If you’ve ever visited a casino in New Zealand, you’ve probably seen some people playing at two kinds of machines in the lobby: the video poker machines and the slots (NZ pokies). Basically, the video poker is usually the same as the poker they play with cards, only this time you don’t play against another player, but against the computer. Also, the video poker machines are digital, so you have to push buttons to play.
Since poker on its own has about 5-6 popular variations, the online casinos are not really stretching themselves with providing online video poker. However, you can still find about a dozen of such games at the top casinos.
History of Video Poker
Poker is a very old casino game. At the dawn of information technology, the first video poker machines appeared in the casinos, which also had a monitor and an actual CPU. In 1979, the company called SIRCOMA (nowadays runs as IGT) introduced the Draw Poker video poker, which was still primitive, but it was the “breakthrough” in the video poker business.
Nowadays, the games are looking great, pay nicely, and also, there are many of them online, so you can play video poker from the comfort of your home.
The rules of video poker
If you play video poker, you actually play poker. There are some comfort-impacting benefactors, though, such as the fact you don’t need to play with people, there are fixed payouts, and you can also pay with as low as $0.25. As in real poker, you have to get the strongest hand by changing some of your cards – in video poker, you get five cards, and you have to build a strong hand from those.
You place your bet accordingly to your impression of whether your hand is strong, or you are going to lose. In this game, the payback (RTP) is usually around 95-100%. As the game variations are concerned, some of them have special rules, so let us tell you a bit about them:
- The Jacks or Better: This is the most basic video poker type, the rules are the same as the regular five-cards poker – the strongest hand wins, but payouts are only starting if you have minimum a pair of Jacks.
- The Tens or Better: Payouts start at a pair of Tens.
- Joker’s Wild: The Joker is a wild card in the game, supplementing any hand
- Deuces’ Wild: in this variation, the 2’s serve as wilds
- Bonus pokers: These offer better payouts for four-of-a-kind hands. For example, double poker has enhanced payout for 4 Aces, while “Double Double Poker” grants a bonus for the different types of four of a kind.
How to play video poker online
As a New Zealand gambler, if you are older than 25, you’ve probably seen actual casinos from the inside. There, the video pokers have big buttons you have to push in order to tell the machine what you want. In the online casinos, you will see nearly the same interface, but you will have to click on buttons instead of hitting them. Here is how you can play:
- You have to find a good online casino first. (Check our reviews)
- Register, make a deposit to claim some bonuses, then go for the Video Poker section.
- There will be at least six or more different video poker versions, depending on the casino game provider.
- Choose a game and launch it.
- Select how many credits you are willing to bet. The maximum bonuses are granted if you play with the maximum bet (usually 5 credits/coins).
- Click on Deal.
- When you have your cards, click on those that you want to keep (The text “HOLD” will appear on them).
- Clicking on Draw will grant you the new cards in exchange for those you are not holding on to.
- In video poker, there is only one round, so after you change your cards, you will see if you’ve won or not. If you win with your first hand, hold on to the winning cards, and draw new ones, maybe you can get higher.
Video poker – Free or play for real money?
Both variations are okay, and it always depends on your personal preferences. We suggest that you play video poker for free first. You can easily learn the rules, see how the game works. Also, free versions of the video poker are good ways to try out a strategy. Actually, the most important reason we advise you to play for free is that you need to find a video poker strategy to get higher winnings. We won’t provide you with strategies because we don’t want to take responsibility: The Internet is full of video poker strategy sites, apps, and programs, so you could easily find one that suits you. When you have learned the game, and have a sound strategy, you can start playing for real money.
Mobile video poker
Whether you could access video poker on your smartphone or on your tablet highly depends on the casino software provider. In most cases, only a few of the most popular video poker versions are featured in the mobile app or in the mobile-browser lobby. Nonetheless, at least you have the option to play video poker on the go, provided you have an Internet connection. The mobile apps are usually available for Android and iOS, while the browser version works on almost every device.
How video poker works with bonuses
The best NZ casinos offer you nice money match bonuses. These bonuses and the winnings made from them are subjects to the wagering requirements. About in 99% of the New Zealand-friendly online casinos, the video poker games contribute at a 75-50% rate towards the wagering requirement. This means, that at a 75% rate, from every $1 bet, $0.75 is counted as a contribution, independently from whether you win or lose. So, as you can see, in most cases, video poker is good for unlocking the bonuses for withdrawal.
Online video poker is exciting. It’s not hard to learn, and if you are not really into real poker, but you would still play something like that, then it’s a perfect alternative. Though there are no huge winnings to be made, video poker is still among the most popular games.
If you want to get started with your first game visit our New Zealand list of online casinos, and take advantage of the whopping great bonuses!