The world of poker seems to be constantly evolving, after all, you might consider the internet as the biggest game changer of all. Whilst technology has helped dramatically change the landscape of poker, there’s a new contender on the block which has also effected how we can play poker. What’s that I hear you ask? Bitcoins.
Whilst many might argue that poker has its own currency, that’s because you play with poker chips, the Bitcoin is a new kind of money which is officially listed as a currency. This new currency is starting to become popular among gamblers and poker fans. You should also check out bitcoincasino.org for additional information surrounding the world of Bitcoins and gambling – where you’ll find reviews, tips, guides and more information.
This article takes a brief look at what the Bitcoin is and why it can be beneficial when using it with poker gambling. Without further ado…
What is the Bitcoin?
Before you consider using this new currency, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. As you might guess, the Bitcoin is a new form of currency which doesn’t involve a bank – it’s a digital currency.
Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto and it went live in 2009. Because there isn’t a bank involved, you can think of it as a way in which to transact without the need for a middle man. You’re probably wondering how it can work without a bank, however, there is a unique methodology to the Bitcoin. It basically uses computing power, which is used to solve mathematical problems, people and companies across the globe mine for Bitcoins, making it an ever-growing currency. Of course, you can also trade between other currencies like the USD, Euro and GBP. Currently, 1 Bitcoin is worth around $225 – making it a very valuable asset to have. More retailers across the globe are accepting it and the same can be said for online casinos.
One of the frustrations of using a credit card is that a transaction fee of around 1-3% is involved, however, the fees associated with the Bitcoin are often much lower – a great advantage to using the Bitcoin when gambling online.
A number of countries including the USA have recognised the Bitcoin as a legitimate currency, suggesting that it could continue to grow without problem. However, some countries have had the opposite approach by making it illegal, these include Russia, Iceland, Vietnam and a number of other smaller nations.
Below are a few advantages to using the Bitcoin…
Why use the Bitcoin when playing Poker?
- It’ safe and secure
- It’s new and exciting
- The fees are minute
- Bitcoin is increasing in popularity
- Governments are starting to notice it as an official currency
- You can remain anonymous
- No bank involved
Remember that you can use Bitcoin for many online gambling games, these include: poker, roulette, slots and dice. Give it a try! Just remember to avoid new and untested casino sites, always use reputable sites which are officially licensed and comply with all of the usual legalities.
There are many strategies for playing video poker. These strategies come in one of two forms: either it is a general theory for how to wager and the best practices for gambling or it is a direct strategy for playing the individual video poker variations. This article will give you both types of advice to give you the best possible chance of winning some money.
First, you need to know where you should play video poker. Most people will play the video poker machines that are located inside of the casinos across the country. You can also play for real money at some of the online casinos; however, you will want to make sure that you visit a website with a good reputation. Also, mobile games are all the rage these days. You can check out some cool video poker games for mobile devices as well.
The one advantage of playing in a casino is that each video poker machine has a guaranteed payout rate that is regulated by the state where the casino is located. Before you start playing video poker for real money, either at a casino or while playing on a website, you should read this overview of gambling laws and regulation. This will answer a lot of the legal questions that you may have.
Video Poker Advice
The first strategy that most players will need to know is the payout percentages that the various video poker machines offer. The two most popular version are Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. Jacks or Better offers a return of 99.5% when the appropriate strategy is applied. Deuces Wild has a return slightly over 100% when using the proper strategy. Of course, these payout percentages are base upon the operator of the video poker machine or video poker software.
The return percentages and hand payouts can be manipulated. This is something that you will need to be aware of because some shady operators (primarily online casinos) will change these features to give the house a better chance of winning. The most obvious of these is when a casino changes the normal payouts of the winning hands. Here is an example:
This is two screenshots from separate online casinos that are using the exact same software. The one on the top has the appropriate payouts for Jacks or Better. The one on the bottom is a shady online casino that reduced the payouts for the Full House and Flush on the same Jacks or Better game. This is what you have to watch out for. If you would like to see the normal pay schedule for several different video poker variations, you can check them out on this strategy page.
