The Ultimate Guide to Video Poker Online 2022

Learn all there is to know about playing video poker online, starting with the basic rules over terminology to useful tips and strategies. This detailed video poker guide will teach you everything about different variations of this classic game, provide useful tips, free poker game resources, and, of course, the best real money video poker casinos, carefully reviewed and ranked.

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Overview

In the not-so-distant past, any mention of video poker was associated with shady joints and back alley bars filled with gamblers hitting buttons for hours. But the gambling industry has changed a lot over the past few decades, and video poker changed with it.

Although it is one of the oldest casino games, it remains one of the most popular players picks at live and online venues alike. You'll find dozens of video poker machines filling large areas of land-based casino floors, and many online casinos offer a great number of variations of this evergreen game.

Video poker was one of the first casino games to receive its computerized variation. The expansion of online gambling helped the game gain further popularity as it transitioned well into the digital world. Players enjoy video poker as it is the game many are familiar with since its rules are based on Five Card Draw, one of the oldest poker variants in existence.

The arrival of video poker to online casinos opened a whole new world of opportunities, as the game became widely available to a completely new generation of players. These new customers quickly picked up on the excitement these virtual machines are able to provide and joined the fun of chasing after big poker hands like quads and royal flushes.

Video poker is one of those games that doesn't need a busy casino environment to be successful, which was why it transitioned to the online space so well. It is an individual game that doesn't require any dealers or spectators. Players can enjoy it at their own pace as they try to draw the best hands possible and land those big wins.

Simple rules and familiarity aren't the only factors that helped video poker succeed, though. Over the years, the game saw a number of interesting variations, adding some colour to the mix. Players can choose between games like Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, American Poker, Tens or Better, and more. All of these have similar basic rules with different twists and turns, and they all offer a very good RTP (return to player).

On this page, you'll find a wealth of information about online video poker games. Starting with the history of this popular game, over different types on offer, the pros and cons of playing video poker over other games, to tips and terminology, we leave no stone unturned. Later on, we also provide some strategic advice to help you make the most out of your online video poker sessions and answer some of the biggest questions players have about these games in our extensive FAQ section.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Great selection of game variations
Simple rules and fun gameplay
Short sessions are possible
Games offered at low stakes
Some of the best RTP in online gambling
No need to wait for other players
Cons
Playing without a strategy lowers the game's RTP
Due to RNG, there is no way to keep track of cards
It can be hard to memorize strategies for all the different variations

Video Poker History

Like many casino games, video poker has its roots in Europe, as this is where the game of poker was invented. However, video poker machines first appeared in the United States in the 1970s, as casinos started to turn more to computer technologies.

The first video poker machines were developed by Si Redd, a man working at Bally Technologies, one of the biggest casino games manufacturers. It took a while for the company to warm up to his idea, but Redd was determined to make video poker a reality. So, he decided to go his own way, setting up a company called Sircoma, an entity that would later come to be known as IGT, one of the absolute gaming giants. It took a while for Redd to develop his game and get it inside Las Vegas casinos, but he was patient and determined, and this approach eventually paid off. Video poker would go on to become one of the most popular casino games in existence.

The first game variation was based on the Five Card Draw rules, and players had to make two pair or better to receive a payout. Soon after, the Jacks or Better variation came into existence (where a pair of Jacks was the lowest paying hand), and it soon became the most popular video poker variant by far. This remains true to this very day.

With the arrival of online casinos, video poker transitioned smoothly into the world of virtual gambling. Players continued to enjoy the game in a new environment, realizing the many perks it had to offer. Over the years, many new variations were developed as well, including some featuring progressive jackpots.


Rules

As mentioned, video poker is one of the simplest casino games to learn. Most variations feature a virtual deck of 52 cards, with some also having an extra card, like Joker Wild. To start off, players set the initial wager and press the spin or the deal button, which gives them the initial five-card hand. After the initial deal, players have the option to discard as many cards as they like, and these are substituted with fresh ones. Once the draw is completed, the final hand is formed, and players receive payouts based on the hand strength and the pay table for that particular game variation.

When it comes to hand rankings, they are usually the same across all game variants, with some exceptions. Usually, the best hand you can make is the Royal Flush, and it brings the biggest payout. This is followed by the straight flush, quads (four of a kind), boats (full houses), flushes, and straights. Then, there are lower-tier hands, such as trips, two pair, and single-pair hands.

The only two possible outcomes in video poker are a win (if you make a paying hand) or a loss (if you fail to qualify). This game has one of the best RTP rates you can find in casinos, with some versions going up to 99.5% or even higher. The house edge is generally very low, so players can enjoy the game even on limited bankrolls and get a lot of play for their money.


