A Step-by-Step Guide for Learning to Play Video Poker

By BestGamblingWebsites.net Team on August 13, 2022

A Step-by-Step Guide for Learning to Play Video Poker

You might be surprised to learn how long video poker has been available in conventional casinos. Even though they were in a very primitive shape compared to what they are today, the first consoles debuted in the 1970s. Since then, video poker has gained in popularity in casinos all over the world, just as slots and gaming tables.

Video poker is a well-liked substitute for traditional poker, which some casino goers find a little daunting. Video poker machines (and online virtual machines) nevertheless permit the player to make the crucial strategic decisions found in poker, without the stresses typical of the table game, thanks to the privacy and control given by slot machines.

Additionally, compared to other casino game variants, video poker offers a greater choice of game play alternatives.

At first glance, video poker can appear to be a minor slot machine variation. It blends anonymity, simplicity, and variety of themes with bells and flashing lights and also provides chances to win progressive jackpots.

However, the poker component—the cards you choose to play—in conjunction with the details in a game's associated pay table offers a player a level of intricacy in play that is unmatched by slot play.

Although playing video poker at its most basic level is an option, there is no limit to how far you may take your analysis and winning strategy development.

The following instructions are meant to walk a novice through their first time playing video poker.

1. Recognize the Video Poker Rules

If you haven't previously, you should become familiar with poker hands and their respective values before playing video poker.

The hands and values from five-card draw apply to the majority of video poker games because video poker is a variation of that game.

There are, however, certain exceptions. For instance, Five of a Kind is possible in video poker games that use wild cards. Later, we'll go through a few of the poker video variations once more.

Next, find some YouTube videos showing a video poker machine in operation if you have never been up close to a casino video poker machine or a slot machine before. This may help you understand what to expect.

You will enjoy the experience if you enjoy loud bells and flashing lights.

By inserting a coin (or coins) into the machine, you place a bet to start the game.

The machine will deal you five cards at random from a deck of 52 cards. Remember that a 52-card deck means that jokers are not present. The size of the deck increases when jokers are utilized.

The cards you keep and discard are thereafter up to you. Note that you do not need to discard in order to resume play. You have the option to keep all the initial cards given.

There aren't any additional limitations on how long you can play the game for. The total control over play and flow is one of video poker's attractions for many fans.

If you do choose to discard, play will resume with cards picked at random from the deck replacing the ones you just got rid of.

The game then assesses the resulting hand and awards prizes based on the sum of your hand's worth and the amount you bet in accordance with the relevant pay table.

2. Introduce Pay Tables to Reduce the House Edge

Pay tables give video poker players a special advantage over other casino games: a way to rig a game to reduce the house edge. Due to this, video poker has developed a reputation as a game that can be "beaten."

The compensation amounts for various hands are simply listed in a pay table. The pay table is displayed prominently on the machine, giving you quick and convenient access for your game-playing decisions.

There are approximately six columns in the table. A list of hands can be seen in the leftmost column. In Jacks or Better, for instance, the pay table will include rows of winning cards, starting with a Royal Flush at the top and ending with a Pair of Jacks at the bottom. The remaining columns are often used to indicate the size of the wager, or the number of coins that the player has placed to begin the game.

The player can examine the hand and read across the relevant row to the size of reward linked with the hand matching the number of coins bet by looking at the hand as it is currently shown.

By using this data, you may quickly determine whether a hand's value rises or falls in relation to the bet size. For instance, a 3-of-a-Kind at five coins bet may be worth as much as a 4-of-a-Kind at one coin bet, depending on the game.

Hand 1 credit 2 credits 3 credits 4 credits 5 credits

You will discover resources that offer extra information, like as payout percentages and probability, as you conduct your own research into pay tables. Keep in mind that the pay tables at casinos often do not include this information.

Pay tables are useful because they let you view the payout amounts for a specific video poker game before you place a wager. This enables you to assess which game or approach could be most advantageous to use.

Your chances of winning bonuses, prizes, and free plays increase when you plan your hand according to the information in the pay table.

Your possibilities of making some sizable jackpots rise as these features begin to accumulate and provide you additional play time. A more sophisticated strategy will incorporate studying and analyzing pay tables due to this and other factors.

Online resources abound that provide courses and insights to aid in your understanding of how to take advantage of pay tables. Bob Dancer, the acknowledged authority in video poker, is one of these resources.

3. Examine the Different Forms of Video Poker

As previously said, video poker machines offer a wide range of games. But first, let's go over some fundamentals before we look at some of them below.

