Ever since the early 19th century, poker has mesmerizeda big portion of gamblers and casino customers from all over the world. Poker, unlike many other casino games, adds an element of skill and gives players a chance to have more success at playing the game if they practiceit enough and learn how to make the right decisions.
Another feature of poker is that it can’t be played by a single player — there always needs to be an opponent, which is not the case with baccarat, blackjack, or other common card games.
Actually, that was the case until video poker was invented in the early 70s. This version of poker requires no interaction with the dealer whatsoever and it can be played by only one person. In a way, video poker is similar to a slot machine. Although the rules are not the same, the basic principle is – virtual play, one player, no dealer, and the outcome decided by a random number generator.
Today, you don’t need to go to a land-based casino to try video poker. Instead, you can visit one of many online casino sites that offer this type of game for real money gambling. You can even try bitcoin video pokerand deposit money into your account using this cryptocurrency.So,what is video poker and how can you play it online? First, let’s go over some basic rules of the game.
Video Poker Rules
Video poker is based on the variation of the game called five-card draw. It uses a standard 52-card deck or 53-card one in the case of Joker’s Wild.
At the beginning of a round, the player will get a total of five cards. Depending on the cards that were dealt, the player decides which ones to discard and which ones to keep. The player is not going against any other opponents, and the goal of the game is to create the best possible hand combination.
Here are the hand ranks of video poker set from the lowest to the highest:
- Jacks or Better– a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces
- Two Pairs– two sets of two cards of the same rank
- Three of a Kind– three cards of the same rank
- Straight– five cards in consecutive order (e.g. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
- Flush– five cards of the same suit
- Full House– three of a kind plus a pair
- Four of a Kind– four cards of the same rank
- Straight Flush– five cards of the same suit that are also in consecutive order
- Royal Flush– the best possible straight flush (10, J, Q, K, A)
The Ace is the highest card, but it can also be used at the front end of a Straight (e.g. A, 2, 3, 4, 5).
Video Poker Payouts
Since there are no opponents, and therefore, no pot, the rules for payouts in video poker are a little different than in variations of the game that are multiplayer.
Namely, the payouts of video poker are fixed, so you will always know how much cash you can potentially win if you make a certain hand combination.
The Jacks or Better version of the game, which is the most common one, pays 1 to 1 for pairs that include a pair of Jacks or a pair of higher-ranked cards. The largest payout, of course, is for the Royal Flush, which pays out 250 to 1. However, there’s an exception. If you bet the maximum amount of coins, which is usually 5, and land a Royal Flush, you will win a jackpot that pays 800 to 1.
Here are some video poker payout tablesthat can help you keep track of your winnings.
How to Play Online
If you’re new to the world of online gambling, here is how you can try video poker on your computer or mobile device.
First, you need to find a renowned casino site that offers video poker. There are plenty of those around, so you won’t spend much time looking for one. Next, you will be required to create an account on the website by filling out an application form and typing in some of your identification and banking details. Once your account has been verified, you can choose one of several ways to deposit money into your account. Then, simply find video poker on the casino site and start playing. Good luck!
Cryptocurrencies and esports: reshaping modern gambling
Over the course of many centuries, gambling has proven to be very versatile and adaptive to innovations. Presently, it is going through the phase of transition from being reliant on brick-and-mortar casinos, with their limited capacity, regulatory issues, and inability to reach a broad audience, to running the operations solely on online platforms. The emergence of blockchain only incentivized the process of digitization of this industry.
Cryptocurrencies are the next evolutionary step for gambling
While Bitcoin, the first and the most influential cryptocurrency that still exerts total dominance over all other coins, wasn’t created to serve the needs of the gambling industry specifically, it paved the way for other representatives of this space.
Projects like TRON and EOS are fundamentally designed to disrupt the world of gambling by providing it with such tech solutions as provably fair algorithms for casino games, decentralized gambling applications, and, of course, cryptocurrencies to fuel these ecosystems.
But in order to apprehend the benefits of a symbiosis between cryptocurrencies and the industry of gambling, it is necessary to understand what is crypto, how it works, and what it can bring to the table.
A cryptocurrency is a type of digital asset with strong cryptography features at its core, designed to eliminate the need for a trusted third party, such as banks, to confirm and/or carry out the financial transactions. But what makes crypto and gambling go together like peanut butter and jelly is the nearly total anonymity of digital currencies, the promptness and cheapness of transactions, and the substantially enhanced security. While traditional casinos demand plenty of sensitive information from gamblers (i.e., banking details, real name, date of birth), the crypto enthusiasts have to reveal nothing but public keys when making a deposit/withdrawals. The transactions usually take no longer than a few minutes and are carried out at an almost negligent fee.
These are the primary reasons why the industry is currently witnessing the emergence of all-for-crypto gambling platforms, such as 1xBit which accepts more than 30 cryptocurrencies, assures total anonymity through the provision of the one-click registration, effortless and low-cost deposits/withdrawals, and, of course, an abundance of casino games and sports betting opportunities.
1xBit places a particular emphasis on esports since this up-and-coming phenomenon represents another disruptive factor for the gambling industry that moves in parallel with the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Esports make the grand entrance
For decades, video games have been considered as nothing more than a form of recreation. However, the rapid development of Internet technologies and the overall sophistication of online games, along with the acquisition of the global audience, had turned this form of activity into a fully-fledged sport.
