Video Poker Guide & Strategies
Video Poker is a popular online casino game that often has its own category, but otherwise falls into the categories of table games or poker games. It's an online poker game, which isn't played against other players but the computer, and you also won't have the option to raise bets or bluff.
Basically, you'll need to form a hand from 5 cards that you're being dealt, and you need to make a decision that affects your chances of winning.
What makes this game interesting is that you can play with a strategy that lowers the house edge and gives you a higher chance for a win.
There is no definitive strategy to win every round (if there was, casinos would be broke). However, you can maximise your chances by choosing the right game and applying the best strategy to play it.
Best online casinos for video poker in 2022
Some casinos have a larger game selection than others. So, if you're looking for online casinos with video poker you can take a look at this table for some recommendations. These casinos have a larger than usual selection of these games, and they also have a good reputation with players.
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*Bonus T&Cs apply! Accuracy not guaranteed, terms can change any time.
Table of contents:
How to play Video Poker
The game is usually played with a single deck of 52 cards, and the deck is shuffled each new round. There are different variants of the game, but they all follow a basic set of rules. We've outlined the five steps of a round of this popular casino card game. Try this easy game and play free video poker to learn the rules.
1. The player selects their coin value and number of coins they want to play.
2. The player gets dealt an initial card hand of 5 cards.
3. The player can choose which cards to keep. Some games automatically select the best cards to hold, and others don't. Holding suggested cards might not always be the best decision - it depends on how much risk the player is willing to take in the game.
4. After the decision has been made, the cards that the player doesn't want to keep are removed and replacement cards are dealt from the stack.
5. After cards have been replaced the hand is evaluated a the win paid out. A poker hand is needed to win a payout. The less probable a certain card combination is, the higher the payout will be. Different variants of the game exists, and they have different probabilities and payouts.
To play the game, simply chose the coin value and how many coins you wish to play. When looking at the paytable of a game, you'll notice the highest payouts can often be achieved when you bet the highest number of coins, but remember that achieving such a card hand is difficult.
Video Poker card combinations
Paying combinations in are based on the traditional poker hand rankings. The payout varies with special rules and the variant, so make sure you read the game's rules.
- Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit
- Straight Flush: A sequence of 5 cards of the same suit
- 4 of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank, i.e. four 5s
- Full House: Three of a Kind + a Pair
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit, not in numerical sequence
- Straight: Five cards in numerical sequence, but not of the same suit
- 3 of a Kind: The cards f the same rank, i.e. three Queens
- 2 Pairs: Two pairs of cards of the same rank, i.e. two Kings + two 6s
- Pair: One pair of the of the same rank, i.e. two 10s
Video Poker variants
There are dozens of varieties that follow a basic set of rules for the game, but have small rule variations. Many casino game developers also have their own versions of the same game, but it's important to compare them and choose a game that you like. For example, a game variant can offer a higher overall payout, but you'll also need a higher card hand value to get a minimum payout.
Jacks or Better
One of the most commonly found variants is Jacks or Better. The lowest payout of 1:1 is achieved with a card hand of a pair of at least two Jacks. There are also variations with 10s or Better.
Deuces Wild is another popular variant. The payout table often starts for a Three of a Kind combination, or other higher payout, but in turn you get the card 2 (Deuce) as a wildcard, which can stand in for other cards, and often also pays out a special win when you get all four 2s.
Other popular variants
There are many other variants, so take a look around and try out different versions. It's best to play video poker for free before playing real money.
- Joker Poker
- Aces & Eights
- Bonus Deuces Wild
- Bonus Poker
- Double Bonus Poker
- Tens or Better
- Joker Poker Power
- Double Double Bonus Poker
- Aces and Faces
- Joker Wild
- All Aces Poker
- All American Poker
- Aces & Faces
Doubling Up Options
Some games give players the chance to Double Up their win in a game of chance with a 50:50 chance. This is optional, meaning you don't have to play the gamble. But if you feel that luck is on your side you can gamble and potentially double your win.
Playing multiple hands
Some games have an interesting option allowing you to play more than one card hand at the same time, sometimes up to 100 hands.
Now, what makes this interesting is that the first cards you get dealt initially are the same, and so are the cards that you can hold. When you click on the second deal the cards will be randomly taken from the card deck. Each of the card hands has its own deck. This means that there are different outcomes for each hand dealt.
Keep in mind that when you play multiple hands at a time, the bet will be multiplied accordingly for each hand. This makes it a lot more expensive to play multiple hands at a time. If you're lucky and get a good initial hand dealt, it can be really worth your while. However, if you don't then it can turn out a lot more expensive. Keep an eye on your bankroll!
Tips for playing Video Poker
When you play this popular card game, it's important that you check the rules of the game first before starting to play. We also recommend playing Video Poker in practice mode first.
Although it is still a game of chance, you can apply a basic strategy that can help you to lower the house edge. Making yourself familiar with the rules is important if you want to get the best chance to beat the house.
The strategies vary with the version played, but when played right you can lower the house edge significantly. This will raise your chances of winning the games.
Take a look at the paytable
The paytable will give you an indication on the payouts of the game and the highest and lowest hands possible. Some games have a higher return to player, as they pay out with a lower hand value. Other games have a higher risk for a larger win, and the games have a higher minimum hand value required before you receive any winnings.
Every variant has a different paytable, and some pay more generously than others. The payout depends on the type of game and the probabilities of winning hands. For beginners, we recommend playing a simple game like Jacks or Better or 10s or Better.
Below, we'll compare three games and their payouts. You can see the differences in payouts, depending on the risk of the variant.
|Card hand||10s or Better||Jacks or Better||All American||Deuces Wild|
|Deuces Royal Flush||-||-||-||25|
|5 of a Kind||-||-||-||15|
|4 of a Kind||25||25||34||4|
|3 of a Kind||3||3||3||1|
|Jacks or Better||1||1||1||-|
|Tens or Better||1||-||-||-|
Progressive jackpots at video poker games
In many cases you can win the highest possible jackpot when you play the maximum number of coins. The jackpot is often considerably higher than when you don't play with the maximum number of coins.
While this is tempting, keep in mind to not gamble for money you cannot afford to loose. The probability of winning that jackpot is still very low.
For example, betting three coins at a time can result in you loosing your money quickly if you don't land that big win you're hoping for. So, the more you bet, the higher the risk. If you want to try to go for the jackpot, make sure that you know the variant you're playing well enough to know the risk.
Video Poker FAQ
There is no definite strategy of how you can play video poker and win every time. However, there are strategies that you can apply to lower the house edge of the casino. These will vary with the variant you're playing. They will include which cards you should hold to have the best chance to win the hand.
The variants usually differ in the minimum necessary hand needed to win, and possible special wild cards. For example, Jacks or Better pays for a minimum hand of two jacks. Deuces Wild has the 2 as a wildcard, and the payout usually starts at a higher-valued hand, such as two pair or three of a kind.
The types can also differ in their payout rates, as the house edge will be different. Some games have a higher house edge and higher risk, but in turn may pay out a higher potential jackpot, or even a progressive jackpot.
Video Poker is an easy combination of online poker with a slot mechanic. You'll get an initial hand of five cards dealt and you can make a decision which cards to hold. Hold the cards you think may have the best potential to form a winning hand. In the second and final round you'll get cards replaced which you didn't hold, and you'll find out if you've won.
There are different variations of the casino card game, some with slightly different rules, or even games where you can play more than one hand at a time.
Most online casinos these days have at least a couple of video poker games. There are some casinos that have a large selection of different variants from multiple developers. You can find the best online casinos for video poker on this page.