how to play video poker

Insights on How to Play Video Poker 2021

By Anthony

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If you are eager to know how to play video poker you should check out this guide. The game is quite easy and attractive, all you have to do is place your bet, decide which cards you keep and see if you’ve won the hand.
When the first video poker machine appeared it took a while until people began to like it. Video poker has its origins in Nevada and nowadays is one of the most popular games online.

History of Video Poker 2024

The first poker machine dates back to 1901, when the inventor, Charles Fey added a new feature to the classical slot machine. The first poker machine was called “ Skill Draw” and was quite similar to slots.

In 1970, Poker-Matic – the first video poker machine invented was introduced to the world, mainly at the same time as the first personal computers. Even though they spread the machine all over Las Vegas, Poker-Matic did not have the success they expected.

Later in the ’70s Si Redd, the creator of the game “video poker”, proposed a new invention to its company. However, they did not want to leap, so Si Redd made a partnership with Reno-based Fortune Coin Company and became SIRCOMA. Even though it looked similar to poker slots, strategy was required in the matter of how to play video poker 2024.

In 1979, a new video poker game appeared called “Draw Poker”. Until 1980 the game increased in popularity. Now it is one of the most played games in casinos.

What is Video Poker

Learn about what is video poker

In simpler words, video poker is a computer algorithm “stuffed” in a machine. The algorithm is based on a random number generator that establishes your poker hand randomly. Video poker is based on 5-card draw poker, so it is not that different from regular poker, only this time you play against a machine, rather than other players.

Video poker works by inserting money into the machine, placing a bet, and pressing the “deal” button. The screen shows 5 cards(your poker hands), which can be discarded by pressing on the specific button. You can discard as many cards as you want, only one time.

Finally, the machine checks to see if your cards match the winning hands. If so, the payment is done accordingly. One more thing you should know about how to play video poker is that it is classified into two categories: single-handed ( you place your bet and play one hand) and multi-handed (you place your bet and play the number of hands chosen).

How to Play Video Poker 2024

When we talk about how to play video poker you should keep in mind that all the variations available are based on the ground rules of the very first video poker game.

The first step is deciding how much money you want to gamble. Video poker bets can be placed at a maximum of 5 dollars(368 rupees). If your wage is less than 5 coins the payout will be at 250 to 1, while the payouts at 5 coins are 800 to 1. Also, the coins are the virtual money the machine uses(1 dollar/73.61Rs equals 1/73.61Rs coins). Once you’ve decided on the amount you want to wager, press the “deal” button and check out the cards on the screen.


The goal is to get the poker hands with the highest payoff rate. Good thing is, you can discard any card that doesn’t suit you.

When you learn how to play video poker 2024, the winnable hands are your goal:

  • royal flush (poker hand formed of ace, followed by king, queen, jack and ten),
  • straight flush (suit formed of consecutive cards),
  • four of a kind (4 cards having the same rank+1),
  • full house (3 cards of one rank, 2 cards having another rank),
  • flush (cards having the same suit),
  • straight (poker hand formed of consecutive cards of mixed suits),
  • three of a kind (3 cards having the same rank),
  • two pair ( 2 cards having one rank, 2 cards having another rank),
  • pair of jacks or better ( 2 jacks, queens, kings, or aces).

Video Poker Rules

As different variations of video poker games appear it is good to keep up and check the rules so you can learn how to play video poker, benefit from the full experience and double your odds.
However, there are a couple of general rules that apply when you start learning how to play video poker, independently of its variations:

  • The standard table poker hands are used.

This means that video poker and regular poker aren’t that different and the same hands apply as to regular poker.

  • You are dealt 5 cards.
  • You can discard one or more of the cards.

For example, If the cards you have are almost close to a winnable hand, as stated above, you can discard any card.

  • All the cards you discarded will be replaced randomly in a single draw.
  • Last, if your hand matches one from the pay table (the place where the hands are organized according to the prize) you will win the suitable prize.

