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How To Play Video Poker Online: A Beginner’s Guide

Since video pokers were introduced in the mid-1970s, their popularity has continued to grow ever since. Many gamers who love to enjoy the fast thrills of slots see Video Pokers as a better alternative. Why is this so?

Video Pokers come with incredibly high odds better than most casino games. And unlike slots, they also reward you for your skills. You can use strategies to gain an edge while playing Video Pokers.

How To Play Video Poker Online: A Beginner’s Guide

It doesn’t matter if you’ve played the game before or never have, this guide is for you. We have covered every detail you need to enjoy playing the game. Here’s a summary of what you’ll learn on this page:

  • What a video poker is
  • Variations of Video Poker
  • How to play the game
  • Video Poker Paytables
  • Odds Chart
  • House Edge
  • Progressive Jackpots
  • Video Poker Strategy and Tips

What is Video Poker?

Video poker is a type of gambling game inspired by the five-card draw poker. The game is available both at land-based venues and online casinos.

Just like gambling slots, online video pokers are based on RNG. Both categories of game are similar in many ways. The major difference is that video pokers involve skills and allow you to use strategies.

When you play slots, the only skill you may require is bankroll management. But in the video poker game, you need to understand probability and apply patience and discipline.

Variations of Video Poker

One of the things that make playing casino interesting is the number of variants available for each game. There are also many variations of video poker. This means that you have enough variety to enjoy as you try out your luck and skills.

Even though they all have the same basics, each variation has unique twists that give you a different experience. We have listed some of the most popular variations below.

Jacks or Better

There’s almost no online casino that doesn’t feature this variation in its video poker games collection. Jacks or Better has the lowest variance of all types of the game.

Jacks or Better

The variation name comes from the fact that a pair of jacks or better is the minimum winning hand. A royal flush, on the other hand, pays the highest. Jacks or Better features lesser risks and less rewards.

Examples of popular games in this variant include:

  • 6/5 Jacks or Better
  • 7/5 Jacks or Better
  • 8/6 Jacks or Better
  • 9/5 Jacks or Better
  • 9/6 Jacks or Better

Wild Card

This variation features more risk and bigger rewards compared to Jacks or Better. Three of a Kind is the minimum winning hand, and it pays 1:1, just like the pair of jacks or better in the first variant.

There are so many low payouts for winning hands in wild card video poker. But with the wild cards, you can land big wins. This variant is fast-paced and action-packed.

Here are some examples of games in this variant:

  • Joker Poker
  • Deuces Wild
  • Double Joker Poker

Pick a Pair/ Pick’em

In this variant, you’ll experience a completely different style of play. The unique twists add much more fun and suspense to it.

Unlike other games where you get five cards, you are dealt two pairs of cards. A pair is dealt from the left and the other from the right side of the screen. Then you must select one of the two cards on the right side and add to the ones on the left. Two more cards are then dealt to make it a complete five-hand.

Pick’em involves less complex decision making and an extremely low house edge. The lowest minimum winning hand is a pair of nines.

Examples of Pick’em games

  • Pick’em Poker
  • Pick’em Poker Deuces Wild
  • Pick’em Poker Double Double Bonus

Bonus Poker

These are very popular online variants of the game. They work just like every other variant but offer bonuses for hitting specific hands. For instance, a Bonus Poker game will give you a bonus when you get four of a kind.

Bonus Poker

There is also a Double Bonus Poker. This is based on the Jacks or Better variant. It offers a bonus when you get four aces. You’ll also find the Double Double Bonus, which gives you a bonus for getting four of a kind. The payout will depend on which type of cards.


This variant is based on the other types, such as the Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. It only adds an exciting twist to it.

When you click “Draw”, your cards are not dealt at once. The machine automatically deals either 3, 5, 50, or 100 hands. The number of hands dealt depends on the type of machine.

Different decks are used for each hand, but the payout remains the same as the regular versions. Examples are:

  • Deuces Wild Multi-hand
  • Double Bonus Multi-Hand
  • Jacks or Better Multi-Hand

How to Play Video Poker Online

All the variants of Video Poker follow the same basics as stated earlier. The gameplay is similar, and the hands are ranked the same way. However, payouts for each hand may depend on the particular game you’re playing.

When you’re ready to start playing, go to your favourite video poker casino and choose the game you want to play. Once the game loads, you will be able to bet.

Choose the coin value and the number of coins to bet. Then click on “Deal’ to get your cards. Decide on which cards to hold to form your best poker hand. Click on “Draw” to change your un-held cards.

When you make a qualifying poker hand, you will be paid according to the game’s paytable. We have described more concerning the rules and the ranking of hands below.

Basic Rules

Regardless of what variant you play, the game’s objective is to get the best poker hand. It uses the same cards as Poker, so it isn’t difficult to understand. When you get a winning hand, you will get a payout according to the paytable.


