Video Poker Tips

Article by Lisa Cheban
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Last Updated: Feb 19th, 2024 Share On Your Network:

You are here because you are either looking to learn how to play video poker or you simply want video poker tips to help you get the most out of the game. The good news, you are in the right place. Our video poker tips coverage has been written by our expert who has years of experience and meticulous research. Everything that our expert has been able to glean from research, video poker play and the material he’s written has been presented in this guide.

Are you ready to start? Perfect, let’s go!

Why This Guide Has Been Written

Video poker is the only casino game that actually presents you with information necessary for determining the house edge and come up with a workable video poker strategy to help you get the best possible return. Many players are usually unaware of how to exploit this information to their advantage. They’ll plop down on any convenient or close video poker machine and play by intuitions hoping they’ll get lucky. We don’t want you to be part of this crop of players. This is why we’ve prepared this video poker tips guide to help you get the most out of your playing experience.

Who This Guide Is For

This video poker guide is for those who’ve played but are basically clueless as to what is going on, for the new players and the experienced players looking to elevate their level of expertise. Once you are done reading this guide, you have all the information necessary to play in confidence.

Video Poker Strategy

The mechanics of video poker game couldn’t be simpler. But it’s always good that you play with a proper video poker strategy. Unlike poker, there aren’t any competing hands here! This means you don’t have the same variance effect. There’s also the fact that you don’t have any guarantees you’ll be able to score a win with every hand, even with the best starting draw. In addition to understanding the value of each hand and when to hold or ditch a hand, there are several strategies or moves you can make to get an edge over the house.

Pick The Right Video Poker Variant

At the online casinos, you’ll find a range of video poker games to play for real money. At the start of each round, you need to place your bet and the cards are dealt. You’ll then have to make the important decision on the cards to hold and those to discard. The discarded cards are then replaced to form a complete five-card poker hand.

The rules are these simple but picking the right game isn’t. This is why picking the right video poker game should be your priority. Video poker, unlike other online casino games, has a relatively low house edge, which stands at about 0.3-4% depending on the game selected. If, for example, you decide to play Microgaming video poker games, these are some of the games you can play.


House Edge

Deuces Wild


Deuces and Joker


Aces and Eights


Aces and Faces


All American


Jacks or Better


Before picking a game, learn all the basic rules and understand what hand beats which one. For example, in a video poker game such as Jacks or Better, which comes with a small house edge, you need to hold a pair of jacks if you are to win any money. You may play a few Jacks or Better games hitting the lower pairs and failing to win the prize. So, should you pick a different game such as Aces and Faces poker? The game comes with a significantly higher edge, but pays special bonuses should you form a hand with an Ace and a face card. How about deuces wild? It is a fun variant with wild cards, which substitute for other cards. However, the house edge is four times that of other video poker games.

Read And Understand Paytable Before Playing

All the video poker games you’ll play online come with a paytable that’s clearly visible on the home screen. Any bright player should take a minute and study it before playing the game. While at it, try finding a paytable that pays 9/6 i.e., nine coins for a full house and six coins for a flush. This paytable gives you the fairest payouts in the long run.

Play for Free Before Committing Real Money

As a rule of thumb, always use the free to play feature if it’s available at the online casino. Video poker is one of the few software-based games with this provision. Sign up at a reliable online casino site, play for free and familiarize yourself with all the game rules before committing any real money.

Pick a Reliable Online Casino

A reliable online casino is one with a good reputation among players. This is a brand that has proven beyond reasonable doubt that it’s committed to offering a safe, secure, fair and fun gaming experience. When you play at a reliable online casino, you can rest assured the games’ results are 100% fair and accurate. You can also count on the site to provide a wide variety of video poker games, from multiple software providers.

Always Bet The Maximum Number Of Coins

Different hands offer different payouts in video poker. The game’s paytable displays the prizes for five, four, three, two or one coins. You’ll also notice that the jackpot in any video poker game is equivalent to five coins – and this is the highest possible payout. So is it advisable that you play the maximum number of coins available? Not really and the true odds of coming up with a Royal Flush are much difficult than the payout. However, by playing the maximum possible number of coins, you increase your chance of hitting the bonus round.

