Dream Card video poker offers players the chances to potentially improve
their hands greatly by wagering a little bit more. By wagering ten coins instead
of the usual maximum bet of five, a player can get a dream card on the deal.
This card can be changed into whatever card you wish, which then improves your
chances of making a winning hand when the draw comes around.
When you settle in to play video poker, either in a casino or online at a top casino site, you have to
decide what type of game you’d like to play. You can stick with the simplest
game of the format which is Jacks or Better. Or you might wish to play with a
slightly more aggressive pay table that gives you more chances for big jackpot
payments, in which case you could choose a Bonus video poker game.
You can also alter gameplay slightly by choosing a wild card variation such
as Deuces Wild or Joker Poker. Finally, there are also games which add
surprising twists on the basic variations we have already mentioned. If you
choose Dream Card video poker, you are essentially going for one of the twists
on basic play.
If you come upon a Dream Card video poker machine, you can choose to play it
normally by betting one through five coins. Or you can bet ten coins, which
activates the dream card option. This is the option that gives you the chance of
being dealt a card that can essentially be turned into a wild card for the
purpose of that hand that you’re playing.
It’s important to realize that not every hand that you play will include a
dream card, even if you make the ten-coin bet. But for the hands where you do
get a dream card, you’re suddenly in the position to build a very impressive
hand. As all video poker enthusiasts know, the better the hand, the more money
that you will win from the game.
For those reasons, Dream Card video poker makes for one of the more exciting
twists that can be offered on regular video poker play. But it’s an expensive
one, which may be too rich for the blood of the casual player. This is
especially true if you suffer a run of bad luck where you don’t see too many
dream cards come into play, which means that you will have a hard time
sustaining your original bankroll.
In the following article, you will learn how Dream Card video poker works in
comparison with your basic video poker varieties. We’ll also talk a little bit
about how the pay tables and payback percentages for each game works. Finally,
we’ll go in-depth about the benefits and drawbacks of playing this unique take
on basic video poker play.
Basic Video Poker Gameplay
Before you can even consider playing a game like Dream Card video poker, you
have to first learn how to play video poker in its most basic form. What you’re
likely to find out is that that it’s an easy game to learn, especially if you
have a little bit of a background in Five Card Draw poker or an understanding of
how winning poker hands are made. Even if you don’t, it likely won’t take you more than a few
minutes and a few hands before you are up and running with video poker.
Once you learn video poker, you’ll likely realize what an advantageous game
it is to play. On the one hand, it’s located in the slot machine section of the
casino. That means that you can play far away from the pressures and hassles of
table games where other players and casino employees can become frustrated if
you aren’t sure what you’re doing.
But video poker owns many advantages over slot machines. Slot machines don’t
allow you any opportunity to impact the outcome of each spin. Nor can you have
any idea what your chances are of getting a winning spin at any time.
Video poker allows you some control over gameplay by adding a strategic
element. And your chances for making winning hands are dependent upon the
probabilities of playing poker with a deck of 52 cards. That means that video
poker removes the uncertainties that comes with playing the slots.
On top of all that, you can also play video poker knowing that the average
payback you get from the machines is usually much higher than what you could
expect from a slot machine. That payback is usually right in the same ballpark
with some of the most popular table games as well.
As you can tell, video poker is a game that can really be beneficial for you
to play. Now, all you have to do is learn to play it. Here is a step-by-step
Build a Bankroll: The first step requires you to
put some money into the machine. If you’re playing in an online casino, you
would have to create an account and then fund it. Depending on the machine,
you can either choose a denomination with which to bet or it might be
Make a Bet: Normally, video poker requires you
to bet between one and five coins for each hand that you play. Dream Card
video poker gives you the option of betting ten coins which, as you’ll see,
we recommend. In any case, the size of your bet will be equal to the number
of coins that you wager multiplied by the denomination.