In this section, you will see how the cards combine to form a winning hand. We have arranged the hands based on their ranks.

  • Royal Flush: This is when you have a 10, J, Q, K, and A of the same suit. It is the best hand in video poker.
  • Straight Flush: the next best hand after the royal flush. It is a combination of five consecutive cards of the same suit.
  • Four of a Kind: Here, you get four different cards of the same value.
  • Full House: A pair of same value cards with three of a kind (three same-value cards)
  • Flush: Any five cards of the same suit, regardless of the order
  • Straight: Five consecutive cards, regardless of the suits
  • Three of a kind: Three cards of the same value
  • Two pair: Two groups of cards containing two cards each of the same value
  • Jacks or better: A pair of jacks
the cards combine to form a winning hand


Placing your bets in video poker online is very simple. Once the game starts, betting is the process that follows. We have described the process in three steps below.

  1. After the game is launched, choose a coin size
  2. Select the number of coins to wager on each hand
  3. Click on “Deal” to start the first hand

Types of Paytables

The most significant difference between the video poker variations is the variance (the risks and rewards involved).  You can easily determine the variance for each game when you look at the paytable.

You could hit some huge payouts if you land good hands in some variants. Some games also offer very small payouts. Before you play any variant, you should check the paytable first.

Odds Chart

Video poker games promise some very good returns. The odds, house edge, and payouts are better when compared to many other gambling games. Here’s a general odds chart that shows you what to expect in the game

Hand Frequency Probability Payout Returns
Royal Flush 64.345748 0.00% 4000 1.98%
Straight Flush 284.08995 0.01% 250 0.55%
Four of a Kind 640.1617 0.24% 125 5.91%
Full House 29919.766 1.15% 45 10.36%
Flush 28626.273 1.10% 30 6.61%
Straight 29184.676 1.12% 20 4.49%
Three of a Kind 193489.19 7.45% 15 22.33%
Two Pair 335990.7 12.93% 10 25.86%
Jacks or Better 57697.91 21.46% 5 21.46%
Nothing 1417562.9 54.54% 0 0.00%
Total Return 99.54%

The overall return expected for a video poker game is 99.54%, which is higher than slot machines. Bear in mind that the payouts may differ slightly depending on which game you’re playing. Furthermore, when the game involves a wild card, the chances of getting higher ranked hands are increased.

House Edge

The house edge of any casino game is the percentage of profit that goes to the casino. It is usually what’s remaining from 100 after removing the return to player rate.

Generally, video pokers have low house edges. With the right strategy when playing, you can even make it lower. The wrong strategy also can take the house edge far higher than it should be. We have provided the game strategy and a few tips further down this guide.


In the above odds chart, we provided a list of estimated payouts for each hand. However, there might be differences depending on the type of game you play.

For instance, the payout for a Full House hand is little in the Deuces Wild Poker. But when you play Jacks or Better, it pays you thrice as much for Full House hand in Deuces Wild.

Here are some things to know about payouts in video pokers:

  • Variations like Jacks or better pay bigger prizes for more common hands but small prizes for bigger hands
  • Double Bonus Poker, on the other hand, pays more for higher-ranked hands and little for less valuable hands
  • Games with wilds require high minimum qualifying hands. The payouts for valuable hands are always huge

Progressive Jackpots

Just like slots, there are video pokers that have progressive jackpots. In these games, the jackpot keeps growing as players wager until a lucky person wins it.

Video Poker Strategy

One of the advantages of Video Poker over other games is that strategies can influence your outcome. While games like slots, Roulette, or Baccarat depend hugely on luck, you can still use your skills for video pokers. It works just like Blackjack, where a good strategy can hand you big wins.

Therefore, before you start playing any video poker game, make sure you have a strategy to use. You can get more tips in the next section.

Video Poker Tips

Here are some tips that can improve your chances of winning:

  • Place Maximum bets: Your payout is always huge when the bet amount is large. If your bankroll is small, search for a game with smaller coin sizes or denominations to bet up to five coins on a hand conveniently.
  • Practice well before playing for real money: Fortunately, many online casinos allow you to play free video poker games. In these free games, you bet with free virtual coins and cannot win real money. These games will let you practice your strategies well before betting real money.
  • Pick a game with better payouts: You can always see the payout for every game when you open it. Before you start wagering, check the paytable to see if the payouts are suitable enough for you.


Here are some top gaming providers with good Video Poker games:

  • Betsoft
  • Microgaming
  • Play’N Go
  • Pragmatic Play
  • Tom Horn
  • iSoftBet


Video Poker games can be exciting and interesting when you use the right strategy. It also requires some dedication and patience in decision making. So, arm yourself with these skills before you play.

Finally, make sure you play only in a good casino with the best bonuses. This will give you more playing time to enjoy the game perfectly.