How to Play Video Poker- A Complete 2023 Guide With Key Strategies

Nikhil Goswami  - Gambling
Play Video Poker

Video poker is a fun, interactive, and intuitive game that incorporates the best aspects of online slots and poker. 

Most casino games typically do not require much skill; however, to play video poker, you must be knowledgeable and master several skills and strategies to succeed. 

Video poker is a popular online casino game in the industry. Recent findings reveal 40% of poker enthusiasts are between 18 and 25 years old

In this article, we will give a detailed overview of video poker, what it is, and the key strategies to help you win a game of video poker. The rules and strategies apply whether you play online or in a traditional brick-and-mortar station.

How to Play Video Poker?

How to Play Video Poker

The best poker site offers several video poker variations, including Joker Wild, Super Ace, Deuces Wild, Double Bonus, and many more. Ordinarily, the different variations follow the same rules and guidelines. 

If you would like to give this game a chance, here is a step-by-step guideline on how to go about playing video poker.

With online gambling, you have to determine how much you are willing to put at stake and then make a deposit. Video poker uses coins or credits to play. 

After depositing into your account, you can decide how many credits you want to bet on each hand.

You will be dealt with your first five cards when you hit the deal button. Some casinos deal with the cards facing up; others might deal with them facing down and turning them over simultaneously. 

Check your cards. Select “hold” to keep the cards you want to hold on to. The rest will be discarded and replaced with new cards until you have the best poker hand. 

When satisfied with your cards, you should hit the ‘deal’ or ‘draw’ button to finalize or determine your final poker hand. 

The best part of video poker is that the casino often offers suggestions on making the best possible hand with your available cards. 

They usually highlight this at the top of their paytable screen. The rule of thumb, however, is “the bigger your poker hand, the higher the winnings.”

Once the game is over, the winner gets paid, and then it automatically starts over afresh.

Importance of Video Poker Paytable

Each variation of a video poker game has a unique payout percentage. Therefore, you need to understand each paytable and work out the math to determine which games are worth playing and which are not. 

Video poker payouts are usually in two main classifications; Full Pay and Short Pay. Full-Pay games have an average RTP of over 99%. The RTP can sometimes get to 100%, but it needs meticulous calculations for every hand dealt by the player. 

To help understand better, we will use an example of a popular variation of the video poker game, the Jacks or Better.

The game has quite a selection of pay listings.

Each paytable offers a different house edge over the other. All in all, always go for the paytable with a 9/6 or more. Anything less than this is risky as it means the house has a more significant edge.

A 9/6 is a return fair – it offers the house full pay for nine coins and short pay for six coins. 

How to Win At Video Poker?

You must understand that video poker, like any other casino game, is based on chance. As such, there is no foolproof cheat sheet on how to win a video poker game. All you can do is utilize the best gaming strategies to give yourself a fair chance of winning with time.

The first step to giving yourself an upper hand in the game is to ensure you hold the best combination of cards from the first five cards. Some cards improve your hand, while others will destroy it. 

For our first strategy, we will guide you on which cards you should consider holding to improve your winning chance. Some of the cards we suggest you always keep include the following.

It comprises five cards. A Straight Flush Card is achieved when all cards belong to the same suit of spades, clubs, hearts, or diamonds – a great combination. 

Royal Flush is a hand with an Ace (A), King (K), Jack (J), Queen (Q), and a 10. The cards should all be diamonds, clubs, hearts, or spades. 

Acquiring a Royal Flush can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort as it can trigger a progressive jackpot and is considered the strongest hand in video poker.

Three hands is a hand with three cards of a similar rank. For example, seven diamonds, seven spades, seven clubs, or three 7s of any suit.  

Four cards of the same rank are required to form this hand, such as four Queen cards, which can be of any suit.

It comprises two cards of one rank and another two cards of another rank.

A Full House is a hand in which three cards have the same rank, and the remaining two cards are a pair of a different rank.

The second tip would be to discard the 5th card when you get two pairs. It gives you a better chance of getting the Full House card. A flush or straight card should only be spilled when you have four cards to leave you with one to a Royal Flush. 

