Online Video Poker – Your Comprehensive Guide

Video Poker perfectly combines the strategic elements of Poker with the big jackpots and chance elements of Slots!

Whether you are a Video Poker newbie, want sharpen your skills, or simply find the best Video Poker casino online, this page has what you need.

Online Video Poker is best described as a combination between a Slots machine and five-card draw Poker. Although you try to get the best five-card poker hand, the payout for each hand is fixed. It helps to know the Poker hand rankings, but these are typically displayed within the game for your convenience.

Below we have listed the very best online Video Poker casinos where you can enjoy playing this highly engaging game. Take your pick, collect your signup bonus, and play today!

Why Play Video Poker For Real Money Online?

Video Poker has been a popular game at online casinos for well over a decade, particularly since the Texas Hold’em craze began. Its blend of luck and skill, and of two already highly popular games in Poker and Slots, make it extremely appealing to beginners and experts alike.

Without a doubt the biggest draw to online Video Poker for experienced casino players is the low house edge. When every hand is played correctly on the right kind of machine, it is even sometimes possible to eliminate the house edge altogether. Even using basic strategy outlined further down this page, the house edge is a tiny 0.56%.

Beginners may feel more comfortable with playing Video Poker online than they are with Texas Hold’em, as the odds are fixed and there are no other players to contend with. And playing online Video Poker in the comfort of your own home will always be less intimidating than the land-based casino atmosphere!

How To Play Video Poker Online

Video Poker is in fact a fairly straightforward game. All you need to do is follow these five steps and you will have played a hand of Video Poker:

  1. Make an initial bet and study the payout chart so you know what you’re looking for. Usually it's best to wager the maximum amount if you can, since this will give you better payoff if you win.
  2. Press the ‘deal’ button to receive your starting hand.
  3. Press the ‘hold’ button below the cards you wish to retain, i.e. the ones that you think will give you the best chance of drawing a winning hand.
  4. Press the ‘deal’ button once more. The cards you chose not to ‘hold’ are replaced, giving you your final hand.
  5. If your final hand contains a Poker hand listed in the pay table of your chosen game, you win!

If you want to know which cards to keep in order to give yourself the best chance of winning, our Video Poker strategy section can help you.

Online Video Poker Rules

The rules of Video Poker contain elements of both Slots and Poker, as the game combines automated gambling with elements of strategy. For example, in Slots you don't have many options besides how many coins to wager, but in Video Poker you make decisions based on the hands you receive.

There are many different online Video Poker variations, but usually Video Poker is based on five-card draw. In five-card draw, players receive five cards, discard up to 5 of them and then receive new replacement cards.

The object of the game in online Video Poker is to get a five-card poker hand. The higher the hand is ranked, the bigger the payout. Listed from best to worst, these are the hands you can get in a game of Video Poker.

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Full House
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three of a Kind (AKA ‘trips’ or a ‘set’)
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair

Try Playing Video Poker Online For Free

Playing for free is the ideal way to learn and practice a new game without risking your hard-earned cash. You can try different strategies and approaches, and then once you’re comfortable, try your hand at playing Video Poker online for real money.

Online Video Poker Strategy: How To Win

Along with online Slots, Video Poker is one of the most popular casino games online. Similarities aside, there is one very important difference between the two games. Winning at online Video Poker is not just about luck. It isn’t possible to alter the house edge of a Slots game, but a skilled Video Poker player can significantly reduce or even eliminate the house edge.

Just like in online Blackjack, there are correct moves in online Video Poker that statistically bring you more wins over a long period of playing. The general idea in Video Poker is to choose surer wins over big payouts. Video Poker strategy takes a little more time to comprehend than a Blackjack strategy card. If you have the chart on hand though, you don't need to worry about the concepts behind the strategies.

In any case, huge payouts won’t happen that often. You can play for quite a long time before you even get close to a royal flush, and taking down a Video Poker progressive jackpot is even rarer. But that doesn't really matter since you are virtually playing for free when you adapt the perfect strategy.

Strategy For Jacks Or Better

This is the simplest ‘perfect’ way to play Jacks or Better, based purely on the mathematics. On a full pay online Video Poker machine, this will give an expected return of 99.46%. To put that in real money terms, for every $100 you spend, you are statistically expected to win back $99.46.

