Video Poker Online: How to Win and What to Consider When Choosing a Casino Site

Video poker is a popular game that you will find at both land-based casinos and at online casinos. It is a game that is based on five card poker and the gameplay is similar to that of a slot. There are many different variations of that you will come across, with this guide walking you through the most popular options and where to find them.

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How we rate the best video poker casinos

There are many different things you need to consider if you are looking to get started playing video poker online. Every person is going to have their own individualized needs and preferences, so these also need to be taken into account. When conducting reviews of the best online casinos, here are some of the most important areas to look at:

  • Selection of video poker games
  • Mobile compatibility
  • Security and licensing of the online casino
  • Ease of use of the platform
  • Smoothness of gameplay
  • Available payment methods
  • Welcome offers
  • Regular promotions and loyalty programs
  • Customer support options

What to consider when choosing a casino site

Once you know what to look out for an online casino, you will likely have created a shortlist of potential options. To narrow down this list and find an option to get started with, you should decide what your utmost priorities are when it comes to video poker. Some people want to have a wide selection of different options, while others are happy with the basics once there is good customer support and the availability of great offers.

This is entirely dependent on you. Once you apply your list of priorities it should be easy enough further narrowing down the list. If you are stuck between two options, you can always sign up for an account with both of the online casinos and try them out for yourself. This is perfectly within your rights, allowing you to access both game libraries and to take your gameplay to the next level.

How to play video poker

There are many different video poker variants for you to check out, but a lot of the rules will often stay the same no matter what specific option you are looking at. Once you have selected a given video poker variant, you should then familiarize with the unique rules to that given game, learning about the different payout and side rules.

To start with video poker, you need to place a bet and then have your five play video poker cards dealt to you. You then decide what cards you want to keep and what ones you want to have replaced. Once you select ‘draw’, these changes will be made and you can then see if your final hand will payout.

  • House edge

    With all casino games, there is going to be a house edge built into them. This stacks the odds in the favor of the house in the long run so that they can be profitable. Different video poker options will have different horse edges associated with them, whether it is triple play video poker for example. You can check the return to player (RTP) percentage of any video poker game you are looking at to see the exact payout that is being offered.

    This is a good way for you to compare different games with one another in a more objective manner. Vide poker games have some of the smallest house does compared with most other types of casino games. This includes being better for the player than the likes of blackjack, roulette and slots in most cases.

  • Video poker payouts

    Jacks or Better usually carries the best RTP of a given video poker title with an RTP of 99.54%. This means that for every $100 that you place on this game you will in theory get a return of $99.54. Another popular variant of Deuces Wild that will payout anywhere from 97.69% to 98.91%. Other games will often be in the region of 97% or 98%.

Types of video poker games

There are a number of video poker games that are very popular and you will come across them again and again. While they may be developed by different companies, they often are still following a similar format. Here are some of the most popular variants:

Jacks or Better

jacks or better video poker

This is the most popular type of video poker that you will come across, with it often simply being labelled as ‘draw poker’. You will start earning payouts with pairs of jacks and this game often has the best RTP of any Video poker payouts game that you will come across. There are different variants of Jacks or Better out there for you to check out.

Deuces Wild

deuces wild video pokerThis is one of the other leading forms of online video poker, with multiple variants also. All of the deuces are considered to be wild cars that a player can then use to replace any of their cards with a deuce. The lowest payout will be for a three of a kind, paying out even odds. The overall payout is a bit lower because the odds are greater thanks to the wilds. One of the preferred variants is triple play deuces wild video poker.

Tens or Better

tens or better video pokerThis is a similar game to Jacks or Better, with the main difference being that you have the ability to win a bit more frequently as the lowest paying hand in this case is a pair of tens. The full pay option usually pays out 99.13%, which is a decent return.

Bonus Poker

double bonus video pokerThis is also similar to Jacks or Better, but the payouts are better when you hit certain four of a kind hands. A pair of jacks is the lowest hand that pays out. This is certainly an exciting game thanks to the many different tweaks and nuances.

How to win at video poker

Just like with any casino game, there is not going to be a surefire way or strategy that allows you to win any time you want. There are going to be bumps along that way that need to be negotiated. However, you can employ certain techniques and strategies that will stack the odds more so in your favor than they otherwise may be.

How to Win at Video Poker

Naturally, you are going to know the exact rules and payoffs for the specific video poker games online that you are playing before developing or implementing any sort of video poker strategy. The most important part of playing video poker is deciding what cards you should keep and what should be let go. Strong cards should almost always be kept even if you do not see them as pairing together in a winning combo.

