Video poker has been around in Vegas casinos since the 1970s in one form or another. In fact, the first video slot machines were poker games and, while video slots have overtaken the classic poker terminals in popularity of late, video poker remains one of the most popular forms of casino gambling both live and inside top online casinos such as Planet 7 Casino.
In Australia, ‘pokies’ rule, but in Vegas Video Poker machines fight side-by-side with slots in the war against players’ bankrolls.
Thanks to the Internet mobile revolution of the last few years, you can now enjoy great real money Video Poker games from the comfort of your own home, with a wide range of varieties and betting limits, on your PC or smartphone.
In fact, for betting fans who like games of skill, low house edges, and the potential to win some juicy progressive jackpots, there's no better option than Video Poker
Today, there are almost as many real cash Video Poker game variations online as there are online casinos, so choosing the right ones is essential. Fortunately, we're here to help with our guide to all things Video Poker.
Once you’ve chosen a great real money online casino to play at (check our recommended links first and get yourself a top deposit bonus), head to the games lobby and find the Video Poker options.
Start off with something simple – Jacks or Better, for example – and choose your coin limits. Games normally allow you bet anywhere from 1 to 5 coins per hand, and one good tip is to bet the maximum if possible. This gives you a better chance over the long-term of hitting the big real cash prizes.
Once you’re set, hit the Deal button. You will then receive five cards face up. Look at your cards and decide which cards you want to ‘hold’, or keep in place, and which ones you want to re-draw. Choose the cards you want to change by simply clicking your mouse on them.
If you’ve ever played 5-card Draw Poker you’ll recognize the play from here on in. After clicking on the cards you want to keep, hit the ‘Draw’ button and the remaining cards will be re-dealt. All you have to do now is make the best possible 5-card poker hand.
Depending on what hand you have at the end, you will get paid out accordingly.
Depending on which variation of real money Video Poker you’re playing, you will get paid out accordingly. Check the paytables for your chosen game – better, LEARN them – as it’s good to know which hands you’re drawing to.
In a game of Jacks or Better, for example, the minimum hand you can get paid with is a pair of jacks. (Usually 1 coin at the bottom end of the betting spectrum.) The payouts then increase depending on the hand, and they follow standard poker rankings. Let’s take a standard Jacks or Better game to see the payouts in coins. (Note: payouts are for a 5-coin bet):
The poker hand rankings remains pretty constant in most real cash online Video Poker games, but the payouts vary wildly from game to game, so it’s really worth paying attention to the paytables for the game you’re playing.
For example, you can see a Flush in Jacks or Better pays 30 coins on a 5-coin bet, but in Deuces Wild it drops to 10 coins, in Double Joker it’s 20 coins, and in All American Poker, 40 coins. And where one Video Poker game pays higher on a flush, another may be better for straights – it can vary from game to game.
Note that there is a top payout for a Sequential Royal Flush. Many online Video Poker games have this extra payout. Sequential Royals are simply royal flushes that go in order across the screen from left to right, eg. 10-J-Q-K-A of spades. Some games will also pay out on a Reverse Sequential Royal Flush, which, as the name suggests, is Royal Flush running right to left.
You’ve won your first hand of real cash Video Poker – well done! Before you take your money, however, you’ll be offered two choices - Collect or Double.
You can simply choose to collect your winnings, which is fine, but you can also opt to choose a high card in order to double your haul. The screen will display five cards, with one face up. Simply click on one of the face down cards and if it’s higher than the up-card you’ll double your money – sweet! Remember, if you miss out by picking a card that’s lower, you’ll lose your money.
Some games even give you the chance of gambling just half your winnings if you don’t fancy risking all of it.
The key strategy of any Video Poker game is knowing which cards to hold and which to swap. Do you opt to play safe and go for the small two-pair wins, or go for those higher-paying flushes and full houses?
There’s no definitive strategy in how you should play, but generally speaking it pays to go for as BEST A HAND as you can possibly hit.
For example, let’s say you’re playing Jacks or Better, and you’re dealt Jh Jc Ah 2h 3h. You’ve already hit a pair of jacks so you’ve got 1-5 coins in the bank already. But wait – there’s a flush draw out there. To go for the heart flush you’ll have to opt to swap the Jc and try to complete your flush. With a flush paying 30 coins at that betting level you have to make the decision to either collect the 5 coins or gamble and go for 25 more.
That’s why looking at the paytables is essential when you’re playing Video Poker for real money. Try and work out the rough odds of improving your hand compared to the increased potential winnings.
Different Games = Different Minimum Winning Hands
There are so many different Video Poker variants online, it’s worth knowing what the minimum payout in a game is.
For example, in Jacks or Better a pair of Jacks is the lowest payer. In Joker Poker, meanwhile, it’s a pair of Kings. In Double Joker, where two jokers are in play, you’ll need two pairs in order to make any money at all.
