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Are you split between your desire to play slot machines and love for poker? Well you’re in luck because video poker is the perfect combination of the two.

Video poker first made its debut with the development of the computer chip. Television monitors were attached to computers that generated random cards, video poker was born.

In video poker, your opponent is the machine. You need to know how to build a decent five card poker hand, but ultimately, you are battling a machine or a program. Unlike playing slots, there’s a certain degree of strategy involved. You aren’t simply pulling a lever and hoping for the best. Video poker requires an understanding of poker hands and probabilities. If you play solid, smart poker, your odds of winning increase dramatically.

In video poker, you begin by placing a bet (of one or more credits) and pressing deal. The machine or program then deals you five cards. You have the option of keeping or discarding the cards that you have been dealt. The cards that you discard are replaced by random cards remaining in the deck. The object is to create the best possible five card poker hand.

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There are different variations of video poker. In Deuces Wild, twos can be used as wild cards when your building your five card hand. Jacks or Better is probably the most popular and commonly-found version of video poker. In Jacks or Better, the minimum rank for a winning hand is a pair of Jacks. Jokers Wild is played with a standard 52 card deck and one joker inserted as a wild card. The minimum rank for this game is two pair because you have the added bonus of the wild joker card. In King of the Decks, you win the progressive jackpot if you get five kinds of clubs. Five 52-card decks are used for this game, which drastically reduces the odds of winning.

The random number generator that exists within video poker machines or programs simulates the probabilities of drawing combinations of hands. Your goal as a video poker player is to play with the perfect strategy. There are plenty of ways to fine tune your video poker playing skills. Software programs (with tutorials that will help you make better video poker decisions), strategy cards and books on the subject will help you develop your abilities and increase your odds of winning.

Strategies will vary for different video poker games because the mathematical probabilities involved in different games alter your approach. The fewer mistakes you make when calculating your odds, the better your chances of winning. If you’re serious about video poker, take the time to look over strategy resources. You will notice an improvement in the way you play.

If you can play at or near perfect and if you always bet the maximum amount of credits, you can actually find certain pay schedules that offer 100 percent payback over a long period of time. If you can balance a good strategy with a sound understanding of probabilities, these full pay games will help you earn money in no time.