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Video Poker Rules

The rules of video poker are extremely simple, and if you're already familiar with factors such as how to play, how to bet, and what constitutes a winning hand, you have the basics down. Although different online casinos will offer different video poker game types, each with their own minor differences and nuances, the basic steps you must follow in order to play remain the same.

Learn The Rules of Online Video Poker


  • Register with an online casino offering video poker.
  • Deposit money into an online bank account held by the casino site you choose. Some are owned mutually by a single parent company, which might sometimes mean that the funds you place into an account will be available for use at a few different online casinos. Deposit methods will vary by casino, and usually include major credit cards, e-wallets (such as Neteller and PayPal), wire transfer, electronic checks, and more.
  • Find a video poker game that suits you. This will depend on its particular rules and pay table, both of which will be described in more detail in the following sections.
  • Place a bet, usually ranging from the minimum bet amount to five times this value.
  • Observe the cards you've been dealt, and gauge what sort of hand you might be able to create.
  • Click on any of the cards you've been dealt to hold onto them.
  • Click "Draw" to replace the cards you chose not to hold.
  • Receive money according to the pay table if you end with a winning hand.

Pay Tables

The amount of money you earn by achieving a winning hand in video poker will be dependent on the pay table associated with a particular game type. Typically, the lowest quality winning hand you can create will reward you by returning your bet and nothing more. In the case of "Jacks or Better," the hand you'll need to receive your original bet would be a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. From here, the prizes escalate.

  • Two pairs will return double your bet.
  • Three of a Kind will return triple your bet.
  • A Straight will earn you four times your bet.
  • A Flush will reward you with six times your bet.
  • A Full House will return nine times your bet.
  • Four of a Kind will reward twenty five times your bet.
  • A Straight Flush will return fifty times your bet.
  • Finally, a Royal Flush will reward you with 250 times your bet.

If you happened to wager the maximum allowable bet, which in this case would be five coins, and score a Royal Flush, you receive an amazing reward of 800 times your bet. Most video poker game types will include some sort of bonus like this; if you bet the maximum amount and score a Royal Flush, your prize money will soar. For this reason, many savvy video poker players will choose to bet the maximum allowable amount on every hand. Some novice players will claim that they simply can't afford to bet that amount on each hand. Although this logic works if your only goal is to extend your play sessions, it simply isn't the best way to make money. Although betting the maximum amount on each hand will most likely shorten your playing session, it's the only way to score the really BIG jackpot when your Royal Flush finally comes around.

Game Types

Different video poker game types will have slightly different rules. These usually consist of variations in their pay table and minimum winning hand. "Jacks or Better" is the most popular type of video poker, and as the name implies, requires you to have at least a pair of Jacks in order to win money. Other poker game types often follow a similar naming nomenclature - the name of the game indicates the basic rules. Often times, two numerical values will proceed the name of a game type. These values indicate the payout of a Full House and a Flush, respectively. For example, "9/6 Jacks or Better" will pay nine times the wager for a Full House and six times the wager for a Flush.

"Tens or Better" is similar to "Jacks or Better," except that the minimum hand needed to win is only a pair of Tens. In exchange for this additional leniency, the game pays out less money for a winning hand: six times the wager for a Full House and five times the wage for a Flush.

"All American" follows the same minimum-hand rules as "Jacks or Better," with an altered pay table that might be appealing to some players. Additional cash is payed for straights, flushes, and straight flushes, while less money is awarded when the player scores two pairs or a Full House.

"Deuces Wild" is another game type that might be appealing to players looking for a lower risk, lower return session of video poker. In this game, all four 2 cards are wild, and can be used to create any poker hand. Of course, the pay table is adjusted accordingly. Four of a Kind is very likely to occur with this rule set, and will show up in an average of one out of every fifteen hands. As such, it only pays five times the wager. Having a hand with four deuces, however, will pay a whopping 200 times the wager. A Royal Flush including one or more wild cards pays 25 times the wager, and a Royal Flush without any wild cards will pay 300 times the wager, or 800 times the wager if you bet five coins.

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