Pick up top winning betting strategies for video poker
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How To Play Video Poker

Playing Video Poker – a single player poker experience

While many players tend to mistake video poker as being a chance-based casino game akin to slots, this only tells you half of the story. While we certainly can appreciate the comparison, video poker allows you to make your own decisions meaning that you can influence the outcome of the game rather than merely accept what the reels give you.

Ok, so we know there is more skill involved in video poker than slots, but what else is there? Well, video poker has one of the smallest house edges in the casino so, if you play your cards right, you can pretty much guarantee yourself a winning night. So long as you know how to play video poker games, that is.

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Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better is the most common video poker game and, consequently, the most popular. This game plays exactly like the outline above, but those qualifying hands we mentioned need to include at least a pair of Jacks to get paid in this game. 

Payouts are made according to a predetermined paytable (below). Bear in mind that payouts only apply to the highest hand value you are holding. So, if you have four of a kind, you will not get paid for three of a kind as well, even though, technically, you have it in your hand.

Jacks or Better Typical Payouts

HandPayout
Royal Flush250x (4000x bonus with max coins paid)
Straight Flush50x
Four of a Kind25x
Full House6x to 9x
Flush5x or 6x
Straight4x
Three of a Kind3x
Two Pair2x
Pair of Kings or Better1x

Jacks or Better Video Poker Strategy

  1. If you have been dealt four to a straight or a flush, hold all four cards and draw one
  2. If you have been dealt three to a royal flush, hold those three cards and draw two
  3. IWhen you have been dealt any pair, you should hold the pair and draw three cards
  4. Hold any three cards to a straight flush
  5. If you have none of the above, hold any cards that are higher than the jack inclusive
  6. If you have none of the above, bin them all, draw five new cards and hope for the best

Joker's Wild

The video poker game Joker's Wild uses 53 cards in total, a standard 52 card deck plus one joker, and, just like a wild in slots, the joker can substitute for any rank or suit.

Joker's Wild Typical Payouts

HandPayout
Royal Flush (without joker)250x (4000x bonus with max coins paid)
Five of a Kind200x
Royal Flush(with joker) 100x
Straight Flush40x or 50x
Four of a Kind15x to 20x
Full House5x to 8x
Flush5x
Straight3x
Three of a Kind2x
Two Pair1x
Pair of Kings or Better1x

Joker's Wild Video Poker Strategy

Seeing as this game is very close to Jacks or Better, the same tips apply, and it would be wise to stick to the same basic strategy as before, but remember that jokers change everything. Also:

  1. Hold on to all three of a kind hands and higher, especially if holding a joker
  2. Keep all four cards that lead to a big paying hand
  3. Hold on to three cards that lead to a big paying hand, if you are holding a joker

More Video Poker Variants

Video Poker games can vary slightly but the above games give you the gist of this simple, yet thrilling casino game. Other popular variants include:

  • Deuces Wild
  • Tens or Better
  • Bonus Poker
  • Joker Poker
  • Double Bonus Poker

Where To Play Video Poker

That, in a nutshell, is video poker and how you play it. Obviously, there are other variants of this casino game, and paytables will differ from site to site, but its only the essentials you need, after that, you will be fine. The next thing to ask yourself, then, is where to play. 

Well, you certainly aren't short of options. Most if not all of the online casinos we know include one or more types of video poker in their games menu so you have plenty of choice. Ultimately though, the final decision is yours.

How To Play Video Poker FAQ

What Is The Difference Between Video Poker And Slots?
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While they do seem and even appear to be related, video poker machines are, in fact, quite different from slots. All slots are entirely random and you have no say in the outcome, whereas in video poker, you have control over your decisions which can turn things in your favour.

Do Video Poker Games Come With Progressive Jackpots?
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Yes, you can get progressive jackpot video poker machines that pay out from a shared prize pool when you hit a Royal Flush.

Can You Play Multi-Hand Video Poker Games?
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Yes, you can play up to 100 hands at a time on a multi-hand video poker machine but you will require a much bigger bankroll in order to do so.

Do Video Poker Machines Blow Hot And Cold Like Slots Do?
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No, and, while we’re at it, neither do slots, that is a myth. Both games have no recollection of what happened in the previous game.

How Do We Know Video Poker Games Are Fair?
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To keep games fair, video poker machines employ what is known as a Random Number Generator (RNG). An RNG is an internal computer that runs through all the numbers and card permutations at the rate of thousands per second.

In video poker, the probabilities are all built around a standard deck of playing cards, which enables you to calculate the correct strategy, as well as the house edge, for each hand.

About this author

Tyler Vaysman author profile

Tyler has a true passion for sports, DFS & sports betting in particular. Combine his love for sports with his journalistic background and you have a great guy to cover the latest industry news. He also enjoys disc golf, fishing and traveling in his free time.

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