Video Poker

Welcome to the Video Poker guide at Nowadays where online casinos are packed with so many types of casino games, Video Poker is one of the oldest casino games and still a preferred choice for smart casino players.  In this article we teach you how to play this wonderful game that is known to be a blend of slots and poker.

Video Poker offers some of the best odds in the casino, especially if you compare it to other popular games like Pokies or Roulette. A good reason why we can confidently state this is because unlike slots or roulettes, there is considerable skill involved and the decisions you make can determine whether you win or lose. A knowledgeable player can significantly reduce the house edge and the same can be said for Video Poker.

This article will cover a brief history of Video Poker and guide you through all its common card combinations and how to play Video Poker.

Video Poker: History

After the invention of slot machines, the gambling industry was bracing new technology to make a whole new range of ways for players to gamble. Si Redd had the patent for Video Pokers which an electronic version of draw poker. Si Redd established SIRCOMA (Si Redd’s Coin Machines) introduced Draw Poker in 1979. Draw Poker featured a lowest possible hand of two pairs. Changing this to a pair of jacks or better further increased the popularity as more hands were winners. Today there are hundreds of different video poker variations with thousands of different pay tables. Interestingly enough even after a quarter of a century the early version of Jacks or Better is still one of the most popular and frequently found game variations on casino floors.

Video Poker: General Gameplay

Video Poker is similar to playing the standard table poker game. The only difference is that you are playing against the house and you cannot lose more than your initial bet. Video Poker is played with a standard 52 card deck. There are some variations where Jokers are used and some variations play multiple hands on a single deal where more than a single deck of cards are used.

First, players need to deposit from one to 5 coins to make your bet. You are then shown 5 cards on your video screen and your goal is to try and make the best poker hand possible from those cards. Since this is a draw game, you are given one opportunity to improve your hand. This is done by allowing you to discard from one to all five cards from your original hand. It is not necessary that you replace any cards if you don’t want to but usually you’ll replace some cards to improve your hand. After choosing which card you want to keep, you then click on the Draw button and the game will replace all your discards with new cards. Based on the result of your final hand, the machine will then pay you on the basis of the paytable displayed on the top of the gameplay screen. Naturally, the better the hand, the higher the amount the game will pay you.


Single Hand Video Poker Gameplay

Card combinations and hand rankings

If you’re new to poker, below we have provided a list of card combinations and how they rank.

Royal Flush


Poker hand – Royal Flush


The best possible hand combination. Consists of 10, J Q, K and Ace of a single suit.


Straight Flush

5 consecutive cards with the highest card as a King of the same suit

Four of a Kind


Poker hand – 4 of a kind


4 cards of the same value
Full House


Poker hand – Full House


Three of a kind with a pair


Poker hand – Flush


All 5 cards of the same suit





Poker hand – Straight


5 consecutive cards with mixed suits



Three of a Kind


Poker hand – 3 of a kind


Three cards of the same value


Two Pairs


Poker Hand – Two Pairs


Two sets of pairs with the same value


Jacks or Better


Poker hand – Pair of Jacks or better


The lowest ranking card combination. A single pair of cards with value Jacks, Queen, King or Ace

Types of Video Poker

Players can find two different settings while playing video poker; Single Play and Multi Play.

Single hand video poker is the standard type of Video Poker. One standard deck of 52 cards, plus Jokers in some variations with 5 cards dealt. A round ends after you have drawn new cards resulting in five finals cards that decide the win.


Video Poker – Single Hand – Gamplay Screen

In Multi Hand Video Poker, you can play more than one hand at a time. Multi play machines range from three-play all the way up to 100 plays. On a multi-hand game, players are asked to choose how many hands they want to play. The game starts of in the same way a single hand video poker game starts. 5 cards are dealt and you are required to discard and hold some cards. After you hold the cards, you will immediately notice the held cards being duplicated in all the other hands. After clicking on deal, each hand will be replaced by separate cards at random. Each hand result contributed independently and the total win is calculated.


Video Poker – Multi hand – Total bet = Coin denomination X No. of coins X No. of hands in play

Something players should note while playing multi-hand cards is for example, players are playing a 10 hand round and bet {{csym}} 5.00; their total bet per one bet line will be {{csym}} 50.00 therefore, players will be betting {{csym}} 5.00 per hand. In terms of payouts, if a player gets a Jacks or Better in One hand, Two pairs in another and nothing on the rest, they will be paid according to the pay of Jacks or Better plus Two pairs in calculation per hand.


Video Poker – Multi hand result – Total win = 3 X Jacks or Better pay + Two pair pay

Variations of Video Poker

Video poker has been one of the most popular games in the casinos since its birth in the ’70s. The fact that it is so popular is proven by the number of video poker variations found in almost all casinos. All video poker games are not the same. Generally, the difference among the dozens of video poker variations, are the winning hands and the number of cards it’s played with. If you are holding a hand that is also listed on the payout schedule then you win the payout listed there.

We have listed the most popular variations of video poker and since Jacks or Better is the most popular, we will compare the differences between the variations below and Jacks or Better.

Jacks or Better: This is the most popular and supposedly the video poker variation with the lowest house edge. The lowest combination is a pair of Jacks or Better and the Best combination is a Royal Flush

Tens or Better: The payout is lower than Jacks or Better. This game pays out a player whose hand comprises or a pair of tens or higher. Other rules match Jacks or Better.

Deuces Wild: The rules are similar to Jacks or Better except the fact that all 2’s are wild cards and will replace any other card to create a combination (which is a good thing). The second best combination is 4 deuces with an Ace and a Royal Flush cannot contain a wild and must be natural.

Deuces and Joker: Played with a 53 card deck, Deuces and Jokers Wild is one of the few games where there is a win that pays more than a natural royal flush. Getting five wilds (Four 2’s and a Joker) pays better than a Natural Royal Flush.

Of course there are many other variations like Bonus Deuces Wild, Jokers Wild, Aces and Eights and many more and you will find them in all the top online casinos.

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