Strategy

While video poker rules are quite simple, there is still some strategy to this game. Knowing how to play it correctly will help you get the best possible returns.

Below, we bring you a few simple but effective strategies for the Jacks or Better variation, although most of them are applicable to several other variants as well.

High Cards: If you have no made hand, keep high cards (jacks through aces) and discard the rest.

One Pair: Keep any pair of jacks or better and discard the rest.

Trips: Hold the three cards making three of a kind, and get rid of the remaining two.

Straight: Keep all five cards.

Flush: Keep all five cards.

Full House: This is a very strong hand, and it's not worth breaking it to try and get quads. Always keep all five cards.

Quads (Four of a Kind): There is no way to further improve this hand in Jacks or Better, so you don't need to discard any cards.

Straight / Royal Flush: The best possible hand in video poker. Keep all five cards and get your handsome payout. In some variations, making a Royal Flush will also result in a progressive jackpot win.


Key Terms

Like other casino games, video poker features a variety of terms you'll come across both online and live.

Action: A total amount of wagers by an individual player.

Boat (Full House): A hand consisting of trips (three of a kind) and a pair.

Discarding: Removing cards from your hand after the initial deal.

Flush: A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.

Hand: Any combination of five cards dealt to a player is referred to as a hand.

Hold: Keeping certain cards after the initial deal.

Jackpot: The maximum available payout on a particular video poker machine.

Max Bet: Betting the max number of coins (five coins) per hand.

Pair: A poker hand containing two cards of the same ranking (i.e. AA).

Payback: The percentage that the game will pay back to the players. Also known as RTP, this number is calculated over millions of deals.

Quads (Four of a Kind): A hand containing four cards of the same ranking (i.e. KKKK).

Royal Flush: The best possible hand you can have in video poker, consisting of five consecutive cards of the same suit, namely TJQKA.

Straight: Having five cards of consecutive ranks, regardless of suits.

Straight flush: Any five cards of the same suit of consecutive ranks.

Winning Hand: Any hand that results in a payout according to the pay table.

Video Poker Tips

After mastering the rules and basics, you may want to take your video poker game to the next level. We are bringing you a few useful tips to help you along the way:

How to Get Started

For those players who want to get started with online video poker, we have come up with a simple five-step guide to get you there. Follow these steps, and you'll be on your way in no time.

1 Get Some Info

Prior to starting, take some time to read up on the rules, strategies, and differences between video poker variations. This will help prepare you for the real thing and help you avoid many beginners' mistakes, so it will be a time well spent.

2 Pick Your Online Casino

The next step is finding an online casino with a rich selection of video poker options and a good bonus. Take your time and find the best and safest site that meets your particular needs.

3 Load up the Game

Log into your casino account and look for the poker variation you like and are the most familiar with. Double-check to make sure the betting limits and coin values are in accordance with your budget, as it is an easy mistake to make on a new casino site.

4 Set up Your Wager

Once everything is set, it is time to choose your bet size and get started. The real excitement comes from playing video poker for real money, but you don't have to rush things. Feel free to start with lower bets and gradually build your way up.

5 Always Check the Pay-table

Knowing your pay table is crucial to long-term success in video poker. Always check out this section before placing any bets, and make sure you know how to read the pay-tables correctly to ensure you're always playing the games with the best payouts.

Terms

Picking up all the different video poker terms and expressions can be quite a challenge. We've tried to help, coming up with a list of the most popular key terms you'll likely come across when playing the game live or online. Check out these key terms and do some studying before you embark on your video poker adventure!

Video Poker Glossary

Types of Video Poker

Check out the most popular video poker variations you'll find online.

Classic Video Poker

The classic variation of video poker is based entirely on the rules of Five Card Draw. In the live environment, you'll find the game offered on electronic machines similar to slots. Online, you can play video poker on almost any PC, laptop, phone, or tablet.

All Aces

Similar to Jacks or Better in many aspects, All Aces video poker features a few important rule changes, primarily when it comes to payouts. In this version, payouts for quads have been improved, but lower-made hands pay less than in Jacks or Better.

Aces and Eights

Another very popular video poker format, Aces and Eights is available at many online casinos. The game follows the rules similar to Jacks or Better. The biggest difference you'll notice on the pay table is that certain four-of-a-kind combinations have improved payouts.

High-Speed Poker

As the name suggests, this is a quick-paced game, perfect for poker fans looking to get their adrenaline levels up. It's not a video poker game in the strictest sense of the word, as it features several betting rounds, and it is played against a virtual dealer.

