Top 10 Most Common Online Video Poker Mistakes To Avoid

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Posted: June 4, 2024

Updated: June 4, 2024

Playing video poker is a bit like playing the slots. Both games rely heavily on luck. However, careful bankroll management, along with choices based around probability can help you get closer to scoring some wins. Having said that, there are some common online video slot mistakes that should be avoided as they can end up costing your dearly.

While scoring the highest hand secures a win in online video poker, the real money comes from the Royal Flush – the jackpot prize. According to online casino news in the UK, unlike traditional poker where bluffing exists, video poker rewards strategy and understanding the paytable. By familiarising yourself with the paytable and optimal discard strategies, you can tilt the odds in your favour, reduce online video poker mistakes, and potentially hit that life-changing Royal Flush.

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Basic Online Video Poker Gameplay

Online video poker is a game that blends the elements of classic five-card draw poker with the convenience and accessibility of online slot machines. Here’s a breakdown:

  • It’s played on a computerised console similar to a slot machine, but instead of spinning reels, you’ll see a video screen displaying five cards.
  • You place a bet and are dealt an initial hand of five cards.
  • Unlike table poker where you play against other people or a dealer, video poker is purely a game of chance against the machine.
  • You decide which cards to discard (hold or discard) based on poker hand rankings (e.g., Jacks or better, straight flush).
  • Discarded cards are replaced with new ones from a virtual deck.
  • Your final hand is then evaluated based on the paytable displayed on the screen. Winning hands pay out according to the paytable, with higher-ranking hands offering bigger rewards.

The Advantages Of Playing Video Poker

  • Simple to learn: The basic rules are straightforward, making it easier to pick up compared to traditional poker.
  • Fast-paced: Games are quick, allowing you to play multiple hands in a short time.
  • Variety of games: Online casinos offer a wide selection of video poker variations, each with slightly different rules and themes.
online video poker mistakes
Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Potential for high returns: Some video poker games, especially when played with optimal strategy, offer a relatively high return to player (RTP) compared to other casino games.

Main Differences From Traditional Poker

Though on face value, both games appear to be similar, there are some basic differences between traditional poker and the online video poker variant.

  • No bluffing: Since you’re playing against a machine, bluffing is not a factor.
  • Strategy plays a role: While luck is involved, understanding basic poker hand rankings and optimal discard strategies can significantly improve your odds of winning.
  • Single player: It’s a solitary experience unlike table poker where you interact with other players.

Getting Started With Online Video Poker

Before kicking off your video poker session at Bet365 Casino, there are a number of points to keep in mind if you want to avoid online video poker mistakes. These will help you begin in a manner that’ll give you the best chances of success.

  • Choose a reputable online casino – Ensure the casino is licensed and secure before playing for real money.
  • Start with a familiar variation – Many casinos offer Jacks or Better, a popular and beginner-friendly version.
  • Practice with free play – Most casinos offer demo versions so you can learn the ropes before wagering real money.
  • Learn basic strategy – There are numerous resources online that explain optimal discard strategies for different video poker variations.

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Check The Payouts

The payout amounts for all video poker machines are the same with the exception of the payouts for the Flush, the Full House, and the Royal Flush. Players who play online video poker for money should play the machines with the higher payouts for a Full House and the Royal Flush. One of the top online video poker mistakes is failing to understand that the best machines have a payout of 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a Royal Flush. The 9/6 machines are typically Jacks or Better games.

Avoid These Online Video Poker Mistakes

When it comes to online video poker, even a seemingly simple game can lead to costly mistakes. Here are some of the biggest blunders to avoid:

Not Understanding The Paytable 

The paytable displays the payouts for different winning hands. Ignoring it means you might miss valuable information or discard cards that would have secured a big win. To avoid online video poker mistakes, always familiarise yourself with the paytable before playing, focusing on the payouts for hands you’re aiming for.

Playing Without Strategy 

While luck plays a role, video poker offers more control than pure slots.  Optimal discard strategies exist for each video poker variation. Mastering these strategies significantly improves your chances of winning.

online video poker mistakes
Picture Source: Flickr

Resources online or video tutorials can teach you the best way to discard cards based on the initial hand and paytable.

Online Video Poker Mistakes – Not Choosing The Best Slot

The impulse to play any machine. Instead, play the machines with the highest payouts.

Neglecting Practice With Free Play 

Before diving into real money video poker, take advantage of the free play goldmine offered by most online casinos! This lets you experiment with variations, master winning strategies, and build confidence without risking a dime. Don’t miss out on this free practice. Not only will it help you to avoid online video poker mistakes, but it’ll prepare you to hit the ground running when you play for real.

Online Video Poker Mistakes – Not Maximising Payouts 

Don’t skimp on your video poker bets! While it might seem tempting to play less than the maximum coins, you’re missing out on bigger potential rewards. Here’s why: video poker machines often reserve the highest payouts, like the Royal Flush (appearing roughly every 40,000 plays), for those who wager the most. By playing less than the max, you’re essentially warming up the machine for someone else who will snag the jackpot. This holds especially true for progressive machines where the jackpot grows with every bet. So, maximise your bet, maximise your potential payout, and don’t settle for priming the pump for others!

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Ignoring Betting Limits 

Video poker often allows a wide range of bets. New players might be tempted to go all-in hoping for a big win. However, responsible bankroll management is key. Stick to bets that fit your budget and allow for multiple game rounds.

Online Video Poker Mistakes – Holding High Cards 

Avoid holding a high card when you have a pair. If the high card is not part of the pair, then discard it as it wastes space in your hand. This is one of the most common mistakes a player makes and can reduce your chance of winning by 5%.

Online Video Poker Mistakes – Chasing Losses 

It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, especially after a losing streak. Remember, video poker is a game of chance. Don’t chase losses by increasing bets or playing beyond your limits. Set a budget and walk away when you reach it.

Only Playing For Short Periods Of Time 

While the Royal Flush is the ultimate prize in video poker, focusing solely on it can be one of the most common online video poker mistakes. The short game sessions offered by online video poker significantly decrease your chances of landing this rare hand (appearing roughly once every 40,000 plays).

online video poker mistakes
Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons 

Instead, aim for a longer playstyle. By putting in more time (around 40 hours for 40,000 plays), you naturally increase your odds of experiencing that life-changing Royal Flush. Remember, video poker rewards strategy and understanding the paytable, so focus on maximising your return for every hand rather than solely chasing the jackpot.

Playing The Wrong Variation 

There are many video poker variations with different pay tables and rules. Some offer better returns than others, especially when employing optimal strategy. For beginners, Jacks or Better is a popular choice due to its straightforward rules and relatively high payback percentage (RTP).

Finding Good Video Poker Casinos Online

Playing video poker online for real money is not just about avoiding the common mistakes of most players. It is also about where you play. Choose an online casino that is trustworthy. We suggest Bet365 Casino. Not only is this one of the best online casino sites in the UK, but it comes with a stellar reputation, a vast selection of video poker games, and fantastic prizes. In fact, it’s a good idea to look for special offers such as special sign up bonuses for video poker. Choosing another website, you’ll find that the sign up bonus can vary substantially, as can the number of video poker games. These are important elements for avoiding online video poker mistakes and for setting the stage for playing online video poker for real money.

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