Video Poker

Video poker is a variation of poker that is similar to 5-card draw. The history of the game can be traced back to 1970, when Dale Electronic developed the first video poker machine called Poker Matic.

Ever since then, there have been several versions of video poker featured in the lobby of landbased and online casinos.

As a matter of fact, you can play video poker on your desktop computer and mobile devices right in the comfort of your home.

Screenshot of the video poker.
Video poker Jacks or Better

In this guide, we will be discussing at great length how you can get started playing video poker. Aside from that, we will explain the basic rules of the game, the different types you can find online as well as the common features.

Even if you are a newbie, after reading this guide, you should be able to play video poker like a pro. Without further ado, let’s get started with our comprehensive video poker guide.

Best Video Poker casinos

How to play Video Poker

Contrary to what some people may think, video poker is an easy game to play. You don’t need any special skills or several years of training to get the hang of it.

As a variation of poker, video poker is played with cards, but on a computer or gaming console.

This means that you are not playing against other players but a computer.

At the start of the game, after placing bets according to the betting limit, you can click on the “Deal” button.

You will be dealt five cards, and on receiving the cards, you will have the option to hold preferred cards and replace cards you do not want.

In most versions of video poker, you can decide to replace all the five cards. To hold a card, simply click on the card itself.

Once you click on the deal button the cards that are not held are replaced. The value of your hand after using the hold/deal will determine what you win.

Video Poker values

Video poker values are the same as regular poker hand values, with Royal Flush being the highest hand.

If you win in a video poker game with a Royal Flush, you will be paid 250x while Straight Flush pays 50x.

However, if your hand is a four-of-a-kind, you will get a payout of 25x, but for Full House, the payout is 9x. Winning with Straight pays 4x, three-of-a-kind pays 3x, two pairs pay 2x and pair of jacks+ pays 1x.

Poker game hand rankings.
Video poker values

The payouts mentioned above are based on the Jacks or Better video poker paytable. However, we recommend that you should check the paytable of any video poker variation you want to play so that you can know what the game has to offer.

You can access the paytable information by clicking on the “pays” or “i” button in the game. Here, you will also find the basic rules of the game as well as an explanation of some of the features.

Types of Video Poker online

There are several types of video poker that you can play at an online casino. The most common type is Jacks or Better that pays based on the final 5-cards.

To win anything in this video poker version, you must have at least a pair of jacks, or better.

Deuces Wild is another variation of the game where 2s are wilds and can help provide countless winning combinations. The least winning hand in Deuces Wild is three-of-a-kind.

Double Bonus is a type of video poker that is similar to Jacks or Better. The only major difference is that it pays out a bonus for having four aces.

Apart from that, the other payouts are pretty much the same as Jacks or Better. One other video poker that offers bonus payout is the Double Double Bonus.

It pays different bonuses to different four-of-a-kinds. For example, four aces pay 160x while four 2s pay 80x.

Video Poker house edge

As with all casino games, video poker also comes with a house edge.

The house edge is different for each variation of the game, and it how the casino profits from the game.

For example, Jacks or Better has a 0.46% house edge.

So this means that if the total bet on the game in its entire lifespan is $100, then the casino featuring it can expect to make $0.46 as profit in the long run.

Best RTP Video Poker games

The Return to Player (RTP) percentage of a game is an important thing to check before playing it.

This is because it lets you know what players can expect from the game in the long run.

RTP is the theoretical percentage of total bets that all players can win from a game in its life span.

Some of the best RTP video poker you can play are Deuces Wild (100.76% RTP), Joker Wild (100.65% RTP), Double Bonus (100.17%) and Loose Deuces Wild (100.15% RTP).

Double Up feature

The Double Up feature is one of the main features in video poker that gives you a 50-50 chance of doubling your winnings.

After winning in the regular game round, you can click on the “Double Up” button of the game and five cards are dealt.

screenshot of the double up feature mode in video poker.
Video poker double up

Only one of the cards will be face up while the others face down. The objective is for you to choose a card from the remaining four that will beat the face-up card.

If you select a card that is higher in value than the house card, then you will receive double your initial winnings.

However, if you select a lower value card, you lose your initial winnings. In the case that you choose a card that is of the same rank as the house card, then the game treats it as a push.

However, some variations can consider this as a player loss, so you should check the rules of the game. See our list of slots with double up feature.

Where to play Video Poker?

This guide has explained how video poker works, but now we will recommend you a few safe and reliable sites to try it our free or for real money. Remember that you don’t need any special skills to play the game, and it can only be played on a computer, mobile or gaming console.

You may want to consider playing the game in free mode to practice the gameplay and familiarise yourself with the rules, before making first deposit.

Don’t forget that there are different types of video poker, but their gameplay is the same even though they differ in terms of payout.

Here are the top 3 sites where you can play Video Poker.


How does video poker work at an online casino?

Video Poker is similar to Texas Holdem poker, the only difference is that it is played virtually and without other players. Video poker is played with a deck of 52 cards after you place a bet you press the “deal” button and you will be dealt 5 cards from which you can choose to save all, one or none. Once you have decided which cards you want, press the “draw” button to have the game replace the discarded cards. You will then know the outcome and whether you got the winning hand.

What is the best strategy for video poker?

As far as Video Poker is concerned, there is no special strategy other than a few things that are essential when gambling at any casino game. These things are that you should play smarter and slower, pick the best Video Poker variant, try to reduce the house edge by playing with max bet, and avoid making beginners mistake by informing yourself about the game. If your budget is not so high stick to the bet you can afford.

Is video poker better than slots?

If we are going to look at the taste of the players then it is hard to say which game is better, but if we are going to look at other factors then Video Poker is ahead of the slots. If we look at the amount of RTP in Video Poker games, we will see that it is significantly higher than in slot games. The average RTP amount of slots is about 94% while, the average amount of RTP on Video Poker games is about 98%. Which means in terms of RTP and payout rate Video Poker is better, but again the tastes are not worth discussing.