Everybody has a theory as to the origin of poker. Suppositions range from China to India, from Persia to Egypt and thence across the Mediterranean to Europe. Regardless of its ancestral journey, there is strong evidence that it came to America with the French settlers in New Orleans who played a card game called 'poque' involving bluffing and rounds of betting. This 'poque' deck may have been the first to use suits of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
'Poque' migrated up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers by boat where it met English-bred railroad men who probably corrupted the name to poker and carried it back to the eastern cities during the U.S. Civil War. Then, in the late 1860's and early 1870's, Civil War veterans brought poker westward over the Continental Divide until it became a fixture in every hotel parlor and saloon in America's Wild West.
As a widely popularized game, poker developed many variations including stud, draw and straight. The introduction of wild cards around 1875 added another level of intrigue and excitement. Today, poker is probably the most widely played card game in the world. It ranks as one of the top sporting events (in prize money if not publicity), with many tournaments culminating in the grand stakes of the World Series of Poker.
With the advent of computer chips in the 1970's, Video Poker came on the scene. It combines the elements of draw poker with the look-and-feel of slot machines. A key difference between Video Poker and regular poker is that you're not playing against other players (so there is no need to bluff). Instead, you're trying to build the best hand you can to win the highest odds. Because it's a fast-paced game involving both skill and luck, Video Poker has millions of enthusiasts around the globe who enjoy this exciting, engaging pastime.
To play a Video Poker game, just drop casino chips into the INSERT COINS slot and click the DEAL button. The machine will deal five cards to the player, all face up. Since this is draw poker, you can choose to hold or discard any of the five cards. Your goal is make the best hand you can between your original deal and your potential draw. You must get a pair of Jacks or better to be in the money.
To hold or keep a card, click the HOLD button under that card or simply click the card. A pin will appear to indicate that the card is to be held, and the Hold button changes to RELEASE. If you change your mind, click Release or (click the card). After cards-to-hold are selected, click DRAW to draw new cards for those which are to be discarded (i.e. not held).
These new drawn cards plus the hold cards from the first deal constitute your final hand (always a total of 5 cards), and the game pays according to the chart at the top of the machine by increasing your coin credits (shown as a CREDIT meter on the machine face).
You can drop as many casino chips as you wish into the Insert Coins slot. Putting chips in the slot increases your coin credits based on the coin setting for the machine and the dollar value of the chips. The Video Poker machine can be set to play $0.25 coins, $1 coins or $5 coins. If you put a $10 casino chip in a machine with a $1 coin setting, your coin credits will be 10. If you change the coin setting to $0.25, your coin credits will increase to 40 (for a $10 chip).
The number of coins bet per game can range from a minimum of 1 coin to a maximum of 5 coins. The setting for the number of coins bet per game is shown in the COINS BET meter. The machine sets Coins Bet to 1 by default. You can increase your bet by clicking the BET ONE button. Each time you click BET ONE, you will increase your bet by one chip. (If you click on Bet One when Coins Bet is 5, it will wrap back to 1).
To bet the maximum five chips with a single click, just click BET MAX. If the machine is set to a $5 coin value and a Coins Bet of 5, you will be betting $25 per hand. Once you set the Coins Bet number, the machine will use this value for each hand until you change it to another value.
Payouts are as shown in the chart at the top of the machine. The payout table has rows containing the payout amounts for various rankings of poker hands (see listing below). Each rank has 5 possible payout amounts, depending on the number in the Coins Bet meter. As you change the Coins Bet value, the vertical column of payout amounts for that Coins Bet number will be highlighted.
For example, if you play 1 coin in a $5 Video Poker machine and come up with a Royal Flush, you will be credited with 250 coins which represent a winning of $1,250. If you had bet the maximum of 5 coins and came up with a Royal Flush, you would be credited with 4000 coins representing a winning of $20,000 on a $5 machine!
When you are finished playing, you can click COINS OUT to exchange your coin Credits for casino chips. As the coins come out of the machine, the number of Credits will be multiplied by the coin value setting ($0.25, $1 or $5) and the resulting amount will be added to your casino account balance.
RANKING OF HANDS FOR VIDEO POKER
The highest ranking hand possible. An Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit. Starting with an Ace, all five cards are in sequence and in a common suit.
Five cards both in sequence and common suit, but not starting with an Ace.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same rank.
Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank.
Five cards of same suit.
Five cards in sequence (Aces may be used high or low).
Three of a Kind
Three cards of same rank.
Two groups of two cards of same rank.
Two cards of the same rank.
The rank of hands containing less than one pair is determined by the highest ranking card.