Video Poker Online
In recent years, video poker has made a huge splash on the Internet, following the casino-to-internet trend to the letter. There are both free and paid video poker available online -- and we'll talk more about free online video poker, but the traditional paid video poker online allows users to log onto a website, open an account (usually atleast $20 minimum), and bet between $0.25 and $5.00 per hand on video poker. The rules and payouts differ from game to game, so pay attention. The main draw to video poker online is the same as the draw for anything online these days -- who wouldn't want to play a little video poker in their underwear?
Online Video Poker vs. Traditional Video Poker
One of the main attractions for video poker players online is the ability to play for free. In fact, most casinos will allow you to play for free without making an account -- you basically type in the website, click the game you want to play from a usual variety of video poker games, and play away. Not only can you train and test your strategy this way -- its also a cheap way to have a great time. Not to mention the lack of crowds, with their smoky cigars and loud drunks and loud music. With no fears of pickpockets or loud know-it-alls, you might find you play your best video poker.
There's no dress code on the internet -- as hinted to earlier -- from jeans and a t-shirt to your birthday suit, anything goes when you play online.
You might also think of your online video poker experience as a completely empty casino -- all for you, all there for the taking. If you want to play Deuces Wild one minute, you can trust there will be an open machine -- and as soon as you want, you can switch over to Jacks or Better, all without moving an inch.
There's a much greater variety available in an online setting.
As many differences as there are, its important to remember (especially when playing for money!) that online video poker has many similarities to "the real deal". When you're dropping big numbers on your home computer, it hurts your bank account just as much as when you're in Reno or Vegas. It may be easy to forget that this is for keeps at first -- after all, you're gaming in the same place you play Solitaire and pay your bills. So remember to work on your strategy, and play smart. Also -- the games are all the same. You will find every game in the casino's video poker section that you can find online. This is why online video poker can be such a huge boost to your game. Just like in traditional video poker, you're playing against yourself -- and just like in traditional video poker, the game is based on a special random number generator based on a 52 (or 53) card deck. In many ways, the line between video poker online and traditional video poker is microscopic.
When choosing an online casino you must concern yourself with a few important things. Number one should always be safety -- is the site verified by a legitimate encryption company? Does it look reputable (active members, lots of live games, etc) or does it look like a scam (poor spelling, poor graphics, most games don't work, no members)? Do I like the aesthetics of the site -- some resemble cool Vegas hotels, while others mimic more contemporary designs.
Perhaps the best way to test a site is to read as much as you can about it, either from the site or from people who have been members -- or just jump right in and play some of their free versions.
It's important for you to know, however, that there's a handful of companies out there who actually set up and control the games present online, and which company designed the games you're playing has a much bigger impact on your experience than you might think.
Real Time Gaming, known as RTG, provides gaming software for many online casinos and games, like Rushmore Casino or Club World. For instance, if you're playing Jacks or Better at Bodog, you may actually be running an RTG game. RTG might be the most respected gaming system, and is certainly one of the oldest. Their games are known for their realism, as compared to the cartoon-y looks of many other games, and every casino's setup through RTG is unique -- unique lobbies, verisign secured, up to 100 games on dropdown menus. RTG games are pretty customizable, in terms of game speed and the like, and most of the time an RTG game's going to leave you with a good experience.
Vegas Technology, whose most famous client might be Golden Casino or English Harbour. Rivaling RTG in popularity, though admittedly promoting fewer video poker machines, Vegas Technology is known as much for their Tournament-style approach as for being just plain huge.
Rival Gaming takes a far different approach to the online game than its larger more successful counterparts, but it is an approach people are taking to. They're known for giving huge bonuses to newcomers and users who reload their accounts -- pretty much at random. Like Christmas in your inbox. Yes, they offer online video poker, but are better known for iSlots -- fun, brightly-colored slot machines featuring awesome minigames -- really this is a new type of gaming influenced by both internet and casino culture.