Well, if you’ve ever played poker online or in a casino setting, or in the privacy of your (friend’s) house, you know that it can be an addictive game. There’s always that chance that Lady Luck is going to smile and smile…but the vast majority of the time she’s the devil instead.
Still, there’s something in sacredsoundsyoga human psyche that loves to take a chance. It’s one of the traits that sets our minds apart from the artificial minds of machines. Now, if your poker game isn’t where you want it to be, and you’d like some practice in a fun way, there’s a very easy to use website that we think is up your alley. This is the Poker 5 Cards website.
Poker 5 Cards is nothing like the online casinos, nor is it anything like the wildly popular online Texas Hold’em games. You don’t bet (or get to win) any real money, and the only poker game you can play is 5 card draw against the computer dealer. This might not sound like the most exciting site from that description, but it can be a great way of learning more about how to play poker odds and make wise bets, and if you’re new to poker an excellent way of learning the winning hands, all without your having to worry about losing any real money.
With Poker 5 Cards video poker, all you do is place a bet by clicking one of four boxes below where your cards will be dealt to you. You start the game with $200, so unless you win enough to increase that account that’s your maximum bet. Your minimum bet is always $1, and you can bet any amount from $1 to the full size of your current account.
Now, the trick is, you have to place your bet before you see any of the five cards that you’ll next receive. The bet you place is subtracted from your account when your cards comes, and you can change your bet amount with every new hand if you want to. If you don’t change it, you just automatically keep placing the same bet until you do change it.
You then hit the “Draw” button with your mouse clicker and five cards appear before you. Now, if you don’t know how to play five card draw poker, it’s really simple: you now choose any number of those five cards to discard. You can keep any car(s) you want to; the others that you choose to discard will be replaced with new ones one time only. After you have received your second deal of replacement cards, they and the cards you kept make up your final hand.
Since you’re just playing every hand against the house, you either get a winning hand or you lose. The winning hands are:
Jacks or Better (pays 1 to 1)
2 Pair (2 to 1)
3 of a Kind (3 to 1)
Straight (5 to 1)
Flush (6 to 1)
Full House (8 to 1)
4 of a Kind (15 to 1)
Straight Flush (50 to 1)
Royal Flush (250 to 1)
The payout ratio is against the amount of your bet. So if you bet $5 and get a straight, you are instantly credited with $25 into your account, meaning your total profit for that hand would be $20. These ratios are roughly based on the odds that you’ll hit the hand in question if you play “perfectly”–that is, if you know the next five cards that are sitting on top of the dealer’s deck, in order.
So, in other words, even if you had psychic powers like that, you’d still only hit a royal flush once every 250 hands. Of course there would also be times when you couldn’t win anything because you couldn’t get even a pair of Jacks. (That’s the Jacks or Better hand; any single pair less than Jacks is a losing hand in Poker 5 Cards online.)
So what this very simple and fun online poker game can teach you is how to be in control of your betting, how to know the winning hands (they are all explained in detail at the site), and how to devise a disciplined poker strategy so that you can maximize your wins and minimize your losses. Oh–and it can teach you patience, too!