Video poker is a world away from the well-known traditional card game of poker played at poker tables across the world. The only similarities are that it uses the same ranking system and is a computerised version of the popular variation of 5-card draw. The sudden appeal of online video poker can be put down to the fact that it's extremely fast to play and unlike other casino games, like slots, an element of skill is necessary. Online video poker emerged around the same time as when the first personal computers became available (the mid 1970s), although today’s version of the casino game has of course advanced, the concept behind today's online video poker is still remarkably similar to its original creation.
Just like the classic poker variation of five-card draw, in video poker you will be dealt five cards and have a choice to keep your five cards or exchange any of them for hopefully better cards. Unlike the regular game of poker you actually aren’t trying to beat another player, nor the computer. The idea is to try and create a winning hand which corresponds to a payout from the paytable. Unlike in real-life poker games where there is the possibility players can win by not having a ranking hand but only a high card (although rare), version playing like this in an online casino will cause problems.
The key to online video poker is to know your odds and risk exchanging cards with that in mind. With the paytable usually always on display the more productive method to play wouldn’t be for how you would play in a real game but to aim for the more likely and probable outcomes that could happen.
Depending on the online casino you choose to play at you have a choice of playing variations of video poker from a single hand and in certain cases the results of your card exchange up to fifty times.
It's best to choose the right version of online video poker depending on the casino that best suits how you want to play. Some casinos offer multiple hands, others include wild cards, others remove the lowest playing cards and so on. As there are so many variations, you can be sure you’ll find a version of video poker suitable for you.
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Video poker has its own language and for those not in the know, the terms "deuces wild" and "royal flush" can instantly cause confusion. Well, our video poker glossary, which is split into game variations and card hand terms, can help demystify this jargon for you.
Below you'll find clear definitions of most, if not all, online video poker games available at our featured online casinos.
- Aces and Eights Video Poker
- Aces and Eights is a video poker variation which follows the usual card hierarchy, but offer higher payouts for four-of-a-kind aces, eights and sevens.
- Aces and Faces Video Poker
- Much like Aces and Eights, Aces and Faces offers higher payouts for four-of-a-kind aces and four-of-a-kind in Jacks, Queens and Kings.
- All Aces Video Poker
- Another aces variation now and this time you will receive a higher payout for having a hand of four-of-a-kind aces.
- All American Video Poker
- All American poker is a typical, basic video poker game, the only difference being it's Uncle Sam themed in design.
- Bonus Video Poker
- There are two variations of bonus poker; the first is when the game actually features a bonus round, which, like a slots game bonus feature is mainly down to luck. The title "bonus poker" also refers to a common variation of Jacks or Better video poker, which offers a better payout percentage for four-of-a-kind. "Bonus poker" usually refers to the Jacks or Better poker, but always check the paytable to know exactly what you are playing.
- Deuces and Joker Video Poker
- Deuces and Joker video poker is played with a 53 card deck instead of the standard 52, because the joker is added to the pack and used as a "wild", which means it can substitute itself for any other card in order to make a winning hand.
- Deuces Wild Video Poker
- Deuces Wild is a common video poker variation in which 2 cards act as "wilds". Just like in online slots, they can substitute themselves, but in video poker they can substitute for any other card in order to make up a winning hand. Therefore, a 5 card hand which features 3 fives and 1 two will become a four-of-a-kind, as the 2 will have substituted itself for a five. In this game, twos are known as "deuces".
- Double Bonus Video Poker
- Double bonus video poker is a typical variation on Jacks or Better, but offers a higher payout return on four-of-a-kind aces.
- Jacks or Better Video Poker
- Jacks or Better is the best-known video poker game and for good reason; if using the correct strategy the house edge is reduced to 0%. Jacks or Better is a video poker game in which the payout begins if you have just 2 Jacks, 2 Queens, 2 Kings or 2 Aces in your final hand.
- Joker Poker Video Poker
- Joker Poker offers higher payouts for a natural royal flush and a joker royal flush. In this game, jokers act as wilds and can substitute themselves for any other card in order to create a winning hand.
- Multi-hand Video Poker
- Multi-hand poker, as the title suggests, is a video poker game played with more than one hand. Variations can head up to 100 hundred hands being played at the same time, but usually you have a choice of 1 to 10 hands.
- Poker Ride Video Poker
- Poker Ride is a progressive jackpot variation of video poker and uncovering a royal flush will win you the maximum jackpot amount. A straight flush will also get you a percentage of this jackpot, but always check the paytable so you know for certain exactly what you are entitled to.
- SupaJax Video Poker
- SupaJax, like poker ride is a progressive video poker game, but instead of needing a royal flush, 4 Jacks and the "SupaJax" card will earn you the progressive jackpot.
- Tens or Better Video Poker
- Tens or Better is incredibly similar to Jacks or Better, but instead of needing at least two Jacks to ensure a payout, you only need two tens.
Video Poker Hand terms
Now that you know the poker game variations available, we'll now discuss the poker hand terms and the best video poker hand you can uncover.
- This hand is made up of four cards of equal rank, such as a five of clubs, five of diamonds, five of hearts and a five of spades.
- A flush is five cards of the same suit, such as an ace of spades, two of spades, five of spades, nine of spades, seven of spades and a four of spades.
- Full House
- A full house is made up of three cards of equal rank alongside two other cards of equal rank. For example, a five of hearts, five of diamonds and five of clubs alongside a two of spades and a two of hearts would constitute a full house.
- High Pair
- High pairs are hands made out of two jacks, two queens, two kings or two aces. The chances of making a high pair of 5:1.
- Natural Royal Flush
- A natural royal flush is a combination of Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten cards in the same suit.
- Royal Flush
- This is the best poker hand around and is made up of a ten (T), Jack (J), Queen (Q), King (K) and Ace (A) of the same suit.
- This is a hand made up of five cards of mixed suits, such as a four of diamonds, five of clubs, six of hearts, seven of spade and eight of clubs.
- Straight Flush
- This is a hand formed out of five cards of the same suit in sequence. For example, a five of hearts, six of hearts, seven of hearts, eight of hearts and a nine of hearts would make up a perfect straight flush.
- A three-of-a-kind hand is formed out of any three cards of equal rank, such as 3 eights.
- Two Pairs
- The odds of making up a hand of two pairs are 8:1 and to do so you need two cards of equal rank (such as two 7's) alongside two other cards of equal rank (such as two 6's).
Video Poker Card Hierarchy
The next step in your online video poker learning experience is to differentiate between which hands can earn you the most in video poker. While each game variation we have covered has their own payout table, we will focus on the Jacks or Better hierarchy, as this is the most common video poker game around. Ranking from highest to lowest, these are the hands you need to look out for:
Royal Flush (Highest)
Four of a Kind
Three of a Kind
Jacks or Better (Lowest)
For reference, this is how the paytable for another popular variation, Deuces Wild compares:
Natural Royal Flush (Highest)
Deuces Royal Flush
All video poker variations have different bets available, ranging from placing just 1 coin, which offers the lowest payout and 5 coins, which offers the highest. With progressive jackpot video poker games you tend to have to place the maximum bet in order to qualify for the prize.
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Top Casinos for Video Poker
Video Poker is available in the majority of our featured casinos, so we have compiled a quick selection of the best online casinos to play at Video Poker.