Video Poker

Poker is one of the most played casino games out there – and is much loved by punters all over the world. From it’s more humble beginnings to now heralding one of the biggest casino based tournaments in the world, poker seems to be going from strength to strength, and newer versions are always coming out with the advances in technology – Video Poker being one of those.

Video poker revolutionised the game and allowed for a much faster pace to the game. Because of this ease, video poker quickly became one of the most popular games you can find at a casino, calling all of the skilled and talented players to get in on the frantic action.

So keep reading as we delve deep into the world of video poker – including what it is, how to play video poker, why you should be playing video poker and even information about how to play free video poker!

Jacks or Better

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What is Video Poker

Starting in the ’70s, and as we mentioned above it has quickly jumped up the ranks to become one of the most popular casino games you can find at an online casino. 

Video poker is a perfect blend of a little bit of a skill-based game, a player-friendly house edge that’s slightly lower than other games, the opportunity for a huge win and a nice layer of anonymity thrown in. All of these components make for a fun gaming cocktail that gives you both a thrill and a fair chance at winning – with the opportunity to get better at the skill-based part of the equation as you play more video poker games – you don’t get this sort of skill gaming on slots or scratch cards!

How To Play Video Poker

When it comes to actually playing video poker, it’s very similar to normal poker. Once you’ve got to grips with some of the video poker basics, it’s off you go. It’s viewed as one of the most enjoyable games to play in both a land-based casino and with the online variants.

It’s good to note that online video poker will use a full, 52-card deck and every single type of classic video poker will be based around the usual 5 card draw version of poker. The following are some nice and simple steps to get started with video poker:

Choose which video poker machine you’re going to play on

With absolutely tonnes of different style of online video poker to play on, you’ll be spoiled for choice of which one to play. No matter if you’re a die-hard classic poker fan and you want a game that gets straight into it with absolutely no frills attached… or want a more modern version with added graphics, effects and bonuses… you’ll be able to find a type of video poker that fits your style. Just make sure to remember when you’re playing online video poker for your own real money to double-check the RTP of that particular machine and its corresponding paytable.

Pick how much you want to wager for that hand

When you’ve picked your video poker machine, the next step is to select how much you want to wager for each hand. The normal range will usually be between one and five ‘coins’ per hand – This will affect the payouts for each hand. Increasing or lowering this wager is usually down to some arrow buttons which will be next to the bet or wager button on the video poker virtual console.

Get your cards dealt and see what you’ve got!

Now the exciting part! After you’re happy with your wager on your video poker game, simply tap the deal button and the video poker machine will deal you your hand of five cards automatically.

Keep the cards you want to use to make the best hand

Now you’ve been given your hand of five cards off of the video poker machine, it’s time for you to pick which ones you want to keep. Click the relevant hold buttons on the screen and any others you haven’t clicked will be discarded. The cards you get rid of will randomly be replaced. The hands are exactly the same as in normal poker – so a straight flush is still a straight flush etc.

Check to see if you’ve got a winning hand

The value of the hand that you’ve drawn will decide whether or not you’ve won, and also how much you’ve one. The amount you win will have a value based on the poker hierarchy of hands – so a royal flush is worth more than three of a kind for example – check the pay tables for more information.

Video Poker Games on Mobile Devices & Mobile Casinos

When it comes down to it, compared to other online casino games like the multi interactive slots you can get, poker actually feels a bit…well… dated. With the boom of online slots getting most of the love and attention from software providers and getting the things such as new features and mobile friendly upgrades. Because of this, video poker is trailing a little behind in these aspects.

You’ll be able to find certain video poker games online that are mobile compatible, so you can have a few quick games here and there when you feel like it – It’s just that the amount of mobile friendly video poker games will be smaller.

Different Types of Video Poker Variations

On your video poker journey, you may come across some variants and types of video poker games with slightly different rules, a different house edge and different pay tables. Some of these include:

Jack or Better: This can also be called ‘Draw Poker’, This variant of video poker has the player having to have a bare minimum of a pair of jacks in any of their hands to get a payout.

Ace & Eights: When you’re playing ace and eights video poker, if your hand contains a four of a kind with eights or aces (as the name states), you’ll get a higher than usual payout.

Jokers Wild: Adding a joker into the mix, this video poker game allows you to use a ‘wild’ joker to complete a hand. The only downside is that you’ll need a pair of kings minimum to get a payout – this is to counter the increased odds of the added joker.