See the Deal: You will be dealt five cards from
a virtual deck which contains exactly the same cards as in a standard
52-card deck that you might have at home (53 cards if you’re playing with a
joker). Your chances of receiving a specific card will be 1 in 52 for every
hand that you play, as the hands are dealt out by a random number generator
inside the software of the machine. Your hope is that the cards that you are
dealt will either make a winning hand, as determined by the specific pay
table of the machine, or at least have the beginnings of one.
Decide on the Draw: After the deal, you will
have one chance to improve your hand. You do this by discarding the card or
cards you don’t like. They are then replaced with cards from the 47
remaining in the deck from which you were originally dealt.
End of the Hand: The machine will then score the
hand based on whether or not you made one of the winning hands, which
usually run from a basic pair of jacks or better all the way to the royal
flush. For the most part, the harder it is to come by a hand based on the
probabilities, the more you get paid for them.
Doing It All Over Again: If you wish to keep
playing and still have credits left in the machine or your account, you
simply repeat steps two through five. On the other hand, if you wish to
quit, you can cash out at any time. When playing in a casino, you will get a
ticket which you can then redeem for cash.
The Dream Card Video Poker Difference
The first thing you have to realize when playing Dream Card video poker is
that you can play it as you would any other video poker game by simply betting
one through five coins. There would be no dream card added to play. If you are
going to go this route, you should at least bet five coins, because that will
give you the chance at the biggest payout for the royal flush.
If you want to try the game with the dream card in play, you need to bet ten
coins per hand. Once you make the bet, you have the possibility, though not a
certainty, of getting a dream card on the deal.
When you get the dream card, it can be changed into any card in the deck as
if it were a wild card. The object is to change it into the card that helps your
hand the most. The machine will make a recommendation for you on what the card
should be, but you can also choose if you want to go a different route.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine that you receive the following hand:
The machine will give you a suggestion about what to play as the dream card.
In this case, the card that completes the hand the best is either a jack or a
king since that puts a high pair into play. You can then choose that card as the
dream card option and hope for a good draw to improve it even more.
But the choice is ultimately up to you. If you are the type who likes to go
for broke, you can make the dream card the queen of hearts. That would give you
three cards to a royal flush, which is the ultimate hand in video poker.
There is some debate about whether or not the software inside Dream Card
video poker will always give you the correct advice. This is also the case when
talking about the online versions of the game. Your best bet is to know the
strategy of the game that you’re playing down cold (more on that below), so that
you can deem whether or not the machine is leading you astray.
Whether or not the advice of the machine is correct, you can be assured that
having a dream card is a great benefit when you get it. You have to remember
that you are not assured of getting it on every deal. When we get to the section
of the different video poker games that can be played under the Dream Card video
poker umbrella, we’ll talk about how often you can expect to see one.
Finally, it’s important to note that a dream card cannot be changed once you
get to the draw. This makes it a little bit different than a wild card.
Let’s take a look at that example we talked about above. Imagine that you
were playing the Deuces Wild version of video poker, with no dream card
activated, and received the following deal:
Notice that it’s exactly the same as the other deal, only it’s a wild card
instead of a dream card. You can decide to keep the king of hearts and the wild
card to take into the draw with you with the thought process of having, at the
very least, a high pair of kings. But imagine that you receive the following on
The two is still a wild card, which means it turns into whatever gives you
the best hand. In this case, it will be turned into the five of spades, which
would give you a four of a kind. That is the best possible winning hand you can
make with that wild card.
But going back to the dream card option, you have to declare what that dream
card is going to be. If you choose the king of clubs, for example, that cannot
be changed on the draw. In that case, your draw, in the dream card example,
You made a full house, which is an excellent winning hand. But it’s not as
good as the four of a kind that you would get with a wild card. What that
illustrates is that it’s important to choose wisely when playing that dream
Different Types of Games Governed by Dream Card Video Poker
Dream Card video poker is a twist that can be dropped on top of many
different video poker variations. You have the choice of which game to play.
This choice should be made based on your familiarity with the strategies and pay
tables of each game.
