Online Gaming: Mastering Video Poker

video poker tips

What do you get if you combine your love for poker and video slots? Video Poker of course, and today, we are here to spill some tricks about the game. To get you started, are you a poker player? Or at least know the rules of poker? I should hope so visiting our site! You need this knowledge to get you started playing video poker. Playing video poker, you will play with 5 cards, just like poker, but this time around you play via a set of reels on a slot game. Ready to kick off your video poker adventure? Continue reading to master the art of video poker.

Where did video poker originate from?

Nobody knows the exact origin of video poker, but if we guess correctly the game originated in the last 70s, and is a celebration of poker with some elements of the slot game. The original video poker game was originally set to be an option to players who do not like to play slot machines at land based casinos. Apart from this, with video poker needing you to have some sort of strategy to win at the game, slot games on the other hand require you to have Lady Luck on your good graces.

Skill and strategy will land you winnings at video poker. And the good news here is that whilst video poker offers you a diverse game variants, the RTP stays quite close to 98% and above. Compared with your traditional slot game, that is quite high. If for example you tempt your luck at a game of Jacks or Better, the RTP is bumped up to a generous 99.54%, so practically winning is the norm. Again, strategy is key here, and reading the rules of the game and how to win, is always advisable.

The newbie video poker manual

To kick off your video poker adventure, you would need to get acquainted with all the card values in poker. Once you settle on a wagering amount, you will hit the spin button and be presented with 5 drawn cards. Now, the game will ask you which cards you would like to hold (keep) and which cards you would like to discard. Once you hit the ‘Draw’ button, your displaced cards will disappear and you will be handed new cards as replacement. The strength of your hand is then calculated once the cards are drawn.

Now to understand which cards you keep and which ones you discard, you must know the card values in the poker. You can keep all your cards if your hand is strong. Video poker has no rules against keeping all your initial cards. If you feel your 5 cards have no value at all, you can opt to change all 5 of them to replace your original 5 cards.

To it even more unique and rich, the game of video poker has been altered to produce many variants. Also multipliers have been added to make things more interesting. This gives you a better return on your money and your stakes. Continue reading our basic Video Poker tutorial, to kick off your gameplay, we promise, it is worth it.

Types of Video Poker Games Variants Available

To start playing Video Poker, you need to get acquainted with the types of game variants available. There are many, but the ones that gamblers like the most are listed below.

Jacks or Better
Ask any video poker lover and they will tell you all about Jacks or Better. Sometimes referred to as ‘draw poker”, to win you would need to land a minimum of a pair of Jacks, or better.

Tens or Better
Another video poker variant is the Tens or better. Here, the same rules as above apply, but you best hand needs to be Tens or better.

Deuces Wild
In this video poker variant, doubles and wilds have the ability to substitute for all other cards. To win, you need a minimum of 3 identical cards.

Joker Poker
Playing Joker Poker, you will be playing with a 53 card deck as opposed to the traditional 52. Here you can land the joker, that acts as a wild card.

Double Bonus
Double Bonus is another variant of Jacks and Better, but during the game, landing Aces also secures you a win.

All American
All American video poker is another variant of Jacks of Better, but with better pay-outs for some pairings like the Royal Flush and the Full House.

Some tips to master video poker

There is no game that is mastered without a good amount of strategy. And your video poker strategy starts off by understanding some poker knowledge. Unlike slot games that is all based on chance and RNG, a good game plan is needed when playing video poker. Which cards to keep and which one to discard knowledge will help you win. So let’s start you off with some pointers.

  • A royal flush is the goal, this means the best hand to have is J, Q, K, A and 10 of the same suit. Hard to land, but not impossible with also some dash of luck.
  • If you happen to land a low pair, keep them. It is more likely that you land a 3 card that gives you a 3 of a kind then landing a Higher Card pair.
  • If you did not manage a pair at the start, you could land one when you draw. Just remember that having a hand of the same suit is also a valuable hand to have.
  • We suggest to bet a maximum of 5 coins per spin, as this is normally the max bet at video poker. By doing so, you would also be able to partake in any video poker jackpot games of participating games. (This is mostly done at land based casinos)

What type of video poker variant should you start off with?

If you are familiar with Texas Hold’em and other video poker variants, you can chose any video poker game. If you are still a newbie and green to the game, we suggest that you start off with a good old round of Jacks or Better.

The goal is simple, land Jacks or better, so that could be quite a good, simple start. Landing a full house will see you scoop a 9x your bet, and a flush grants you 6x your bet. This is the reason that Jacks of Better is sometimes regarded as 9/6 Jacks or Better. We also suggest that you get acquainted with the game by ‘ Playing for Fun’ and once you feel comfortable playing, you can play for real money.

Once you master the game, and you can start calling yourself a Jacks or Better guru, you can try out Deuces Wild which is another variant that involves some advanced strategy. If you master video poker, the winning possibilities could be infinite!



Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: