How Video Poker Works
In video poker the player gets drawn 5 cards, and they can then choose which ones to keep and which ones to replace with new ones. The goal is to get as good a poker hand as possible, so basic knowledge of poker hands is required to understand the game. Some online versions have an automated function which does show you a recommendation on which cards to keep.
The least paying combinations usually are Jacks or better, two pair and three of a kind. Medium-paying combinations are straight, flush and full house. The top three highest paying poker hands are four of a kind, straight flush and the best being royal flush.
Here are the main rules of a standard video poker game:
- Most poker games are played with a standard deck containing 52 cards. Some games include jokers as wilds (they replace any card) but some do not.
- After you have placed a bet, you can press the ‘deal’ button and you are then presented with 5 random cards from the deck.
- You can then choose which cards you want to keep and which ones to discard by pressing the ‘hold’ button on those you wish to keep. Some games make a suggestion on cards to hold automatically, speeding up the gameplay.
- You can then re-press the ‘deal’ button to get some new cards in place of the ones you have discarded. These are your final cards and will show whether you won or not. If you won, you get paid as shown on the pay table of the game.
Before You Play
There are plenty of variants for video poker, so you should always check out the rules of the game beforehand. The rules can be found under ‘help’ or ‘info’ in the game client.
- Choosing a site and game variant – You can find out some handy info about the game such as the pay table, minimum bets and rules under the game’s info. If you are a beginner in playing video poker, choose a game which is ‘Jacks or Better’ variant. This means that it pays out for getting two Jacks in your hand, which some games do not pay out for.
- Placing a bet – Different games have different bet sizes, so compare them to find out one that works for you.
- Drawing the first round of cards – After you have selected your bet size, you can press the ‘deal’ button to get your five cards. In some games they get dealt face down before turning them all over at the same time, in others you get them dealt one by one all facing up.
- Picking the cards you want to keep or ‘hold’ – Click the card(s) you want to keep by tapping them or a ‘hold’ button near the card. You can select and de-select the cards as you make your decision. Any cards you decide not to keep will be removed and replaced with random new ones from the same deck that your first cards were drawn from.
- Pressing ‘deal’ again – Once you have made your selection, press ‘deal’ again. The cards you kept will stay, and the ones you did not keep will be replaced with cards from the same deck.
- Seeing your second round dealt – Once you have been dealt your second round, the game ends and the hand you now have is your final result.
- Receiving your winnings (hopefully!) – If you won, you get paid according to the pay table. You can then play a new round if you wish.
What is the Difference Between Video Poker and Poker?
The main difference between video poker and poker is the fact that in video poker you play against a computer, not other players. This main difference then results in many minor differences.
In video poker, your hand is the only one dealt and you do not have to beat any opponents, only the computer. This means that you do not have to keep a poker face or read your opponents to discern what kind of hand they might have. As you play alone, you can also pace the game to your needs. You can take your time selecting or speed up the game by selecting automated hold suggestions.
Some say that video poker is easier than regular poker, but that does not mean that playing video poker requires no skill. A good video poker player must know the basics of poker and which hands to try to build up. Video poker is a lot more accessible, as it is a single player game found almost at all casinos and you can usually play it with small bets.
Different Video Poker Variants
As a popular game, video poker has created a lot of variants which have a few minor rule differences, but generally follow the same core strategy. If you get enthusiastic about video poker, we suggest you try out a few of the variants to find out your favourite.
Jacks or Better
The most common and played variant, which is also very beginner friendly. This variant pays out hands that have a pair of jacks. The return-to-player is high at 99.5%.
In this game variation all twos are wild cards. ‘Wild’ means that the card will substitute any other card, so you can create a better poker hand with any card of your choice. The lowest pay-out in this game begins from three of a kind.
Double Bonus Poker
This variation is like Jacks or Better but offers a bonus pay-out for getting four aces.
Aces and Eights
Another variation like Jacks or Better but this one offers high pay-outs for getting four 7s, 8s or aces.
How to Play Video Poker on Your Mobile
A lot of our internet use and gameplaying happens on mobile these days, as people are often on the go. To play video poker on your mobile device, such as smartphone or tablet, follow these few simple rules:
Step 1: Choose your casino – Choose an online casino from one of our lists and open the casino’s website on your mobile browser.
Step 2: Sign into your account – If you are a new player, register a new account. If you already have an account, log in with your details. If you are just playing for fun and free, you can usually skip this step.
Step 3: Make a deposit – If you are playing for real money, make a deposit to get some funds to play with. Remember to take advantage of any welcome bonuses the casino offers!
Step 4: Pick a game – Pick the game you would like to play. The games on online casinos are usually categorised and you can find the video poker games under a specific tab.
Step 5: Start playing! – Follow the steps we have gone through earlier in this article to start playing. If you are a beginner, we suggest you play with fake money to get used to the game rules and come up with a good strategy. We wish you good luck and many great wins!