What Should Video Poker Players Look For In An Online Casino?
Video poker refers to an entire sub-genre of online casino games that are similar in aesthetic to slot machines, but play a lot more like Casino Hold’em or other casino poker variants in a lot of cases.
Where to play video poker online
Video poker has a pretty good payout percentage or Return To Player (RTP) if you know the rules and a bit of basic strategy. Because of this, it’s really important to know where to play – the difference in payouts from one online casino to the next can be huge.
We’ve compiled a list of trusted online casinos that will give you the best deals on video poker.
Table last verified correct on January 4, 2017.
Online video poker promotions
To further maximise your chances of a big win playing video poker online (on top of choosing the right casinos), take advantage of promotions.
Be on the lookout for video poker games where point multipliers and promotions increase the RTP. Don’t worry, we’ll explain what that means!
The best thing to do is to look for progressive jackpots that haven’t been hit in a long time and are therefore much higher. You don’t need to be an online poker genius to know that if a royal flush generally pays $1,000 and will pay $3,000 if you hit it, the game might be pretty profitable.
Video poker vs slots: what’s the difference?
Video poker often gets lumped in the same category as slot machines. While there are a lot of similarities between the two games, and you might even find them next to one another at some online casinos, there is a key difference.
Video poker has a far better payout percentage, and the player has a lot more influence in determining whether they win or lose than when playing online slots. The discerning gambler chooses video poker over slot machines every time.
How to play video poker
There are hundreds of variations of video poker across dozens of casinos, so we won’t be able to give a hard and fast guide for every single variant of the game.
Because of the huge variety in both games available and the thousands of paytable changes you may encounter that significantly affect your odds, it’s best to make sure the strategy you’re researching is exactly the right one for your game.
The basics of video poker
Most variations of video poker are pretty simple and have a few gameplay elements in common. If you’ve ever played draw poker (think cowboys, not World Series of Poker) then you’ll be familiar with the game.
You’re dealt five cards and decide which ones you want to keep and which you want to discard and then replace to make the best possible five-card hand. If you make a hand qualifying at a certain level (for example, a pair of jacks or better) then you will receive a payout if your hand wins.
Some games feature wild cards, such as jokers or deuces, that can be used for any value. Many have random multipliers, and you may come across a progressive jackpot that pays out for particular hands like royal flushes. This can make or break your decision to play at a certain online casino.
Video poker strategy
The strategies for all the variants of video poker are far too numerous and complex to list here.
However, here are a few tips that may help you out:
- Always try to play max credits whenever you can – you get the best odds that way
- The odds on a royal flush are terrible with smaller bets
- If you’re dealt a decent hand, stick with it unless you can get a better one (e.g. make a royal flush from your flush)
How to win playing online video poker
The best bet is to look up the specific strategy for whatever game you’ve chosen.
The strategy might be quite complicated, with a lot of variables in a game like Jacks or Better; here, the cards you’re discarding can significantly affect the strategy. On the other hand, many games are quite straightforward; Deuces Wild is one where you basically play to hold deuces.
Generally, the harder the strategy is, the lower the house edge – but not always, so do your research before you play!
Video poker is a simple game and most people like to play it for casino points and to play without losing too much money; playing without going for highest return to player percentage is a bad move in the long run.
Video poker FAQ
If you’re still confused about video poker, hopefully these questions can clear things up for you.
Is it better to play video poker or online slots?
This totally depends on your own personal preferences. Slots tend to be much more popular as people enjoy being entertained by the game without having to make any strategic decisions. However, some more tactically-minded players might prefer to be more involved with their strategies and feel more comfortable playing a game that requires more player decision. Often, you’ll find better odds with video poker games – however, you’ll see your chances of a single massive win increase dramatically playing slots.
Plenty of people play and enjoy both, though!
What is the best video poker game to play online?
This, again, depends on your personal preference. However, if you’re exclusively looking for the best value for money, then many video poker games can offer very tempting Return to Player (RTP) percentages. Naturally, you’ll never find a video poker game with an RTP of more than 100 per cent, but at the right online casino (see above) and using a player rewards scheme or bonus, you might be able to turn the tables in your favour for a short period.
Are video poker shuffles continuous or pre-determined?
In both video poker machines and online video poker, as well as regular online poker, there are two kinds of random shuffle to deal cards. The first is a “continuous shuffle” which means that the virtual deck is being shuffled constantly throughout the hand, dealing the next card when required. A pre-determined shuffle works just like shuffling a real deck of cards; the virtual deck is shuffled and the cards are dealt off in the order they land in. Different video poker machines and games will utilise different shuffles, but both are completely fair and random.