To use this strategy, look at the options in your initial hand and then choose the one that appears nearest to the top of the list. Here are some examples of how this online Video Poker strategy can be applied:

  • If you have 10, J, Q, K of the same suit – this is ‘4 to a royal flush’, and you’d discard the other card.
  • If you have 7, 8, 9 of hearts, and Q, K of spades – you would keep the ‘2 suited high cards’ and discard the ‘3 to a straight flush’.
  • If you have 2, 6, Q, A of clubs, and the 6 of diamonds – you would keep the ‘4 to a flush’ and break up the ‘low pair’ by discarding the 6 of diamonds.

NB: ‘high card’ means Jack or higher.

  1. Four of a kind, straight flush, or royal flush
  2. 4 to a royal flush
  3. Three of a kind, straight, flush, or full house
  4. 4 to a straight flush
  5. Two pair
  6. High pair
  7. 3 to a royal flush
  8. 4 to a flush
  9. Low pair
  10. 4 to an outside straight
  11. 2 suited high cards
  12. 3 to a straight flush
  13. 2 unsuited high cards (if more than 2 then pick the lowest 2)
  14. Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K
  15. One high card
  16. Discard everything

This online Video Poker strategy may seem complicated, at least before you've learned it. But the good thing is you can learn this perfect strategy by just sitting with the list and playing with ‘fun money’ on our free game. Soon you'll realize that winning at Video Poker isn't so difficult after all.

Sometimes you'll probably feel that the chart is wrong, and that is perfectly normal. For instance, many beginners have an urge to keep a kicker when they have a pair. But although it might be a good play in five-card draw, it isn't in Video Poker. You must follow this strategy to the letter if you want to keep the house edge to a minimum.

Online Video Poker Odds And House Edge

If you’re trying to win money, casino gambling is all about playing the odds – and you do this by minimizing the house edge as much as possible. Online Video Poker is a great choice of game in this respect since it has one of the lowest house edges in casino gaming. As stated above, using the basic Video Poker strategy can bring the house edge down to only 0.54%. This is comparable with the low house edge online Craps players enjoy.

In addition, online Video Poker is similar to Slots in that you can choose the game that is has the most favorable payouts. Depending on which Video Poker machine you choose, the advantage can be anything from 2.5% in favor of the casino to completely nothing (0%). Playing a full pay Deuces Wild Video Poker machine with optimal strategy can even tip the edge in your favor by offering a theoretical return of around 100.75%!

Finding a full pay Deuces Wild machine is difficult however. Playing optimal strategy consistently is also a challenge, and most players don't play according to the perfect strategy. This is how they can offer a favorable house edge – as soon as you start making random decisions, the casino gets an advantage.

Choosing Your Online Video Poker Game

So the first and most important choice you have to make when playing Video Poker online is to pick a machine offering favorable payouts. Fortunately, this information is made completely plain on every game you play – you just need to look at the pay table. For example, full pay Jacks of Better is also known as 9/6 Jacks or Better because the payout for a full house is 9x the bet, for a flush it is 6x the bet.

So when you’re playing Jacks or Better, just look for a pay table like the one below – we have highlighted the full house and flush values for clarity. Please note however that the probability has been added for informational purposes and will almost always not appear in online Video Poker pay tables.

Full Pay Jacks Or Better Pay Table

HandPayoutProbability
Royal Flush8000.000025
Straight Flush500.000109
Four of a kind250.002363
Full House90.011512
Flush60.011015
Straight40.011229
Three of a kind30.074449
Two Pair20.129279
Jacks or Better10.214585

For pay tables relating to the full pay versions of other kinds of the game, jump down to our section on Video Poker variations.

Three of a kind20.133937
Two Pair10.110873
Kings or Better10.141958

 

6 Top Tips For When You Play Video Poker Online

All of the rules, odds, and strategy involved in playing Video Poker online can be a little overwhelming – especially for first time players. If you’re itching to just dive in and start playing, you can still avoid most rookie mistakes by following the advice in the tips below.

Always play ‘full pay’

If you’re new to the game, we recommend first of all playing the online Video Poker variation known as Jacks or Better. In particular, you should look for a Jacks or Better game where the pay table offers at least 9-to-1 for a full house and 6-to-1 for a flush. This is called ‘full pay’ or 9/6 Jacks or Better and has a payout rate of up to 99.46%.