Video Poker games with wild cards give you much more chance of winning. However, they also have a higher minimum qualifying hand. That’s understandable – after all, if you’re utilizing wild cards, you won’t get expected to get paid out on a measly pair of jacks.
Games with Wilds are like slots with Wild icons – they can turn crummy combos into winning ones, but payouts may be smaller.
You should always be aiming for the maximum payout in any game – the jackpot. Some games, like Jacks or Better, will have a jackpot worth 4,000 coins for hitting a Royal Flush at the maximum 5-coin betting limit. But it can vary: Joker Poker has a higher 5,000-coin jackpot, and there are some great Progressive Jackpot Video Poker games that have much, much higher jackpots.
Finding a great online casino to play at is almost as essential as finding a good Video Poker game.
There are dozens of Internet casinos out there but they’re certainly not created equal. Quality can vary dramatically in terms of software, range of games, customer support, player traffic and security.
Video Poker comes in so many different flavors it pays to do your homework when hunting out a casino to open an account with. Good casinos will have at least five or six Video Poker games, and online casinos with progressive jackpots prove they have the traffic to cope with creating large prizepools, and are well-respected.
There is so much competition online these days, casinos online will come up with many different promos in order to attract new customers to their websites. A real cash welcome deposit bonus sucks in the gambler and gives you the chance to earn some cash absolutely free.
Welcome deposits work like this: when you sign up and make your first real-money deposit, you will trigger a bonus – let’s say, 100% of your money back up to $500 – and you will then have to ‘play through’ a certain number of Video Poker hands or dollar amount in order to earn the bonus cash. Therefore, if you play an awful lot of Video Poker over a relatively short space of time, you can earn some serious money.
But wait – make sure you read the casino’s rules and regulations before you commit. Deposit bonuses often require a lot of commitment – sometimes wagering up to 20x the bonus amount in dollars – and the playing requirements can differ wildly from game to game. You may find that some casinos require more than 20x the wager commitment for their real money Video Poker game, or that they don’t even include Video Poker in their list of permitted games.
Whichever real cash online casino you choose to sign up with, always make sure you know where you stand with promos before getting out the credit card.
Great casinos online will have top security in place to help protect your personal and financial details. Their software will also be independently audited and come with excellent encryption in place.
Fair Video Poker relies on its RNGs (Random Number Generators) being totally above board, and that means fair shuffling and dealing without the chances of glitches or impropriety. Check your casino’s homepage for the SSL and eCOGRA logos, or their equivalent – they’re marks that the software all-round can be trusted.
If you’re looking for a top casino with a range of slick, fair and reliable real cash Video Poker games, make sure you check out our recommended links. Our team of experts tests and compares dozens of Video Poker betting sites to make sure they offer a great experience for you.
If the customer support sucks or isn’t awake when you are, we’ll tell you. After all, there’s nothing worse than questioning a Video Poker game or having an important query as you’re dealt another hand in Deuces Wild, only to discover the customer service team isn’t around.
We also make sure our top sites offer plenty of deposit methods so you can get your cash into your account in no time, and have quick cash-out times so you can get your hands on your Poker winnings straight away.
1. Stick To Jacks-Or-Better At First
OK, we know we’ve been bigging up some of the variants of Video Poker on the market. But for some quick, regular wins, try sticking to the basic Jacks-or-Better type games for a while. Remember, a pair of jacks or queens pays 5 coins in a classic video poker game, but they pay nothing in a game with Wild Cards. Jokers and Wild Cards may make things exciting in other Video Poker variants, but you’ll have to hit those bigger hands to earn anything back.
2. Bet The Maximum Coins
With a low house edge (Jacks or Better has a house edge of around 0.46%) it pays to bet as much as you can. You have a maximum of five coins to bet with, so go for this in order to give yourself a chance for the best payouts.
3. Know When And What To Hold
It’s worth memorizing the best pay tables for your favorite games. But before you play, look for the best possible paytables before you play. This will help you decide what hands to go for. Also get your hands on strategy cards for each game you’re going to play. This will tell you the chances of hitting various hands after Holding. You should be looking for the BEST POSSIBLE HAND you can hit after redrawing, so focus on hitting that. If you have 4-to-the-Flush and a Low Pair, for example, re-draw and go for the Flush.
4. Use The Internet To Improve Your Game
If you’re struggling to keep up with your game AND trying to work out the odds of hitting the cards you need in order to improve, it might be a good idea to invest in software. There are a bunch of good tools online which you can run behind your game screen and that will help to you bigger wins.
5. Search For A Good Online Video Poker Site
Does your online casino offer a dozen Video Poker variations with a Progressive Jackpot or two thrown in? If so, it’s proof that the site is respected, well-run, and has plenty of traffic to bump up those prizepools. Online casino players are savvy and will gravitate towards good casino websites. Learn to follow the crowd.
