Video Poker Games
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Video poker is another casino game with its roots in the poker tables of yesteryear. As we know, Five Card Draw, Texas Hold'em and Omaha poker spread like wildfire, particularly in the United States, making it a mainstay of both small town casinos and Las Vegas itself.
Despite its popularity, one of the challenges new players faced was the pressure of playing poker for real money against seasoned sharks. Poker games were also notoriously longwinded affairs demanding hours of the player’s time.
In 1970, Dale Electronics tried to address these issues by creating a Poker-Matic video poker game. While the newly minted video poker game addressed the problems mentioned above, it was a rudimentary machine that did not play well and had a black and white screen.
It would take nearly a decade before American businessman Si Redd would patent his version of a single-game family video poker machine. This new and improved video poker would prove so popular that by 1981 it would be the most popular new casino game in Las Vegas.
In 1997 Si's gambling company IGT, formerly Sircoma, would release a groundbreaking update to the genre by introducing "multiple hand poker" games. This innovative new feature would eventually expand to allow players to simultaneously draw cards on up to 100 tables.
Despite IGT's success with land-based video poker, Microgaming would launch the internet's inaugural online video poker title in 1994. Fast forward to the present day, and hundreds of online video poker games with special features, bonus payouts, and progressive jackpots can be enjoyed on your pc or mobile devices.
Video poker games have roots in traditional poker, making deciphering winning hands easy. However, several terms are worth familiarising yourself with if you're new to the game.
- Aces full: A hand consisting of three Aces and one pair.
- Boat: A slang term for a Full House.
- Deuce: Another name for the 2 card, regardless of suit.
- Flush: A hand of five cards of the same suit, regardless of order.
- Four of a Kind : A hand of four cards of the same value but different suits.
- Full House: A hand consisting of any three of a kind plus one other pair.
- Full pay: A game like Deuces Wild has a unique condition where the RTP can be just over 100%.
- Hold: The action of clicking on a card to keep it in your hand.
- Kicker: These special cards trigger bonus payouts when part of a winning hand.
- Multi-Hand poker: A video poker game where you play two or more hands simultaneously.
- Pat hand: When you are dealt the highest possible 5-card hand.
- Progressive jackpot: A particular high-value jackpot that can be triggered randomly or by meeting specific in-game requirements.
- Straight Flush: A hand with five cards of the same suit in sequence.
- Three of a Kind: Any three cards of the same value but different suits.
- Wild: The term "wild" refers to any card with the properties of a Joker and can complete winning hands.
Before you begin playing online video poker for real money, we recommend learning the basic rules governing how the casino game is played. Keep these requirements in mind to ensure you have the best chance to be successful:
The Tools of the Trade
Video poker is generally played with a standard 52-card deck. Depending on which version of the popular card game you choose, you may find that Jokers or even custom cards like a Double card are added to the deck. While these additions tend to increase the available payouts, they add in more cards, lowering your chances of securing winning hands.
Know What Makes Up a Winning Hand
Take the time to learn the specific winning hand criteria for the various types of video poker. Jacks or Better raises the minimum viable single pair win to Jacks, where it is a pair of 10s in Tens or Better. In Bonus Poker, you want to prioritise low-value Four of a Kind hands as they payout at 40:1 versus 25:1 for Royal Four of a Kind hand. Knowing these different winning hand and payout combinations is vital to your success.
Not All Games Proceed in the Same Manner
While basic video poker games see players dealt five face-up cards from which they decide to hold or discard, other versions follow a different path. Pursuit Poker is one of the video poker variants which emulates the Flop, Turn and River approach of table poker. Knowing the mechanics of your preferred video poker will help you play better and avoid unnecessary losses.
Get to Know the Pay Table
One of the essential tools for new video poker players is the pay table. Unlike other casino games, the video poker pay table is always visible and is an instant guide to what hands you need to build to secure a positive result. We recommend also knowing the probabilities of landing certain cards and hands, as this will help you quickly review your current hand and help you decide which hand you have the best odds of making.