Nowadays, world championships in such disciplines as Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends draw millions of spectators from around the globe. The recognition of esports has reached such a level that the International Olympic Committee considers introducing esports to the official program of the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Such an unprecedented surge in popularity made esports one of the main destinations for tech-savvy online sports bettors who are well aware of the benefits that cryptocurrencies will bring to this space. The crypto-oriented platforms, particularly 1xBit, took on the task of being a meeting point for cryptocurrencies, esports, and betting. There is no doubt that this combination will shape the future of the gambling industry.
Pros and Cons of Bitcoin in Sports Betting
Source: James Geibler via Twitter
The popularity of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have opened up a new world of payments online, which has even spread into sports betting markets. New online betting companies are readily available, offering a wide variety of odds on almost every sporting event across the globe.
The new companies still have a long way to go before challenging the traditional payment forms of sports betting, who are firmly entrenched at the top of the market. Both have their benefits and their disadvantages, and we’ll now break down the reasons why the traditional forms of sports betting companies will continue to enjoy a stranglehold at the top of the market for a while yet.
Although the price of traditional currency can vary from day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year, the movement in their value is minute compared to cryptocurrencies. For example, the British pound dropped significantly against the US dollar and the euro after the Brexit vote in 2016.
The value plummeted as low as 10% against the dollar and 7% against the euro. However, over time, the markets were able to stabilize; since then, there has been no notable difference in day-to-day life.
Source: Michael39352078 via Twitter
On the other hand, Bitcoin enjoyed a boom over the last five years, sending its share price soaring. In 2018, it suffered a dramatic decline. In 2017, 1 BTC was worth 19,772.59 CAD, compared to the end of last year when the same amount of bitcoin could be purchased for only $5,255.21 CAD. This volatility can be troublesome for online bookmakers pricing their odds and also for customers seeking to find the best exchange rates.
A huge win on a bitcoin sports betting service could be nullified by a poor rate of exchange when attempting to seek a transfer for traditional currency. Even the simple rewards structure highlights the issue; for example, when using Oddschecker to bet on odds from SkyBet or another service, bettors can receive a £5 free bet, compared to the 0.001906 BTC that would be gained in the cryptocurrency.
Traditional betting companies do enjoy excellent security, although as proven by the number of high-profile institutions that have endured lapses – no business is 100% safe from data loss. When the data include credit, debit, or even personal information, it can be dangerous for customers.
Although occurrences of data loss are rare, the concept of bitcoin and cryptocurrency provides a firmer form of security given that only the transaction code is maintained when a bet is made, keeping personal information out of harm’s way. It could be the draw that helps swing customers into their path in the future.
Will All Payments Eventually Become Electronic?
Online business has become an ever-increasingly large portion of the worldwide economy in the last few years, becoming the chosen favourite methods of shopping for many. Growing alongside this new method of business are the electronic forms of payment which we use to engage on this front. From Paypal to Skrill, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, the popularity of these systems leave the burning question: will they ever replace cash?
Before answering this question, we need to look at just how electronic payment methods have become so popular, and how widespread they have now become.
The biggest name in this market is undoubtedly that of PayPal. Originally launched all the way back in December of 1998, PayPal boasts 254 million users of 2018 according to official stats, and that number is only growing. The success of this and similar form of payment owes its progress to two advantages, efficiency and safety.
While it is true that credit cards can be equally fast, they also incur interest, and many who do not wish to enter avoidable debt evade their use entirely. Electronic wallets work only on direct funds, meaning users won’t fall into the trap of being left in the red.
On the security front, the advantages come from the separation which electronic wallets have from a user’s bank account. While security systems for these online systems are still strong, it works as an initial hurdle for potential theft so that even in the worst case situation, the majority of a person’s liquid finances should remain safe.
Aiding in the positive inherent qualities of these electronic systems are the wide variety of businesses which have driven their popularity. Online casinos have been one of the biggest in this regard, prompting significant international interest to electronic payment systems. For instance, Sloty online casino offers withdrawals over the likes of Neteller, Paysafecard, Skrill and EcoPayz, just to name a few. Given the fact that millions enjoy these online systems and the slots and live casino games contained within, and that other industries tend to follow the money, these casinos have added a significant amount to the proliferation of electronic payment systems.
The final step on this front is the growing interest in the newer realm of cryptocurrencies. These anonymous payment systems are still fluctuating, but represent enormous future potential, with some major brokerages like one in Brazil just recently allowing their trade on a larger stage than ever.
As for the future of these payment systems, current trends show them on a definite upward trajectory. This makes sense, as both increasing levels of online engagement and online purchases lead to a situation where electronic systems are becoming ever more useful.
This trend leads to the inevitable conclusion that they will continue to play a larger part of future payment systems. However, as to whether or not they will cause us to stop using cash altogether, the answer would have to be no. While there is little doubt cash will become less important, we always need to keep in mind that cash is reliable on a level which digital systems could never manage, and as such it is far too useful to abandon completely.
It is true that many of us effectively operate in a cashless manner anyway, but the option for cash as a backup is too useful to ever abandon, as 100% reliable electronics are still an impossibility.