Why is video poker not Texas Holdem poker?
Texas Holdem poker is a game about psychology, skill, and various other aspects which are a bit hard to simulate on a digital platform, which makes it a bit less attractive for players. Those who play video poker in Australia are more concerned with the “random” nature of the game as it resembles slots quite a lot. But this is not enough to differentiate the two completely. We need to break down both games in order to get a bigger picture.
As already mentioned, Texas Holdem poker is an offline game about psychology and skill. In this game, you play against other players rather than play against the computer, which is the case with video poker.
The game has four phases, during which you need to calculate, speculate, bluff and maneuver your way through the winning position based on the cards you are given. Naturally, you also have the opportunity to tap out and watch the game from the side if your hand is too bad.
In this case, you adhere to the flow of the game while also using the combinations of the cards and figuring out the best outcome. With Aussie online video poker, it’s a bit different. You don’t adhere to any type of game flow, you just base your bets on your knowledge and experience of the card combinations.
As already mentioned, video poker is not a game between various players, it’s a game of the computer against the player. It uses randomly generated cards to show on your screen and it’s up to you to decide which ones to keep and which ones to swap to get a better combination.
But more on that will be discussed in the following paragraph, so be prepared.
How to play video poker in Australia
In order to be a “pro” in video poker, all you need to do is know how to choose the best game available, as well as all of the combinations that could potentially make you some money if you get them during the “spin”. Well, it’s not really a spin but it’s the closest explanation in our opinion.
The “spin” revolves around getting five cards when you start the game and tapping into your knowledge of combinations in order to determine which cards to keep and which ones to swap.
For example, if there is an opportunity for you to get a royal flush because you’re missing an Ace at the end, it could be relevant to swap your last card. Or, if you get let’s say four of a kind, it could be more relevant to keep all that you have and just take the profit.
There are two types of video poker actually. One of them is the casino video poker Aussie casinos are literally full of or the online video poker games that don’t require the player to leave their house at all.
They don’t really have that much of a difference between them. It’s just that with the offline games you have to play with cash, while online games allow you to use an existing balance on your account.
We will try to give you an explanation of the poker combinations you can potentially get when playing video poker and what determines their profitability.
Combinations you should be aiming for
There are quite a lot of combinations that could lead to you winning at least something from your bet, but remember that not all of them will be profitable. The key thing to know about video poker is that it has a minimum betting option, meaning that you should aim for a payout that pays at least x1.1 of your bet. Let’s see the combinations that can help you achieve this.
The flush, although not a combination that pays the most, is still a relatively rare combination of cards to get when you’re playing online video poker games Australia casinos have listed. However, it’s the most recognizable in a sense, simply because it consists of five cards of the same suit, regardless of what they’re comprised of.
For example, if you get five cards and all of them are Hearts, congratulations, you got a flush, which qualifies you for about x1.25 of your bet. So, if your bet was AUD 5, you’d be able to cash out AUD 6 from that game. Although it may seem like a very small amount, it’s still reasonable due to how this game is classified as low volatility, meaning that it has a high chance of losing, but when you win, you win big.
The Full House is actually slightly easier to get when you look at it at a first glance. The combination is comprised of three of a kind cards as well as a pair.
If you’ve ever watched Aussie online casino video poker games in the past, you may have noticed how ecstatic one becomes once they see pairs in their hands. It immediately translates into a possibility to go for either Full House or Four of a Kind in the long run. The possibility is derived from the game’s feature of swapping several cards out of your hand while holding others. But remember that you can do it only once.
The Full House would look something like this. Queen of Spades, Queen of Diamonds, Queen of Hearts, King of Spades, King of hearts. As you can see there are three similar cards of Queens and a pair of Kings. This is what creates a Full House.
You can expect a payout of around x2 of your bet with this combination.
Four of a kind
Next, we have four of a kind. This is a bit harder to get if you don’t get at least a pair or a triplet when you’re first dealt the cards. However, they’re one of the best in terms of payouts.
Whenever you play video poker online in Australia casinos, you may see that most of those games have this combination pictured as their feature image on the machine, or on the page where you play the game.
It’s a relatively simple combination to understand. As long as you get four cards of similar value, let’s say four Aces, it automatically registers as the Four of a kind combination.
With this combination, you can expect a payout of around x5 of your initial bet.
The Straight Flush may resemble a Flush at the first glance for someone who is inexperienced in the game.
The difference is that a regular Flush does not have “cohesion” in it. This means that it’s a combination of just random cards that have the same suite, rather than a combination of consecutive cards that have the same suite which is the case with the Straight Flush.
For example, a six, seven, eight, nine and ten of Diamonds would equal a Straight Flush. While a six, eight, ten, Queen, Ace of Diamonds would equal just a regular Flush.
This is one of the most popular combinations of Australian video poker players actually, simply because it has cohesion. Seeing the numbers align in an organized manner gives some extra pleasure to those who know they’ve just won big.
