Video poker is one of the most popular games on the market today. Every machine is just a bit different from the others in terms of payout but many of the games share similar hand rankings. “Jacks or Better” is a very common game configuration that’s familiar to many players but is still slightly different from the hand rankings in real life poker. The order in which cards are displayed on the screen is not important.
Jacks or Better
This is the lowest value hand you can earn. It’s a single pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. In real life poker, the lowest hand is a single card and a pair can be from cards of any value. Video poker sets a higher minimum hand value before a rewarding the player with a payout.
As in real life poker, two sets of two cards of any value is the next highest hand. This hand beats a Single Pair, but is less valuable than any other hand.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank and two unmatched cards is more valuable than Two Pair but less valuable than the remaining hands. The cards may be of any value. This video poker hand also matches real life poker.
Five in cards in numeric sequence forms a Straight; the cards do not need to be of the same suit. This hand also ranks the same in video poker as it does in real life poker. It is more valuable than single sets.
If all five cards have a matching suit but they aren’t in numerical order, this makes a Flush. As with real life poker, this video poker hand holds the same value. A Flush is more valuable than either a Straight or any combination of single sets.
Three matching value cards combined with a pair of any other matching cards forms a Full House. This combination of sets is more valuable than the previous hands in both video and real life poker.
Four of a Kind
When four of your cards have a matching value, you have Four of a Kind. This is the third most valuable hand in both video and real life poker. Although it may be considered a single set of cards, it beats all previous hands.
One of the most difficult hands in the game, a Straight Flush requires all of the cards in your hand to have a matching suit and be in numerical order. This hand is just as valuable in real life poker as it is in video poker.
A Royal Flush is the most difficult and valuable hand in either video or real life poker. It consists of the Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of a single suit.
Video poker is modeled after real life poker and uses the same hand value structure. The primary difference that most video poker games set a minimum card value of a Pair of Jacks before they will return a payout to the player. Players wishing to learn more about video poker and how to earn the best payout with the best odds of drawing a hand will benefit from a study of real life poker.