On the other hand, there are many different variations of the traditional Jacks or Better game. This is any video poker game where there is no wildcards and the minimum winning hand is a pair of Jacks. This would include Aces & Eights, Bonus Poker, All American Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Jackpot Poker, Double Jackpot Poker, and several others. All of these games have slightly different payouts than the Jacks or Better game. Each game will add a bonus to a particular winning hand; it will also reduce the payout for another more common hand to even the return percentage of the machine.
For example, All American Poker will offer an 8x payout per coin for a Full House, Flush and Straight. The Flush and Straight hands receive a bonus, while the Full House is reduced and the Two Pair payout goes from 2x to even money. Other games will offer bonuses for a particular hand, most often a 4 of a Kind. You might receive a very large bonus when you receive 4 Aces for example.
The trick with all of these variations is to use the basic video poker strategy for the base game (Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Double Joker, Deuces and Joker, Tens or Better) and slightly adapt you play to go after the bonus hand on that machine.
Basic Strategy for Video Poker Games
As I stated above, there are six basic types of video poker games available: Jacks or Better (52 card deck, no wildcard, Jacks or better wins), Tens or Better (52 card deck, no wildcard, pair of 10’s or better wins), Joker Poker (53 card deck, 1 wildcard, Kings or better wins), Double Joker (54 card deck, 2 wildcards, Two Pair or better wins), Deuces Wild (52 card deck, 4 wild cards, 3 of a Kind or better wins), and Deuces and Joker (53 card deck, 5 wild cards, 3 of a Kind or better wins).
Of these games, most casinos only will offer Jacks or Better, Joker Poker and Deuces Wild. The others are specialty games that are only rarely offered. These are the three games that have a general basic strategy.
Jacks or Better
(In order of lowest hand to highest hand, follow the highest number possible)
* High card = Jack, Queen, King, Ace *
1) Discard all 5 cards when you have no high cards and no connectors.
2) Discard 4 cards if you only have one high card.
3) Keep a suited 10/Jack, 10/Queen, or 10/King.
4) Discard 3 cards if you have two high cards. Keep the lowest 2 if you have 3.
5) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
6) Keep 2 suited high cards.
7) Keep 4 cards to an inside straight draw (one possible card to complete).
8) Keep a low pair.
9) Keep 4 cards to a flush or an outside straight draw.
10) Keep 3 cards to a Royal flush.
11) Keep a high pair.
12) Keep two pairs.
13) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
14) Keep a three of a kind.
15) Keep a pat hand (completed straight, flush, full house).
16) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
When you keep the cards, the other cards that don’t match are discarded.
* High card = King or Ace *
(Always keep a Joker/Wildcard)
1) Discard all 5 cards when you have no high cards and no connectors.
2) Discard 4 cards when you have one high card.
3) Keep a low pair.
4) Keep an Ace/King.
5) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
6) Keep 4 cards to a straight draw.
7) Keep 4 cards to a flush.
8) Keep 3 cards to a Royal Flush.
9) Keep a high pair.
10) Keep two pairs.
11) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
12) Keep a 3 of a kind.
13) Keep a pat hand (completed straight, flush, full house).
14) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
* With no wildcards or winning hand *
You will discard all 5 cards except:
1) Keep 2 cards to a Royal Flush.
2) Keep 4 cards to an inside straight draw.
3) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
4) Keep 4 cards to a flush or outside straight draw.
5) Keep 3 cards to a Royal Flush.
6) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
7) Keep 4 cards to a Royal Flush.
* With 1 wildcard *
You will discard the other 4 cards except:
1) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
2) Keep 3 cards to a Royal flush.
3) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
4) Keep any 3 of a kind or higher.
5) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush w/ 3 natural connectors.
6) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
* With 2 wildcards *
You will discard the other 3 cards except:
1) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
2) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
3) Keep any 4 of a kind or higher.
Now that we have had a couple of weeks to let the dust settle after the United States department of justice took down four of the top online poker sites. There sure has been a lot of clamoring going on. Here is where we currently stand:
Online poker sites have been getting their domain name seized by the government. Many of the former top poker sites now have an .eu or .ag next to their name instead of .com. This is to prevent the US government from taking their domain names.
