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Video Poker

S. Stoynova (editor) |

Your Go-To Guide to Playing Online Video Poker

Video poker is among the few casino games where skill and strategy prevail over luck. The game continues to enjoy massive popularity over a century after its prototype emerged, and has even found its way into the virtual lobbies of most online casinos. Video poker is the perfect fit for savvy players looking for low house edges and the possibility of landing huge payouts from the comfort of their surroundings.

Not familiar with the game and its rules? CasinoGamesPro has prepared this guide specifically for novices like you. Our comprehensive articles cover all things video poker from the basic rules, hand ranking, and paytables to tips, variations, advanced strategies, and money management. Ready? Let’s dive right in.

History of Video Poker

William Redd aka Si ReddVideo Poker is a fairly new game as it debuted in landbased casinos in the 1970s. The history of slots is closely related to the invention of the first video poker machine as both games were developed during the same period. Due to the fact that video poker machines highly resemble classic slots, many players are left with the impression that both games are pretty much the same, but this not the case. In video poker, skills play a crucial role for the final outcome of the game.

Si Redd (William Red) is among the key figures who have greatly contributed to video poker as we know it today. The first video poker machine was very simple and required much more work to qualify as an innovative and entertaining gaming device. In 1979, SIRCOMA, released a new generation of video poker machines that quickly gained popularity. Ever since, the game has been attracting a number of players worldwide. Nowadays, it is one of the most challenging and exciting casino games.

Why Play Video Poker

Video Poker Play CasinoThere are many reasons why video poker is considered one of the best games available on the casino floor. Some of its biggest advantages are that it offers high payouts and has a lower house edge compared to other popular casino games. It gives players the valuable opportunity to boost their odds of winning by applying a reliable strategy. They can put their skills to the test and influence the final outcome of the game.

The rules are very easy to learn, which makes video poker suitable even for inexperienced players. They can play a number of different variations to experience the game in a whole new way. Nowadays, it is extremely easy to regularly practise playing video poker as the game is available at multiple casinos, clubs, and restaurants.

Video Poker Rules

Video Poker MachinesVideo poker is suitable for all players, regardless of their experience level, as its basic rules are fairly easy to learn. The standard video poker game uses a single deck of 52 cards, but some variations also include wild cards. Throughout the game, players must decide whether to replace or hold the cards in their hand. It is possible to discard or keep all cards – it is entirely up to players to decide how to proceed.

The main goal is to form a qualifying winning hand like the Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House and more in order to get paid. The payout you get depends on the strength of the winning hand. In general, video poker highly resembles standard poker but there are still some differences you should take into account.

How to Play Video Poker

Fun and Enjoyable Game of Video PokerVideo poker is easy to play as its basic rules are quite simple. The structure of the game is very straightforward, which makes it perfect for novice players. Gamblers can bet up to 5 coins per hand, although coin denominations vary from one version to another. Even though video poker resembles classic slots to a certain extent, it is worth mentioning that the two operate on a different principle.

There is one major difference between them – in video poker, players can influence the outcome of a round by using strategy, whereas in slots, skills play no role whatsoever. At the beginning of every round, players are dealt five cards and after that, they must decide whether to hold or replace one or more of them. If they form a winning hand, players get paid based on the its strength, the number of coins in play, and their denomination.

Video Poker Tips

To master video poker and profit from it in the long term, players must pay special attention to all aspects of the game. For instance, it is extremely important to know which video poker variations are the most beneficial as the amount of money players get when they form a winning combination largely depends on the paytable. In general, players should always go for full-pay video poker games as these usually offer the highest payout percentages.

Another piece of good advice when it comes to video poker is to always play with the maximum number of coins. This way, players will be able to qualify for special bonus payouts in case they get a Royal Flush. Even though this card combination doesn’t occur often, it is always a good idea to be prepared for it by placing maximum bets. These and many more useful tips can significantly improve your game and increase your chances of winning.

Video Poker Basic Strategy

If players want to improve their winning odds and decrease the house edge, they must implement an adequate strategy. Basic strategy is one of the most used strategies as it is both simple and efficient. It is perfect for novice players since it provides them with valuable information about the fundamental principle that all strategies use. It is also extremely easy to understand and apply. Basic video poker strategy, as its name suggests, is the simplest of all strategies. Nevertheless, it is highly efficient.