With the Straight Flush, you can expect around x10 of your initial deposit as payment.
Royal Flush is the “King” of all poker combinations, there is literally nothing that can beat it. If you get this combination during your game, you can make sure that you’re walking away much richer than you entered the game.
The probability of this combination is much lower than anything else in the game, which is why it’s valued so high.
The combination itself is relatively simple. If you can get a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suite in a hand you’re immediately looking at, at least x50 of your initial bet, and this is on more older versions of the game.
There is no combination in any AU online video poker for real money games that could be better than the Royal Flush, so keep your eyes peeled and try to catch the opportunity to get this combination even if it takes a few swaps here and there.
How to choose the best video poker game
It’s safe to say that players do indeed have the luxury of choice when it comes to video poker. But this luxury is quite different from the type of game you choose. Offline ones are usually determined through the pay tables, while the online ones are determined through volatility and RTP.
Since we’re discussing the online versions we’ll focus on them in more detail, but glance over the offline versions a little bit as well. Let’s start with offline.
Whenever you enter a casino in Australia, you’ll immediately notice that video poker games look a lot like slots, and in a sense they are slots. But you’ll also notice some blokes just walking down the hallways of these slots trying out every single one of them before they find one they prefer, sit down and start playing.
The thing is that every Australia video poker casino has a diversified selection of these slots games. Some of them have better payouts while others have much worse numbers. The blokes you see walking down these hallways know exactly what they’re doing, they’re searching for the ones that pay the most, but how do they find out? Through the pay tables.
The pay tables will tell you how much you can expect from specific combinations in the game, but you will need to focus on just one of them to determine the profitability.
As long as the Flush pays more than the minimum bet, then the slot does indeed classify as a relatively profitable option. If the Flush pays around x1.5 of the bet, then it classifies as the best option there is.
You may wonder, why even bother with adding the low paying ones in the casino if everybody will go for the higher paying ones? Well, imagine the last time you were at a casino, how many people were playing AU video poker? Quite a lot right? The casino knows this and therefore scatters these low paying options in expectation of saving as much as possible.
There’s your filter. If the Flush pays more than x1.1 of the minimum deposit, the whole game becomes worth it.
Finding profitable games is much easier online simply due to the design of the platform and how games show up on one’s screen. The best part is that you don’t have to walk around the casino searching for the game.
You can simply enter the game, scroll down or press the “Menu” button to look at the RTP as well as the volatility.
As long as the RTP is somewhere around 99% then it’s a profitable video poker game, but if it’s anywhere below 97% it should only be your last resort.
Furthermore, every video poker game in Australia is programmed by the software provider. Therefore, they may program it with much more occurring combinations but with lower payouts, or with much rarer combinations with larger payouts, that is determined by the volatility. Let’s break down this explanation a bit now.
The RTP stands for Return to Player, therefore it determines how much of your bets you should expect returned to you on average. This means that if you bet AUD 100 across several tries, you can expect around AUD 99 returned to you as profit if you’re lucky. Remember that this is just a rough estimate and is rarely the case for most games.
It’s just a compilation by the provider which determined the average return based on hundreds of players that have played the game.
What you need to do is pair that RTP up with the volatility. The volatility was fairly well explained in the previous paragraph, but let’s bring an example.
Imagine that the software provider of the Aussie free online video poker game you’re playing decided to give the Flush a one in a hundred chance of popping up, while the provider of another game decided to give his a one in a thousand chance of popping up.
The first game would be classified as high volatility, simply because it has a higher chance of occurring for the player. But in order to compensate for the rarity, the provider will pay much less per the Flush combination. So for example, if the second game pays x2 for getting a Flush, this game would pay x1.1 per Flush.
The difference would be because of the rarity of these combinations appearing.
Therefore, make sure to check out bot the RTP and the volatility of the poker games you’ll encounter on Australian casino websites.
Is playing video poker worth it?
When we look at it in the grand scheme of things, it may seem like Texas Holdem Poker is a much more profitable game, but try to consider the pacing of both games.
A single game of offline Poker can continue for around 10-30 minutes, while a single game of video poker on Australia casinos could continue for a maximum of a minute as you don’t need that much time to consider the possibility of a combination.
The good part is that you’re not competing with anybody. Therefore you don’t have to consider somebody else’s combination, you’re just looking at one of them and thinking if you could make it better.
Video poker is much faster but could have a bit of a downside when it comes to winnings. With offline poker, you can bluff your way to a victory even if your hand does not win anything.
This isn’t everything that we wanted to talk about in this article, there are many more things to discuss, but since all of what we wanted to mention directly correlates with the FAQs about this game, we’ll try to add that extra value in that section of the article.
FAQ about video poker in Australia
Can I play these games for free?
Yes, there is actually a possibility to play free online video poker in Australia nowadays, but very few casinos refer to it as such. They mostly refer to it as bonuses for playing the game. We will give you an explanation of at least three of them so you know what to expect.
There’s the no deposit bonus, the deposit bonus, and the “free spins” bonus. Let’s discuss them separately.