The pay tables will actually dictate your strategy. That’s because they show
what each winning hand will bring you based on how much you bet. Let’s take a
look at the pay table for one of the most common video poker games, 9/6
Jacks or Better, so you can see what it’s all about:
Four of a kind
Three of a kind
Pair of Jacks+
To read the pay table, you would simply follow the hand that you made over to
the number of coins that you bet.
Straight Flush at 5 coins equals 250 coins
Keep in mind that the number of coins won also includes the original amount
bet. If you had made a royal flush on a 5-coin bet, you would be looking at an
actual profit of 245 coins.
Jacks or Better is only one of the games that you might play using the Dream
Card video poker framework. Each game that you play contains a different
percentage for how often you will see the dream card. Here is a table showing
those different percentages:
Dream Card Frequency
Bonus Poker Deluxe
Double Bonus Poker
Double Double Bonus Poker
Jacks or Better
Triple Bonus Poker
Triple Double Bonus Poker
As you can see, Deuces Wild gives you the best chance of being dealt the
dream card. That’s exciting because you can get wild cards and the dream card
all in the same hand. Triple Double Bonus Poker comes in at 26.70%, the lowest
of all of these games.
Even though the percentages are lower in some of the games than in others,
you must understand that the dream card option always gives you a better chance
of coming out a winner when playing the game. This will become clearer as we
talk about payback percentages.
Payback Percentages for Dream Card Video Poker
Each type of game that you can play using the Dream Card video poker option
carries its own payback percentage. The payback percentage essentially tells you
what you can expect to return out of the machine on the average. Using the
payback percentage will help you to choose which game might be to your liking,
although it might not be the only factor.
How does the payback percentage work? Well, for an example, imagine that a
game is listed as having a payback percentage of 99%. That means that, if you
were to put $1,000 into the machine and bet all of that money, you’d be looking
at an average return of $990, which means that you would lose $10 in that span.
The key to understanding payback percentages is realizing that it’s only an average.
Just because the percentage is quoted at 99%, that might not apply to
your play in a single session. You might be fortunate enough to win a
significant amount, or you could lose at a much faster and steeper level.
But if you played the game for a significant amount of time, your personal
percentage would eventually start to come in at around that number. Any payback
percentage that is 99% or over is a game that we would recommend. And any one
over 100% is superb because that means that you will be expected to profit from
that game by playing it over a long time.
In the case of the games that are listed above, every one of them has a
payback percentage that actually improves when you bet the extra coins and go
for the dream card. The difference is pretty slim, sometimes only a tenth of a
percent or so, but it’s enough that you really should go for the dream card as
it will bring a great many big payouts into play that wouldn’t otherwise be in
The other thing you need to know is that the payback percentages for the
full-pay (highest-paying) version of each game mostly come in between 99% and
100% (with the dream card option activated). For full disclosure, the only ones
that fall short are Triple Bonus and Triple Double Bonus, which both come in at
the 98% range.
Yet those games are also notable for offering significant payouts for four of
a kind hands. So even though they bring in less in the long haul, Triple Bonus
and Triple Double Bonus can be great for a short session if you’re looking for
jackpots. There are trade-offs that you make with each game you’ll be playing.
What you need to know is which is the full-pay version for each game. If you
end up playing the pay tables that are less than full-pay, you could be costing
yourself one or more points in payback percentage. And that can haunt you in
both the short and long term.
So, how do you determine which are the full-pay versions of each variation
that can be used with Dream Card video poker? You just need to hone in on
certain items of the pay table.
Looking back at the pay table that we showed you for Jacks or Better, you’ll
notice that we called it a 9/6 Jacks or Better game. That is because the full
house pays you 9 to 1 odds and the flush gives you 6 to 1. If you see lesser
payouts for those two hands, you’ll know that you’re being short-changed a bit
on the pay table in question.
Below is a look at the hands that you should be looking at for each of the
different Dream Card video poker games, along with the odds you should be
seeking out for each of those hands. Once you see the odds listed below for
those hands, you’ll know you’ve got the full-pay version in front of you.
