25/11/2015

Get to Know Video Poker

Ivan Potocki

Casino and poker games are very different. While in case of a casino game the focus is always on chance - well, almost always - in case of poker skill and strategy have a much bigger role to play. Perhaps this is the main reason why poker has officially been declared a mind sport in 2010, an achievement no casino game is capable of. But operators have always sought ways to fuse the two into new games. The result is a series of "casino poker" titles, loosely based on the rules of poker, but far from being the real thing. Maybe the most successful such fusion is video poker, a game invented in the mid-1970s.

Video poker is the single player version of the popular Five Card Draw poker game. The goal of the game is to form a strong hand, just like in the classic version. Players are dealt five cards, they have the option to draw up to five others in their place. Depending on the value of their hands, the players are rewarded with wins according to a pay table, based on the amount they bet on the hand. Video poker respects the rules of poker, perhaps more than any other casino game, but it has several variations that apply different rules.

The Euro Palace casino has 23 distinct video poker games. The variations include Deuces Wild, where deuces (2s) act as Wild cards, or Jacks or Better, which only pays out for a pair of Jacks or above. The Euro Palace also offers a series of other variants, including ones with attached bonuses or others with a minimum value for a winning hand of three of a kind. The casino also has several multi-hand variations of the game, where players can simultaneously play several hands (from 4 to 25 in certain games). Video poker is considered one of the more profitable casino games. Add the various promotions and bonuses the Euro Palace has for its players, and you get a profitable and entertaining video game.

One of the most interesting video poker variants I've found at the Euro Palace casino is Reel Play Poker, a fusion between video poker and a slot machine. Here players need to spin for their initial hand, then spin again for the draw phase of the game. Whenever the player holds a card, the appropriate reel on the above slot machine is held. The payouts are calculated based on a pay table, but slot machine style - and the game has 20 of them. Unfortunately the games comes without the Gamble feature, which is one of the most popular ones in video poker games.