Tossing all of your cards is normally not the best strategy to employ either, with the only time this should really be the case if you have a lot of mixed cards. Over time, you will become more knowledgeable and experienced, knowing what cards you should keep and when you should discard certain cards. Trial and error will be your friend, just make sure that you learn from your mistakes and that you do not repeat them. Here are some other tips and strategies to keep in mind:

Choosing the pay tables

One of the best aspects of video poker is that you are always aware of the pay table of a given game before you begin playing. You know exactly what you are going to win when you hit certain combinations, which is not something you will really see with video slots. Therefore, you can easily compare and contrast the pay tables between different games to see what is the best for you. If you are looking to maximize your chances as much as possible at being a successful video poker player, you will want to play the games that offer the best returns.

Tailoring your strategy

While most variants have similarities, they are never going to be exactly the same. This is why you need to tailor your approach depending on the game at hand. Jacks or Better is the most popular variant, so people place a focus on strategy in this variant more than a lot of others. For those Jacks or Better players, playing with max cons is usually advised because if you hit a royal flush, you are going to get a bonus win. You can only get this bonus if you have bet max coins on the outcome of the hand. If you have a more limited bankroll, then you may not want to max out your bets but you need to be aware that the bonus will then be out of the equation. You should only bet with the money that you are comfortable with losing, as otherwise you will likely dig yourself into a hole that will be tough to get out of.

Be patient

When it comes to all forms of gambling online, there can be an urge to rush proceedings and maximize the amount of hands or rounds you have in a given playing session. When you are rushing, you are likelier to make mistakes and act on impulses rather than logic. You want to slow down and think about each and every move. With video poker, there is no time limit or other players that you have to consider, it is just you playing with the random number generator. You can take a break if needed and you will be able to better manage your bankroll as you won’t blow it in a matter of minutes by playing too fast. One of the most important aspects associated with being a good gambler is being able to properly manage your bankroll.

Obtain any rewards on offer

One of the easiest ways of improving your performances is by utilizing all possible perks that a given online casino offers. When you sign up for a new account, you will get access to welcome bonus offers. These could be in the form of a no deposit bonus, free spins or a deposit bonus. You can use these funds a lot of the time to play video poker. There are also regular promotions that allow you to play without having to put much of your own funds at stake. Most online casinos will often have some form of loyalty program or reward program that allows you to earn points as you play, earning different perks like cashback bonuses and free plays. All of these different promotions add up over time and can be the difference between you being profitable and you losing money.

Avoid silly mistakes

Everyone is going to make mistakes and errors of judgment when they are playing poker. However, there are certain types of mistakes that are inexcusable when they happen and you should try to avoid at all costs. A common mistake with Jacks or Better for example is retaining a kicker. Some people think that by keeping a hold of a kicker means that they are going to achieve a higher payout. There is also a rule of thumb that you should never hold onto three cards with the aim of getting a flush or a straight. The only exception to this rule is if a potential straight flush is on the horizon, with a big payout often being at stake. By limiting simple errors, you can boost your balance over time.

Try new things

When you are playing video poker, it can be easy to let matters get stale and just play the same game over and over again. You can get stuck in a rut if you are not careful and the process of playing can become dull and monotonous. This is why you should take time to play other variants, as well as other casino games. This will expos you to new ideas and you may find a nugget of information that can be added to your strategy. Keeping things fresh is always a goods idea, with something new always being available on the leading online casinos. Most online casinos will have a selection of different types of video slots and table games, as well as often having a specialty game offering and even a sportsbook. This means that you will never be bored and short of a game to try out.

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Bottom line

With video poker, you have a lot of different options online in terms of variants. You will never get bored and always be in with a chance of being profitable. It brings the best aspects of poker together with some of the more exciting aspects of slots, with minimal house edge being involved in the process. It certainly is the ideal time to sign up for a video poker casino site and avail of a lucrative welcome bonus offer.


What is the best variant to play?

There are many great types of video poker that you can try out for yourself and to see what one fits your needs. In terms of the best payouts, Jacks or Better usually is the best in this regard, but you may find another option more entertaining to play.

What video online poker variant has the highest RTP?

The RTPs for video poker variants can vary depending on the operator you are using, Jacks or Better is usually the best option in terms of RTP, with it often being around the 99.54% range.

Can you play on your mobile device?

Yes, most online casino operators will allow you to play video poker on our mobile, whether you are playing through a dedicated mobile casino app or through your device’s web browser.

Can you play video online poker free?

There are some online casinos that allow you to test out games for free without putting any money on the line. To see if this is the case with video poker, you will need to check with the given online casino you are using.

How easy it is to get to grips with the rules?

If you are familiar with five card poker, it is usually very easy to learn the rules of a given video poker game. Even if you have never played poker before, it does not take long at all to understand the rules.

What age do you need to be to play video online poker?

The age requirement for you to play online video poker is going to vary from state to state. You also may need to consider the age requirements that the platform itself dictates, usually being 18 years old as the minimum allowable age for players.

About Andrew O'Malley

Alex has been writing about the gambling industry for more than five years, covering everything from sports betting to casinos and poker. With the sector constantly evolving, he loves nothing better than staying up to date with the latest movers and shakers in the space.