When it comes to successfully learning how to play video poker, several strategies can be implemented to optimise your chances of winning. Here are some ways in which you can use the game’s inherent probabilities to your advantage:
- Play high RTP video poker games: Video poker is popular because of its low House edge. All Aces poker offers a standing RTP of 99.92% while playing perfect strategy on games like Deuces Wild, Joker Wild, and Double Bonus hold the potential to exceed 100%.
- Always discard the kicker: New players will hold a kicker card and a single pair hoping to land a high-value hand. The odds of this occurring are low. The better proposition is to always discard the kicker in hopes of landing three of a kind.
- Play slower, not faster: Video poker is a game where your skill in selecting cards impacts the overall result. Playing slower means making better decisions and limiting your losses per hour.
- Play progressive jackpot pokers: While progressive video poker machines offer slightly lower RTPs, you can balance this by adhering to a perfect poker strategy. The chance of winning a big jackpot can make this trade-off worth your while.
- Join a VIP or Loyalty program: Video poker is known for its low House advantage. By joining a loyalty program, you will gain access to promotions with better terms which you can use to reduce the House edge further to give you an added advantage at the tables.
As a new video poker player, it is easy to assume that you will immediately do well because of the card game’s popularity and apparent simplicity. Here are several tips on approaching the casino game to ensure you have fun and protect your bankroll.
Know the different video poker game types
Video poker games tend to list their winning criteria in their name. For example, All Aces pays out more for hands with Aces, while the lowest winning hand in Jacks or Better is a single pair of Jacks. Knowing these rules will help you choose the best game for your playstyle and to determine which cards to hold to win the hand.
Learn the odds of various winning hands
Much like traditional poker, there are odds and probabilities of certain hands being dealt. It pays to know these probabilities based on the cards in your hand. This knowledge will help you focus on the right hands and potentially increase your overall win rate.
Get to know how to maximise your payouts.
Depending on the video poker variant you're playing, there are ways to boost the payouts for winning hands. Take the time to learn these special payout requirements and the available payouts to increase your chances of doing well regardless of which game you play.
Train yourself never to chase losses
It is easy to find yourself playing faster or betting bigger to compensate for your losses. Playing this way is even more likely if you started by winning first, as you feel it's only a matter of time till your luck swings back in your favour. We recommend setting your bet limits upfront and taking breaks at set times to avoid compulsive betting.
Set your budget and stick to it
Playing video poker should be fun first and foremost. To avoid spending more money than you can afford, we recommend setting a budget long before you sign into the casino. Deposit that amount, enjoy it, and when you're done, close the casino. Avoid buying additional credits multiple times, as this could mean you're beginning to chase losses.
Video Poker Games Types
Classic Video Poker
Video poker is a fast-paced card game that uses standard poker hands to determine payouts. Each round begins with 5 face-up cards which can be held or discarded. Hitting the Draw button will replace any discarded cards, and any winnings are paid out.
All Aces video poker is a variant of Jacks or Better where all 4 of a kind hands benefit from boosted payouts. Any winning hand containing all four Aces gets the most significant payout boost. All Aces boasts a 99.92% RTP, higher than many other casino games.
Aces and Eights
Aces and Eights is a popular video poker that draws its name from the poker superstition surrounding being dealt a “Dead Mans’s Hand”. The game follows standard Jacks or Better rules but offers higher payouts for Four of Kind comprising Aces or Eights.
Bonus Deuces Wild
Bonus Deuces Wild has become popular with video poker players for its high payout potential, great odds, and Joker-like Deuces. With a Full House paying out at 800:1, having Deuces complete winning hands is a great advantage.
Double Double Bonus Poker
As the name suggests, the big drawcard for Double Double Bonus Poker is its boosted payouts. Combining four-of-a-kind hands with specific kicker cards can double the payouts for those already lucrative winning combinations.
