Video poker games you can play online right now


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  • 30+ variations available at online casinos
  • Some video poker games have an RTP of over 99%
  • Can be easier to learn than other casino games

It may not have the same glamour as , baccarat, or even keno, but video poker has been popular in bars, taverns, and casinos around the world since the 1970s. In fact, if you saw a guy named “Chewy” playing a machine in one bar on Mos Eisley space port, he may very well have been hitting the video poker button. Probably not, though, as that guy was clearly playing pinball. Still, there are similarities between that far-off galaxy and our own, and, luckily for us, video poker is very real – and quite prevalent in today’s casinos. And I must say, it is a great game to play online.

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While it shares some superficial similarities with slot machines, video poker is more like five-card draw poker, a game which likely gets 95% of its play at the felt tables throughout Las Vegas and beyond. The best part about video poker? It can actually be taught, as its small number of rules is easy to comprehend. Read on as I teach you how to play video poker online, right here on this page. I’ll also discuss various video poker strategy points and touch upon the different online versions available to players in the US and abroad. Let’s first take a quick look at some of the best sites to play video poker online.

How to Play Video Poker Online

There are three main steps to follow when learning how to play video poker and they are detailed below. I will also go through other important elements such as the ranking of video poker hands and the payouts you can expect from each online version. Finally, I will share some video poker tips which will improve your chances of winning and getting the most out of each session. Let’s start by looking at where you can play video poker online, using your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

Step 1: Choosing a Video Poker Game

This is usually the easiest step, as those fresh flashes of green can often be overwhelming to new gamblers. Most online video poker games are easily distinguishable from their colored backgrounds and flashy logos. Video poker variations are typically found within an online casino’s “table games” selection, as it really does fall into that category. There are generally no complex side bets to worry about, and the only bet you’ll normally make is your initial wager before both you and the virtual machine receive five cards.

Step 2: Making the Initial Bet

Once you’ve chosen a video poker game, you’ll immediately be dealt five random cards on your screen. You are now making what may be the most important decision in this game (other than knowing when to cash out): should you bet max coins?

I’ll answer that question simply: yes. While it may be outside of your comfort level to put in the maximum amount of coins, especially if you’re just learning how to play video poker, betting max coins is always the best way to maximize your winning potential. This will become clearer as you continue reading, as I get into the specifics of pay tables and how they are determined based on the number of coins bet. For now, just know that you want to bet max coins. Consider it video poker advice from someone who has been there.

Step 3: Playing the Game Itself

Once you’ve decided to proceed with max coins, you’ll then hold any cards which will help you in creating a good video poker hand. You do this by simply holding (or “holding”) the cards on your screen. Newbies learned how to play video poker very quickly at this stage as you just click/tap on the cards you wish to hold and click/tap the button to complete the game. Any cards you do not hold will be burned, and you will be dealt new cards from the proverbial deck. It is these new cards which will determine whether you win or lose at video poker.

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Different online versions of the game will have different winning requirements, but you’ll almost always need a pair of Jacks or better to win something at video poker. This is known as the “pay table,” and it varies widely from game to game. Once the new cards are revealed, the machine will tell you what that resulting hand is. If it meets or exceeds the required pay table hand, you win that much per coin bet. So as you can see there is nothing complicated at all about playing video poker for real money and the best part is that you don’t even have to go anywhere to play. You can access dozens of video poker variants at the best anytime, anywhere.

Ranking of Video Poker Hands

The hands ranked highest to lowest are the same as the traditional card game rankings, which makes learning how to play video poker easy. Of course, the strength of your hand needed to win at the online game will depend upon the specific pay table being used. This will become apparent once you choose your game and bring up its pay table (usually by hovering over the game icon). Despite this variation, you should commit this standard ranking order to memory, as it will make things easier when talking to others about their video poker experiences or when searching for video poker strategies online.

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Following are the ranking groups for video poker hands, listed from best to worst:

  • Royal Flush (royal straight flush)
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Two Pairs
  • One Pair
  • High Card

Video Poker Payouts

Payouts vary greatly depending upon the online video poker variant being played and the pay table in use. Even the best video poker games (in terms of payback percentage) will not pay out the same amount for every hand. As I said above, this is determined by the pay table – and different pay tables will be used with the same game type. It’s important to study each pay table before you begin playing, as this will affect your video poker strategy going forward. If you are unsure about which game to pick you can check out the pay tables in advance on sites like .

Speaking of percentages, let’s talk about the theoretical percentage returns, also called payout percentages/RTP. This term refers to the expected returns for any given game and is based on a large volume of bets. It’s a theoretical calculation which tells you how much you should expect to win back on average. These are very useful numbers when comparing video poker online versus video poker at a live venue, as most live machines publish their RTPs. In general, online video poker features higher theoretical return percentages, although live jacks and other bonus hands can sometimes tip the scales in favor of physical machines. Here’s a short list showing some common video poker payout percentages/RTPs.

