Play Video Poker Online For Real Money

Posted by James Guill

Video poker online is fast, exciting, easy to learn, and combines the strategy and approach of five-card draw poker with the graphics and pace of slots. It’s easy to learn how to play video poker and can be a great way for beginners to learn more about the world of poker! 

Before you play video poker online for real money, read our expert guide to learn the basic rules, hand rankings, and play free video poker!

Where to Play Video Poker Online

Check out the best video poker sites for US players courtesy of our team of online casino experts.

A Brief History of Video Poker Online

Video poker is one of the most exciting and simple to learn games at online poker rooms or casinos online USA. While video poker is an obvious relation of the game of poker played around a felt-covered table or the kitchen table with buddies, video poker online is more of a hybrid between online poker and online slots.

Derived from the first basic five-drum poker machine (10 cards rotated on each drum), video poker gained a ‘hold’ feature ten years later and hasn’t looked back ever since, with early video poker machines appearing in American liquor stores or tobacco shops.

Nowadays, video poker is a staple game in casinos around the world and works at a higher skill level than other online casino games, giving the house a much smaller ‘edge’ on gamblers. As a typical figure, most casino table games have a lose rate of between $6-$20 per $100 invested. Video poker online typically only has a $5 rate of loss per $100, meaning you’ve a much better chance of profit if you play the game well.

There are a wide variety of game types with video poker online, including Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker and Triple Bonus Poker as well as wild card games such as Deuces Wild and Joker Poker.

Video poker casino 2

A typical video poker screen mid-game.

Video Poker Casino

Video poker is a hugely popular game in casinos across America

Video Poker Online

Video Poker is a popular online casino game.

How to Play Video Poker Online

The primary goal of most video poker variants is just like traditional poker in that you want to build the best possible hand and then receive a corresponding payout based on the strength of that hand. It’s as simple as placing a bet, building your hand and then receiving your winnings.

Green outline raise symbol

Place a Bet

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.

Like in online blackjack real money or slots, video poker online 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.

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

five green playing cards

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 games are modeled after 5 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.

a hand with two small poker chips


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 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.

Free Video Poker Online

We now offer you the chance to learn how to play video poker games for free without the need to sign-up or make a first deposit at one of our top-rated casinos. Check out our free Jacks or Better video poker game below!

Jacks or Better Video Poker Game

Play For Real Money

Welcome Bonus 100% up to $1600
Minimum Deposit $20
Video poker laptop icon

Free Games


This game is best played in landscape mode

Please rotate your Device

Video Poker Strategy

Zwei grüne Geldscheine

Manage Your Bankroll

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

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.

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 if your bankroll allows for it.

Video Poker Hand Rankings & Payouts

The rules and payouts of video poker variations will vary from game to game and casino to casino, but we’ve provided a sample paytable below. Always be sure to review your specific video poker game’s paytable for specific card strength and related payout amounts.

Sample Paytable

Hand Example 1 Credit 2 Credits 3 Credits 4 Credits 5 Credits
Royal flush royal flush 250:1 500:1 750:1 1000:1 4000:1
Four of a Kind four of a kind 50:1 100:1 150:1 200:1 250:1
Full house full house 9:1 18:1 27:1 36:1 45:1
Straight straight 4:1 8:1 12:1 16:1 20:1
Three of a Kind cards-three-of-kind 3:1 6:1 9:1 12:1 15:1
Two Pair cards-two-pair 2:1 4:1 6:1 8:1 10:1
One Pair – min. Jacks jacks 1:1 2:1 3:1 4:1 5:1
High card, low pair five playing cards, all different 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.

Why is the House Edge Slim in Video Poker Online?

Why should you play video poker rather than other casino games? From a learnable strategy to a reduced edge for the casino, there are many reasons.

The Low House Edge in Video Poker

The average house edge in a casino is between 5% – 20%, but video poker online generally caps at 5%, meaning that the average player loses a lot less, and a lot slower. This gives skill players a huge edge on their roulette-risking counterparts.

Video poker used to be even more profitable for casino players, and some decades ago it wasn’t uncommon to find machines that paid back close to 100% of the money they took – the very opposite of most gambling machines that exist in betting shops and casinos around today.

Skill players are used to playing video poker for longer, hanging in as long as they can in order to scoop a jackpot by using their skill edge to minimize losses. Money save is money earned as the saying goes.

Making Great Video Poker Choices

Once you’ve made your bet and hit ‘deal’, you’ll be dealt five cards. At that point, you can discard or save one or any of those cards. Whether you’re risking it all for a Royal Flush or playing it safe to hit a profitable hand, this is your maximum moment of choice.

Just as roulette and blackjack players like to risk it all on the turn of a card or the spin of a silver ball, video poker players love to develop a strategy that will return profit more often than not. There are hundreds of computer apps that can help you devise your own strategy, and the advantage of video poker is that you can view the options you have and which hands you could make throughout that particular game you’re playing.

Top Video Poker Tips

a hand choosing to hit in a game of blackjack

Take Your Time

Look for pairs first, and then move to the more advanced potential hands. You are playing against a computer, so there is no rush. Take your time analyzing each hand you are dealt – you will make more mistakes if you try to play quickly.

two cards being split in a game of blackjack

Keep the Pairs

All pairs are worth keeping, even the low ones! If you are dealt a pair, keep them. There is a high chance that if you let them go, you’ll be dealt something worse on the next hand.


Remove Unpaired Cards

Don’t hold on to unpaired cards in the hopes of finding a pair on the next deal. Let them go. The chances of being dealt the exact cards that you were looking to pair are low, making it not worth the risk.

Video Poker Variations

While there are tons of variations online, here are the most popular variants for players looking for legal online gambling in the US.

Free vs. Real Money Video Poker Online

In addition to our free video poker game above, most legal online poker sites will allow you to practice their games without the need to make a first casino deposit via their demo mode. This allows you to learn the games, check out the software and graphics and devise a strategy.

However, there’s nothing like the thrill of trying to win real money when you play video poker. Here are some pros and cons of playing real money video poker:

Pros of Real Money Video Poker

  • Potential to win real money
  • More game variations available
  • Ability to use casino bonuses to boost bankroll
  • More excitement
  • Access to tournaments and other video poker competitions

Cons of Real Money Video Poker

  • Longer set-up time due to need to register and deposit
  • You have to put your own money at risk

Video Poker vs. Traditional Poker

The major difference between video 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 online 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, this game 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.

Mobile Video Poker Online

While it is fun to play video poker, it’s even more fun to play using a poker app! You play on the go using either a dedicated app or via your phone’s browser. Playing at a mobile casino for real money is incredibly simple and very safe thanks to the advancements in mobile technology and security.

You can enjoy the same amazing gaming experience in the palm of your hand whenever and wherever you want. So why not try mobile video poker today?

Video Poker Glossary

More Games Like Video Poker

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Omaha Poker

Similar to Holdem, Omaha poker remains a firm favorite online.

stud poker icon

Stud Poker

A popular family of poker games, including Mississippi and Caribbean Stud.

two cards playing a hand of texas holdem

Texas Holdem Online

The most popular poker game in the world.

Video Poker FAQs

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James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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