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Differences Between Video Poker and Online Poker

If you’re new to online poker, or gambling in general, you may see video poker offered at online casinos. Some mistakenly believe this is online poker when in reality it is an online casino game.

We won’t go over how to play video poker as there is plenty of articles out there covering that topic. Instead, we will tell you some of the primary differences between online poker and video poker.

Video Poker Plays Like a Slot Machine

There are many that will tell you that a video poker is a slot machine, and they aren’t far off. Video poker machines, whether live or online, play almost identical to slots. You are dealt a hand of poker and then you pick which cards you want to exchange. That’s it.

You will perform the same actions over and over again. Other than a few variations on which cards you draw, there’s nothing else you need to do to play the game. You are not playing against other opponents, so you are just trying to make poker hands. It is as basic as it gets, and is effectively a poker slot machine. The difference is that the odds are much better than any slot you’ll ever play.

Payouts Are Flat

If you flop a monster hand in NL Hold’em, how much will you win from the hand? That’s impossible to tell because there are too many factors to consider. If you flop a full house, you could win anywhere from a few bucks to a player’s entire stack.

Video Poker Payouts

In video poker, all payouts are flat. When you catch a full house, you will generally get between 35 to 45 credits depending on the machine. If you are playing .25 per credit, that is between $8.75 and $11.25. In most games, the most that a Royal Flush pays out is 4,000 credits. That’s $1,000 when playing quarters.

You Cannot Eliminate the House Edge from All Games

Some of you may have heard that some video poker games have little or no house edge based on perfect strategy. This is true. Some video poker games will pay over 100% back to players, but that is requiring that perfect strategy is played.

However, the odds that you will find a true Full Pay video poker machine in modern-day casinos are pretty long. At best, you can find around 99% or 99.5%. Even then, there are plenty of other games that pay out less.

You cannot eliminate the house edge in video poker. In online poker, winning players can beat the rake because they are not playing against the house. In video poker, the house will always win.

If You Aren’t Making Royals You Are a Losing Player

There is a fact of life in video poker that if you are not hitting royal flushes, you are a loser in the game. Due to the house edge in video poker, most players are long term losers in the game. Those that are able to turn a profit are those that are able to play perfect strategy and hit royal flushes on a somewhat regular basis.

Royal Flush Video Poker

A regular basis is relative to each player. The amount of volume determines how often you should be hitting a royal. However, if you have never hit a royal flush or you are going extraordinarily long stints without hitting, then you are losing money.

The Comps Are Worse Online But Better Live

If you are someone that takes advantage of reward programs, then you need to pay attention to the points system for video poker. For online poker and video poker players, you will notice that the comps for video poker are a lot worse. Often, you have to wager between $50 and $100 just to earn a single point. This is opposed to earning points for ever $1 taken in rake.

Adversely, live video poker players often earn comps quicker. That’s because in live poker, players are paid comps based on hours played rather than amount rakes or wagered. This gives video poker players the advantage.

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