The no deposit bonus
The no deposit bonus is the most common way of getting your hands on free video poker games. It’s usually a constant promotion by the casino and is referred to as either the “welcome bonus”.
The reason why players associate it with free Aussie video poker games online is because of what it gives you. When you apply for it, the casino supplies you with extra cash without you having to deposit anything.
The bonus usually ranges between AUD 100 and AUD 300, but it comes at a cost, just not a monetary one. In most cases, the casino will require you to gamble a set amount of funds in order to withdraw whatever you’ve generated across a two-week or a month period.
So, for example, if the casino gives you AUD 100, it will require you to gamble at least AUD 1000 in total volume, to classify your account as eligible for withdrawals. This is done in order to prevent players from simply taking the bonus and running away with it. The casino will also give you a deadline before which you will need to meet these requirements. If you fail to do so, the bonus and the profits you generated through it will be taken by the casino.
It may sound unfair, but hey, it’s free money and you have nothing to lose when making bets. This is why Aussies play video poker online for money with the no deposit bonus, as they can allow themselves larger bets.
The deposit bonus
The deposit bonus is sometimes called the “half cash” because it requires you to make at least some kind of deposit. It is also referred to as the “first deposit bonus”, “second deposit bonus” and the “matching bonus”. Depending on which casino you choose to play, you will get a “corresponding” bonus.
Let’s say that the casino you chose has a “matching bonus”, what does this mean? This means that whatever you deposit on the platform, the casino will give you the same amount as additional funds for you to gamble with. However, they will always have a cap on it, meaning that some may deny you the bonus if your deposit is above AUD 1000 or so.
Although you’ll be playing with your own money half the time, you’ll still have that extra free cash to play with. This is the least popular option players choose free AU video poker games to play with, unfortunately. No matter how enticing it sounds, most believe that it’s not a representation of truly free video poker games available in the industry.
The “free spins” bonus
The free spins bonus may seem like an intruder in the video poker game industry, but it’s quite relevant to the game type when you think about it.
Most of the time you press that button to be dealt the cards, it’s like spinning a slot as every position of the card has its own RNG, similar to a slots game.
These promotions are a bit harder to come across since they need to be tailor-made for a specific software provider’s game. This means that once you encounter them, they will have the provider’s brand name attached to them and will be available only for a specific game.
This could be a bit inconvenient simply because the game that the promotion is for could have low RTP.
How do I get the bonus?
In order to get the bonus and play free video poker games Australia casinos have to offer, you need to find a specific promotional code that you can apply to your account.
The promotional code, aka the promo code, is usually distributed by the casino itself and will be sent to registered users through a weekly or monthly newsletter. Or, you can simply access the casino’s website and go to their promotions page to see if they have the code displayed on the platform.
In most cases, it’s not going to be a unique code, therefore you can encounter it on other websites as well.
How do I deposit?
There are numerous ways you can approach the depositing process on an online casino, regardless of whether its in Australia or not.
In most cases, you will have options such as Credit/Debit cards, Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller. All of these options come with their commissions, advantages and disadvantages.
For example, if you want to play video poker games online in Australia with credit cards, you will have to face the fact that your credit score will decrease with your bank. This is because, once you make the deposit, the bank will see it as gambling expenditure and therefore classifies it as “problem spending”. This causes the credit score to decrease as the banks believe you take out loans to fuel your gambling habits.
This is why it’s best to deposit with Skrill or Neteller as they don’t have this kind of risk associated with them.
When can I withdraw?
If you didn’t use a deposit bonus, you will always be eligible for withdrawal no matter how small your account balance is.
This question is more relevant for people who’ve used the bonus and now can’t tell whether they’ve reached the minimum requirements or not.
In most cases, once you’ve played enough AU video poker, the platform itself will tell you that you are eligible for a withdrawal. There will be a notification from your account that you’ve crossed the minimum requirement.
If not, then expect an email from the casino where you’re playing that you can now withdraw.
What’s the best way to withdraw?
This will depend on your preference. Do you prefer it to be quick but slightly more expensive, or do you prefer it to be slow but nearly free?
If the former is you choice than withdrawing through Skrill or Neteller should be your choice, while the latter is better with the traditional credit card withdrawal.
How do I find the best casino for video poker?
The payouts are dependant on the software provider themselves, therefore you can’t really tell how much you can make based on the casino.
However, if you’re looking for a casino that is the safest to gamble on, then you need not look any further than the local gambling regulator. All you need to do is access their website, look at all of the licensed entities, and open an account with the one that has the most promotions.
The license is basically a guarantee that no matter how much Aussie casino video poker you play, you will have the guarantee of withdrawal, and the regulator will support you should something go wrong with the provider.
Can I play video poker for fun?
Yes, nearly every casino has a “free to play” option on its platform, for which they give you virtual money. You can use this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the game on a much more detailed level before you move over to playing video poker for real money in Australia or pretty much all over the world.