Bonus Deuces Wild

Similar to the original version, Bonus Deuces Wild offers slight modifications to the pay table. There are additional payouts for top-tier hands, namely five-of-a-kind and a royal flush made using a wild card. Of course, to get these payouts, game creators have reduced payouts on some of the lower hands, like straights and flushes.

Double Double Bonus Poker

This variation relies heavily on Jacks or Better but offers some changes to the pay table. The biggest one is that you get special bonus payouts for different quads in Double Double Bonus poker.

Double Joker

As the name suggests, this particular variation features two instead of just one Joker. Both Jokers are wild, meaning they substitute for all other cards when making winning combinations, but payouts have been adjusted accordingly.

Jacks or Better

The most popular video poker variant in existence, Jacks or Better features a set of rules that most players out there are familiar with. The lowest-paying hand in this version is a pair of Jacks, while the best-paying one is, naturally, a Royal Flush.

Tens or Better

Tens or Better is very similar to Jacks or Better in almost all aspects. The biggest difference is that the lowest paying hand is a pair of tens, which means that players get to enjoy even lower variance in this particular format.

Deuces Wild

As the name suggests, all twos (deuces) are wild in this video poker variation, which means they substitute for all other cards when forming winning combinations. Since there are wild cards, the best possible hand you can make is actually five of a kind (quads plus a wild card).

Aces and Faces

In Aces and Faces, all rules are quite similar to Jacks or Better and other popular video poker variants. There are some differences to the pay table, though, so make sure to check them out before you start playing.

Bonus Poker

In Bonus Poker, the lowest-paying hand is a pair of Jacks, just like in Jacks or Better. However, this particular variation also offers some enhanced payouts for four-of-a-kind combinations.

Joker's Wild

In Joker's Wild video poker, Joker is the central card that you want to see on the screen. It substitutes for any other card you need to make your winning combination.

All American

Another take on Jacks or Better, All American video poker offers enhanced payouts for straights, flushes, and straight flushes. To compensate for the difference, players get lower payouts for some other hands, namely two pair and full houses.

Poker Pursuit

Poker Pursuit is another popular variation that doesn't go strictly into the video poker category. There are bets and antes involved, so the game is slightly more complex.

Super Jax

This particular version is available only online, and it is one of the most exciting, as it features a progressive jackpot. To win the progressive, players need to land four-of-a-kind, Jacks, together with the special SuperJax card.

Mega Jacks

Mega Jacks is basically Jacks or Better on steroids. All the rules are exactly the same, but the biggest difference is that there is a progressive jackpot up for grabs. To claim it, players need to make a Royal Flush while playing on the max bet.

Louisiana Double Poker

Another fun take on Jacks or Better, Louisiana Double introduces another card on top of the standard 52-card deck. The special card isn't wild like in some other variations, but it does double any wins it helps form.

2-Ways Royal

2-Ways Royal is a fun video poker version that has rules similar to Jacks or Better, with one very important difference. Instead of one, players can make two Royal Flushes: a high (standard) one and a low one.

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FAQ

In video poker, a pat hand is the one that requires no additional cards. For example, when you're dealt a full house, you don't need to discard any cards, as you already have a good paying hand.

Yes. There are certain strategies that will help you achieve better results in video poker, and you should definitely learn them. These strategies will work equally well online and in land-based casinos.

"Full pay" video poker games are the ones with the best pay tables, and they are the ones you should always stick to. In some instances, these games offer an RTP close to 100%.

Yes, you can test different video poker variants at many online casinos completely free, sometimes even without registering. This is a great way to learn the rules and practice some video poker strategies without risking any money.

While there are certain strategies to help you get better results, the casino will almost always have the upper hand in video poker. It is not possible to be a winning video poker player, but with a lot of patience, you can be close to breaking even on the game.

Yes, most variations use the exact same hand rankings you'll find in most high poker variations, and these are also displayed in the pay table for your reference.

It's always a good idea to be careful when gambling online. To be sure video poker games (or any other games) aren't rigged, you should always stick to licensed, regulated, and reputable online casinos. These casinos also have their games checked and verified by third parties as well, giving you full confidence they offer a completely fair gaming environment.

You don't need any special software to play online video poker. Some casinos will require you to download their app to your phone, but many modern operators also make it possible to play through their website without having to download or install anything.

Online casinos feature a great number of video poker variations, and some of them do a better job than others. Some of the most popular types you'll come across are Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, American Poker, Joker Poker, and Tens or Better. They all have similar rules with small twists and changes.

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