Bonus Poker: Full House (8-1), Flush (5-1)
Bonus Poker Deluxe: Full House (9-1), Flush (6-1)
Deuces Wild: Straight Flush (9-1), Four of a Kind (5-1)
Double Bonus Poker: Full House (9-1), Flush (7-1), Straight (5-1)
Double Double Bonus Poker: Full House (9-1), Flush (6-1)
Jacks or Better: Full House (9-1), Flush (6-1)
Triple Bonus Poker: Full House (10-1), Flush (7-1)
Triple Double Bonus Poker: Full House (9-1), Flush (6-1)
You might not be able to find full-pay versions where you’re located, or even
if you’re playing Dream Card video poker online. But you should strive to get as
close as possible with the machines that you find. Otherwise, you could be
playing the kind of video poker game that makes it extremely difficult to turn a
profit, even when playing for a short amount of time as luck plays a bigger
Strategy for Dream Card Video Poker
Whenever you hear about payback percentages in video poker, you have to
remember that you can’t hope to reach that percentage over the long haul playing
the game, unless you make the right decisions about which cards to hold and
discard. In fact, those percentages are based on perfect play which means that
you can’t make a wrong choice on a single hand.
It’s important to understand what it means to make a right and wrong choice.
The right choice is the one that, if you were dealt a certain combination of
cards an infinite number of times, would bring the most winnings to you. Now,
that doesn’t mean that it would be a winning play every time, but the
combination of the probabilities and the pay tables make it the right choice
when faced with those cards.
You can also be deceived by a wrong choice because sometimes it will work out
for you. Luck on the draw can make a wrong hold and discard a winner, especially
in a small sample size. If you kept making the wrong pick, it would cost you
Where things get tricky is when you consider that Dream Card video poker
features many different pay tables that you can play. And each pay table
requires a slightly different strategy. The correct hold on a deal for a Jacks
or Better pay table might not be the right play for Triple Double Bonus, for
So, how do you determine the right strategy for all of these different
versions? Well, one way to do it is to check out our video poker section,
which will lead you to all of these individual games. It’s an excellent resource
for all video poker players, from beginner to expert.
You should also try to decide upon one of those games that you’d like to play
with the dream card option. Trying to devise strategy for all of these different
games can be tricky for even an experienced player. And it could lead to you not
learning the right strategy for any of them.
Once you decide on a game that will be the object of your focus, there are
two excellent methods to learn strategy. Using either one of them will give you
a legitimate chance at perfect play.
Video Poker Training Software
Proper software will allow you to play the popular video poker game listed
above. You might even be able to customize a dream card option into the software
as well. The more comprehensive the software is, the better.
In any case, the way that video poker software works is it allows you to play
as if you were playing in a casino or online. The probabilities and gameplay are
exactly the same. You can even practice with your bankroll to see how it might
hold up when playing for actual money.
The best part of video poker trainer is that they alert you when you make a
mistake on a particular hand. And you will also be informed of what the right
play is in each case. By practicing and drilling for a long period of time, the
correct plays will start to become second nature.
A strategy card is a ranked list of all of the possible combinations of cards
that you might receive on the deal and could conceivably be turned into winning
hands. Sometimes when you get a deal, you will have several possibilities of
what you can hold. The strategy card takes all the guesswork out of the picture.
Whoever has devised the strategy card has already done all the mathematical
work for you. All you have to do is spot the combination within your hand that
is highest ranked on the list. You can then discard the cards that are
considered inessential to the hand.
When you find a strategy card, make sure that it’s based on the game that you
want to play. Then it’s just a matter of memorizing all the information. Once
you have it all down pat in your head, you can take that information into the
casino with you and make all of the right choices.
Gives you access to many different types of video poker
Dream card adds excitement to basic video poker play
Chances of high-paying hands increased with dream card
Cons of Dream Card Poker
More strategy to consider with the dream card involved
Expensive to play ten coins per hand
Many pay tables to try to memorize
Dream Card video poker serves as a way for players to enjoy a partial wild
card. These dream cards can really boost your chances of winning big. Play a
bunch of hands without getting them, however, and the dream might become a
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