Online Casino Video Poker Play Guide

Video Poker Guide

Video Poker Overview

Based off of traditional poker rules, video poker is an excellent way to both learn how to play poker in a low-pressure and private setting while also providing many opportunities to quickly rake in big money which makes it a popular game even among veteran poker players.

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What is Video Poker

The goal of video poker is to form a winning poker hand with the cards you are dealt. You will first be dealt five cards and then you’ll be asked whether you want to hold or re-deal any of those 5 cards. After the re-deal, you then have to form one of the winning combinations that are based on the traditional poker rules which we’ll go over in detail below. The casino will pay out based on what kind of winning combination you have.

In general, this is a great game for casino players that are avid poker fans, or players that are looking to expand out from traditional tables game such as roulette and black jack. Video poker typically offers incredibly good odds (house edge is about 3%) , and can be extremely fun since there is an element of skill involved where you can choose which cards to hold and which cards to re-deal which can impact whether you win that round.

How to Play Video Poker

There are many variations of video poker, but this guide will go over how to play “Jacks or Better” Video poker, which is one of the most popular and traditional variants.

STEP 1SELECT THE VIDEO POKER TAB

Video Poker tab on Betway
Video Poker tab on Betway

Video poker is a pretty popular game so many online casinos will have a dedicated game category for “”Video Poker.””
Start by finding and clicking on this tab so that you can see all the different type of video poker games offered on your online casino.

STEP 2SELECT TYPE OF VIDEO POKER TO PLAY

Jacks or Better Poker 

There are numerous variations of this game which we’ll go over in detail below under the “Variations” section, but if this is your first time playing, we strongly recommend playing the most traditional version which is called “Jacks or Better” and is usually the first game offered with the icon displayed on the top left.

STEP 3ADJUST BET AMOUNT

The betting format for video poker can be very similar to slots where you can adjust your bet amount by clicking on the “+” and “-” on the screen. As you would before starting any game, make sure you check the amount you are betting is an amount you are comfortable with.

STEP 4SELECT COIN AMOUNT

Another feature that’s similar to slots is the ability to further increase your bet amount by adding in additional “”coins.”” You can choose whether you play with only 1 coin or 5 games (or some number in between) by selecting one of the five different columns displayed on the screen. This is also called the paytable since it also shows you how much you can win depending on what winning combination you get with your cards. In general, playing with more coins simply multiplies your bet amount by that number of coins so if you were playing with 1 coin and the bet amount was set at $1, and then you decide to bet with 5 coins, then your bet amount will be multipled by 5 and your bet amount will change to $5. You are wagering more on each bet, but this also means that if you win money, you’ll also be winning more money back.

One big aspect you should consider when choosing your coins is that usually video poker offers extra “”big win”” amounts that can only be awarded if you play with the maximum number of coins. For example, if you check the paytable for Jacks or Better, you’ll see that getting a Royal Flush will win you $1000 if you play with 4 coins, but you’ll get $4000 if you get it while wagering 5 coins. This is why we recommend betting the max number of coins possible for video poker every time. At least knowing my luck, the one time I get a Royal Flush is going to be the one time I accidentally wager with 1 coin.

STEP 5CLICK "DEAL" TO START THE GAME

Start the game to get dealt your first 5 cards and officially kick off your first video poker experience!

STEP 6CHOOSE WHICH CARDS TO HOLD

After you are dealt 5 cards, you will have a chance to choose which cards to hold and which cards to re-deal. Remember, the goal is to try to get one of the winning combinations that are charted out to the pay table so in order to make a good decision on which cards to hold and which to re-deal, you will need to understand what the winning combinations are.
In “”Jacks or Better,”” there are 8 possible winning combinations which we explain in detail below. We’ll start from the easiest cominbations to get and work our way towards the most difficult combination, which is the famed Royal Flush.

JACKS OR BETTER

2 Queens
2 Queens

This is the easiest category of combinations to get and it means getting a pair (meaning two) of JACKS or higher. So any pair of J, Q, K, or Ace would be included in this category and would pay out 1x your bet. So if you bet $5, you will win $5, thereby leading to a neutral outcome where you have not won or lost money.

TWO PAIRS

2 Queens & 2 Kings
2 Queens & 2 Kings

This category includes getting 2 pairs of any card type. So whereas the category above “JACKS OR BETTER” didn’t include any of the number cards and only counted the face cards (J, Q, K, A), now you can also use the number cards as well as the face cards to make two pairs. Any two pairs would do such as a pair os Kings and a pair of 3s. This combination payouts 2x your bet amount so now you’re starting to make a profit!

