Many consider video poker to be a game of pure chance, the dumbed-down casino version of the otherwise popular poker variant Five Card Draw. And it is, indeed, a simplified version of the game, but only with two major differences compared to the original: its lack of betting rounds and its payouts based on a pay table. Otherwise, it has almost exactly the same rules as five card draw, from hand rankings to the overall course of the game, are the same.
But can playing video poker make us become a better player at a cash table? Will trying out Basic Poker strategies on Royal Vegas Casino help us be better at the poker table?
The short answer
Well, the short answer would be "No". Why? Let me explain below.
The slightly longer answer (because I would hate to bore you)
How does a video poker game at Royal Vegas go down? First of all, you'll need to register an account. This is the easiest part - you fill out a form, confirm your email address and you are done. You can choose whether to play for real or for free - Royal Vegas will offer its players the chance to play in "practice mode", completely free of charge. If you choose to play "for real", you make a deposit and choose the game of your liking.
Royal Vegas has several variants of video poker for its players - all the same, but all a bit different at the same time. These differences come from variations of the game's rules - some will only pay out for a pair of Jacks, others will consider deuces to be wild cards.
People love to play Five Card Draw, and a completely different set of people love to play video poker - but these two categories seldom overlap. While the two games are similar in many ways, the differences between them are essential enough for it not to appeal to those who like playing poker against real opponents instead of a computer.
In poker the most exciting part is not winning the pot - it's defeating your opponents. This is why poker is considered to be a sport rather than a game of chance - players use tactics and strategies to defeat the other players at the table. The outcome of a game is often not determined by the strength of one's hand, but by the way the player bets. Basically it's a game of nerves and strategies, with the cards - and the small bit of luck - often having a less important role to play.
Video poker takes all this excitement out of five card draw. It's an impersonal game, played against a senseless random number generator that decides how the cards are shuffled in the deck. Video poker players have no opponents to defeat - the outcome of all hands is decided by the order of the cards in the deck, and not by how good one's poker face and people reading skills are. This makes video poker one of the more profitable - but less exciting games available in online casinos.
Should I still try it?
Well, of course! It's a game that's very easy to learn for a poker player, and a quite relaxing one on top of that. It's fast paced and action packed, so if you are looking for a quick fix and have a video poker machine at hand (or on your phone, for that matter), you should definitely give it a try. But don't make the mistake to consider it more than it is - a form of online entertainment that can occasionally put some cash in your pocket!