First, there are two fundamental subgroups of video poker: full play and short play. The highest payout percentages are offered by full play games. In contrast, short or low play games have smaller pay tables, which raises the house advantage. These games typically have more promos available to draw in players.

Full-play video poker has several regional restrictions. Deuces Wild, for instance, may only be played in its entirety in Nevada.

The name of a video poker game could also include a string of numbers. "9/6 Jacks or Better" and "8/5 Jacks or Better" are a couple of typical instances. The payment rates associated with specific hands are denoted by the "9/6" and "8/5".

These figures in Jacks or Better refer to payoff percentages for holding a Full House (payout is nine times the wager) or a Flush (6 times the bet).

You may immediately infer the meaning of the phrase "8/5 Jacks or Better" from this. The "8/5" signifies that there will be a lower payoff for either the Full House or the Flush. The house advantage increases when these rates are decreased.

As mentioned, video poker games may be providing players with alternatives when they advertise reduced payout rates in an effort to increase game participation. The limited or low play games might potentially be more appealing depending on your priorities.

Next, we go over several fundamental game kinds that casino video poker normally offers.

Jacks or Better, Tens or Better

A Pair of Jacks is the lowest winning hand in video poker, just like it is in five-card draw. This is changed in certain games to a Pair of Tens. Jacks or Better and Tens or Better are the names of these games.

Wild cards

Games like Deuces Wild and Joker's Wild can be examples of this.

Wild cards are used to boost the value of the hand in which they are kept because they can be utilized in place of any other non-wild cards in the deck. The power of the wild card to change a hand makes these games more lucrative.

According to their names, all twos are wild in Deuces Wild while all jokers are wild in Joker's Wild.

Modified pay schedule

These games will include a kicker to increase the payout value for a specific hand. Additionally, they will give benefits for specific hands. In Double Poker, for instance, the winnings for a Four of a Kind are increased.

Games with modified pay schedules sometimes have titles that contain the terms "bonus," "double," and "triple."


In multi-play video poker, you begin with a base hand and draw cards for each additional hand separately from the base hand.

There are many different variations of multi-play games available, including "Triple Play," "Five Play," "Ten Play," "Fifty Play," and "One Hundred Play."

4. Apply These Tips

You have a choice of coin values when playing video poker. Similar to slot machines, the more money you bet, or how many coins you played, the more money you'll eventually win from that hand. If you feel comfortable playing with high value coins, a five-coin bet may give you a better chance of winning a bonus for the best hand.

There are various misconceptions surrounding video poker. A machine may "offer indications" that a Royal Flush is likely to be dealt by acting "tight" or "loose"—casino slang for sparingly or liberally dealing winning cards—for example, by programming a Royal Flush to be almost impossible to achieve.

In truth, you have the same probability of holding a certain hand in video poker games as you would in any regulated table poker game because they are set to deal at random from the deck.

No matter how many hands have been dealt before or have not, this remains constant.

This is obviously not the same as arguing that you have the same chance of having a Royal Flush as you do a Pair of Jacks because the cards needed to complete the sequence vary in complexity.

You should never discard a high card in Jacks or Better (Jack, Queen, King, Ace). The initial bet is returned when high cards are doubled.

Pull Tab video poker should not be confused with video poker. Even if you've never played the latter, you may identify it by the process the player employs to ascertain the result of the bet from which it takes its name: To learn the result of the play, the player pulls a paper tab fastened to the device.

In pull-tab games, all outcomes are predetermined and there are no random odds. They are often only found in reserve casinos in the US, where real video poker is prohibited.

Some online casinos provide free money to match a player's deposit. Meeting a lengthy play requirement is necessary for this. You can use the calculator at Wizard of Odds to figure out how to play online video poker to fulfill that criterion.

Keep in mind that using a slots club card is another option you have when playing. Utilizing a club card enables you to accumulate usage bonuses that result in comps and free money.

When using a slots club card, be sure to check that it is still connected to the machine and earning points on your behalf every few minutes.


As always, having fun at the casino (including online casinos) starts with a successful time and money management plan. My beginner's guide to playing Blackjack contains some helpful advice.

In the US, online video poker is starting to gain popularity. The three states that now provide online video poker are Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Only US citizens physically present in those states may lawfully play online video poker, according to US federal gaming legislation.

Beginning players can start playing video poker with a simple, low learning curve. Video poker methods, on the other hand, are essentially endless and enable some sophisticated gambling with large payoff potentials if you find yourself liking the experience.