Bets in Video Poker

Discover how bets in video poker work

Mostly, video poker betting can be placed from 1 to 5 coins per hand and it is something to keep in mind when learning how to play video poker. Depending on how you want to play, you can either place main bets or side bets ( meaning that you will place a different bet on your next hand than the one before).

No matter what amount you want to bet, you should know that the value of the prize is raising at the same time as your bet. For example, if you bet 1 coin and your hand is a Royal Flush you will have a payback of 250 to 1, while a bet of 5 coins on a Royal Flush will get you a payback of 800 to 1, which is more than double.

On a multi-hand video poker game 2024, you can choose between playing 3, 5, or 10 hands in a row. This means you will have to pay each hand from 1 to 5 coins. When we talk about multi-hand video poker we also think about what type of bet we should make to increase our chances.

There are two categories on how to play video poker depending on the betting recommended:

  • 5-coin bet

By betting the maximum amount, chances are to win the maximum amount in the pay table. You should rather play single-hand video poker if you wish to bet 5 coins, because at multi-hand video poker, based on the number of hands you play, the price might get a little too high.

  • 1-coin bet

However, some people would rather wage less than 5 coins. When it comes to multi-hand video poker, as the number of hands increases, you are obliged to bet the same amount each time, so you will either win or lose big. The good thing about waging with 1 coin, is that if you lose, your loss will be quite low.


When we talk about video poker odds, the words “ house edge” come to mind. The house edge represents the amount of money that returns to the machine, or casino. This means, a certain percentage always returns to the house every time you place a bet or press the “deal” button. With the right strategy, a perfect play, and enough experience it is possible to escape the house edge, and your return will be around 100%. Odds are a very important topic, especially if you are a beginner and want to learn how to play video poker.

Even though there are general odds according to each hand, you can calculate your odds with just a little bit of math.

Odds per hand:

  • Royal Flush – 649.740 to 1
  • Straight Flush -72.193 to 1
  • Four of a Kind – 4.165 to 1
  • Full House – 694 to 1
  • Flush – 509 to 1
  • Straight – 255 to 1
  • Three of a kind – 47 to 1
  • Two Pairs – 21 to 1
  • Pair J, Q, K, or A – 7.69 to 1
  • Any pair – 2.37 to 1

The purpose of how to play video poker is finding out your odds to make the optimal move and increase your chances of winning.

If you are not into researching and making calculations, there are simpler options you can try. For example, see how to play slots, if you want to leave everything up to luck. Another luck game you might enjoy is roulette and we have prepared a guide on how to play roulette especially for you!

Here are some steps for calculating the odds yourself:

  • Once you are given the 5-card hand, list all the 32 possibilities you have with this hand.

Find all the expected values for all the possibilities. ( Add all the expected values that can appear).

  • The probability of getting the expected value of all possible results equals the probability of getting a specific hand and multiplying it with the payoff.
  • Repeat for all the 32 possibilities.
  • Sort them by the highest value( the most encountered)- this is the optimal move.

When you decide to make your luck and follow precise strategies, to calculate your odds, always remember this video poker tips 2024:

  • Know the types of games

Video poker has many variations, and each one of them has a particularity. The pay tables also differ from one game to another, so make sure to pick the one.

  • Focus on accuracy

Follow the steps above closely and make the best deduction possible. Remember quality over quantity.

  • Check the pay tables

Pay tables are different depending on the game, so it is in your best interest to find the one that offers more.

Video Poker Strategy 2024

When your goal is to win, no matter the odds it is good to have a plan, more like a strategy. There are numerous casino games that require a solid strategy and we do our best to help you figure it all out. Take the time to read our guide on how to play baccarat, how to play Mahjong, or playing Blackjack if you want an exclusive experience.

However, if you are learning how to play video poker 2024, games can change significantly when you have a strategy, something stable to follow, so you have your payback shifted in the right direction and maybe “cheat” the house edge a little.

