Video poker has been around in one form or another since the seventies and in that time the game has created quite a cult following. The process of video poker is very simple and anyone who is familiar with the rules of poker are able to pick up the game almost immediately.  

The appeal comes from a number of different reasons, but one of the main ones has to be the low house edge that is involved with the game. In fact, at just 0.46% in favour of the house there are only a few games that have a lower edge than vide poker. On top of that the game allows you to win big from a relatively small stake and also to play relatively anonymously, if that’s your thing.

Video Poker Bonuses

Video Poker fans will know that their favourite game is often excluded whilst playing with a bonus, or comes with a ridiculous wagering requirement. We've trawled through hundreds of online casinos to find you the best bonuses which can be used to play video poker.

Please note, the 'double' or 'gamble' feature of video poker usually does not count towards the wagering requirements of an online casino bonus. Some video poker games may be excluded from play or have different playthrough requirements - make sure you check what games are allowed before playing. If in doubt, ask the casinos customer support.

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How to play Video Poker

The aim of the game in video poker is to make the best 5-card hand possible. The hand ranking re exactly the same as any other game of poker and are ranked as the following (payout in brackets):

  • Pair (jacks or better) (x1)
  • Two pair (x2)
  • Three of a kind (x3)
  • Straight (x4)
  • Flush (x6)
  • Full house (x9)
  • Four of a kind (x25)
  • Straight flush (x50)
  • Royal flush (x250)

Depending on which ranking of hand you can create from your 5 cards will depend on the payout that’s on offer. For example, typically you would get double your stake when you make a pair. But, if you made a straight flush you would get 50x your stake.

As part of the game, most Video Poker machines will pay out a handsome bonus when you make a Royal Flush. Obviously, this hand will already pay out the most (usually around 250 times your stake), but the added bonus can add as much as 4000 times your stake, making it highly lucrative.

Step 1 – Familiarise yourself with the rankings

We have listed the hand rankings above, but it’s imperative that you either know them off by heart or can access them immediately when playing video poker. Not knowing the hand ranking could mean that you drop certain cards when you should keep them, resulting in you losing out on potential profits.

Step 2 – Choose your game

Whilst Video Poker has a very simple layout, there are actually a lot of different variations of the game. These variations may be subtle in concept, but not knowing which game you are playing and the rules involved for that format of Video Poker could once again prove to be a very costly result.

Step 3 – Choose stake

When sat down at your video poker machine you will have the ability to choose the stake that you want to bet for each hand. As you can imagine, stakes for each machine can vary massively so make sure you’re comfortable with the game that you are playing.

Step 4 – Start spinning

Now you are set to play and it’s here where you need to start getting those cards spinning. Simply click the Deal button and your first 5 cards will appear on screen.

Step 5 – Choose to drop or not

The next step allows you to hold or discard all of your cards. For example, you may have 3 clubs and 2 diamonds in your hands, then decide that you want to chase that flush. You can discard the 2 diamonds and then you will get 2 new cards. After this has been done then your hand will pay out according to the new cards.

Step 6 – Collect your winnings

At this point if any of your cards make up a combination of winning poker hands then you will be paid according to the pay table for that game.

Hints and Tips

Play for Maximum Stake Where Possible

A lot of video poker machines will come complete with jackpots that can only be earned when playing for the maximum stake on that machine. If possible, you want to be playing as often as you can at maximum stake which will give you the opportunity to hit any jackpots should they arise. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to play for hundreds of pounds/dollars for each spin, as there are a lot of low stakes machines that max out at a much lower amount.

Use Perfect Strategy

With video poker it is possible to play the perfect strategy for each scenario that you come across. As you are playing with a shuffled deck of 52 cards each time, you will be able to work out the percentages of hitting the cards you need to improve.

For example, below is a common strategy that can be found when playing the Jacks or Better video poker game. The hands indicate cards you should keep from your 5 and then discard the rest.

  • 1 Four of a kind, straight flush, royal flush
  • 2 4 to a royal flush
  • 3 Full house, Flush, Straight, Three of a kind
  • 4 Four to a straight flush
  • 5 Two pair
  • 6 High pair (jacks or better)
  • 7 Three to a royal flush
  • 8 Four to a flush
  • 9 Low pair
  • 10 Four to an outside straight
  • 11 Two suited high cards
  • 12 Three to a straight flush
  • 13 Two unsuited high cards
  • 14 Suited J-T, Q-T, or K-T
  • 15 One high card
  • 16 Discard everything

Check Paytables

As with all casino games, the price that can be paid out between different video poker games can range massively from casino to casino. Make sure that you check the paytables on offer before starting to play. If you find that they are particularly poor then just save your money and move on. If you are unsure, then check off the list under ‘objectives’ at the top of this article.