THREE OF A KIND

3 Threes
3 Threes

Instead of getting pairs, we’re now moving onto getting three of the same card type. All card types are included here so you can get this combination by getting something like 5-5-5 or 7-7-7 or J-J-J. Payout is 3x!

STRAIGHT

8-9-10-J-Q (Differnet Suits)
8-9-10-J-Q (Differnet Suits)

This is the first combination that requires you to use all 5 cards in your hand. You can get a STRAIGHT by getting all 5 cards in consecutive order. The suits (hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades) can be random and don’t have to match up, but the numbers must be sequential. So something like A-2-3-4-5 or 4-5-6-7-8 or 10-J-Q-K-A would be considered a STRAIGHT. The Ace can be used at the beginning or at the end. The Payout is 4x so now you’re making some serious money.

FLUSH

5–8–7-Q-J (All Hearts)
5–8–7-Q-J (All Hearts)

You also have to use all 5 cards for this one, but unlike the STRAIGHT, your cards don’t have to be in consecutive order. Instead, you need all 5 cards to be the same suit (hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades). So you can have something like 3-5-9-Q-A all in hearts or all in spades and this would represent a FLUSH. Payout is 6x.

FULL HOUSE

3 Kings & 2 Queens
3 Kings & 2 Queens

This is when you get both a THREE OF A KIND of one card type as well as one PAIR of a different card type. So something like Q-Q-Q and 2-2 would be a FULL HOUSE. Payout is 9x.

FOUR OF A KIND

4 Kings
4 Kings

Similar to a THREE OF A KIND, but instead of trying to get 3 of the same card value, now you’re trying to get all 4. If you have something like 7-7-7-7 or K-K-K-K, both of these would be considered a FOUR OF A KIND. Payout Is 25x.

STRAIGHT FLUSH

5-6-7-8-9 (Same Suit)
5-6-7-8-9 (Same Suit)

Now we’re getting into super rare territory. A STRAIGHT FLUSH is means you have both a STRAIGHT and a FLUSH using the same 5 cards. So something like 2-3-4-5-6 all in spades would be a STRAIGHT FLUSH. Or 9-10-J-Q-K that is all in hearts would be a STRAIGHT FLUSH.

ROYAL FLUSH

10-J-Q-K-A (Same Suit)
10-J-Q-K-A (Same Suit)

The equivalent of a jackpot win. This is incredibly rare with the odds of getting it to be something like 1 in almost 650,000. There are only 4 ways to get the ROYAL FLUSH and its because a ROYAL FLUSH is when you get 10-J-Q-K-A all in the same suit. It MUST be a 10-J-Q-K-A. Otherwise, it would either be STRAIGHT FLUSH. So something like 10-J-Q-K-A all in spades or all in hearts would be considered a ROYAL FLUSH. Its my dream to have a CASINO ADVENTURES reader get a ROYAL FLUSH. Payout is 250x and in the case you got it while wagering a bet of $5 (with max of 5 coins), you would win $4000 which is a payout of 800x. Absolutely massive.

WHICH CARDS TO HOLD?

When you get your first 5 cards, the casino software will often already tag certain cards that form a combination by showing a sign that says “”HELD”” over the card. This is usually pretty good advice from the software, but since you are able to choose which cards to actually hold and which cards to re-deal, you can actually “”un-hold”” the automatically “”held”” cards by clicking on them.
You can tell which cards will be held because it will clearly says “”HELD”” on it. The cards that don’t have that sign will be replaced with a new card once you click “”DRAW.””
If you’re learning to play for the first time, I would recommend keeping the cards that come up automatically “”HELD”” and simply replacing the other cards. If you dont have any cards that say “”HELD,”” this means the software wasn’t able to find any immediate potential combinations. In these situations, I typically like to hold my high value face cards (J-Q-K-A) and then replace the rest in the hope of hitting an easy high-value pair. If I don’t have any high value face cards, then I usually just replace all 5 cards.

For this hand, I got a pair of Js (J-J) so the software had already tagged it as “”HELD”” right from the get-go without me having to do anything. The pair of Jacks already gets me the winning combination of “”JACKS OR BETTER”” which pays out 1x so I’m at least getting my money back. I’m going to keep the pair of Jacks and re-deal A-8-9 with the hope of getting more Jacks to get a THREE OF A KIND, or even a FOUR OF A KIND, or even a different pair which would get me TWO PAIRS.