There are many different types of Video Poker online games: some have wild cards, others special bonuses for hitting certain hands. Put simply, different Video Poker games pay out at different odds, and knowing which game you’re playing helps you make the most of your bankroll.

Stick to a strategy

Online Video Poker combines the skill of Poker with the luck of Slots, so you can think strategically to improve your chances of winning. For instance, you may have a pair of Aces in your hand, but if you also have King, Queen, and Jack, you may want to break up that pair. This is because drawing a 10 could give you a straight, and if all cards are of the same suit this would give you a Royal Flush!

At the start, how you play your hands depends on how much you want to win; smaller, more frequent amounts or occasional big amounts. It's up to you, but the point is to have a strategy and stick with it. If you’re feeling confident, try using the basic Video Poker strategy further up the page. This will tell you which cards to keep in every possible situation in order to keep the house edge as low as possible.

Discard poor initial hands

If you have five cards with no pairs, high cards, or decent straight/flush possibilities (such as 5D 9H 3C 7S 2C), it’s 100% ok to go ahead and start over. There are no Video Poker rules saying you have to hold a card you don’t want to.

You have a better chance of hitting a winning pair with five new cards than you do holding two or three random cards to try to make a straight, flush, trips or two pair. This is especially true in online Video Poker variations like Deuces Wild where there are wild cards in the mix which can be substituted for any other card.

Make the maximum wager

Many Video Poker online games offer a substantially increased payout for a royal flush if you play the full number of coins, which is usually five. It’s this extra payout for max bets on royal flushes which brings the house edge so close to perfect odds. While hitting a royal flush is rare, you'll want to get the largest benefit if you actually do it.

In addition, you usually cannot get paid the progressive jackpot on a progressive Video Poker machine if you do not wager the maximum amount. You don’t want to have a potentially huge jackpot win snatched away by a technicality!

Know Your Bankroll

Choose an amount that you are willing to lose and stick to it. This amount should be a small percentage of your bankroll. If you plan to only risk $200, you will be mentally prepared and can still have fun even if you don't have a winning session. Remember, you’re playing with real money! When you build up a nice winning cushion, cash out and tuck some of the money away. If you lose the rest of your money, you still walk away a winner.

Make sure you have a bankroll that is large enough for the game you want to play. If you have $100 to risk, you won't get very far on a dollar machine playing five coins a spin unless you get lucky fast. In this case, move down to the next lowest denomination. You can still make plenty of money if you hit a big hand or go on a winning streak.

Keep your head

Even if you play correct strategy on the Video Poker online game offering the best odds, you will statistically lose about half the time. This is simply a result of the house edge built into the game. Resist the temptation to deviate from your strategy, bide your time and wait for the cards to go your way. Not only will this prolong play, allowing for more bang for your buck but it ensures better play and therefore better results.

This is especially true if you are playing multi-hand Video Poker. There is no time limit – you will not hit a better hand or have better results if you rush through your games. All rushing does leads to is reckless play and more losses. Distractions cause mistakes, and mistakes increase the house edge. If you're playing at home, you can mute your speakers to increase your concentration.

Variations Of Online Video Poker Games

There are a number of different Video Poker online games for you to choose from out there. Each one comes with its own quirks, rules, and strategies. It’s important to know what the payouts will be for each different hand – fortunately you can see the correct pay table for any game that you tend to play as it is displayed on the screen.

The right game with the right pay table can mean a significant difference in the house edge. Take a look at our top four most popular variations of Video Poker online to find the ideal game before you start.

Jacks Or Better Video Poker

Jacks or Better is by some distance the most popular variation of Video Poker online and offline. The name of the game is derived from its main rule: the you can only win with a hand containing a pair of Jacks or better. Pairs of tens or less are no good here – although there is a similar variation known as 10s or Better.

This is the game for you if you are looking to get into Video Poker online for the first time. The rules are simple to understand, and you can even use our basic Jacks or Better strategy above to minimize the house edge and give yourself the best chance of winning.

Deuces Wild Video Poker

Another online Video Poker variation with a highly descriptive name, Deuces Wild is so called because all 2s (AKA Deuces) are wild and can be substituted for any other card. This opens up all kinds of possibilities for big and impressive hands such as five of a kind, and slightly increases the odds of drawing a Royal Flush.

