Video poker is a casino game that combines elements of poker and slot machines. In this game, players are dealt a hand of playing cards and they can decide to hold or change playing cards to another random playing cards to ensure they have the best poker hand possible. The aim is to achieve a winning hand according to the paytable of the game.

Video poker serves as a very good alternative for players who like slot machines and want high RTP and lower volatility.

There are popular variations of the game including Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, and Joker Poker. The gameplay may sound complex but it is very easy to learn. In this article, we will explain all you need to know about playing Video Poker in online casinos.

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3 easy steps to start playing Video poker online

Before anything else, you need an online casino account to be able to play video poker. You can do this in just 3 simple steps. 

  • Find a Trustable Casino: You can find a trustworthy casino by checking its license, games, payment methods, and customer support or simply check our list of trustable online casinos where you can play Video Poker.
  • Register a playing account: Once you have an online casino that suits you, you need to register. Just check our online casino websites, and click “Register” or “Sign Up” and follow the prompts.
  • Start Playing: After you have created a new casino account, visit the casino lobby and click on video poker. Choose an online video poker game you want and start playing. 

The Objective of Video Poker

In video poker, 5 cards will be dealt to you. The objective of the game is to create the best possible hand from the cards that you are dealt. The hand ranking and payouts will be different depending on the game’s variation. Video poker uses the hand rankings used in traditional poker. Below is the typical hand ranking from the highest to the lowest. 

  1. Royal Flush: This is a hand that consists of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit. 
  1. Straight Flush: This is a sequence of 5 cards in numerical order. The cards must be of the same suit. 
  1. Four of a Kind: This refers to four cards of the same rank. For example four Queens.
  1. Full House: Full House refers to a combination of 3 of a kind and a pair of another kind. E.g. 3 Kings and 2 Jacks.
  1. Flush: This refers to any 5 cards of the same suit. They do not have to be in a sequential order.
  1. Straight: This is a sequence of 5 cards of different suits in numerical order. 
  1. Three of a Kind: Three of a Kind refers to 3 cards of the same rank. E.g. 3 Aces. 
  1. Two Pair: This refers to two sets of cards in the same rank. E.g. Two Queens and Two Kings.
  1. Jacks or Better: This refers to a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. 
  1. High Card: If no player has any of the combinations above, then the highest-ranking card is used to determine the winner. 

The table below shows the winning hands, their corresponding probabilities, and typical payouts in a standard version of the video poker game.

Winning HandProbabilityTypical Payout
Royal Flush0.0002%800 to 1
Straight Flush0.0014%50 to 1
Four of a Kind0.024%25 to 1
Full House0.144%9 to 1
Flush0.197%6 to 1
Straight0.392%4 to 1
Three of a Kind2.11%3 to 1
Two Pair4.75%2 to 1
Jacks or Better21.47%1 to 1
Losing Hand71.74%0

How to Play Video Poker 

Now that you know the general objective of the game let’s quickly take a look at how to play Video poker.

  1. Decide how much you want to bet and place your bet.
  2. Receive your hand. This will consist of five cards.
  3. Evaluate the cards that you have been dealt and decide which one you want to keep. 
  4. After you have chosen the cards to keep, click on the “Draw” or “Deal” button and this will exchange the cards you’re not keeping with new ones. 
  5. The new cards form your final hand. Their strength determines if you win or not. 
  6. If your final hand matches the qualifying hand on the paytable, you will receive the payout attached to it. Usually it must be at least a pair with Jacks or better.
  7. Finally, you can decide to play another round or cash out your winnings. 

Types of Video Poker 

Depending on the online casino that you use, it is common to find a wide selection of online video poker games. These games often have different titles but the gameplay is very similar. Most importantly, there are different variants of video poker. Different variations of the game may vary in terms of specific rules, hand rankings, and the pay table used in playing them. Best payout usually has Jacks or Better but it depends on casino game provider. For example Playtech Jacks or Better has 99.54% RTP if you follow the correct strategy, which is very good. Here are some of the popular variations that you will find. 

Jacks or Better Video Poker

This is the most popular and straightforward variation of video poker in online casinos. It is great to play as a newbie and the minimum qualifying hand for a payout is a pair of Jacks or Better.

Video Poker BGaming online.

Deuces Wild Video Poker

In this variation of video poker, all the 2s(deuces) act as wild cards. Like in normal slot machines, they can substitute all other cards to form the winning hand. To qualify for a payout, a minimum hand of three of a kind will be required. 

Deuces Wild Online Video Poker online casino game.

Joker Poker Video Poker

Joker poker is played with 53 rather than 52 in the standard deck of cards. The Joker serves as the wild. In this variant, the payout usually begins from a pair of Kings or cards at the same rank. 

Bonus Poker Video Poker

This is very similar to the Jacks or Better but it offers a better payout for certain four-of-a-kind hands. The increased payout is for combinations of four Aces, four 2s, four 3s, etc. 

Double Bonus Poker

Double Bonus Poker is a variation of Bonus Poker that offers even higher payouts for four-of-a-kind hands, particularly for 4 Aces. However, the payouts for two-pair hands are often reduced in this variant.