There are some simple strategies explained, which can improve your outcome:

Full-pay Deuces Wild strategy

Deuces Wild Strategy is based on how many deuces you have on the first hand. So, we will have 5 separate strategies for each number of deuces: 0,1,2,3,4.

Initially, you have the chart of all winnable hands, so you have to match your hand with the highest win. In each case, depending on the number of deuces you have been dealt you have to match the combination with a winnable hand.


For example, if you have 2 deuces you can get a: four of a kind or better, royal flush, straight flush, or, finally, hold two deuces.

Jacks or better strategy

In this strategy (recommended if you are learning how to play video poker), you have to find the best-ranked possibility in the list below that matches your hand and play it until the end of the game.

  • Four of a kind, straight flush, royal flush
  • Four cards towards having a royal flush
  • Straight, flush, three of the same kind, full house
  • Four cards towards having straight flush
  • Two pair
  • High pair (a pair of jacks or above)
  • Three cards to flush
  • Low pair (pair with 10s or less)
  • Four cards toward an outside straight(which means you only need both ends of the hand to complete the combination)
  • Two unsuited high cards
  • One of these suited combinations: J/10, Q/10 or K/10
  • One high card
  • Double Bonus strategy – beginner

The chart used in this strategy helps to find the best choice according to your poker hand, so if your hand matches one of the bullets below, follow the advice given.

  • Royal flush or straight flush – You should save the Straight Flush
  • Royal flush or flush -You should save the Royal Flush
  • Full House or Three of the Same Kind -You should save the Three Aces
  • Straight or Four to Straight Flush – You should save the Straight
  • Two Pair or a Pair of Aces -You should save the Two Pair
  • Four cards to form Flush or Straight -it’s better to save the Flush
  • Pair of Jacks through Aces or Open Four to Straight – You should save the Pair
  • Open Four up to Straight or Pair with Twos through Tens ­ – You should save the Straight Draw
  • Ace/King/Queen/Jack or Discard Everything – You should save the Ace/King/Queen/Jack

Tips & Tricks

Discover our tips and tricks on how to play video poker

Here are some video poker tips 2024 to keep your game clean and the win rate high:

Keep in mind that these strategies work only if you wage the maximum amount (5 coins), to get the most out of your how to play video poker experience.

Play smart, not hard – following strategies and calculating your odds may seem easy, but your brain needs to focus, and therefore it consumes energy. Don’t forget to take a break from time to time.

When you are a beginner it is safer to practice with free video poker games 2024 You will familiarize easily, learn better strategies and maybe make some yourself.

How to Win at Video Poker

Winning at video poker shouldn’t be that hard, once you’ve read a little about it. Since you’ve learnt how to play video poker and you’ve understood the rules, all you have to do now is figure out how video poker betting works and find the best pay table for you.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the multiple variations of video poker, but you shouldn’t be discouraged by that. Winning in video poker is mostly about strategy and beating the odds. There may be some difficulty when you will have to choose which cards to keep and which to discard, but with the right amount of practice, it won’t be a problem.

How to Withdraw Winnings

There are various ways to withdraw money from a casino. Most of them have a lot of paying methods that work both on deposit or withdrawal, it is best to use the same method for both operations.

Here are some methods that are mostly used in casinos:

Online wallets

You have a lot of options when it comes to this category. Even if you choose Neteller, Skrill, or ecoPayz, your withdrawal will be fast, secure, and easy to use.


Bitcoin can also be used in your transfers, depending on which casino you gamble. It is used by casinos that make their transfers in cryptocurrency.

Transfers using banks

Old fashioned, yet so reliable. You can always trust a bank, however, your transfers might take a while, unlike other payment methods. Always make sure to choose the method you are most comfortable with.

Online Video Poker

The history of online video poker starts with a concept that nowadays makes our life easier and more and more people depend on it: the internet. In 1900, the invention of the internet was taking baby steps to a new era of technology. It didn’t take long until casinos seized the opportunity and moved to the online world. Microgaming created the first software for online casinos in 1994, growing in popularity over time. Online or not, the rules on how to play video poker remain the same.