The main reason for its efficiency is that it suggests the best possible move players can make in a particular situation, taking into account the five cards in their starting hand. Due to the fact that every video poker variation has different hand ranking and paytable, every time players decide to try a new version, they should adjust their strategy accordingly. This rule applies to all strategies, regardless of their level of difficulty.

Video Poker Basic Strategy
Screenshot of Video Poker Basic Strategy

Video Poker Intermediate Strategy

The intermediate strategy is more complicated than basic video poker strategy as it requires solid knowledge of the game
. It is perfect for players already familiar with the basic strategy and rules of video poker. By learning the intermediate strategy, players can significantly improve their game and further develop their skills. It is used by hundreds of gamblers as it has proven to work very well. It operates on the same principle as the rest of the strategies, meaning that it shows players the best possible move they can make for their current hand.

The decision whether to hold or replace a certain card is no longer difficult as players can derive this information from the strategy chart. By using it correctly, they can significantly decrease the house edge and improve their chances of winning, which makes it worth learning. It it applicable to online video poker as well. However, before playing, you must ensure your chosen variation offers a decent paytable.

Video Poker Advanced Strategy

Video Poker Machine in Casino Card AcceptedWhen it comes to video poker, a reliable strategy can really make the difference between winning and losing in the long term. Therefore, players should take their time to learn the strategy that corresponds to the video poker variation they play. The advanced strategy is perfect for proficient players who wish to take their gaming skills to the next level. It requires a lot of time and effort to fully master but is the most accurate and efficient of all strategies.

It gives players the needed information on how to proceed in the most difficult situations, which is one of the reasons for its high efficiency. In order to be able to follow advanced strategy, you should memorize its chart and be disciplined enough to stick to it during the game. Nowadays, it is also possible to find a number of ready-made strategy cards which can be extremely useful while playing video poker. It is worth mentioning that whenever players decide to try a new variation, they should take their time to review the advanced strategy and adjust it if needed.

Video Poker Variations

Video Poker Jacks or Better LogoVideo poker is one of the most-played casino games and as such, it has a number of interesting variations. All of them follow the basic rules of classic video poker, but some offer additional features and bonus payouts to spice up the gameplay. For instance, Deuces Wild uses wild cards, while Double Bonus video poker offers two bonus payouts. It is also possible to play single-hand or multi-hand video poker. Thanks to the huge variety of video poker versions, players can significantly diversify their gaming experience.

The classic game, along with some of its most popular variations, is available at most online casinos, allowing players to enjoy video poker from the comfort of their homes. Jacks or Better is largely considered the prototype of video poker, hence, it is the most widely spread version. Other popular variations include Double Bonus, Aces and Eights, Joker Wild, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild and others.

Video Poker Money Management

Video Poker CoinsIf players want to profit in the long term, they should exercise adequate money management. They should also be disciplined enough to always follow video poker strategy. One of the most important things players should do is set a loss limit and a win goal. This will help them with money management and prevent them from overspending.

These restrictions should be set based on their daily bankroll, which means win goals and loss limits are strictly individual. Another piece of good advice for video poker enthusiasts is to keep track of their winnings and losses as this way they can determine whether their chosen strategy truly works. It is also essential to take breaks to make better betting decisions and fully enjoy the game.

Video Poker Myths

There are many myths and stories about video poker as it is one of the most popular casino games. The electronic nature of the game is a major contributing factor for the emergence of these allegories as it causes players to question the fairness of the outcomes. However, players can rest assured that video poker is completely fair as it runs on a Random Number Generator. The outcomes cannot be tampered with as all cards are randomly dealt.

Another widespread misunderstanding is that online video poker games have lower payout percentages, but this is rarely the case. Many players are also convinced that the game is unbeatable but this could not be further from the truth. Players must familiarize themselves with these misconceptions so that they can distinguish them from true video poker facts..

Video Poker vs Video Lottery Terminals

Video Lottery Terminal DifferencesVideo poker is so popular that nowadays it can be found in most casinos and even in some public places like bars, for example. Not many players know that there are actually two types of machines that offer this game – standard video poker machines and video lottery terminals. They are almost the same in terms of appearance and layout. However, they operate differently. Your odds of winning greatly depend not only on the variation you have chosen but also on the machine that offers it.

What sets video lottery terminals (VLTs) apart from video poker machines is the fact that the outcome of the games they offer cannot be influenced by a strategy. This is because VLTs are linked to one another as they are operated by a central computer system. The final outcome of the respective game is still random, but is determined at the time you press the deal button. Thus, at the beginning of every hand you are already bound to either lose or win, regardless of which cards you choose to hold.