Know The Right Cards to Hold

Video poker is a type of draw poker. This means players can keep one or more cards and exchange the rest for newer cards. But which cards should you keep? And which ones do you discard? Knowing the right play to make and using the “optimal video poker strategy” can make a big difference in the house edge.

The Game is All Random – No Card Memory

One mistake that players make is thinking that video poker has some form of memory. Some players believe the game remembers the outgoing outcome and uses it to determine the incoming result. But this is far from the truth. Video poker uses a Random Number Generator (RNG) software to determine the game’s results. This means that the outgoing hand has no relation to the incoming hand. Thanks to the RNG software, the game’s outcomes are totally randomized.

Pick Theoretically Positive Video Poker Games

One of the unique things about video poker is that you can find a game with a negative house edge i.e., a game that offers you – the player – a theoretical positive return. It is a rare feature to come by but it can be found in certain jackpot games as well as some versions of video poker games with wilds. Theoretically, positive video poker games offer players better deals than machines with an in-built house edge as you are not competing on a handicapped basis.

Try The Progressives For Big Wins

If you are looking to win big even with smaller bets, then you should try out video poker machines with progressive jackpots. A progressive jackpot grows every time someone plays the game. They are special linked jackpots across multiple games and can be won by hitting the royal flush. This isn’t the only advantage of playing progressive video poker games. You can also win a substantial amount from smaller bets.

Note: The regular paytable in a progressive video poker game is usually poorer than in a non-progressive game. They are riskier to play but offer bigger and better rewards.

Be Wary Of Doubling Up

Some video poker games will offer you the opportunity to double up on specific hands. As a player, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to take up the option. Before taking it up, ask yourself a few questions. For example, is it a positive RTP video poker game? If it is, don’t take the doubling up option. It’s not worth the risk. In fact, when you double up, you are re-introducing a wider house edge. But if you are keen on maximizing your returns on winnings hands and don’t mind a volatile game, then doubling up could be useful.

How To Play Video Poker

One of the most diverse online casino games would be video poker. Besides the slot machine, video poker is the other casino game with more than 20 variations. Yet despite this variation, the games are based on one of poker’s simplest varieties – the five-card draw. You are dealt with a five-card poker hand and presented with the opportunity to hold or discard cards. If you choose to discard, you are presented with newer ones in return. This then makes up your final hand. To play the game online, you simply need to follow the steps below:

  • Sign up at recommended online casinos
  • Deposit by using the supported payment options
  • Pick your video poker game and place your bet
  • Hit the deal button to receive your initial five cards
  • Analyze the cards and discard those that you don’t want in your hand. You can choose to discard all five cards or retain all of them
  • Once you’ve discarded, you are dealt with replacement cards from the same deck of cards – randomly
  • Results are displayed. Any winning hand is paid out according to the paytable

The Importance of The Video Poker Pay Table

As you play slot machines, cross-checking the information on the pay table before starting real money play is crucial. The same is true for video poker where the payout for different hands varies from one game to another.

There are usually two classifications of video poker games as far as payouts are concerned:

  • The Full Pay video poker games boast an average Return To Player percentage of about 99%
  • The Short Pay video poker games offer a lower theoretical RTP figure, which averages at about 96%

The only way you can tell which of the two games you are playing is by looking at the pay tables. They are usually easily accessible in the game. Click on the ‘i’ button to reveal the pay tables of different games. Here is an example of a pay table commonly found in the popular ‘Jacks or Better’ video poker game.







