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Video Poker Online in Canada: An Expert Guide

Posted by Veronica Taylor on
Last updated:

A combination between poker and slots, online video poker games are fast, exciting, and easy to learn. Typically, games combine the strategy & approach of five card draw poker and the graphics & pace of online slots.

Our expert guide to playing video poker online will cover:

  • The best online casinos where Canadian players can play video poker
  • How to play video poker and which hands are best
  • The differences between video poker and standard poker
  • The most popular video poker games for Canadian players
  • FAQ and a glossary of key video poker terms

Where to Play Video Poker Online

Our experts have scoured the internet to find the best video poker sites accepting Canadian players:

How to Play Video Poker

While there are several popular variations, the goal in the wide majority of video poker games remains the same: build the best possible poker hand and receive a corresponding payout.

As you’d expect, payout odds correspond to hand difficulty (e.g. a royal flush would pay much, much more than a pair of 4s). We’ll cover a bit more on hand rankings & payouts shortly, but be sure to familiarize yourself with your game of choice’s paytable.

Most variations of video poker can be broken down into three main stages: place a bet, build your hand, and payout.

Place a Bet

Like in online blackjack or slots, many video poker games operate on a ‘credit’ system rather than cash – if so, just think of these as chips. Players can choose how much bankroll to exchange for game credits, and then use these game credits to wager. At the end of the game, players will be able to easily convert their credit winnings back to cash in their account.

At the beginning of each hand, players must place a bet. Players will be able to choose an amount, whether that’s one credit or a max bet. Remember, potential payouts will increase with your wager size, but so too will the potential for loss.

As always, we recommend a solid bankroll strategy – don’t play more than you can afford to lose, and ensure that each individual bet doesn’t account for more than 5-10% (at most) of your game’s budget.

Once you’ve placed a bet, cards will be dealt.

Build your Hand

Now that the player has been dealt his or her cards, it’s a matter of building the strongest hand possible. Like we mentioned, most video poker games are modeled after five-card draw, so we’ll focus on that.

Once a player has been dealt their five cards, they need to choose whether to HOLD or DRAW their cards. Much like in five-card draw poker, this decision would be based on strength of hand – choosing to DRAW is choosing to exchange cards for an equivalent amount from the deck, whereas choosing to HOLD is choosing to keep the cards you’ve been dealt.

Generally, there will be HOLD buttons beneath each individual card in your hand – if there is a card or cards that you wish to keep, be sure to click HOLD on those options before you click DRAW.

This process continues, depending on your exact game rules, until the player has run out of turns or chooses to HOLD all cards.

Payout

After the player is done with their hand, the game automatically pays out per the paytable.

If a player has a great hand, they’ll likely receive a strong payout. Low pairs, or high card, and the player may receive no payout. We’ll cover the best hands in video poker shortly, but be sure to consult your specific game’s paytable for details.

Some game types also include multipliers & wild cards, similar to online slots, where players receive additional payouts for receiving a certain card or combination of cards.

Video Poker Hand Payouts

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: every game of video poker is different, and the rules & details will vary from game to game and from casino to casino. A sample video poker paytable is below, but always be sure to consult your game’s paytable for specific details.

Sample Video Poker Paytable

Hand Example 1 Credit 2 Credits 3 Credits 4 Credits 5 Credits
Royal flush five playing cards - a 10, jack, queen, king & ace of hearts 250:1 500:1 750:1 1000:1 4000:1
Four of a Kind five playing cards: four 9s and a 2 50:1 100:1 150:1 200:1 250:1
Full house five playing cards - three jacks and two 6s 9:1 18:1 27:1 36:1 45:1
Straight five playing cards - a 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 of various suits 4:1 8:1 12:1 16:1 20:1
Three of a Kind five playing cards - three 5s, a 6, and a 2 3:1 6:1 9:1 12:1 15:1
Two Pair five playing cards - two 4s, two 9s, and a 3 2:1 4:1 6:1 8:1 10:1
One Pair – min. Jacks five playing cards - two Kings, a 7, 3, & 2 of various suits 1:1 2:1 3:1 4:1 5:1
High card, low pair five playing cards of different suits - king, queen, 7, 3 & 2 LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE

 

As you’ll see, payouts can increase fairly dramatically based on wager size, making max wagers an attractive betting strategy for those with a flexible bankroll.

Video Poker Variations

While there are tons of video poker variations online, here are the most popular variants for US players.

Jacks or Better

The most popular video poker game, a hand of Jacks or Better is won if a player can build a hand that’s, you guessed it, a pair of jacks or better.

Deuces Wild

In this variant, any 2s received are “wild”, meaning a player can count them as any other card (a King, to make a pair of Kings, for example).

Triple Play

In Triple Play video poker, players play three hands at a time. This variant is available with multiple rules (for example, players will find Triple Play available in Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild formats).

Bonus Poker

In Bonus Poker games, the game follows the Jacks or Better format, but has an added bonus if the player is able to draw a four of a kind. Typically, the value of the bonus will vary depending on which four cards you match.

Jokers Wild

In Jokers Wild games, the game is dealt from a 53 card deck; the standard cards plus one joker card. If a player is dealt the joker card, the can use it to represent any other card they choose.

Video Poker vs. Traditional Poker

Video poker is a computerized game created to allow the speed and convenience of online slots with the gameplay of (typically) a five-card poker game.

Generally, video poker is preferred by those who want a quick & easy experience, while traditional poker is better suited to players who prefer the social and strategic elements of betting against other players.

The major difference between video poker and traditional poker is that in traditional poker, players wager against one another, while in video poker, players are trying to build the best hand possible to collect a predetermined payout from a paytable.

Video Poker Strategy

a stack of poker chips radiating a signal

Bet Big

Typically, video poker payouts increase aggressively depending on a player’s size. Place max bets, assuming your bankroll allows for it.

a green laptop with a playing card displayed

Learn the Paytable

In traditional poker, you’re playing against other players. In video poker, you’re playing against the paytable. Ensure you understand the payouts so you can make wise wagering decisions.

two green bills laid atop one another

Manage your Bankroll

As always, we strongly recommend having a bankroll strategy and sticking to it. Know how much you can afford to lose, never play with more than that, and never bet emotionally.

Video Poker Glossary

Video Poker FAQ

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