How to Play Video Poker

Video Poker Online

Video poker was usually played on specially designed machines in land-based casinos. However, video poker has moved onto the Internet in the last couple of decades. This transition doesn’t affect the rules of this game, though, so if you know how to play video poker in a brick-and-mortar gambling facility, you’ll learn how to play it online. 

According to the latest statistics, video poker is one of the most popular online casino games. This game involves dozens of versions and hundreds of titles. One thing that makes it attractive is the extremely high RTP (Return to Player) percentage, which is usually around 99%. For additional information about how to play video poker, keep reading our in-depth guide.

The basic rules of video poker

The video poker gameplay is as straightforward as it gets. It’s worth mentioning that it’s based on 5-card draw poker, and its appearance will probably remind you of slot games. Once the main screen is loaded, players can choose the coin’s value and the number of coins in play. The good thing is that you can place very low bets allowing you to enjoy this game for real money for a long time. However, some versions will give you a chance to win bigger prizes (jackpots) when playing with a maximum bet.

After wagering some money, you can hit the spin sign and reveal five cards. Next, you get an opportunity to substitute one to five cards. Simply select the cards you want to keep and hit the spin button again. Analyze the values you already have and figure out whether substituting some of the cards can help you boost your winnings. Those who play safe will always keep a winning combo regardless of its value. Still, experienced players know that it’s sometimes better to break these combos for a chance to win more significant rewards.

Since not all video poker games are the same, players should take some time to read the rules of the specific version of the game they intend to play. To help you with this process, we have gathered information about the most played video poker games and their rules.

Types of video poker

Standard/Classic Video Poker

We will start with the first version of this game revealed in the 1970s. As you may have guessed, it takes just one player to play this game. Remember that the goal is to hit a winning combination of any kind to win a prize. You don’t need a hand that’s better than other players’ hands (or banker’s hands).

So, standard video poker, like the rest of these games, is based on five-card draw poker. Once again, we will mention that the main goal is to get the highest-ranking five-card hand at the end of the round. After placing a bet and clicking the deal sign, you will receive five face-up cards. It’s up to you to decide which cards will be kept and which ones will be replaced. You can keep all cards, several cards, or none of them. Simply click on the ones you intend to keep. After that, you will get new cards in the place of those you want to discard. If you have a winning combination, you’ll get paid according to the paytable.

Standard/classic video poker is played with a standard deck of cards with 52 playing cards. The deck is reshuffled before each round. Also, the winning hands present in classic video poker are more or less the basic winning hands in all types of video poker, so it would be wise to say a word or two for these combinations starting from the lowest to the highest winning.

Two pairs – two sets of two identical cards in terms of value.

Three of a kind – three cards with identical values.

Straight – five subsequent cards of any suit.

Flush – any five cards of the same suit (not consecutive cards)

Full house – three of a kind + one pair

Four of a kind – four cards with identical values

Straight flush – five cards of the same suit (up to King) in a sequence

Royal flush – 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace all the same suit

Deuces Wild Video Poker

How to play deuces wild video poker is one of the most frequently asked questions on the Internet about this casino game. That’s no surprise because Deuces Wild is a viral video poker variant. The reason why it’s called Deuces Wild is because of the fact that any combination of cards with a value of two counts as wild cards. So, participants can use a 2 card (or a deuce) to replace any other card that can contribute to a winning combination. Besides the winning hands we’ve described above (Three of a kind, Straight, Flush, Full House, Four of a kind, and Straight flush), this version has a few other combinations that bring rewards. 

First, you can land Five of a kind which means five cards with identical values (four matching cards and a wild card). Next, there is a Wild royal flush with a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and/or Ace of the same suit with a minimum of one wild card. Then there is the Royal flush with no deuces – the same combination without wild cards. The presence of wild cards makes it easier to hit various winning combinations. So, if you remember these rules and the basic rules of classic video poker, you will know how to play video poker deuces wild.

Jacks or Better Video Poker

We have included another extremely popular type of video poker in our guide – Jacks or Better. You shouldn’t expect radical changes compared to traditional/classic video poker. The only difference is the additional winning hand that promises relatively low payouts. So, even when you have one pair, you can still win a prize at Jacks or Better. But, to get this prize, the pair must consist of Jacks. 

Other popular types of video poker available in many online casinos include Jokers Wild, All American, Aces, and Faces, 2 Ways Royal, Aces and Eights, Tens or Better, Sevens Wild, and Loose Deuces. 

Video Poker Tips

If you want to learn how to play video poker and win, you must read some tips. We have created a shortlist of the best tips created by experienced players.

Don’t hold a kicker

This is a common rookie mistake that involves an additional card that players hope to ease the creation of a winning combo in the next round. For instance, some players may keep a pair and a royal card (a King, for example), hoping to get two pairs in the next round. Don’t forget that the value of a single card doesn’t play a role in these combinations. If you are hoping to get two pairs, you can keep a 3 or 7, for example. The payouts are the same, and so are the chances of winning. Holding a kicker with a pair will reduce the payoff by five percent.

Keep the low pairs 

Some players may be tempted to ditch the low pair in the first round because they have a high card like an Ace. In some games, high cards can lead you to bigger wins, but the risk involved in keeping these cards and discarding an existing low pair makes this move wrong. A low pair will always bring you a prize.

Taking a risk to get a royal flush is usually worth it

Players who have an opportunity to hit a Royal Flush should break up their Flush or Straight. Take some time, analyze your current situation and make a decision. Royal Flush promises enormous payouts.

Learn more about the payouts

When playing video poker, one must learn more about the payouts to make a sound decision. Every video poker game found online comes with a paytable. The potential winnings you can expect from each combination are presented in a simple way. Once you learn these payouts, you will understand when it’s worth risking.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to spend hours learning how to play video poker. This simple yet exciting game can help you have a good time and give you a chance for decent winnings. Of course, to stay safe and ensure that you are maximizing the effects of your gaming sessions, you must learn the basic rules of each video poker variant. By doing this, you will be able to employ the best strategy for that specific type of video poker. 

The best video poker titles have a great Return to Player percentage of 99% or more. With a good strategy, you should minimize the losses and increase the odds of winning. Before playing this game online, it may be good to try the specific version for free. The best online casinos allow their registered players to try a demo of that release. Use this chance to better understand the gameplay and learn the rules. Remember that playing a demo means playing without risking your money. It also means playing without an opportunity to win real money.