Jacks or Better 






Two Pairs 






Three of a Kind 


















Full House 






Four of a Kind






Straight Flush






Royal Flush






Odds And Payouts

While video poker players don’t require the same skill and style of play as the regular poker player, there’s an element of basic strategy that you can use to improve your chances of winning. The optimal strategy would be to know the different winning hands and expected return from each hand. This way, you can easily make the best decision when it comes to holding a 3 of a kind and discarding them in hopes of getting a stronger hand. The expected return is usually reflected in the odds of winning each hand, but the highest expected return comes from the Royal Flush. The least expected return on the other hand comes from a single pair.

When it comes to the house edge, Deuces Wild offers you the best odds of scoring a win, with an edge of -0.75% all thanks to 4 wild 2 cards found in each deck. Most of the casino games which lack a wild, such as the 10s or Better come with a house edge of about 0.46%.

Popular Types Of Video Poker Casino Games

As we’ve stated severally, there are different types of games you can play online. With more than 50 software developers, it means you can pick from more than 300 video poker games to play online. But despite the huge number and variation of games, these are some of the most popular games you can play at a UK casino.

Jacks Or Better Game

This is the most common form of video poker game you can play online. Jacks or Better derives its name from the winning hand combination. In order to score a win, you need a minimum winning hand of a pair of jacks or better.

Deuces Wild

The distinguishing feature or factor in Deuces Wild is the presence of a wild card. The game has two and they play the role of any wild symbol. When you have a wild card in your hand, it will replace any card to form the best possible hand combination.

Bonus Poker

You are bound to come across several variations of bonus poker at UK Online casinos as it a popular amongst players, thanks to its easy to understand rules. Based on Jacks or Better, bonus poker rewards you with a bonus for a four of a kind

Double Bonus Poker

Double bonus poker game is no different from bonus poker game. Based on Jacks or Better, double bonus poker awarded you with a bonus for a hand with four aces

Popular Video Poker Bonuses And Promotions

You should exploit bonuses and promotions at the casinos and curtail your risk as you look to venture into playing online video poker games. Different online casino sites offer different types of bonuses. And every type of player is well catered for. Whether it’s your first time playing video poker or you are a frequent visitor at the casino, there’s something for you. Here are some of the popular video poker bonuses you can claim online and the promotions you can take part in.

Welcome Bonus

It is the first of many offers. Anyone who signs up at an online casino can claim the welcome bonus. It is either awarded in the form of a match deposit bonus or simply as a no deposit bonus. Regardless of how the bonus is awarded, you can claim it and use it to play video poker online. Winnings resulting from the bonuses are usually withdrawn after meeting certain conditions as dictated in the terms and conditions section

Reload Bonus

if you decide to continue playing at the chosen online casino, the reload bonus ensures you get more value for your money. As the name suggests, each time you “reload” or make a subsequent deposit, you receive a small percentage of the deposit as a bonus

Cashback Bonus

you can be a winner even if you lose while playing video poker thanks to the cashback promotion. The bonus ensures you get a small percentage of your loss back in the form of cash. Different online casinos have different cashback bonuses on offer but the top-rated UK sites offer high stakes

VIP Bonus

if you are enrolled on the casino’s VIP program, you stand a chance of getting a bonus. Different sites have different perks to offer but generally range from free cash, complimentary gifts, seasonal tickets to special events among other goodies.

Understanding Video Poker Terms

Ace-high – When you don’t even have a matching pair of cards, but rather the best card you have is an Ace.

Action – this term is used to define the act of playing video poker for real money

Credit – in the classic video poker machine, you were required to either use chips or a game card, which is the equivalent of a credit card, to play. Therefore, the credit is the number of coins you deposit in the video poker machine. If the game you are playing costs 1 credit and you make a deposit of 10 credits in the m/c, you’ll have to play nine extra games before using your credits. You can understand this best once you’ve started playing the game online

Discard – this is the act of ‘discarding’ the card that you don’t want in your hand

Draw – when you draw, you are simply picking new cards to replace the discarded ones. This way, you get to form the five-hand card you are required to

Hold – when you hold onto a card(s), you are simply retaining it. You only hold onto cards that give you a high chance of winning

Face Card – these are the high value cards in video poker. They tend to have a picture – either a Jack (J), Queen (Q), or King (K).