  • Jacks or Better (99.54%) -this is the name of a very common video poker variant, but it is also a determining factor of the pay table in question. If the only hand that pays is Jacks or Better, then only gains 90.46% from its play. But if you look at the version with the near-100% payout, you’ll see that the pay table extends all to a Royal Flush, which provides 99.54% of your stakes. This makes it one of the best online casino games in terms of theoretical returns!

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  • Deuces Wild (98.94%) -this is another popular video poker variant where a certain outcome occurs. In this case, it is that every two (2) is wild in this game, which makes it easier to garner some strong hands. Like the previous example, its extended pay table is what brings up its overall RTP, as even the biggest hand on its bottom pay table only nets an player. Get all the way up to a Royal Flush without twos, and you're looking at a 98.94% return. Get one in that Royal Flush, and you're looking great!

  • All American (96.75%) -this is another common video poker variant, and its best returns come when a bonus is paid for high unpaired cards. As you can see from the RTP figure above, getting hands like a straight flush, straight, or two pair nets you a nice boost. These all around 10.17 to 1, which helps offset the lower figures for lower hands.

  • Bonus Poker (99.2%) -one of the reasons that video poker is so beloved is the existence of multiple game types with varying pay tables and returns. Bonus Poker provides a solid 99.2% return if the pay table is extended enough. What do mean by “extended enough?” Easy: all the way to a bonus for quad fives. Yes, of all cards, quads of fivees provide the bonus in this particular version of video poker. Whether this would motivate you to strive for excellence is up to you, but it does add another wrinkle to what is otherwise a relatively simple game.

  • Double Bonus Poker (100.1%) -you read that right – under the right conditions, this is the only video poker game to provide a theoretical return of over 100%, making it one of the best paying online casino games besides video poker. The reason why it approaches infinity (just kidding – there is a one percent house edge for any jackpot insurance game worth playing) is because of its extensive pay table. Not only are there high payouts for four-of-a-kinds (known as "quads"), but there is even a difference in pay between spades and non-spades quad clubs. Getting the maximum payout for quad club with a spade (known as a "bonus") of , which looks very strange to anyone used to standard poker hands. It does get the job done, however, as this is the loan video poker game in positive territory. Once you understand how to increase your chances of getting this hand, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Video Poker Tips & Strategy

Let’s jump into some video poker tips and strategy pointers that will make a big difference to your bottom line. First, remember that your main goal is to find the best possible pay table for the online video poker variant you enjoy playing the most. Learn to love (or at least like) Bonus Poker or Double Bonus Poker and their ilk, as the best versions of these games provide excellent returns compared to the negatives. Also, consider taking advantage of the to sweeten your pot. These bonuses give you extra funds (usually) or even free spins (less commonly) that allow you to play longer and thus increase your odds of coming out ahead.

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As with most forms of , practice makes perfect. Thankfully, you can practice playing video poker for free at many of the top online gaming sites. See if they offer demo modes for the specific versions you prefer, or else just play at low stakes. Once you truly master video poker, you can then gradually move up to higher stakes games. With these tips in mind, here are some basic strategic moves you should make while playing video poker, based on the strength of your initial five-card hand:

  • Hold all five cards if you have a paying hand (pair of Jacks or better).
  • If you have four cards to a paying hand, draw for the fifth card.
  • With three cards to a paying hand, hold them and draw the other two.
  • With three suits of one rank and one card of a higher rank to a paying hand, hold the suited cards if you need a few more points to win. Otherwise, just hold the higher-ranked card.
  • With three cards to two pair, only hold the pair if the two pair pays more than a single pair. Otherwise, just redraw everything.
  • With two suits of one rank and one card of a higher rank to a paying hand, hold the suited cards unless you need a higher rank to win the hand.
  • With two pairs, hold the highest two pairs unless three of a kind pays more than a two pair. In that case, just hold the three-card two pair.
  • With one pair and a better kicker than necessary for a paying hand, hold the pair and redeem the other card.
  • Without a single card to hold, simply redraw the entire hand.

These are the basic building blocks of any successful video poker strategy, but it’s important to note that the specific pay table in use will change which of these you should employ. When in doubt, simply look at the pay table and determine the highest-paid hand you can currently achieve. Work backwards to determine what cards you should hold to ensure that you hit that winning combo.

