Video Poker: You've Got to Take Out the Trash
October 8, 2013
When you think about it, video poker is rather simple game to understand and play. You click the button that says "Deal" and you receive a set of five cards. They all show up on the screen. Then you have a decision to make as to which cards are going to work toward your benefit and which cards are not. What you will do is get rid of, or "discard," whichever cards you deem to be no good for you and replace them with cards that hopefully will improve your chances of putting together a combination that will score with the pay table.
This is a game of five-card draw, like you have probably played throughout your life. In fact, this is most likely the first game you ever learned. Keep in mind that there is a difference between that particular game and the game that you will be playing with at a video poker screen. You are not, for instance, looking to achieve the best hand out of all the players at the table. You are the ONLY one at this poker game. And it is simply you and your talents (or luck, as it were) against the house, not against other players. And whereas you may have been able to discard a maximum of three cards on a casual game you may have had with friends, when you are playing video poker, you can get rid of all your cards if you want. Then you are basically starting again from scratch, but you might be able to make a better hand that way. If you play your hand correctly, you may be able to gain an advantage and win some nice payouts in the long run.
Of course, the "discard" part of video poker is a one-time thing, meaning that you can't do it over and over. It's not like you are playing at a poker table, where there are various rounds of play, followed by betting. Also, there is no such thing as bluffing opponents to "steal" a pot. There is no raising the stakes and chasing opposing players, whether what you have is good or bad. That, simply put, means that you are left with nothing but the actual strength of the hand you have compiled. One of the very good things about video poker, as opposed to other forms of poker, is that you can improve your hand with the possibility of a big payout while at the same time putting a limit on the amount of money you can lose. You've just got to get rid of the trash.