The amount of video poker money you have access to.
A combination of poker and slots, online video poker games are fast, exciting, and easy to learn. Typically, games combine the strategy and approach of five card draw poker and the graphics and pace of online slots.
Our expert guide to playing video poker online will cover:
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: every game of video poker is different, and the rules and 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.
|Hand||Example||1 Credit||2 Credits||3 Credits||4 Credits||5 Credits|
|Four of a Kind||50:1||100:1||150:1||200:1||250:1|
|Three of a Kind||3:1||6:1||9:1||12:1||15:1|
|One Pair – min. Jacks||1:1||2:1||3:1||4:1||5:1|
|High card, low pair||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.
While there are tons of video poker variations online, here are the most popular variants for US players.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Similar to Bonus Poker. In Double Bonus Poker, there is an added bonus with certain hands.
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, they can use it to represent any other card they choose.
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.
Typically, video poker payouts increase aggressively depending on a player’s size. Place max bets, assuming your bankroll allows for it.
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.
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.
The amount of video poker money you have access to.
A value assigned to video poker machine wagers (i.e. a credit could equal $0.25 or $5).
Receive initial cards or receive new cards.
King, Queens and Jacks are referred to as face cards.
Often considered the simplest version of poker to learn. Video poker is very similar to five card draw poker rules, minus the dealer.
Keep up to 5 of your dealt cards by holding.
The mathematical advantage the casino (house) has over the player.
Typically equals the wager x 5 video poker credits per betting round.
Emotionally fueled poker betting void of reason or strategy, trying to make up for one’s losses.
The infographic box that explains to players which video poker hand pays out.
When the top hand, typically a royal flush, is achieved while MAX betting 5x credits, it unlocks a top prize jackpot.
The algorithm-powered software that generates each video poker hand.
How often a video poker machine pays out to the player, on average.
A card that can possess any value to make your video poker hand stronger.
First, you’ll need to find an online casino that offers it. We’ve highlighted some of the best and safest sites at the top of this guide. Video poker is very similar to five card draw poker, but instead of trying to beat the other players at the table, you’re trying to build the strongest five-card hand, where the better the hand, the bigger the payouts. Like other online casino games, video poker uses random number generator software.
Most online casinos offer mobile video poker options. A good tip is to have a strong Wi-Fi connection if playing on your mobile device. This will help keep you connected to the game and avoid disconnection when you’re holding four kings.
When selecting a video poker game, be sure the host website is licensed and regulated by a third party. The primary job of these companies is to verify that random number generator software for all online casino games is on the up-and-up. By verifying this, you can sit back, relax and know that your video poker experience is truly random.
Yes, video poker variations typically come down to differences in pay tables. Be sure to check out Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and Bonus Poker Deluxe.
In most cases, yes, MAX bet is a video poker best practice as the payouts for a successful MAX bet are incredible. However, MAX bettors should use caution if they have a limited bankroll. Should you hit a cold streak, MAX bets can wipe out an entire session. Just use your best judgment before hitting MAX bet.