, you can use the "Bet" buttons to place a wager. Use the "Bet 1" or "Bet Max" button to wager your desired amount on a single-hand online Video Poker game. If you wish to Bet Max, click this button. If not, click Bet 1 until the desired wager has been placed. Multi-hand online Video Poker has two more buttons, one for how many hands you'd like to play, and another for how many credits to wager per hand. Click the up-down arrows for each until the desired wager is reached. When ready, click "Draw" to begin the game. Note that you can cancel a wager at any time before clicking "Draw".
At this point, you will see your first set of 5 cards. Click on the cards you wish to keep, and the word "HELD" should appear over them. (Make sure you do not click the cards you wish to discard!) When ready, click the "Draw" button again and the discarded cards will be replaced with new cards, revealing whether you've won.
In multi-hand online Video Poker, all hands will be shown on the screen once the draw takes place. Each hand will consist of the same cards you chose to keep in the first half of the game, followed by various new cards. Every hand is played out randomly using its own 52-card deck, so it is possible to get any combination with every multiple hand. For example, if you have 3 Aces and draw two more cards, you could get potentially 4 Aces multiple times, not just once.
Though online Slots have notoriously held the top position among popularity in the casino industry, online Video Poker is one of the most fascinating games, adored by millions of fans around the world. Most online casinos offer the game for free play, not just for real money, so if you've never taken a shot at 100-hands of Aces and Faces in a single game, take a practice run and discover just how entertaining online Video Poker can be.