What sets Double Joker poker apart from other video poker games is the addition of two Jokers to the deck. While this does mean you are playing with 54 cards, there is the chance of having a Joker create a winning hand.
Jacks or Better
Jacks or Better is one of the most common video poker games online. While the game is played using standard poker hands for bigger wins, the only way to win on a single pair is if it comprises a Jack or higher Royal card.
Tens or Better
Building on the same gameplay system as Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, video poker theoretically offers players a higher chance of winning as the minimum winning hand is a single pair of 10s.
Deuces Wild is a video poker variant where you need to build the strongest possible poker hand using 5 cards. In this version of the popular card game, Three of a Kind is the lowest value hand, but all Deuces (2s) act like Jokers and can complete a winning combination.
Aces and Faces
Aces and Face poker is a video poker variant that offers added rewards for winning hands comprising Aces and face cards. It offers lower rewards for pairs, straights, and flushes to offset these boosted payouts.
What makes Bonus Poker so popular with new players is the fact that it offers enhanced payouts for lower-tier cards. Specifically, Four-of-a-Kind hands comprising 2s, 3s or 4s payout more.
Joker's Wild video poker is a 5-card draw game played with 53 cards instead of the standard 52. A single Joker is added to the deck, which can create winning hands.
All American poker is a fun and rewarding take on the Jacks or Better formula. This engaging poker game reduces the payouts for Two-Pair hands but boosts payouts for Four-of-a-Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight and Straight Flush!
Poker Pursuit brings the anticipation of traditional table poker to the video poker arena. Players receive 3 cards face-up and two face-down. There is the choice to Call or Raise before being shown the fourth card and then again before revealing the fifth card.
SupaJax is a progressive jackpot video poker game. The base game is a variant of the well-known Jacks or Better poker but with the added chance of winning a progressive jackpot when playing at max bet.
Mega Jacks is another progressive jackpot video poker. Winning the progressive jackpot requires two criteria to be met. The game must be played at max bet, and the player needs to land a Royal Flush. When this occurs, the progressive jackpot will be triggered.
Louisiana Double Poker
Louisiana Double Poker adds a special Double card to the deck to boost winnings and increase engagement. Holding the Double card will immediately add a 2x multiplier to any wins you land in that round.
2-Ways Royal is an extra special video poker variant that features not one but two Royal Flush hands. The first is Royal Flush High (10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit), and the other is Royal Flush Low (2, 3, 4, 5, 6 of the same suit). Both offer the same payout value.
FAQIs it legal to play Jacks or Better video poker online?
Video poker is a licensed online casino game which can be played anywhere where online gambling is legal. We recommend checking your local regulations to see if you can gamble online.Are video poker games rigged?
The truth is some unscrupulous casinos will interfere with game results. Therefore we only recommend casinos licensed in trusted and reputable jurisdictions like the UK, Sweden, Malta and the Netherlands.Which video poker game has the best odds?
All Aces is one of the highest RTP video poker games online at 99.92%.Should you hold low pair cards in video poker?
Low-value pairs are not the best to hold when playing a game like Jacks or Better. However, games like Bonus Poker offer increased payouts for winning hands comprising 2s, 3s and 4s.Are there progressive jackpot video poker games?
Several video poker games feature progressive jackpots, including SupaJax and Mega Jacks.Which video poker game has the highest payout?
Video poker games like SupaJax and Mega Jacks offer the highest payout potential thanks to the additional progressive jackpots.Can I play Jacks or Better video poker on my smartphone?
Jacks or Better is a top-rated video poker game which can be played on all leading Android, iOS, and Windows-powered mobile devices.Can I get a casino bonus to play online video poker?
Yes, all our recommended video poker casinos offer welcome bonuses and promotions.Can I count cards to win when playing video poker?
Online video poker uses a random number generator (RNG) to determine its outcome, which makes counting cards pointless.Can I win real money playing video poker online?
Yes, you can. Our recommended casinos offer real money video poker, and any profits you make while playing are yours to keep.