Video poker can be considered as an all-time classic at both land based and online casinos. There are certain games that every casino needs in order to be taken seriously, and alongside the likes of blackjack and roulette, video poker is right up there. While the game has certainly been around for a lot less time than its counterparts, with centuries of history between them, it has still had plenty of time to evolve and now players can find all manner of variations on the classic version, with all of them represented and free to play here at Mr Gamez. In this post, we look at the key differences so that players with absolutely no experience of the game in any format can quickly identify which one will suit their play style better.
For many players, Jacks or Better is the essential version of video poker. It is the most common variant at both online and land based casinos and will usually be the first game of its type that players get to grips with. It is the perfect starter game as it is arguably the most simple version and provides a great grounding in the concept of video poker, even for players that have not so much picked up a deck of cards in the past.
What to expect: Jacks or Better uses typical hand rankings, with any pair of Jacks or higher resulting in a winning hand. Players can cover between one and five winning combinations on the board in terms of win bets, with a top prize of 4,000 coins for a royal flush.
Deuces Wild is generally a player’s first experience of wild cards. If you have never played video poker before, then they work just like the wild cards on online slots, with twos aka deuces filling in for any other card.
What to expect: Four of a kind is actually an extremely common hand in video poker, and players will often find that almost a third of all of their winnings are delivered using such a hand combination. Like Jacks or Better, players can place up to five coins on each hand. As with many games that use wild cards, there is a better prize for a natural royal flush, meaning a hand that uses the proper cards rather than filling in gaps with wilds. Interestingly, Deuces Wild offers the highest theoretical pay out percentage of any video poker, with perfect play with five coins offering a long-term return of 100.8%.
Aces and Faces is extremely similar to Jacks or Better, but offers different prizes for certain hand rankings with the game focused, as would be expected, on Aces and the Jack, Queen and King.
What to expect: Whereas Jacks or Better pays out a certain amount for four of a kind, Aces and Faces pays out considerably more for four face cards or Aces than its counterpart. This is made possible by four of anything from twos through to tens being paid at a lower rate. Aces and Faces is the ideal game for players that are in the habit of always holding the most valuable cards without trying to extract value with lower denominations.
Joker Poker is a variation on the standard style of video poker that offers players the opportunity to form winning hands not only with the standard 52 card deck, but also with the assistance of jokers. Naturally, jokers are always wild, and this unlocks some impressive winning combinations.
What to expect: Joker Poker could well be considered as being something of a hybrid between standard Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. The lowest winning hand is Kings or better in this case, which allows the game to retain its house edge even with the addition of wild cards. The addition of jokers gives players the opportunity to form hands consisting of five of a kind, which beats a joker royal flush in terms of prize value. As with all wild card video poker games, a natural royal flush is worth more than one that includes a joker, but all other pay outs are the same regardless of whether a wild card is present.
All American is easy to get to grips with, especially if the player has prior experience with Jacks or Better. Hand rankings are identical, and there are no wild cards, making it a very similar game.
What to expect: The difference between Jacks or Better video poker and All American is that the prize values for certain hands have changed. Flushes, straights and straight flushes are worth noticeably more, while this is compensated for by reduced prize amounts on two pair hands and full houses. Choosing All American video poker is all about personal preference as overall winning amounts are similar across both games, but players that enjoy winning slightly bigger on certain hands will feel right at home on this variation.
In terms of comparing Aces and Eights to any other form of video poker, Aces and Faces is the natural choice. However, whereas face cards have extra significance in the latter, the eight is particularly valuable on this version.
What to expect: As always, Aces and Eights is a pretty simple game overall, and anyone with absolutely any experience of video poker will quickly get to grips with the game. The lowest winning hand is jacks or better and the highest is the royal flush. Players get paid a decent prize for four of a kind, but this increases significantly for four sevens and massively for four Aces or eights.
The beauty of video poker is that it is easy to learn and difficult to master, which is a large part of why even experienced players and in some cases professionals still enjoy the game to this day. You can try out all of these versions of video poker for free here at Mr Gamez, alongside some other equally popular game styles including Classic Deuces Wild, Joker Wild and Premium All American. Whether refining a strategy or trying something new, you are more than welcome to play for free and for as long as you like during your visit to Mr Gamez.