Video Poker Random Number Generator

Video Poker MachinesThe Random Number Generator is used in many casino games and video poker is no exception. As its name suggests, its main function is to generate numbers in a completely random manner. This way the outcomes are impossible to predict. The numbers are produced according to an algorithm and the generating process continues even if no one is playing on the respective machine. Several types of RNGs can be distinguished, pseudo and true random number generators being the most common ones.

It is a good idea to get familiar with this device and how it functions as this will help you better understand the mechanism behind video poker games. This will also bring you the needed peace of mind that whenever you play the game online, its outcome won’t be pre-set in any way, provided that the respective online casino uses an RNG. RNGs have become synonymous with fairness as they are usually audited by independent testing houses.

Video Poker Tournaments

Video Poker TournamentLong gone are the days when tournaments casinos hosted were limited to only one game. Nowadays, you have the chance to participate in various special events that allow you to compete against other players and diversify your gaming experience. Many video poker players share the opinion that video poker tournaments are undoubtedly one of the greatest innovations that casinos have come up with. Participants can win various prizes, which greatly contributes to the excitement of video poker tourneys.

These events can be categorized into several basic groups based on their duration, structure, and prize pools. To fully enjoy yourself while playing in a video poker tournament, it is really important to only buy in for events that suit your personal preferences and gaming style. Before you enter a video poker tournament, it is also essential to get familiar with the terms and conditions for participation.

Best Paying & Progressive Video Poker Games

Video Poker Jacks or Better LogoVideo poker is one of the most popular casino games and numerous exciting variations have emerged as a result. Some video poker games offer better rules and paytables than others, which makes them more beneficial. Moreover, knowing that you have realistic chances of winning can also greatly improve your gaming experience and make it more enjoyable. That’s why, it is recommended to always search for the best-paying video poker games to exact more value from your play. Some of the variations that offer the best return percentages are 9/6 Jacks or Better, 9/6 Double Double Bonus Poker, and 9/6 Deuces Wild.

Progressive video poker also holds a considerable appeal among savvy players. What makes it so exciting is the jackpot that increases incrementally with each wager placed. As a result, these games usually offer life-changing prizes and are definitely worthwhile. One of the things that make progressive video poker so great is that it offers the thrill of anticipation, which greatly contributes to the quality of your overall experience.

Mobile Video Poker

Mobile Video PokerApart from visiting a brick-and-mortar casino or playing the game on your desktop computer, there is one more way you can enjoy video poker. Thanks to mobile casinos, you can play the game on your smartphone or tablet. Most modern online casinos are compatible with smartphones and tablets, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. This way you can carry your favorite casino game with you wherever you go.

Mobile casinos offer a number of advantages that their landbased counterparts simply cannot beat. For instance, landbased casinos do not allow you to play video poker at a time and place convenient to you. The fact that video poker can be played on a number of mobile devices opens new opportunities for players, including the option to enjoy the game whenever and wherever. Furthermore, there are many mobile casinos that offer exclusive promotions and bonuses intended for mobile players. Additionally, most mobile games have excellent graphics and sound quality, provided that they were crafted by a leading software provider.

Popular Video Poker Online Casinos

ios app storeNowadays, you can play video poker at most, if not all, online casinos. Most gambling sites provide a choice from common variations like Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, and more. However, you should bear in mind that even the slightest changes in the rules of a particular variation can impact your odds of winning. Therefore, it is best to always research the paytable and the winning hands in a given game before you start playing it for real money. Most popular online casinos offer a decent range of video poker games, state-of-the-art security systems, fair gaming conditions, exclusive bonuses, and reliable customer support in order to provide you with the ultimate online gaming experience.

Playing Video Poker for Real Money

Video Poker Jacks or Better ScreenshotThanks to the numerous online casinos offering video poker, you can put your skills to the test and play the game for real money. To enjoy video poker from the comfort of your surroundings, you must create a real money account and fund it. Once you have completed these steps, you can place bets and win actual cash. However, before you decide to risk your own funds, it would be wise to try and play the game in practice mode to get used to it. This and many other useful tips can improve your gaming experience when you enjoy the game online.


Video poker is undoubtedly one of the best games that can be found at both landbased and online casinos. It combines strategy with luck and this is one of the primary reasons why so many players worldwide enjoy it. Moreover, it is possible to improve your long-term return by implementing a reliable strategy and bankroll management. Other factors like full-pay paytables also play a crucial role, of course.