If you’ve visited a casino before, you might have realized that video poker games are located in a separate section from their table counterparts. There’s a reason for this. They are significantly different from regular poker.
In fact, some players consider video poker more similar to online slots than Texas Hold’em or Caribbean poker. Are the correct? Stick around for a comprehensive comparison of video and regular poker.
Video Poker Basics
Video poker is a straightforward game in which you play against a machine instead of a dealer or another person. It’s displayed on devices that look precisely like slot machines. But it’s more complicated. Precisely, you have to make decisions that can impact the outcome of the game.
With slots, you place a bet and hope you trigger winning symbols. That’s it. You don’t need skills or particular strategies to affect the symbols formed on the machines.
On the flip side, a video poker game is more interactive. It also requires skills, as we’ll discover below. Here’s how the game works:
- The RNG software deals you five cards
- You select cards that could form a strong poker hand
- You hit draw to receive replacement cards
- You win depending on the hand produced
How much you win also depends on the game and the paytable. By default, there are five columns on a standard video poker table: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. In the Jacks or Better game, a two pair hand wins you two coins on column one. You earn 250 coins if you hit a royal flush.
By comparison, a hand of 2 pairs wins you ten coins on column five and 4000 coins if you hit a royal flush. For clarity, there’s a bonus for hitting the royal flush with a maximum bet.
But even without bonuses, betting on the upper columns increases your potential payouts significantly. Also, some games pay better than Jacks or Better. So find a few variations and play video poker online. Ensure you get a bonus to boost your bankroll and learn a few skills to increase your win rate.
First things first: regular poker uses the same hands as video poker:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two pair
- One Pair
- High Card
Many table poker games begin with a pre-determined bet. For example, each player must commit a blind of $10 in the first round. In a Sit N’GO competition, all participants need to place a buy-in of a specific amount, let’s say $100.
When the competition begins, players in a table poker environment can do any of the following:
- Check—to decline a bet
- Bet—to wager
- Call—to match another person’s bet so that you remain in the game
- Fold—to forfeit your cards if you no longer want to stay in the game
- Raise—to increase your stake. You can do this because you believe you have a winning hand or if a round is over, and you are required to raise your bet to remain in the game.
The Four Rounds of a Game
Texas Hold’em and Omaha, two of the most popular table poker games have four stages in a game. The first round is called the pre-flop. It starts after the dealer gives all players their hole cards. The next round, the flop, is marked after players receive their third card.
The next round is called the turn, while the fifth card is called the river. In many cases, skilled players don’t raise their bets until they receive their third cards. Some wait for the fourth card to determine whether to call or fold.
In the last stage of a table game, all active players must show their cards so that everyone knows who wins. Of course, whoever has the best hand takes home the jackpot.
Poker Limits: Video vs. Table Poker
In video poker, your betting limits are calculated in terms of betting credits. If you bet one credit (column one), you win a maximum of 250 coins when you produce a royal flush. If you bet the maximum five credits and produce a royal flush, you receive 4000 coins.
In some games, the columns vary from 1-10. If you bet the maximum amount, you have a chance to walk away with up to 8,000 coins. But hold on for a moment. Video poker, like most casino games, has a house edge.
For the uninitiated, the house edge is a percentage of money the casino is guaranteed to win in the long haul. It stands at 3% in many video poker games. As such, you are not guaranteed to win consistently whether you bet the minimum or maximum amounts.
Table Poker Limits
In table poker, limits vary from one game to another. In Texas Hold’em No limits, you can raise as much as you want. In other words, you can go all-in by wagering your entire stack of money. Of course, that’s not always the smartest thing to do.
But if you have a straight flush or a royal flush, you can bet your entire stack knowing the chance of someone else having a similar hand is close to none.
Some games limit players to the maximum pot size of the game. If you are competing for a $100 pot, you can up your ante up to that amount. On the other hand, some games have a fixed limit.
Video vs. Table Poker: Which is better?
Both games have their pros and cons. Video poker allows you to play alone, which is great if you enjoy privacy. Again, it’s relatively simpler as you don’t have to deal with people who might be significantly better than you.
By comparison, table poker is a social game. You can play it with friends or with strangers. You can chat with your opponents or play it silently. However, you must be exceedingly skilled and lucky to win games consistently.