Online Video Poker: Rules and Strategies

Video poker is a popular online casino gambling game that has taken the best from poker and slot machines. You can play this game on any device, whether it’s a computer, phone or tablet. The player's goal is to collect the highest hand possible. The higher the combination, the bigger the payout. If you have no idea of how to play video poker, go ahead and read this quick guide!

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Online video poker: Popular variations

Deuces wild

This video poker game uses a deck of 52 cards. All deuces become Wild Cards. In Deuces Wild game a Wild Royal Flush (regular Royal Flush with Wild Cards) is rated higher than in other video poker variations. The combination of four 2s is the second-highest hand after a Royal Flush.

Jacks or better

This game uses a 52-card deck without Wild Cards. The lowest-paying hand in Jacks or Better is a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces.

Joker poker

This game is played with a deck of 52 cards with an additional joker. In Joker Poker, Five of a Kind pays better than a Wild Royal Flush.

Tens or Better

This video poker variation does not use Wild cards. The lowest-paying hand in Tens or Better is a pair of Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces.

Differences

Popular video poker variations have a bunch of differences between them.

online video poker

  • Number of lines. Video poker machines can have 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, 25, 50, or 100 lines. The first five cards are dealt on one line. The player selects cards that are fixed on all lines.
  • Name of the game. The most popular video poker variations are Jacks and Better, Tens and Better, Wild Deuces, Joker Poker, Aces and Faces, and Bonus Poker.
  • Jackpot. Some video poker games feature a progressive jackpot. A small part of each bet goes towards the jackpot pool which is growing by the second.
  • Payouts. Different video poker games have varying payouts. For example, one and the same hand pays 50:1 in one video poker game and 40:1 in the other game. The mathematical expectation ranges from −5% to +0.1%.

Game rules

Let’s see how to play a video poker machine. The player places a bet and clicks on the Deal button. The player receives 5 cards face up. In a standard video poker game, a 52-card deck is used. Video poker games with Jokers use decks with 53-54 cards. If the player is willing to hold their cards, they click the Hold button. To get new cards, the player clicks the Deal button.

Any paying hand generates a payout. You also can double your winnings by entering the Risk Game. To accept the challenge, you need to click the Double button. To pass on the Risk game and continue with the base game, you need to click the Collect button.

Double game

Some video poker machines have a bonus feature called Double game or Risk game. If the player chooses to test their luck at the Risk game, they need to click the Double button. The player is dealt 5 cards, 4 face down and 1 face up. The player needs to select one card from the 4 face down cards. If the selected card is higher than the open card, the player wins and their winnings are doubled. Otherwise, the player loses the Risk game. If the cards have identical values, it’s a tie.

In some Risk Games, the player’s task is to guess the color of a face-down card. If you guess right, your winnings will be doubled. Then you’ll be asked to guess the suit of the card. If your answer is correct, your winnings will be quadrupled. Not bad, huh?

Some video poker machines feature the so-called Half-Double game where you can risk 50% of our winnings.

Video poker strategy

The outcome of a video poker game depends in part on the player’s actions and skills. Luckily for gamblers, there is an optimal strategy for each type of video poker game. And while none of these strategies can guarantee you a win, they can surely increase your winnings odds. Let’s take a look at the basic strategy for Jacks or Better:

  • If you have 4 cards to a Straight or a Flush, you need to hold all 4 of them and take one additional card.
  • If you have 3 cards to a Royal Flush, you must absolutely keep them and take two new cards.
  • If your hand contains a Pair, hold these two cards and take 3 additional cards.
  • If you have no matching cards, you should hold a Jack or any card which is higher than Jack.
  • If you happen to have no combinations at all, you need to take 5 new cards.