The difference between video poker and slot machines is the difference between a game of skill and a game of luck. With a slot machine, no decision the player makes can or will make affects the outcome of the game. With video poker, however, the player’s skill at playing cards definitely influences the outcome of the game. Unlike slot machines, a player can tell a video poker machine’s payout percentage simply by looking at it. Video poker machines also offer players better returns than slot machines, provided the player makes the right decisions.
Video poker is essentially a game of five card draw poker. The only differences are that the player has no flesh and blood opponent, and that he can not lose more than his initial bet. A player first deposits between one to five coins to make his bet. The player is then shown five cards on the video screen. The player’s goal is to try and make the best possible poker hand from the five cards. Since it is a draw game, the player is given one opportunity to discard anywhere from zero to five original cards in order to improve the hand.
After the player chooses which cards to keep by pushing the button below each card, the player then pushes the deal button and the machine replaces the rejected cards with new ones. Based on the resulting final hand, the machine will then pay the player according to the pay schedule posted on the machine. The better the hand, the higher the amount the machine will pay off.
Gaming regulations require that video poker machines have random outcomes. Players should be aware that there are casinos that do not have gaming regulations. These are called unregulated casinos. Examples include cruise ships operating in international waters, some Native American reservation casinos that are not subject to state regulation, and virtually all Internet casinos. Some video poker machines can actually be programmed to avoid giving players better hands and giving the house a substantial advantage. These machines are illegal in Nevada, New Jersey, Colorado, and other states that pattern their gaming regulations after those found in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, etc.