How to Play Video Poker

Among the many gambling options you can find in every casino out there, video poker has become very popular and it keeps on getting more attraction among an entire spectrum of players.


Video poker has undeniably gained a following and continues to do so with its enthralling gameplay. It lets you make your own choices and that makes the player in full control of the outcome. Paying attention to how video poker works and how it’s played, will all be tackled so make sure to bust out those pens and papers to help you on your next poker session.

What is video poker?

Even to this day, the origins of poker are still debated. Many people especially long-time players and fans, including experts, believe that the man behind all of this is Jonathan Green. The first poker games involved only 20 cards and he made the first reference to poker back in 1834 calling it “the cheating game”.

Video poker is very similar to traditional poker and the same rules apply here. Some casinos are even making plenty of space just so that they could squeeze as many video poker machines in their facilities. Even if this means the removal of other table games.

What makes video poker appealing to most casino-goers is the fast-paced nature of the game. The experience you get is enthralling and exciting as the game allows you to score huge winnings. Add the fact that the decision is yours to make, making the outcome even more satisfying. Lastly, video poker is among the casino games that offer its players an advantage over the house.

Rules of video poker

There are tons of different variations for video poker. Some of the most popular are Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double-Double Bonus Poker, Joker’s Wild, and Deuces Wild. Regardless of whichever video poker variation you pick, all video poker games follow the same set of rules.

·         The standard poker hands for table poker are applied.

·         You are always dealt with five starting cards.

·         You have the choice to discard any or all of your cards at hand, as well as hold on to them.

·         All cards that you decided to discard shall be replaced in a single random draw

·         Whenever your hand matches any of the poker hands, the corresponding prize is yours to keep!

The rank of poker hands

From top to bottom, the rank of five-card poker hands are as follows:

Royal flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 all of the same suit (hearts, clubs, spades, or diamonds)

Straight flush – These are five consecutive cards of the same suite.

Four of a kind – These are four cards of the same value and suit

Full house – Three cards of a single rank plus two of another rank

Flush – Five cards of the same suit regardless of the value

Straight – Five consecutive cards of any suit combinations

Three of a kind – Three cards of the same rank

Two pair – Two cards of a single rank plus two more of another rank

Pair of jacks or better – Two Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces.

The video poker machine

The majority of video poker machines we have today and those that you’ll find in every casino are variations of five-card draw poker. While there were several attempts to incorporate seven-card draw stud, the five-card stud is far more common because of its simplicity.

Every single machine features a screen on which the cards in a form of images are dealt. All helpful information is displayed on the screen such as the player’s available credit. These credits can easily be cashed out whenever they wanted to. Most machines have the paytable displayed on the screen while some are printed right on the surface of the machine’s glass.

You play by pushing the buttons to place your bets. It is common for most machines to accept five coins or credits at a time. Hitting a Bet Max will deduct credits and would deal with the hand.

General strategy

There is generally a single tip every player of video poker should keep in mind. While there are plenty of helpful tips and tactics regarding video poker and gambling in general all over the internet, there is one that should be of great importance to you. And that is to always play the maximum bet!

Getting a Royal Flush without playing at your maximum bet will surely be disappointing. If we’re doing the math here, the full value of the royal flush when you bet at a maximum will get you 4,000-1 while playing for anything lower than the maximum bet can only get you around 250-1. You can tell that there’s a huge difference.