Are Video Poker Games Similar to Slot Machines?

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You can play many types of games in a modern online casino, yet slots and different variations of video poker are, by far, the most popular. You’ll see them in every online casino out there, and yes, they look a bit similar. There are five reels in slots and five cards in video poker, and the symbols appear randomly. But do they have anything in common? Not much, actually.

Both video poker, slot machine games are like two poles of the same planet: at the slots pole, you may know nothing about what you play, and at the video poker pole, you have to be an expert in the chosen game in order to get the most from it. It’s a contest between trying your luck and betting on your experience and knowledge.

Let’s figure out whether these two games have anything in common.

Similarities

Okay, let’s get right to the point. Both these types of games use RNG as the base of their gaming processes. It means that each spin of the reel and each hand of cards are randomly generated. Previous results don’t affect the current game, and the current results, in turn, don’t affect the following games in any way.

It’s the most common mistake that punters all over the world love to make. If you’re into gambling, you’ve probably heard of the gambler’s fallacy. In short, it’s the belief that if you keep losing one spin after another, the odds of winning increase with each loss.

The Random Number Generator (RNG) ensures that this won’t be the case. You have literally the same probability of hitting the jackpot after a long losing streak as you do after a huge win. If you win ten times in a row, your odds of winning the 11th spin will be exactly the same as if you never won at all. And you cannot trick it.

Online slot machines for real money and online video poker have much in common. However, unlike poker, slot machine games give a lot of bonus rounds and free games in brick-and-mortar casinos. The Internet variations of games may be played for cryptocurrencies or virtual money. Unlike live casinos, you may have an option to have several free trials before switching to gambling for real money.

That wraps up the similarities between these two games, but we have a lot of differences to talk about, so let’s proceed.

Differences

Slot games and video poker are fundamentally different when it comes to strategy, game rules and the possible outcomes. Here, we’ve gathered the most significant differences between these two types of games:

  • Slots usually have a lower house edge than video poker. The usual house edge for slots varies from 2% to 9%, which means that in the long run, a player loses between 2% and 9% of his balance. No slots offer a negative house edge. The best-paying video poker game (full-pay Deuces Wild) offers you a negative house edge of 0.76%, which means that if you follow the right strategy, you will slightly increase your balance over time. The correct strategies for all video poker variations are well-established and are freely available over the Internet. The thing about them is that they’re pretty complicated, and a player needs to dedicate a considerable amount of time to master them.

Slot games and video poker

  • While playing Deuces Wild, you have to learn the rules and strategies to win more often. In slots, you merely have to hit the “Spin” button and try to quit while you’re ahead. Also, in the games like Jacks or Better, you will have to decide which cards to withdraw and which of them to leave. This requires a set of skills and understanding of the most common winning strategies that will show you how to win at video poker. This is why it is necessary to learn some basics before starting to play.
  • Slots offer higher jackpots. That is its undeniable advantage: you won’t ever get a $10 million jackpot in video poker, while in slots such wins happen more often. Some slots offer progressive jackpot systems, where a fraction of each bet made by players all over the world goes toward increasing a jackpot. The biggest-ever win in slots was almost €19 million. In full-pay Deuces Wild, you can get no more than 800 times your bet, which will usually be $4000, as 800 times the bet win is offered for 5 coins.
  • In slots, the game’s RTP stays the same regardless of the size of your bet, and in video poker, it varies. The regular Deuces Wild paytable shows that if you bet 5 coins, the size of the royal flush payoff quadruples, as compared to a 4 coin bet payoff. This means that you can take full advantage of a video poker game only by betting max coins. The overall situation with payouts is better than in regular slots.  For instance, full-pay Deuces Wild pays back 100.76%; 10/7 Double Bonus has a 100.17% payout rate; Jacks or Better has 99.54% RTP.
  • If you’re keen on bells and whistles, you won’t get much of them from video poker. It’s not about flashy animation and bonuses, which means that you only get cards, math and strategizing. In modern slots games, on the contrary, you may enjoy a full spread of bonus games, achievements, multipliers, wild symbols and other goodies that can make the gaming experience much more interesting.
  • If you wonder how to win at video poker, there is a chance to play several hands. In comparison to regular slots, in video poker everything depends on your speed and reaction.
  • The difference between slot games is rather slim. Most frequently slot machines online for real money have the same rules and logic. Meanwhile,  video poker machines and slots games really differ in their essence. This is why you have a wider range to choose from.
  • Slot machines are designed to be more entertaining. They include 3D graphics and various themes to make interfaces more customized to the needs of players. On the other hand, video poker machines are determined to be more challenging. You need to decide on the kind of a player you are. Sure thing, newbies would go for classic slots rather than video poker. However, those who like to challenge themselves can choose the latter.

After reading all this, you might be asking: “Why would a real money casino offer a game with a negative house edge?” The answer is simple. Casinos keep offering Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, and other similar games because the vast majority of gamblers are willing to play them just as they play slots. In slots, you can’t make a bad decision that will affect your outcome, while in video poker, random turns can result in drastic decreases in your win rate. The losses caused by a few professional players who use proper strategies are fully covered by the majority of people who play without any plan whatsoever.

How Much Effort Are You Willing to Invest?

This is an essential matter since not everyone plays games just to win, and not everyone is willing to learn complex gambling strategies to improve their odds. If you want to tap a few buttons and maybe hit the jackpot if you’re lucky, then slots are your choice, because in Deuces Wild, it’s way more difficult to win. As you learn how to play, you may spend several minutes per each dealt poker hand, digging into manuals and looking for a correct turn. If you entirely rely on luck in Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better or Double Joker, the RTP figures will be even less than in slots. However, there are still some gambling gurus who scooped huge jackpots in video poker and who started to share their knowledge with those eager to learn. Million dollar payouts are hard to earn here, but they may be snagged if you pay enough effort.

That’s the reason why casinos love video poker, craps, roulette, and baccarat. While their RTP rate is really good, they include built-in ways to make a stupid move that will reduce your odds of winning.

Conclusion

Comparing slots to video poker is like comparing heads or tails to chess. Video poker games and slots are entirely different in their structure and each has various advantages, but they’re both good in their own particular ways. Slots are highly preferable for those who play for fun and want to enjoy every single spin, taking the occasional wins and losses for granted, not worrying much about the rules and strategies. Video poker, on the other hand, is for those who want to research and learn more about the game they’re playing. If you don’t rely only on luck but rather want to win by skill and knowledge, video poker is your choice.

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