House Edge – the house edge of any casino game is the mathematical advantage that any online casino has over the player

Max Bet – the highest possible bet that you can place on a video poker machine

Multi-line – these are lines found on the machine. Each line represents a different set of five (5) cards.

Paytable – the paytable is part of the game where different payouts for the different hand combinations are displayed

Pat hand – when you pat a hand, you’ve simply decided to hold all the five (5) cards from the first deal

Payback – this is the equivalent of the Return to Play Percentage as seen in online slot machines. It shows the expected long term return of the game. For example, if the video poker machine has a payback of 98%, anyone who wagers £100 should walk away with £98.


Is Playing Video Poker Online Legal?

There are no laws that ban or make playing video poker online illegal in the United Kingdom. In fact, laws defined by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) allow for online casino gaming and other activities. Just ensure you play video poker at a licensed and regulated online casino to have a safe and secure experience. Licensing information can always be found at the bottom section of the casino’s home page.

Can I Win Real Money While Playing Video Poker Using Bonus Cash?

Yes, it is possible to win real money using your casino bonus. Whether it’s the welcome bonus, reload bonus, cashback bonus or any other bonus offered at the casino, you can always use it to play and win real money. However, you can only withdraw or redeem the bonus after meeting the set wagering requirements. Read through the terms and conditions section to find the exact value of the WR.

How Can I Beat The Video Poker Machine?

There’s no sure-fire way of beating the video poker machine but there are moves and plays you can make to increase your chances of winning. Understand the basic rules of playing video poker, know the best game to pick, have a proper bankroll management plan and play video poker at recognized brands are some of the points you are encouraged to try. There are plenty more video poker tips as outlined in this guide.

Do I Need To Download An App To Play Video Poker Online?

No, you don’t have to download any special video poker app or software to play the game. Online casinos have come a long way and have abolished the need to download software to your device to play games. Simply use your Windows, iOS, Android, or Linux powered device to start playing video poker. There are, however, other online casinos that have applications for their brands for those who would like to download an app.

Is Playing Video Poker Better Than Online Slots?

The answer to this depends on several factors. If you like being in control and don’t want to leave the game’s outcome to chance, then video poker is the best game to play. But if you want a game with a variety of themes, styles of play and in-game bonus rounds that add an extra layer of excitement, then you are better off playing online slots.

Do Online Casinos Rigg Video Poker Machines?

It is highly recommended that you only play at a regulated and licensed online casino site. Such a casino adheres to the strict rules set by the UK Gambling Commission and other licensed bodies. One of the rules is to ensure players have a 100% fair and secure gaming experience. This means no “manipulation” or “rigging” of the video poker machines.

Do I Have To Spend Money Playing Video Poker Machines?

At the land-based casinos, you will have to spend money playing video poker machines. However, when it comes to online gaming, there is the provision of playing video poker for free before committing any cash. This provision gives you the chance to sample the games as well as the casino before deciding whether to spend any money on the games.

How Much Can I Win From A Video Poker Machine Game?

This depends on the amount of money you stake while playing. However, the highest amount anyone can win while playing video poker is usually set at £4000. This is when you place a £5 bet and have a Royal Flush as your hand. On the lower side, you can only win £1 with a stake of £1.

Play Video Poker Online For Real Money

It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself a video poker guru or a new player trying to learn the ropes, the best thing to do is to play video poker online for real money. At the land-based casinos, this game is exciting to play. The ambience and crowd bring the casino feeling alive. But playing online ensures you have a better house edge, plenty of promotions to play the game for free plus many other extras you won’t find at the brick-and-mortar casinos.

Lisa Cheban Author Betsquare

Lisa Cheban


Lisa works as a content writer and specializes in delivering top tier i-gaming content which is why her articles and blog posts are always very engaging and informative. Well spoken, and does her research very well in an industry where transparency, honesty and constant follow up is a rarity.

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