Deuces Wild: Just like the joker version, the 2 card is seen as wild in this variant of video poker. A royal flush made up of one or two of the wild cards pays a whopping 125 times your credit and a natural royal flush (not a straight flush) gives you a whopping four thousand coin win! With some simple strategies, playing on a full pay version of this type of video poker can get you a great 100.71 percent RTP – meaning you’ll have an advantage over the house of that video poker machine.

Progressive Jackpot video poker: Just like with slots, you can find video poker machines with a progressive jackpot. These machines take a small part of each bet and accumulate them into a big overall jackpot, with the winner of this jackpot getting to win some real money!

You’ll sometimes find video poker games online with a set of numbers in front of them – such as 9/6 Jokers Wild – You’ll see this especially on the Jack or Better variant of video poker. What these numbers mean is that when you get a full house you’ll get 9 times your original payout, and a flush will equals 6 times your original bet. 9/6 is usually the highest payout in the Jacks or Better style of video poker – this means it’s what known as a ‘full pay machine’. So if you see an 8/5 Jacks or Better machine, that is what’s known as a ‘short pay machine’, because of the reduced payout that it offers.

Why you should play video poker

Playing video poker has it’s distinctive advantages to playing normal poker in a normal land-based casino, which include:

The games are quicker

Because you aren’t sitting at one of the land-based casino tables with up to 7 other people, the games are a lot faster and quicker paced. In normal poker, each person has to be dealt cards and has to take time debating whether to raise, call or fold. You don’t have any of that in the video poker games, saving you time and making it perfect when you want to just jump in and have a few quick games on your phone.

The anonymity and not having other players

You’re just playing video poker on a computer, and don’t have to show your face at a poker table. This is a big draw for nervous and shy players who find sitting at a table of other players intimidating.

No chip management 

Finally, you won’t have to manage any chips in video poker. For newbie players, this is a great plus, as it can get confusing trying to figure out how many chips they have to put in to call a player etc. Video poker gets rid of this with an extremely simple staking system, allowing for complete newbies to be able to enjoy the thrill of playing poker with absolutely zero chips involved!

How to Find Free video poker games

You can find video poker classic free versions online which will allow you to get the benefits of playing video poker with absolutely non of your real money. These free video poker machines:

  • Are absolutely risk-free.
  • Lets you experience all facets of the game.
  • Can be found quite easily.
  • You won’t have to worry about your bankroll.
  • And will allow you to get a good grasp of the rules of video poker and the pace.

Playing For Real Money Video Poker

Once you’ve had a few free games and gotten to grips with how video poker plays, you find the real money version you find at online casinos:

  • You’ll find these games a bit more exciting because you actually have the chance to win money.
  • They have the same RNG calculations as the video poker free versions.
  • Can have special casino bonuses attached to them for even better chances to hit a big win.
  • And have a much wider variety of game with exciting themes.

Increasing The Odds of Video Poker

It’s quite a well known fact that different online casino games have different odds, with some being better than others. A majority of players out there will chop and change what they play, mixing it up as they see and feel fit. Serious online casino players though know that some of the best odds you can find at a casino will be on the video poker.

Being designed to mainly play as standard stud poker and all of its variants, any time you play on a version of video poker you should make sure you play with some sort of poker strategy behind your gameplay to make sure you’re playing with the highest chances of winning possible.

The odds involved with video poker will differ depending on which variant you play, but a variant such as ‘Jacks or Better’ has a great RTP of 99.54. When you pick a perfect poker strategy to play on the game with. The great thing is, even without that perfect poker strategy for video poker and make the odd mistake, your average return only actually drops to a percentage of 99.52.

Now, the main thing to be looking for when you’re playing video poker is a table that has the 9/6 number associated with it. These special tables will pay you a good return of 9/1 if you manage to make a full house and even if you only get a flush, thats a 6 to 1 return. As we stated above, these are classed as a full pay video poker game – so watch out for these.

Some casinos will almost ‘trick’ you into thinking they’re offering a full pay video poker game when in actuality they’ve got 8 /6 or 8/5 tables, offering smaller payouts for those flushes and full houses. With these video poker tables, you’re only getting a payout of 8 to 1 for a full house and 5 to 1 for a flush! Even though this may seem like a tiny difference that you think doesn’t matter that much, it really increases the house edge – so make sure you take a minute a find a full pay table.

So lets get you playing!

So whether its the free video poker or the real money video poker, pick a casino from our list of recommended casinos and get playing – Good luck!