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Video Poker versus Online Poker

There's video poker and there's standard poker. Although both have poker in the name, these are two very different games. If you're looking to get started in poker, it's very important that you understand the difference between the two.

Video Poker v Poker: Rules

Both video poker and poker use the same hand rankings, which range from high card, to a pair, two pair, three of a kind, a straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush. However, the similarities pretty much end there. Video poker is always a five card draw game, where you can replace as many of your initial five cards as you want to make your best poker hand. How much you win is directly related to how good a hand you make in the end. Regular poker can be played many ways, but in the end, you are comparing your best five card hand to the hands of your opponents. Unlike in video poker, however, the strength of your hand only determines whether or not you win the pot, if anyone else is in the hand with you. How much you win depends on how much you or your opponents have bet.

Video Poker v Poker: Betting

In video poker, all the betting is done beforehand. You choose a machine or an online casino to pick your stakes. There can be a $.25 machine, a $1 machine, $5 machine and so on. You can usually bet up to five times the stakes, so you can bet $25 per deal on a $5 machine, and win 5x as much. In regular poker, each player bets in turn. The amount you can bet depends on the type of poker (fixed limit, pot limit or no limit) and the pre-determined stakes. If you don't want to call a bet, you can fold, but then you cannot win. In video poker, you can never be bet out of a hand, you are simply betting against the House on how strong your final hand will be.

Video Poker v Poker: Skill

Both video poker and poker have elements of chance and skill. However, your ability to manipulate the skill elements of video poker is much weaker than in standard poker. In video poker, all you can do is make the pre-established best plays for each situation, and at best, reduce the House edge to zero or in some cases give yourself a miniscule edge. In standard poker, against a weak player you can have a very large edge, since you can manipulate your risk vs. the amount you can win relative to your likelihood of winning.


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