This is a popular Video Poker variation with intermediate players due to the increased possibilities in each hand and the higher probability of drawing ‘big hands’. However, you will need a big hand to win, as most Deuces Wild pay tables don’t go any lower than three of a kind. See our pay table below for the Deuces Wild full pay payouts.

HandPayoutProbability
Natural Royal Flush8000.000022
Four Deuces2000.000204
Wild royal flush250.001796
Five of a kind150.003202
Straight Flush90.004168
Four of a kind50.064938
Full House30.021229
Flush20.016784
Straight20.056070
Three of a kind10.284690

Joker Poker

This is another online Video Poker variation which utilizes wild cards to add new dimensions to the game. In this case, a single Joker is added to the deck and is treated as a wild – again meaning it can be substituted for any other card.

As with any other variation of Video Poker online, at CasinoGuide we always recommend playing the full pay version. This reduces the house edge significantly and can help you make your bankroll last longer.

HandPayoutProbability
Natural Royal Flush8000.000024
Five of a kind2000.000093
Wild royal flush1000.000104
Straight Flush500.000575
Four of a kind200.008555
Full House70.015679
Flush50.015577
Straight30.016595

Progressive Jackpot Video Poker

A progressive jackpot Video Poker machine enables you to win huge jackpots that make a regular Royal Flush win look small. Video Poker progressives work by taking a small portion of every player’s bet and adding it to the jackpot. The amount in the jackpot grows and grows, over weeks and months, until it is won by a lucky player. Don’t forget that you typically have to wager five coins to be eligible for the jackpot.

In order to win a Video Poker progressive jackpot, you’ll need to catch a really big hand – this varies depending on the game. For example, in Jackpot Deuces, you need to hit a royal flush, but not just any royal flush – a Diamond royal flush. The odds of this are astronomical (around 0.00000625%), which means the jackpots get really big before they’re won – and someone has to win it, so why not you?

When To Play An Online Video Poker Progressive

The trick is to know at which point you should start playing the progressive game. A seasoned Video Poker online player looks at the current value of the jackpot and what standard payout the game has. These two factors will then decide whether it's time to enter the game.

Take a 9/6 (full pay) Jacks or Better game for instance. Mathematicians have proved that when the progressive jackpot surpasses 976 times the max bet, the ‘expected value’ (EV) of your wagers increases past 100% - this is also known as ‘positive expectation’. Here are the amounts that the progressive jackpot needs to reach on Jacks or Better games with different pay tables:

  • 9/6 – 976 times the max bet, $1,220.20 on a $0.25 machine
  • 9/5 – 1,356 times the max bet, $1,696.00 on a $0.25 machine
  • 8/6 – 1,364 times the max bet, $1,705.50 on a $0.25 machine
  • 8/5 – 1,733 times the max bet, $2.166.50 on a $0.25 machine
  • 7/5 – 2,104 times the max bet, $2,629.75 on a $0.25 machine

Video Poker Online Bonuses

While you may not get rich playing Video Poker, correct strategy combined with online bonuses or can tilt the odds in your favor. Take advantage of these incentives whenever you can. Our list of recommended Video Poker online casinos above has all the best welcome bonus offers for Video Poker players – just take your pick!

If you establish yourself as a regular player at your Video Poker casino of choice, you can also expect to receive further bonuses and rewards over time. Reload bonuses and bonus codes sent to your email address are both common ways for your online casino to make sure you feel appreciated.

Making a deposit is the best way to ensure you get a generous welcome bonus. However it is sometimes possible to play Video Poker online without making a deposit, by using no deposit bonuses. These are typically reserved for Slots players, but occasionally Video Poker players are indulged as well. Just want to enjoy some free play? Our free Video Poker page allows you to play multiple variations of this popular game with no registration or download required – give it a try today!

Choosing Between Real Money Online Video Poker Casinos

When assembling our list of the best Video Poker online casinos and conducting reviews, we take five important criteria into account:

  • Design, including user experience and mobile-friendliness
  • Bonuses
  • Games selection
  • Range of payment options
  • Security and trustworthiness

Play Online Video Poker For Real Money Today!

Enjoy the best aspects of Slots and Poker rolled together into one fantastic game by playing Video Poker online. Make use of the tips and strategies outlined on this page, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of winning while playing the game.

Most importantly, don’t forget to claim your massive signup bonus with one of our recommended Video Poker online casinos. We’ve done the hard work in finding and reviewing them – all you have to do is choose one and play today!