Yes, it’s easy to recognize the huge role that video poker plays in the world of 21st century gambling. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying even a modicum of attention for the past decade or so. Getting to a deeper level of the issue, however, one might be tempted to inquire just what it is about video poker that makes this game so attractive to millions.

I’ve got a few minutes to kill, how about you? Good! Let’s investigate.

One common feature that web sites offering video poker use to attract new players is to host tournaments, called “satellites” in which the winners gain entry to real-life poker tournaments. This is actually much more than a gimmick to draw traffic. Satellites have been responsible for introducing some of the world’s most successful players to the televised circuit.

As you would probably surmise, quite a few differences exist between video poker and standard styles of play. Some players really thrive on these differences. The lack of ability to read an opponent’s tells is central here. Video poker enthusiasts usually learn over time how to recognize a set of “invisible” tells, such as betting patterns and reaction time. With practice, skilled players can read the virtual table with as much clarity as when facing an opponent in person.

The rate of play itself is much faster in video poker. Rather than wait for a live dealer to collect, shuffle and deal the cards with each new hand, online players barely have time to congratulate themselves on the winning strategy that worked so well thirty seconds earlier before a new hand is automatically dealt by the computer.

Now that we’ve taken a look at the “macro” features behind the success of video poker, let’s move our attention to some “micro” tips and strategies that can make a huge difference in the level of success you enjoy with the game.

First of all, if you are relatively new to video poker, be sure play on the lowest denomination machine until your level of expertise rises. Avoid the temptation to take on big fat bets, at least until you become acclimated to the game.

Take your time to study every hand. Yeah, this sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed how many video poker players just barrel ahead into a world of hurt based upon a careless, cursory read of their hands. Take as much time as you need. This is a luxury afforded to the video poker player that folks in casinos do not have. Because you are playing against a machine, no one will intimidate you if your play is a bit slow.

When playing video poker in a real casino, however, make sure you use the casino’s slot player’s card to get credit for your play. You might as well get a return as a comp benefit for your patronage of their machines. Be sure to ask how many points you will receive per dollar played, and then find out what those points are worth in comps. This will help you shop for better value on your play.

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