After you select which cards to hold and which cards to re-deal, click “”DRAW”” which is the button next to the “”DEAL”” button that started the game.

STEP 7IF YOU WIN, CHOOSE TO COLLECT OR DOUBLE

If you re-deal your cards and you still don’t make a winning combination, then you lose the round and you’ll have to play again by placing another bet and placing “”DEAL.””

However, if you win, like in the image to the left where I got a winning combination of a pair of Jacks (the lowest accepted cominbation!), then the game makes things even more interesting by provding an opportunity to play double or nothing. If you want to take the casino up on this offer, then you click the “”DOUBLE”” button and the outcome is decided by playing one hand of high-card where the casino deals you 5 new cards, and both you and casino each pick one card, with the higher value card determining the winner.

You can also decline this opportunity to play high-card by simply clicking “”COLLECT”” which allows you to just receive your winnings and then re-start a new game with a new wager.

STEP 8WINNING THE "DOUBLE"

In the case you click “”DOUBLE,”” the casino will first deal you 5 cards face down and then will flip a card at random. This card represents the casino’s card and is the card you will have to beat in order to double your winning.
Once the casino flips its card, you will have an opportunity to select one of the other 4 face-down cards. Click on any of the cards, and if the card is higher than the casino’s card, you’ll be able to double your winning and actually get to choose again if you want to “”DOUBLE”” or end play and “”COLLECT.”” So long as you keep winning, you’ll always continue to get an opportunity to “”DOUBLE.””

In the test run, I chose to “”DOUBLE,”” and the dealer actually flipped an ACE which is the strongest card you can get in a high-card stand-off. This means that if I get an Ace, then the game will end tied and I’ll be able to collect my initial winning, but if I get a card thats weaker than an Ace, then I’ll have lost all my initial winnings.

STEP 9BEGIN NEW GAME BY CLICKING "DEAL"

During the “”DOUBLE”” round, I chose the middle card which turned out to be a 4 and finalized my loss against the casino’s Ace. This means I lost the initial wager amount that I had from the casino for getting a pair of Jacks but it also concludes this round of play which allows me to set my bet and play again.

Click one of the vertical lines on the paytable to select how much to wager and begin the game again. We highly recommend choosing the red vertical line – this is the max bet but it also makes you eligible to win the big win bonus of 4000 coins which increases your winning odds as opposed to choosing any of the other vertical lines which are smaller bets but make you ineligible to win the big win bonus.

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Video Poker Game Variations

“Jacks or Better” is the most classic version of Video Poker, but there are a ton of other variations of video poker. Below are the most common and most popular variations.

Jacks or Better

The most classic version of the game. The rules are simple and practically in the name of the game. You win money so long as you get a pair of Jacks. Any hand better than a pair of Jacks will quickly increase your win amount.

10s or Better

Similar to Jacks or better but your odds of winning are even better since instead of needing Jacks to win money, all you need is a pair of 10s.

Joker Poker

Rules are very similar to Jacks or Better but in this game variation, you can even get Jokers which are Wild Cards and can become any card type to help increase your return.

Deuces Wiild

Similar to Joker Poker but instead of using Jokers as a Wild Card, you can use deuces (the “2”) as the Wild Card.

Multi-Hand Video Poker

Part of the thrill of playing Video Poker is when you get your first hand, and then draw some new cards with the hope of getting a winning hand. In the classic version of the game, you only get to change out your cards once, but in multi-hand, you can draw mulitple times and get more chances to make a winning hand. Multi-hand typically costs more to play, but this element of drawing mulitple hands really spices up the game. There are all kinds of multi-hands available with some games offering up to 10 draws, and even some games going up to 100 draws.

Progressive Jackpot Video Poker

Similar to progressive slots, this video poker game takes a portion of everyone’s losses and pools it together into one potential jackpot win. Every player around the world is connected in this game, so the jackpot bonus increases quite quickly and grows to insanely high amounts. Get the Royal Straight Flush to get the jackpot but remember, you usually have to bet the max wager amount to be eligible for the jackpot bonus so choose your wager amount wisely when playing this game.
There are many variations of this game as well such as Caribbean Poker, or Let it Ride, or Pai Gow Poker

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