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Video Poker Guide

Video poker machines began popping up in land-based casinos in 70's. Since that time, the popularity of this game has increased tremendously. Through years of quality innovation, modern video poker machines now offer exciting gaming action with great graphics and cutting edge video features.

The game of video poker is one of the few online casino games where the odds of winning depend mostly on the responsible conduct of the player. Punters should play this game correctly and with the best state of mind. Let's see some basic steps to follow, to achieve a better mastering the game:

  1. Learn the Basic Rules - Almost everyone has played poker at some point in their lives. Online video poker is pretty much the same except you are playing alone on a computer. A video poker hand have to start only if you know the basic rules of poker. That means understanding basic hand rankings and drawing rules. As said, video poker have basically the same rules of the classic poker.
  2. Picking the Right Game - Most online casino offer upwards of 8-12 different variations of online video poker. You can start by playing each game for five minutes and then pick the one that holds your interest. The house's advantage ranges from .5%-1.0% as long as you play each hand properly. Popular versions include Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus, Joker Poker and Deuces and Joker. Each game's rules are slightly different, so read the related rules before you start playing.
  3. Play for Free - With so many variations to choose from, it is highly recommended you find an online casino that allows you to play video poker games for fun. When you find one, you should try out different variations and keep playing until you feel comfortable with the rules, payouts and format.
  4. Money Management - When playing slots and video poker, money goes fast. In order to protect yourself from excessive losses, you need to set a budget and don't exceed it. Also, you should set a winning target. Once you secure that level of winnings, put them in your pocket and walk away. Winning streaks and big jackpots are rare. When you are graced with such luck, the last thing you want to do is throw the money right back at the online casino, so respect your own target.
  5. Control Your Pace - It's very tempting to play video poker at a fast pace. You need to keep a reasonable pace so you have adequate time to understand your hand and make proper decisions. Very fast sessions can also provoke addiction, by changing yourself into an automata that push buttons compulsively. No one gets points for losing their money the fastest.
  6. Keep it Simple - If you find other variations confusing or frustrating, you can always stick with the simplest variation, which is usually Jacks or Better. This particular game represents online video poker in its most basic form.

Few more strategies to follow

  • Never keep a "kicker" with a pair. Three of a kind pays 50% better than two pair.
  • If you have a flush with a chance for a royal flush, breakup the flush and try for the big payday. However, you don't want to bust up a straight flush.
  • Don't breakup a straight for a chance to hit a flush. The potential payout difference is not worth the risk of busting up a winning hand.
  • Never draw five cards if you have a single card higher than a 10.
  • Never break up a big pair while trying to hit a flush or a straight.


Currently, there are dozens of poker formats that are easily adaptable into a video format. That offers a solid explanation as to why there are so many different video poker variations found online. Many of these video poker machine options include popular games such as Texas Hold'em, 5-Card Draw Poker, 3-Card Stud Poker, Caribbean Poker and Pai Gow Poker. By factoring in a few extra like bonuses, wild cards and multiple hand features, it's easy to comprehend why video poker fans are able to sit for hours while playing their favorite games.


While playing video poker, the machine is your opponent – it gives you exact five cards and you have to decide which ones you want to hold and which discard. After that, computerized console is changing your selected cards for randomly picked ones and then – pays you off according to the value of your cards.

Even though most machines provide a guide that ranks conventional poker hands and its related odds and payout percentage, here is a quick summary to keep in mind that represents the basic winning combinations starting from the best possible payout (royal flush) from the top:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Two Pairs
  • Single Pair
  • Highest Single Card

Betting: Each game is presented with a published minimum wager amount and a maximum wager amount. It is important for each player to pay close attention to both the betting parameters and the published odds. Machines with higher limits can get a bit expensive by the time that the player puts in their ante (initial) wager, and then submits a few rises. Also, some games offer side-bets that payout bonuses if specific hands are hit. In order to win those bonuses, you are required to make the side bet on the allocated spot.

Dealing: After the bets amounts have been established, the player initiates the game by clicking on the "Deal" button. Some video games are played against the dealer's hand. These games include Pai Gow, 3-Card Poker and Hold'em Poker. Other games simply require that the player establishes the best possible hand. These games include "Jack or Better," "Aces and Faces," "Deuces Wild," "Aces and Eights" and double bonus variations. The machines will prompt the players to make raises or to select cards to be "held" and replace discards with new ones.

Outcomes: When the maximum number of cards have been dealt, the machine determines the final results. In case of heads-up games against the dealer, the player must have the better hand for which he will win the betting pot or a prescribed amount based on bets made. In games where the player is trying to establish the best possible hand, payoffs are determined by the game's published pay table.

Video Poker Guide - Infographic

Video Poker Guide - Infographic