Video poker is one of the most popular forms of gambling. The low house edge and possibility of huge jackpot wins make it an attractive choice in the Casino.
When you open a video poker game in an online casino you will see your available credits displayed in the virtual poker machine. You can choose to bet between one and five coins, and the denomination of each coin is displayed and can be adjusted to suit your desired level of play. It is always a good idea to play the full five coins in video poker as all machines offer an extra jackpot bonus for the highest hand (Royal Flush) when the maximum coins are played. So try and play video poker with the maximum number of coins to earn the most value, even if that means you have to reduce the denomination of the coins to a smaller level where you are comfortable.
The objective of video poker is to receive the highest ranked five card poker hand possible. Once you have placed your bet, click on the DEAL button and you will receive your first five cards. You have the option to HOLD any or all of your cards that you want to keep. You will then discard the cards that you do not want and they will be replaced with new cards to try and improve your video poker hand. Once you've selected which cards you want to hold, click on the DEAL/DRAW button in order to receive the new cards to replace the ones you do not want. When the new cards are dealt you will have your final poker hand, and if your hand qualifies then you will be paid out according to the payout table for that machine.
Video poker has some similarities to slot machines which make them very popular, however video poker does involve some decision making and some degree of skill which can give the player an advantage over the house compared to slot machines.
There are many variations of video poker (eg. Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, All American, etc.) and the number is constantly increasing. Wild cards have been introduced, some games feature multiple decks, bonuses for certain four of a kinds are common, and payoff tables can vary from one machine to another.
Video poker is a great middle ground for poker players and slot machine players to have some fun with the opportunity for a big jackpot payout. Remember there are no "bad beats" in video poker!
Example payout table for jacks or better video poker:
- Royal Flush - 940:1
- Straight Flush - 50:1
- 4 of a Kind - 25:1
- Full House - 9:1
- Flush - 6:1
- Straight - 4:1
- 3 of a Kind - 3:1
- Two Pair - 2:1
- Pair of Jacks or Better - 1:1
Video Poker Strategy
When playing maximum coins, the optimal video poker strategy varies depending on the rules of the game and the pay table. Sometimes, optimal strategies can become very complex. The video poker strategy presented in this section is adjusted for one of the most popular video poker games – jacks or better. However, any change in game variation or pay table might also require a change in strategy for true optimum play.
Here is how the video poker strategy table works – match your hand to the highest in the list and follow the instructions on how many cards to hold and how many to discard.
|Initial Hand||Cards to Hold||Cards to Discard|
|4 Twos, Threes, or Fours||4||1|
|4 Fives Through Kings||4||1|
|4 Card Royal Flush||4||1|
|3 Twos, Threes, or Fours||3||2|
|3 Fives Through Kings||3||2|
|4 Card Straight Flush||4||1|
|3 Card Royal Flush||3||2|
|4 Card Flush||4||1|
|Pair of Jacks, Queens, or Kings||2||3|
|4 Card Straight||4||1|
|3 Card Straight Flush||3||2|
|2 Card Royal Flush||2||3|
|3 Card Flush||3||2|
|3 High Cards||3||2|
|3 Card Straight||3||2|
|2 High Cards||2||3|
|1 High Card||1||4|
If none of the combinations listed in this table appear on your video poker screen, discard all five cards.