Video poker tips and guides

Top tips for playing Video Poker with Realtime Gaming and Cryptologic

If you’re a fan of poker but like to stay away from table games when you’re playing online, then video poker is the ideal solution. Set out in a slots format but offering you the chance to play the popular rules of poker, video poker is a great way to indulge in your favorite game whilst playing against a computer. However, if you want to play with Realtime Gaming (RTG) or Cryptologic software, then there are a few important variations which you must include in your game play.

RTG Video Poker Differences

Whilst RTG has no major differences in the actual gaming of video poker, its wagering system is different. Instead of video poker games automatically withdrawing wagered amounts from your online casino account, you have to preload the game with a certain amount of credits. These can then be played with, transferring more credits into the game as you play. Likewise, you must ensure that you transfer winnings back to your account at the end of your gaming session as this too is not automatic. Though credits can be cashed back to your account at any time, they will remain in the game if you forget to release them.


Developing a Video Poker Bankroll Strategy

With this slight change in bankroll, a new question will arise; how much should be transferred initially? This will of course be highly varied depending on how much you’ve played video poker before and how much time you intend on playing the slot for. It is best to take a responsible approach to your bankroll, and set limits of how much you transfer for specific periods of time. For example, if you want to play with 1,000 credits for an hour, then only transfer 1,000 credits. If they run out before the hour is up then you should attempt to not reload any more money into the game. Likewise, when the hour ends, you should transfer out all of your remaining credits back into your casino balance.

How to Incorporate Winnings into Bankroll Strategies

The obvious problem with this form of bankroll strategy is that if you win, the winnings will remain in the video poker balance for the entire hour that you play. This means that, though you could win a lot, you could actually end up spending it all on additional wagers. You could cash out every time you win, but this is not practical and could well break your focus on the game, with negative consequences as a result. One method to counter this if you want to play with 1,000 credits for an hour is to only load 500 credits initially. If you note a winning streak for the entire hour you may not have to transfer any more credits into the game, thus saving yourself 500 credits for the hour. If you run out of money at any point you have two options; either to stop play entirely or to transfer some more credits. For example, if you had 15 minutes remaining, you could inject a further 250 credits into your video poker game.

Using Cryptologic’s Over Poker

Whilst RTG has some wagering changes for its video poker, Cryptologic has also released a poker format called Over Poker. In normal video poker, you’re able to either discard cards or hold onto them. Upon discarding a card, it is replaced and offers you your final hand. However, in Cryptologic’s Over Poker variation, you’re offered a third card with the ‘Move Up’ feature. During this option, the original card is moved up a level and a new one appears below. Whilst the feature may offer you a better chance of winning, it also costs more to play, and should be used at your indiscretion.

Avoid Weakening Your Hand

The Move Up feature should never be used if the result will weaken your hand at the lower level. If you have a winning combination on the lower cards, then avoid the Move Up feature completely as it’ll not only cost you more to play, but you could significantly damage your chances of winning the round. For example, if you have two lower level queens, then you’re assured of a payout. Moving one of them to the higher level will almost certainly see bad results.

When Move Up should be Used

There are certain times when the Move Up feature can provide a number of benefits. When you’re starting a new level, generally you will not be weakening a lower level of cards and will be incurring a cost anyway, so the extra Move Up wager could be used. In upper levels, payouts start with Jacks or more, so you should only use the Move Up option if you have a jack, queen, king or ace to start a new level.

An alternative use for the Move Up feature is when a new level has already been created. If a lower level is showing no signs of winning, then lifting the card to a new level where there are greater chances of getting a payout can be beneficial. There are certain times however, when this should once again be avoided. If you only have a jack at the higher level, for example, then you could move a 10 up and play for a straight. With three cards left to be dealt, this is not likely however, and so 10’s should be discarded at the lower level. On the other hand, if you have a jack on the upper level and a queen on the lower, the queen should be moved up for the chance of a straight or double queens.

Over Poker’s Increased Difficulty

Cryptologic’s Over Poker is slightly more complicated than many other video poker titles because of the extra Move Up feature. Whilst this can be beneficial in some cases, and can offer you the chance to increase your winnings considerably, its wrongful use can have a negative impact upon your winnings. And, unless you’re an experienced gamer of video poker, casting the Move Up option aside or avoiding Over Poker altogether, may be the best option.


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