Over the years, online video poker expanded around the world and now you can enjoy some of the most loved video poker versions, such as Deuces Wild, All American, Bonus Deuces Wild, and so on.

Variations of Video Poker

Video poker started its journey a long time ago. Over the years new variations appeared to satisfy people’s desires, such as Jacks, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Double Poker, Aces and Faces.


Also called “Jacks or Better”, or “Draw Poker”, this is one of the most common variation of poker and one of the easiest, perfect for when you want to learn how to play video poker. The playoffs start with a pair of jacks.
To win, your hand needs to contain a pair of jacks or better.

Deuces Wild

This variation of poker says that all twos are “wild”(this means these cards can substitute for any other card in the deck). There are two rounds: the first when you decide which card to keep and the second when you’ll see if you’ve won or not.

Bonus Poker

It is similar to Jacks or Better, but this variation offers a bigger payout for a four of a kind hand.

Double Poker

Double Poker or Double Bonus Poker is similar to Bonus Poker, being a variation of the game. There is a bonus for 4 of a kind, hence the name.

Aces and Faces

This game is no different from a regular video poker game. The only exception is the fact that if you get aces or faces: kings, queens, or jacks you will have an increased payout.

Online Video Poker Games

Nowadays, most games can be found online. There are a lot of online casinos that provide free video poker games, such as Genesis Casino, 22Bet, LeoVegas, etc.

The most popular free video poker games found online are Deuces Wild, Double Double Bonus Poker, Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, and other variations. It was expected for some of the most popular variations of Video Poker to be found in the online universe.

Live Video Poker

Live casino video poker is not that different from playing online. All your interaction resumes to you and the video poker machine. However, at live video poker, you may not interact with others but people near you might be affected by how you play video poker or act.

Good to Know

Some of the variations you can find in live video poker are:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Jokers Wild

Also, you can find them online. It’s up to you which playing method best suits your desires.

Playing Offline vs Online Video Poker

Video poker was one of the first games introduced online, as it was already being played on a screen. There are still some differences between live video poker and online video poker.

The advantages of Online Video Poker are:

  • Higher accessibility

Since there is a huge number of casinos that switched to online, you can find video poker only at a click away.

  • Privacy

Being at home you can benefit from your own company, without any distraction, and focus better on the game.

  • Various game selection

You can find over 20 video poker games online, you can try them all. Also, you can cash back immediately, now that e-wallets work so fast.

The advantages of Live Video Poker:

  • Socialization

Some people are more social than others, so they feel the need to be around others than to play from their laptops.

Since the technology evolved so much you can do almost everything online, so all the things that needed a “live” presence can be done now with your phone or laptop. However, how to play video poker, live or online, it is up to you.


Now that all the perks on how to play video poker were presented to you, all that remains is to follow your gut and give it a try. Seems more like science with all those strategies and odds calculating. This should give you some sort of security since it is not all luck. From the original Video Poker, also called “Skill Draw”, many variations were born: Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, and so on. You have plenty to choose from.

Bonus Read

To stay on top of your game and improve your odds of winning, we recommend reading more about similar casino games.

Discover the best:

Is playing video poker online legal?

Video poker online is legal in India and all around the world except in some countries, such as: Russia, Canada, and France.

Can I win real money at video poker?

Yes, you can win real money, as long as you invest real money in the game.

What video poker game is best for beginners?

The easiest video poker game is Jacks or Better, suitable for beginners.

What types of video poker games are available?

There are a lot of video poker games available such as Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Aces and Faces.

Can you win at video poker?

Yes, you can win. It is recommended to play at high stakes and follow a strategy and calculate the odds.

Does your poker strategy really matter?

Video poker is partially a game of strategy, so yes, it matters. Any strategy can increase your odds to win.

January 12, 2021