Video Poker Online Casino Overview
- No Bluffing Around

Video Poker Example

Video poker is a microprocessor based game generally contained in a slot machine sized housing to give the appearance of being reasonably similar to other automated casino games. In online casinos, it's simply another game presented on personal computing devices, either through a specialized app or "instant play" web technology. The game itself is a derivative of five-card draw poker.

Video poker first hit the scene in 1979 as the game "Draw Poker", a new product by a company called Si Redd Coin Machines, which would eventually morph into the mighty International Game Technology (IGT). The game took off in casinos throughout the 1980s, delivering the thrill of assembling a great hand without what some considered the intimidation of table games. Today, it's hard to imagine the world without it

Essential video poker plays out like five-card draw from a 52-card deck. A player wagers a stake - generally between one and five credits - to receive an initial hand. Although there are many game flavors, the most popular is "Jacks or Better", suggesting a winning hand must contain at least a pair of jacks or better. Most games alert the player if their initial hand is already a winner with an audio and video cue.

A player examines the hand and presses buttons or the cards themselves to tell the game which cards they wish to keep for their final hand. Upon pressing another button to draw more cards, the cards they didn't select are discarded and replaced by newly drawn cards, forming their final hand. If it's a winner, the game automatically credits the player in accord with the game's pay table for poker hands. Nothing to it!

Did you know?

Si Redd was the gaming pioneer who instigated not only video poker, but also wide-area-linked progressive slots. His shrewd sense of what it took for a game to be a winner was the driving force behind the success of gaming giant IGT.

Pay tables for the same games can vary between casinos, so it's important to examine them before playing to ensure you're playing a game that pays the most for given hands. For example, most video poker games pay 5:1 for flushes and 8:1 for full houses. But a more generous establishment might tune their games to pay 6:1 and 9:1 for the same bets. That's a nice boost to your chances of winning because it lowers the house edge.

Also be on the lookout for games that pay the most for a royal flush when playing for maximum credits. While most winning hands pay out per a linear multiplier between credit levels (e.g. 1:1 for one credit, 2:1 for two credits, etc.), the max credit royal flush win generally pays a higher return than merely 5:1. Casinos have wiggle room to sweeten that pot as they like to entice players, so you should be looking for the highest possible.

However, such comparisons make sense only between separate instances of the same game flavor. Other game variants have their own pay tables by definition. For example, it doesn't make sense to compare a "Jacks or Better" pay table with a "Deuces Wild" pay table because the latter has a pay table that compensates for the advantage of deuces playing as wild cards.

Speaking of variety, video poker is fertile ground for game variant innovation. Some of the more popular alternatives include:

  • Jacks or Better: The most common and popular.
  • Deuces Wild: 2's are wild, improving the chances of better hands, including the illustrious Five of a Kind.
  • Double Bonus: Similar to Jacks or Better, but four aces lands you 800 and four 2's, 3's, or 4's deliver a delightful 400.
  • Aces and Eights: Like Jacks or Better, but four aces, 7's, or 8's pay more than usual.
  • Joker Poker: Like Jacks or Better, but a 53rd wild Joker card in the deck gives you a better shot at better hands.
  • Tens or Better: Avoid this abomination. A pair of 10's wins, but at the cost of reduced payouts on other hands.
  • Bonus Deuces Wild: Combines Deuces Wild with Double Bonus. Wild cards improve higher hand chances, and low card Four of a Kind kickers will have you jumping for joy.

There's no end to the fun and excitement when you play video poker, whether at a land-based or online casino. And you're going to want to pour over the rest of our in-depth coverage of video poker, because unlike other casino video games, your game choices truly affect your results. We'll show you strategies optimized to maximize how hand odds and payouts work for you, and your bankroll will smile upon your time investment with us!

Video Poker Resources