Additionally, if you have four cards of Jack or Better, you can split them up to have a lower Straight or Royal Flush. 

These are a few basic strategies to help you improve your chance of winning a video poker game. 

Once you master these, you can try other more complex techniques, such as mathematical calculations to determine the probability of winning based on the poker hand rankings. 

In conclusion, always remember to use the paytable with the highest RTP%.

Types of Video Poker

The basis of most video poker games is Jack or Better. Full Pay poker has the best winning when played with a good strategy. The return rate is 99.54% but is only valid in the full pay variant of the game, where the casino offers high winnings. You can also play with cryptocurrencies at crypto poker sites

In Full-Pay poker, the winning hands are ranked the same as in regular poker. The payoff for a Full House is worth nine times the bet, and the Flush pays off six times the bet. Such games are referred to as the “9/6 games.” 

On the other hand, video poker games offer a low payback percentage, also known as “low-pay games.” Low-pay video poker has a return of as low as 95%, meaning the house edge is higher. For example, the Full House payout is six times the bet, while the Flush payout is five times the bet. 


Therefore, when choosing a good game, you must pay attention to the Full House and Flush reviews on the paytable.

Most video poker games are single-hand or single-play, meaning the player can only bet on one hand at a time.

There is, however, another type of video poker that has recently emerged, multi-hand video poker, in which a player can play three, five, or several hands concurrently. 

The multi-hand video poker type starts with being dealt five cards as usual. Then, you can select the cards you will hold or discard.

If you click the “Draw” button, the cards will be split into multiple hands depending on the number of hands you choose. So, for example, if it is a five-hand play, the players will use five decks of cards, and so on.

As with the single play, there is still the chance of getting a winning hand since each hand gets a unique draw.

The advantage of multiple-hand poker is that it offers a higher payout than single-hand poker.

Over 100 variations of video poker games are offered at the best poker sites. It is quite a huge selection, and it can be overwhelming to pick the best, especially for a beginner. Moreover, it can be challenging since they have different approaches and payables. 

We will simplify your task by showcasing the video poker games with the highest RTP%, including the most famous variations.

It is a popular variation of video poker and is very beginner friendly. The Jack or Better poker games have the simplest paytable hence why it is a preferred option by veteran and beginner players. 

The Jack or Better poker game is played using a 52-card deck based on a 5-card draw.

The Royal Flush, which pays out 4,000 coins, is the highest winning hand and requires a maximum bet of 5 coins or credits. The name of the variation comes from the fact that a pair of Jacks or Better is the minimum hand required to win.

Deuces Wild is an intriguing variation of video poker games. To play this variation effectively, remember that all twos are wild and can substitute any other card to increase your chances of getting a winning hand.

A Three of a Kind starts the paytable in this variation. A Deuces Wild Card is the 2nd best hand after the Normal Royal Flush card. A Deuces Royal Flush card is achieved with the help of the wild card. 

This is another well-liked video poker variation that closely resembles Jacks or Better. There is only one distinction between the two: the minimum hand required to win. For this variation, the winning hand is a pair of Tens. 

The Aces and Eights are similar to the Jacks or Better variation. The game is played with a single deck of 52 cards. Playing this video poker variation can earn more by getting a Four-of-a-Kind with Eights or Aces.

Players can bet a maximum of 5 credits in the Aces and Eights variant. If a combination of 4 Aces or 4 Eights is achieved, the payout is approximately 400 coins.

The above-highlighted variations are some of the most popular. They are also beginners friendly and hence can be a great starting point to help you acquire skills and winning strategies before you can advance to higher level variations. 

Concluding On Best Strategies To Win At Video Poker

For a long time, over two decades, poker has managed to find its space in casinos – both online and traditional all thanks to how thrilling and entertaining the game is.

Veteran gamblers who have mastered the skill and strategies of playing poker enjoy reaping huge profits from gambling online at the best poker sites. However, if you need to make real money online, video poker is one of the most viable options. 

About the author

Nikhil Goswami

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