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Different Types of Video Poker Games You Can Play Online

As you might imagine, there are tons of variations on this classic poker theme. Some of the more popular ones are covered below, along with details on the specific rules and regulations which set them apart from the standard video poker experience. For each of these variants, you’ll still be hoping for a pay table that provides a strong return on your wagers – ideally one that offers a high payout percentage due to a long pay table. You’ll then want to try and master the nuances of that specific variant, including any unique video poker strategy tips which apply. Let’s take a closer look at several of the most famous video poker variant names and their characteristics.

Deuces Wild Poker

  • Deuces Wild – In this popular online video poker variant, all deuces (2s) are wild. This means that they can substitute for any rank or suit of card you need to complete a stronger hand. This version does feature some unusual pay tables, as even the lowest paying hands on the bottom are often Three of a Kinds. A natural Royal Flush (that is, one created from connected deuces) often pays out 200 to 1 or even more. At the very least, it will pay off like a normal Royal Flush. Another oddity is that any hand without a pair actually loses to hands with a pair. This means that you must hold any pairs you are dealt until you can upgrade to a better hand. Even if you have four deuce wild cards and a Jack, you must hold the Jack and hope for a fifth card to create a pair. As you can imagine, this leads to some interesting video poker strategy decisions during play. Another thing to keep in mind is that some versions of Deuces Wild require that you bet multiple coins to receive the full payout for a Royal Flush created from deuce wild cards. Always read the pay table before beginning to play.

Jacks or Better Poker

  • Jacks or Better – This is really more of a descriptive term for the numerous “better” online video poker variants than a separate game itself, but it is an important distinction to understand. All of the following variants are considered “Jacks or Better” games, as a pair of Jacks is the minimum qualifying hand for a payout. Many consider this to be the standard against which all other video poker games are measured, so you’ll often see the “JOKER” element added to spice things up. Here are the most popular Joker’s Wild video poker variants you are likely to encounter.

  • Joker’s Wild – In this popular online video poker variant, the joker (either the comic or the playing card) is wild. It acts like an ace in that it can be used to fill any rank or suit that you require to create a stronger hand. One unusual aspect to Joker’s Wild video poker is that the entire deck is now 54 cards rather than 52. There are also 53 and 55-card versions that exist but are less common. The most notable change to typical video poker pay tables is the inclusion of a hand payment for a joker wild Royal Flush separate (and usually greater) than a standard Royal Flush without the joker. As you can imagine, getting a Royal Flush with the joker is much easier than doing so with just an ordinary poker deck. Other changes include natural payments for Five of a Kind (with the joker being the fifth card), as this was now possible with the additional joker in the deck. Yet another alteration is that some pay tables include a bonus for a straight flush with the joker, while others do not. Make sure you check that pay table before you get started!

  • Supersuits – There are numerous supersuit video poker variaks that operate much like Joker’s Wild, except that no actual jokers are involved. Instead, one or more of the regular cards are designated as wild, but only count as a single higher card. For instance, in the Supersuits video poker variant of Bonus Poker, all aces are wild, but only count as a ace or the face value they originally held. This means that you can use the wild ace to complete a straight, but it won’t count as a higher Suited Aces. Likewise, if you have four aces of different suits, you do not get a hand payment for Five of a Kind – you simply get paid for four ace wild cards. Other Supersuits variants only make the ace wild, which is identical to traditional Joker’s Wild gameplay outside of that one difference.

  • Which Online Gaming Sites Offer Video Poker Games?

    Offering video poker online takes serious server power, so not every site has elected to carry the game(s) of their choice. Fortunately, all of the following sites feature some form of video poker so that you can play Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and all of the other variants covered on this pages. Just click on any of the following site links to visit their home pages and start learning how to play video poker today!

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    Can I Also Play Video Poker Games On the Go?

    Yes, all of the top online video poker games are mobile-friendly. This means that you can play video poker on your PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphone as long as you are in an area where mobile betting is permitted. You can either download the top mobile sports betting apps or enjoy the action through your mobile device’s Internet browser.

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    Where Else Can I Play Video Poker Online?

    If Bovada doesn't float your boat, there are plenty of other online casinos offering video poker games. Check out the following options, which all accept Americans and offer generous welcome bonuses.

    How Do You Play Video Poker Demo Games?

    Most of the top gaming sites provide free demo versions of their online video poker games. These are great ways to learn the basics. Simply visit the gaming section of the site and hover over the video poker game you are interested in. This will pull up the game’s setup screens, which usually includes a "Turbo Play" or "Info" button. Click this to play a free demo of the game in question and get familiar with the rules.

    Is It Hard to Learn How to Play Video Poker?

    You already know how to play video poker! If you have any knowledge of poker hands, you will instantly recognize the winning combinations while playing video poker online. The key differences between card game variants mainly center around which hands are counted as winners - basically, do two jacks count as a hand, or do you need three? Once you know the pay table for your chosen game, you’ll know exactly how to play video poker for real money and start winning.

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