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Online Video Poker Guide

Online Video Poker, while similar to table poker, is much simpler to learn and play. The ease of play makes it a popular choice for Canadian gamblers. 

Video Poker is so easy that players don’t need to be as well studied on rules, and also don’t need to worry about competing against other players. Have a look at the video below to see systematic bets and easy gameplay. Once you’ve given it a try, you’ll find it very easy to pick up. 

Read on to check out our guide, play video poker for free (at the bottom of this page), or use our list of the best video poker casinos below to start playing for real money:

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How to Play Video Poker

6 Simple Steps to Playing Video Poker 

  1. Select the Value of Each Credit 
  2. Players can usually wager between $0.25 and $5 per credit. 
  3. Place Your Bet 
  4. Once you’ve chosen a credit size, you must determine how many credits to bet per hand 
  5. It’s worth noting that video pokers are more likely to pay out jackpots when players bet to the max, regardless of credit size. 
  6. Select the Deal Card Button  
  7. Press deal to begin the game. 
  8. Make Your Hand 
  9. 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 
  10. The goal is to end your hand with a winning five-card hand 
  11. Consult the game’s paytable to find out which hands are winning hands and how much they pay. 
  12. Receive New Cards 
  13. Once you’ve decided which cards to keep, the game will replace the cards you trashed 
  14. If those new cards helped you create a winning hand, congratulations! You’ve won! 
  15. Bonus Round: In some video pokers, winning hands can trigger a bonus round where players can wager double or nothing on their winnings 
  16. Players will be dealt five cards, one face up and four face down 
  17. If players select a face-down card with a higher value than the faceup card, they win! 

Here’s a more detailed explanation by Steve Bourie from AmericanCasinoGuide:

 

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Video Poker Strategy

Get more control in video poker by deciding which of your cards you get to hold or to fold.  

The strategy for making the most money from those decisions is actually quite complex, but if you’re willing to take the time to memorize some tables, you’ll benefit from these video poker tips

Jacks or Better Strategy

Here is the average payoff for various hands is on a Jacks or Better machine:

Obviously, you want to wind up with a hand as high up on that list as possible, as that’s where the big money is. But it isn’t always as easy as just aiming for the best possible hand. 

Strategy in Jacks or Better boils down to one simple decision — after you’re dealt your five-card hand, do you 

Sometimes, your choice is pretty easy — if you’re dealt four of a kind, for example. there isn’t any situation where you’d want to swap any of those four cards. 

When to Keep and When to Discard 

Things aren’t always so clearcutLet’s look at another example:  

It’s decisions like that that will get you as close as possible to even odds with the machine. 

Of course, in dropping one or both of your paired cards and going for a picture card, you swap a bird in the hand for two in the bush, so to speak. But doing so or not depends on your strategy and appetite for risk.  

In Jacks or Better, you’re going to want to make the swap. 

The Basics 

The basics are:  

If you can keep this list handy — or even better, memorize it — then you’re giving yourself the best chance to win in video poker

Deuces Wild Strategy

Deuces Wild Strategy

The video poker winning strategy for Deuces Wild is similar to Jacks or Better, but the fact that all the 2s are wild cards adds an extra layer: 

If you have four deuces, obviously you want to keep them all for five of a kind. Depending on your fifth card, and how many swaps you have, you may want to swap out a low card in the hope of getting a picture card — but this would only matter if playing with multiple decks or Jokers included.  

And if you get three deuces, you’ll generally want to keep just those three cards, unless you are dealt a royal flush. Things are more complicated if you’re dealt either one or two deuces. 

Two deuces 

  1. Any pat four of a kind or higher 
  2. 4 to a royal flush 
  3. 4 to a straight flush with 2 consecutive singletons, 6-7 or higher 
  4. 2 deuces only 

One deuce 

  1. Any pat four of a kind or higher 
  2. 4 to a royal flush 
  3. Full house 
  4. 4 to a straight flush with 3 consecutive singletons, 5-7 or higher 
  5. 3 of a kind, straight, or flush 
  6. All other 4 to a straight flush 
  7. 3 to a royal flush 
  8. 3 to a straight flush with 2 consecutive singletons, 6-7 or higher 
  9. deuce only 

Double Bonus Strategy

Double bonus poker is very similar to Jacks or Better, with the twist that A, 2, 3 and 4 cards have a little extra value.

You can get really specific with your hand preferences — but if you already have the Jacks or Better table handy and/or memorized, you’d be well served to simply give hands featuring multiple A, 2, 3 or 4 cards a bump up a few rungs – check out Royal Vegas offer.

Joker Wild Strategy

Joker Wild and Deuces Wild poker are going to be very similar.

The key difference is this: there are four deuces in a standard deck of cards, but just two Jokers. This means your return on investment isn’t going to be quite so strong as in Deuces Wild, but the rarity with which the Jokers turn up makes it a more fun game to win, if that makes sense.

That said, if a Joker does show up in your initial five-card hand, refer to the Deuces Wild table above and basically you can follow that to the T. If you don’t get dealt a Joker, treat the game as if you’re playing a regular Jacks or Better hand.

Online Video Poker Advantages

Video poker is a cross between classic poker and an online video slots game. While it is less skill-dependent than poker, it is 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.

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 
  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

Conclusion

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.

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