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Poker in Live Casinos

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If live poker makes you nervous, but you still love the game, then consider trying video poker. While some players delight in the tension and high stakes of live poker games, others can’t stand the constant observation, stress, and heckling that comes with competing against other players in a game of luck and skill. If you want to cut the luck out of it and play on skill alone, then video poker is an ideal alternative. This ingenious casino game captures all the fun of straight forward poker in a computerized format.

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In a live casino, it may take you a moment to recognize the video poker machines. To many people they look much like slots—what with their square construction and attached jackpots. Online, the differences become much clearer. For true poker fanatics, there’s no better way to enjoy the game than with video poker. It’s just you versus the odds

All video poker games are based on the poker staple of Five Card Draw (source: Online Dice). Because video poker is already done in an electronic format, it makes the transition to the internet seamlessly. As with any other game, you’ll place your bets and play. Unlike live poker where players may make bets of varying size and in several different rounds, in video poker you bet once before the hand, in pre-determined denominations, and in minimum or maximum credits. Once your bet is made, you’ll hit the deal button and proceed with the hand.

The video poker game screen will typically display the classic green felt table, but when you play video poker you play alone, so the only cards visible are your own. Five cards will be dealt face up at the bottom of your screen. You will now have the option of discarding as many as three of those cards which will then be replaced by new cards (sometimes this is done by an animated dealer but more often than not the cards simply appear on your screen). If your draw results in a winning hand, then you are credited with the appropriate payout. If you lose, then the game keeps your bet and you must bet again.

In live poker, players can bluff and win on nothing. Video poker removes this variable. Most video poker games require a hand of Jacks or better to get a return on your bet. Some games take Tens or Better, but these usually compensate with a lower pay scale. Additionally, some video poker games have bonuses that pay out extra to special combinations. Still others are attached to game pools for progressive jackpots. And still other games have special variations like Deuces Wild where a two card substitutes as any other card in the deck. Again, be aware that bonus games and wild variations usually have a lower pay scale.

To win at video poker, you need only understand the basics of poker and poker strategy and to apply that knowledge to the game. The idea always is to keep the cards that offer your hand the most outs going into the draw. The only exception to this rule is when a player is playing specifically for a bonus or jackpot. These instances are rare and are usually pursued only by professionals with a large bankroll and a good understanding of each game’s point of positive expectation.

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