Online Video Poker Guide

Video poker is one of the most popular games among Canadian gamblers because it’s easy to play and tons of fun. Although online video poker is in some ways similar to table poker, it’s actually a much simpler game to play. Players don’t need to be as well studied on rules, and they don’t need to worry about competing against other players. The game is simple and the bets systematic, making it easy to pick up.

Scroll down if you want to read our guide, play video poker for free (at the bottom of this page), or use our list of the best 2016 video poker casinos below to start playing for real money:

Recommended Online Video Poker Sites

Online Video Poker Advantages

Video poker is a cross between classic poker and an online video slots game. We like to think of it as less skill-dependent than poker, but less luck-dependent than slots. Playing video poker online requires that you learn your bets,but the game itself is simple and has several advantages over slots or traditional poker games.

When you combine a liberal pay table and a player’s skill, you get a thin advantage and a great rate of return—some games return more than 100% of your original bet! Online video poker is unique—unlike other popular casino games, the pay table indicates the return on your gambling dollar. Consider it a rare chance to stay informed.

Video poker is a skill game, though one with simpler rules than you’ll find elsewhere in the casino. The game is in your hands, and with practice and a wise betting strategy you can only improve.

How to Play Video Poker

  1. Select the Value of Each Credit: Players can usually wager between $0.25 and $5 per credit.
  2. Place Your Bet: Once you’ve chosen a credit size, you must determine how many credits to bet per hand. It’s worth noting that video pokers are more likely to pay out jackpots when players bet to the max, regardless of credit size.
  3. Select the Deal Card Button: Press deal to begin the game.
  4. Make Your Hand: Once the cards are dealt, players choose which cards to keep in their hand and which to return to the deck, similar to 5-card stud. The goal is to end your hand with a winning five-card hand. Consult the game’s paytable to find out which hands are winning hands and how much they pay.
  5. Receive New Cards: Once you’ve decided which cards to keep, the game will replace the cards you trashed. If those new cards helped you create a winning hand, congratulations! You’ve won!
  6. Bonus Round: In some video pokers, winning hands can trigger a bonus round where players can wager double or nothing on their winnings. Players will be dealt five cards, one face up and four face down. If players select a face-down card with a higher value than the face up card, they win!
Here’s a more detailed explanation by Steve Bourie from AmricanCasinoGuide:


Types of Video Poker

Regular: Regular video poker games will just feature one hand. For an example, you can try Double Bonus Poker at Royal Vegas.

Multi-Hand: These video pokers allow players to wager on multiple hands at once. One example, also at Royal Vegas, is Dueces Wild, which allows players to bet on four hands at once.

Video Poker Features

Wilds: Wild cards can stand in for other cards to help build winning combinations. For instance, in Joker Poker, the joker card is wild.

Hold and Auto Hold: In most games, like Jacks or Better, players have the option to request auto-holds, in which the game will recommend which cards a player should retain.

Gamble: Most of the offerings at Royal Vegas include a gamble feature, in which players can play for double or nothing on winning hands through a high/low card-guessing game.

Level Up: Level Up pokers give players more of a long-term goal, as combinations of winning hands can boost players into different levels of gameplay with better payouts. Spin Palace has a number of good Level-Up pokers, including Deuces Wild Level Up.

Minimum paying hands: Games will have a different minimum hand that earns players a payout. For instance, on Jacks or Better, gamblers must make a pair of cards valued as jacks or better to win.

Top 5 Video Poker Tips

  1. If you turn over a winning hand at the start, don’t let it go. Sometimes, you’ll be tempted to let go of a pair to chase a straight or flush, but generally, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, so to speak.
  2. Games with more wild cards can be attractive and more fun, but the minimum hand is usually going to be higher at games with wild cards.
  3. Play the number of hands you’re comfortable with. If you’re a beginner, stick with a single-hand game before trying to handle 10 hands at once.
  4. Play for fun. Don’t let a string of bad luck get worse by chasing your losses, and don’t be afraid to walk away in the middle of a hot streak.
  5. Enjoy the simplicity of the game. As we outlined above in the How to Play section, it’s a very easy game to play and enjoy.


Video poker is one of Canada’s favorite online casino games for a reason. It’s a great way to be introduced to the world of poker without the pressures that come from gambling against outside competition. The rules are simple and easy to understand, and players can get hooked in front of their computers or on their mobiles wagering away for hours. Spend enough time practicing and you can master the strategies involved, turning winning hands into nice paydays. We especially recommend you check out the video poker offerings at Royal Vegas. Use the demo mode above to play free online video poker, and see our list below with video poker casino offers.