Most online poker sites are not allowing US poker players anymore. Hopefully, there will be a law that changes this sometime in the future; just don’t hold your breath. The subject of online poker is going to be kind of dead for the next couple of months except for the random tournament or promotion offered by one of the smaller sites.
Questions and Answers
Are there laws against playing online poker in the United States?
This depends on the state that you live in currently. Take a look at this post which refers to laws against online poker players between the different states.
Why did PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker get shut down?
This is a long story, which you can read here but here is the summary. These poker sites were illegally accepting deposits and used payment processors to produce fake transactions.
Are there any US poker sites that are still up and running?
Shhhhh! It’s a secret. The one thing that is bound to be true is that this information will get outdated quickly. I saw advertisements for Carbon poker, who has since left the US market along with several dozen other small poker rooms including Play Aces, BetUS, Sportsbook.com, Players Only, etc.
The one problem that many of these places has was the complete influx of new players. In many cases, they couldn’t handle the overflow and didn’t want to draw the attention of the government.
However, you can still find a couple of places to play for the time being. Check out this article which is about a pretty popular website that I have played at before. Also, you may want to take a look at this article as I think that these are pretty much the only two good places left to play at.
Where did all of the poker players go?
In reality, most of the online poker players have stopped looking because they think online poker is totally illegal. It takes a little bit of persistence and initiative to deposit money with a lot of these sites. Most no longer accept credit/debit cards when you sign up.
A lot of the online poker players are scared to put their money into a poker site because they are afraid of losing money like they did when Full Tilt Poker went bankrupt. People may eventually get their money back if someone purchases the Full Tilt Poker name.
Eventually, the government will get a law through for playing online poker. Just don’t look for it to happen before the 2012 presidential election. There are too many other things that are on the table for online poker to get any support.
Video poker is a great game for any online player to add to their repertoire, especially if they enjoy video poker or traditional poker at the casino. However, it would be a mistake to lump video poker in the same category as those other casino games like craps or roulette. The reason is that video poker, unlike these other games, offers players the opportunity to minimize or eliminate the House edge when played correctly. As long as you know the poker hand rankings you’ll have a real easy time learning video poker.
Video Poker Pay Tables
To maximize your video poker opportunity, it’s very important that you find a game with the right pay table. For a traditional jacks or better game in which you need at least a pair of jacks to get any payback, the pay table to look for is a 9/6, in which nine coins are returned for a full house and six coins for a flush. For other games, other pay tables may be appropriate. You can find the best pay tables for each game online.
Video Poker Strategy
To reduce the House edge to less than one percent (and if you can find the right game, eliminated it entirely) there is a strategy you must follow. Playing hunches in online video poker gives the House a huge edge. Find a basic video poker strategy chart online and follow it as you play. In general, the strategy is to keep a made hand and go for what you are most likely to make, rather than the hand with the biggest payoff. It might be a good idea to try free video poker to get a hang of the game before you risk any real money.
Online Video Poker Progressive Jackpots
Most video poker machines offer a progressive jackpot, a huge payoff for making a royal flush. You can only win the progressive payout if you play the full amount of coins on each deal. Be sure to play the maximum number of coins each time so that you don’t miss out.
Another boring bonus code post, sorry guys! As you may well know, many poker rooms cease to accept players from the United States, thanks to the Safe Port Act. As such, most poker sites will now explicitly tell you which sites are US-friendly, and which aren’t. Both of these are!
The regular conditions of redemption apply:
- Players must play at the real money tables.
- Playing at the real money tables accumulates FPP (Frequent Player Points).
- Players must accumulate 10 * Deposit Bonus amount for the bonus to be released. (i.e. Deposit Bonus is 50$, player must accumulate 10*50=500FPP.)
More information on the PokerStars Marketing Code.
Full Tilt Poker.
Full Tilt Poker (FTP) has proven time and time again to be the top online poker site, world-wide. With a full slate of cashies and a wide array of tournaments, players can always find the time of game that they’re looking for. Utilizing the bonus code (ZZBONUS), players receive a 100% depoist bonus with a maximum bonus of 600$. In addition to the great bonus, you’ll get to go head-to-head with some of the biggest names in poker (real professionals) who also play online on FTP. Find out more about FTP and the Full Tilt Poker referral code.