We’ve looked already at Jacks-or-Better. Available at most online casinos, the object is to make the best five-card poker hand after one draw. Remember, though, in this game you only get paid out by hitting AT LEAST a pair of Jacks. A pair of Jacks pays 1 coin, with Two Pair paying 2 coins, Three of a Kind 3 coins, and so on.
Why play one game of Jacks-or-Better when you can play four at once?! On the screen in 4-Lines Jacks-or-Better you’ll be presented with four rows of cards, with each lines being treated as a separate hand. Bet on each hand simultaneously and watch the money roll in.
Here’s an interesting twist on the classic 4-lines game. In Power Poker you’ll be dealt four hands containing five cards each, but when you choose the cards to hold in your first hand, the cards in the same position in your remaining hands take on the value of the card you held.
For example, you’re dealt K-J-K-6-2 in your top hand. You choose to hold the kings, and then the first and third cards in your remaining hands will also become kings. Play then proceeds and the computer deals your replacement cards.
Games like Deuces Wild use a Wild card which can substitute for any other card. In Deuces Wild, for instance, 2s are wild, so if you were dealt A-A-J-6-2 your 2 would become and ace to give you three-of-a-kind.
Remember that the minimum cash payouts in Wild card games are higher than conventional Video Poker games. That three-of-a-kind you just hit will probably pay the minimum so you have to decide whether the benefit of the wild 2s is worth it. Joker Poker games work in a similar way, with the Joker substituting for any card.
Like online video slots, playing Video Poker for real money at dozens of top casinos gives you the chance to win some tasty progressive jackpots.
Progressive Jackpot Video Poker games take a portion of every bet staked and pools it together with games across dozens of other casinos on the net. Then, if you trigger the progressive jackpot in your favorite Video Poker game you’ll take the lot!
Ways of triggering progressives differs from game to game, so make sure you read the rules at your online casino before playing. One thing to remember is that you will probably have to be playing at the maximum stakes on a game in order to qualify for the progressive jackpot.
It’s worth mentioning how the mobile casino boom is revolutionizing online casinos in 2016. A few years ago it would be laughable to suggest you could enjoy REAL-MONEY betting games on your phone on the move.
Now, however, there are new tablets and smartphones being released every month, with ever-increasing power and graphics capabilities. Mobile casinos adapt many of their games to fit your tablet or phone’s screen with little loss in playability compared to their PC cousins.
Mobile casinos are THE big thing for 2016 and beyond, and luckily the top casinos online will offer some great Video Poker games just for you.
Playing a game of Video Poker.
Betting the highest number of coins you possibly can, usually five per hand.
Taking your money out of an online casino account.
The denomination of bets in a game. Generally, players can bet 1 to 5 coins.
Player is given his five cards at the start of a hand.
All the 2s or deuces are wild.
The cards you choose not to hold after the deal.
Another name for Deuces Wild.
A gambling option in many games which gives you the chance to double your winnings. Players can also choose to gamble half their win.
Cards are dealt after you have chosen to hold certain cards.
Also known as the House Edge. The mathematical advantage the casino has on the games. For example on a full pay Jacks or Better machine the edge is 0.46%.
A five card hand that contains five cards of the same suit.
A hand containing four cards the same, eg. K-K-K-K-2.
A hand containing a pair and a three-of-a-kind, e.g. J-J-J-6-5.
The first five cards dealt to the player.
Choosing to keep any of the five cards you are dealt.
A hand completed by hitting a middle card, for example, being dealt a 6 in order to complete a hand of 4-5-7-8.
Paid out when hitting the best possible hand.
A feature in some Video Poker games. The Joker card acts as a Wild.
The top bet on a Video Poker hand.
A variant of online Video Poker that allows you to play more than one hand at a time. 4-Lines Poker is a good example.
The mathematical probability of hitting a certain hand.
Making a winning hand that can’t be improved by a draw.
A list of the possible wins on each hand combination.
A Video Poker game with a jackpot that increases by money paid into the same game across dozens of other online casinos. In general, Progressive Jackpots are triggered only by betting the max. coin amount.
A complex software program that oversees the shuffling and dealing of the cards.
See Random Number Generator
The best possible hand in Video Poker. A Royal Flush is 10-J-Q-K-A of the same suit, in any order.
A Royal Flush running in order from left to right. Some games pay out on Reverse Sequential Royal Flushes.
A winning hand containing five cards in consecutive order, e.g. 6-7-8-9-10, but of different suits.
A winning hand containing five cards in consecutive order of the same suit, e.g. 5-6-7-8-9 of clubs.
A winning hand containing three cards of the same value, e.g. J-J-J-4-5.
A winning hand containing two pairs of cards and a kicker, e.g. J-J-K-K-3.
A feature of some games, a wild card substitutes for all other cards.
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