How To Play Video Poker

The best video poker games offer a low house edge, a simple format, and the chance to earn a large payout.

This guide explains how to play video poker, discusses the different versions, and highlights the best online casinos that host these popular games.

How does video poker work?

Video poker is a card game in which you play against the house. You do not compete against rival players, so there is no need to practice your poker face.

The aim is simply to build the best possible hand. Your payout will depend upon the strength of your hand. For example, a pair of Jacks will typically result in a 1:1 payout, whereas a royal flush can earn you an 800:1 payout.

Video Poker game

How to play video poker

Playing video poker is easier than competing in a poker tournament or cash game. Follow these steps to begin playing video poker.

1. Choose a game

Head to the video poker section of a legal online casino and browse your options. You’ll find regular games and multi-hand games.

One popular option is Game King by IGT at most Michigan online casinos. This game includes nine different video poker options, including Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, and Deuces Wild.

2. Check out the pay table

Select a game and then browse the pay table. This will tell you the payout that you can expect to receive for certain hands. Here is an example of a paytable on a standard Jacks or Better video poker game.

Pair of Jacks, Kings, Queens, or Aces1:1
Two Pair2:1
Three of a Kind3:1
Full House8:1
Four of a Kind25:1
Straight Flush50:1
Royal Flush800:1

As you can see, you will earn 3x your bet amount if your hand features three of a kind. The chances of earning that hand are approximately 1 in 47, which is a probability of 2.12%.

Meanwhile, you will earn 800x your bet if you secure a royal flush. The chances of racking up that hand are 1 in 649,740, which is a probability of 0.0001%, hence the high payout.

3. Select your bet size

Choose the amount you would like to wager. Most video poker games allow you to wager between $0.50 and $500 per hand.

The default will normally be $0.50, and you can click “BET UP” to increase your stake and “BET DOWN” to decrease it.

4. Build your hand

Click “DEAL,” and you will receive five cards. At this point, you can click any cards you would like to hold. You can hold all five of them if you have a very strong hand. Likewise, you can discard all of them if you are dealt a weak hand.

Hit the “DRAW” button, and any cards you decide to discard will be replaced with new cards. You will now be left with your final hand.

5. Collect your winnings

If you have managed to compile a winning hand, you will be paid out. For instance, if you are playing Jacks or Better for $20 and your hand features a full house, you will receive $100 in profit.

The funds will be added to your account balance, which will be displayed on the screen. You can then click “DEAL” to play another hand, or you can exit the game.

Different types of video poker games

Video poker games follow a similar format, but there are slight differences in the rules and the payout rates. We have rounded up information on the most popular video poker options below.

Regular video poker games

Regular video poker games allow you to play one hand at a time. As mentioned above, Game King is a popular title, as it encompasses nine different video poker games.

GameDescriptionHouse Edge
Jacks or BetterThis is the most popular video poker option, in which you must build a hand containing a pair of Jacks or better to win.0.46%
Bonus PokerThis game offers boosted payouts on specific four-of-a-kind hands, such as those featuring Aces and low cards.0.84%
Bonus Poker DeluxeThis game offers larger payouts on all four-of-a-kind hands, and it has a higher volatility rate than Bonus Poker.0.84%
Double Bonus PokerThis game provides even larger boosts on all four-of-a-kind hands, but it has a slightly higher house edge.0.9%
Double Double Bonus PokerYou will receive additional bonus winnings on four-of-a-kind hands with extra cards, known as kickers.1.02%
Triple Double Bonus PokerSimilar to Double Double Bonus Poker but with even larger boosts and a better theoretical payout rate.0.43%
Deuces WildAll deuces (2s) will act as wilds in this game, so they substitute for other cards to help you build winning hands.0.28%
Deuces Wild BonusThis game is similar to Deuces Wild, but it offers boosted payouts on specific hands0.55%
Joker PokerA Joker is added to the standard 52-card deck for this game, and it acts as a wild card.0.8%

Video poker has a lower house edge than most other casino games, apart from blackjack and certain craps bets. However, Deuces Wild is the variant with the lowest edge.

Multi-hand video poker games

These games allow you to play multiple hands at the same time. You will be dealt a five-card base hand, and you can hold as many cards as you like.

The cards you hold will then appear on each of your hands. The draw will then take place, and additional cards will be dealt.

For example, you might decide to hold two Queens and discard the other three cards. The two Queens will appear on all of your hands, and you will receive three new cards on each hand. That will typically leave you with different hands, but they will all feature two Queens.

These are the options:

  • Triple Play Draw (play three hands concurrently)
  • Five Play Draw (play five hands)
  • Ten Play Draw (play 10 hands)

Within each of those games, you can choose any of the nine formats listed above. For example, you could play Deuces Wild within Triple Play Draw, Joker Poker within Five Play Draw, or Jacks or Better within 10 Play Draw.

Video poker tips

  • Learn how to play video poker in demo mode before playing the game for real money at an online casino. That will allow you to grow comfortable with the format.
  • Consult a video poker strategy guide. It will list the different hands (ranked from best to worst) you can potentially receive after the initial deal. Find the highest match on the list for your hand, hold those cards, and discard the others before clicking “DRAW.”
  • The ideal strategy will vary according to which version of the game you play, so you cannot necessarily use the same guide for Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.
  • Select the video poker games with the lowest house edge. For example, the house edge on Deuces Wild is just 0.28%, compared to 1.02% for Double Double Bonus Poker.
  • Claim bonuses at online casinos, as they give you the chance to play with house money. Just check whether you can play video poker with bonus credits, as it may be excluded at some sites due to the low house edge.

Where to play video poker for free

You will only benefit from video poker’s low house edge if you play with the optimal strategy. Hence, you need to learn which cards to hold and which cards to discard. To build your acumen, you can play for free in demo mode at these online casinos.

  • BetMGM Michigan | This popular MI online casino allows you to play Game King, Triple Play Draw, Five Play Draw, and Ten Play Draw games in demo mode.
  • Caesars Palace | You can play all the popular video poker games from IGT in demo mode at Caesars Palace MI. This operator has lower minimum bet limits than those at many rival online casinos.
  • DraftKings Casino | DraftKings has a dedicated video poker section, which includes Game King, Jacks or Better, Triple Play Draw, Five Play Draw, Ten Play Draw, and Multi-Rise video poker games. Some of them have in-house progressive jackpots. DraftKings has higher maximum bet limits on video poker than most competitors, but you can play the games for free while mastering the strategy.
Privacy Policy