You can also get a welcome bonus from an online casino that can be played on online video poker. Check all our bonuses.

Basic Terms Used in Video Poker

While experienced players may be very familiar with most of the terms used in video poker, newbies might not be familiar with them. The table below shows all the basic terms that are used in the game. 

TermMeaning
Video PokerThis is a casino game played on an electronic machine that allows players to make strategic decisions and win payouts attached to the strength of their hands. 
HandThis refers to the 5 cards that are dealt to a player at the start of the game. 
DealThis is the term that refers to the distribution of the 5 cards to the players. 
DrawThis is the process of replacing unwanted cards and receiving replacements from the deck of cards. 
HoldThis is the term used when you choose to keep some or all of the cards dealt in the initial hand. 
Paytable This is a table that outlines the payouts for the different poker hands. It also shows the winning combinations and the corresponding payout amounts.
Bet MaxThis is a button that allows a player to place the maximum bet for the current round. 
Bet OneThis is the button that allows a player to wager one coin at a time. 
Coin Size/ValueThis refers to the value of each coin bet. It determines the amount wagered per hand. 
Credits The virtual currency used in video poker machines is called credits 
Hand Ranking This is the hierarchy of poker hands. It determines the strength and value of each hand. 
JackpotThis is a large payout that is awarded when one hits a valuable hand like a Royal Flush. 
Double Up This is an optional feature that allows players to try to increase their winning. It allows players to play an additional mini-game after winning a round. 

Video Poker on Mobile

The compatibility of video poker games on mobile devices is primarily determined by the casino and software provider. When HTML5 technology is implemented, it enables smooth gameplay of video poker on mobile devices. This technology also allows you to use a standard mobile browser to play video poker. 

Alternatively, certain casinos and software providers offer mobile apps for playing video poker. These apps can be downloaded and installed on any phone or tablet. Whether you use the mobile browser, the mobile App, or even the desktop, there’s really no huge difference in the gameplay or entertainment that you get. The only difference could be the screen size. Here you can find mobile online casinos where you can play online Video Poker on your smartphone.

Video poker casino game and example of the winning combination.

Strategies for Playing Video Poker

The first thing to understand is that Video poker like every other casino game is mostly dependent on luck. However, here are some of the things you can do that may improve your chances of winning. 

Understand the Game Rules

Even though video poker is quite easy to play, it can also be complex if you don’t understand what is expected. The first thing to note is the variation of video poker that you’re playing. After this, you also have to understand the hand ranking. This will guide you on which cards to keep and the ones to exchange. 

Play the Free Version 

Generally, when you have limited knowledge of any casino game, it is always helpful to check if the free version is available. If you find a free version, then you should play it. This serves two main purposes. 

  • It allows you to learn how to play the game. 
  • It also allows you to build your gaming strategy. 

Know the Paytable

Even when you play the same variation of the game, the paytable may differ depending on the casino game provider. Take your time to observe the paytable of different machines and choose only the online video poker game that pays highest. This allows you to maximize your winnings.

Use the Maximum Number of Coins

Using the maximum number of coins is one way to get the highest possible payout anytime you win. However, this can use up your bankroll in no time. Because video pokers are also games of chance, there is no guarantee of the winning frequency. So if you don’t have a very large bankroll, you might want to avoid this strategy. 

Take Advantage of Bonuses 

When playing in an online casino, look for video poker machines that offer bonuses such as bonus payouts for certain hands or progressive jackpots. When you know the hands that have special bonus payouts, you should target them when playing. There could also be some casino bonuses that can be used on playing your favorite video poker. These extra incentives can increase your overall returns.

Slow Down and Take Breaks 

Video poker games don’t have to be rushed as they require concentration. It is even better if you can take breaks in between your games. Unlike poker games where you need to play fewer hands, in video poker you need to play slower hands. 

Pros and Cons of Playing Video Poker Online

Pros

  • High RTP around 98%
  • Wider variety of games to choose from
  • You can use casino bonuses to increase your bankroll.
  • You can practice in demo mode. 

Cons

  • There is a lack of physical experience when you play online as opposed to playing at land-based casinos. 
  • There could be glitches in gameplay as the game depends on the quality of the internet connection.

Final Thoughts 

There is no doubt that slot machines are the most popular of all casino games. However, video poker games serve as a proper alternative. They might be not so entertaining but they have better payouts and are less volatile. This article has shown all the major things you need to play video poker online. Just ensure you follow this guide when making your decisions and you will be guaranteed to get the best out of video poker games in the casino.

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Online Video Poker: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the Best Online Video Poker for a Beginner to Play?

    As a newbie, Jacks or Better is the best to play as this is the most common variant of the game. However, as you get more experience playing it, you can move to a more paying variant like the Deuces Wild.

  2. Can I Play Video Poker Online for Free?

    Yes, you can play video poker online for free. You can do this by registering at an online casino and play demo mode of online video poker game that you want to play. Alternatively, you might be able to play free games from the official website of the software provider of the game.

  3. Is Video Poker played the same way Poker is Played?

    Although they share similar names, they are not played the same way. Video poker is played solo against a casino(house) while Poker is played against other players. Although having some knowledge of poker can be helpful when playing video poker.

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