How To Play Video Poker

Video poker is a straightforward, single-player casino game that is played against an algorithm. The game is based on five-card draw poker and can be played at one’s own pace at online casinos around the world. The gameplay is strikingly similar to that of a slot machine but, in contrast to the randomly-generated outcomes in online slots, players can use a variety of strategies to influence the outcome of the game (to a certain extent).

Video Poker Gameplay

The gameplay is quite similar to classic poker, where the players place their preferred stakes by depositing a certain amount of cash. Players must have sufficient cash funds in their online casino account, load the game and adjust the wager through the user interface. Once the wager is placed, five cards will be dealt, and the player will have the option to hold any card(s) of their choice. The game's main objective is to get the most favourable hand from the five cards that are dealt. After holding the chosen cards, other cards will be replaced by new cards that will form the final hand of five cards — similar to a respin with sticky symbols on slot machines. The outcome of the existing round will then be determined by the machine. If it is a winning hand, the game will pay out a corresponding win, as per the paytable.

Video Poker VS Live Poker

Understanding how to play video poker begins with distinguishing the differences between video and live poker, and how the two compare to poker played at land-based casinos.

Video poker is a relatively simple alternative to live poker, and the game’s pace is all up to the player. The fact that video poker can be played online and does not require in-depth knowledge of the game makes it an excellent choice for new and experienced players alike. 

Both video and live poker have an advantage over classic poker, by offering a wider variety of games and greater flexibility. Most importantly, online poker’s security is better than traditional table poker since the game engine and user-interface have to be licensed and regulated by reputable authorities; thus, there is no possibility of cheating and bluffing is out the window.

Video Poker Rules

Basic steps have to be followed by beginners to understand how to play video poker. The first task is adding funds to the player’s casino account and choosing a coin denomination within the game. This will determine the amount which the player wishes to wager for each hand. This bet size can be increased or decreased accordingly by clicking on the respective buttons (typically labelled as ‘Bet’). 

Once the bets are selected, the player has to click the ‘Deal’ button to begin the game. After clicking on the ‘Deal’ button, the player is dealt a hand of five cards. The next step is to identify and choose which cards to hold and which to discard. The player can hold multiple cards by clicking directly on them. After clicking on the ‘Draw’ button, the cards which are not held are replaced by new cards from the same virtual deck. The outcome is then determined using the video poker paytable. If the player holds a winning hand, the corresponding payout is awarded.

The paytable is a list of all paying combinations of cards and their respective payouts, both of which may differ from one game to another. The payouts are based on poker hand rankings, which largely stay faithful to classic poker. The royal flush is the most valuable hand, followed by a straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair and jacks or better. 

  • Royal Flush — Occurs when an ace, king, queen, jack and ten of the same suit are held in one hand.
  • Straight Flush — A straight flush is holding any five consecutive cards of the same suit. 
  • Four of a Kind — Four of a kind is four cards of the same rank.
  • Full House — Full house is three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank. 
  • Flush — Flush is any five non-consecutive cards of the same suit. 
  • Straight — A straight is five consecutive cards of any suit. 
  • Three of a Kind — Three of a kind is three cards of the same rank.
  • Two Pair — Two pair is two cards of one rank, two cards of another and a fifth card of a different rank.
  • Jacks or Better — A jacks or better hand is usually the lowest-ranked hand in video poker. This hand is a pair of jacks or higher. 

The video poker paytable lists the rewards corresponding to each winning hand. Usually, payouts are directly proportional to the amount wagered by the player. 

Video Poker Games

Video poker has many variations, and each has its own set of payouts and hand rankings. Some may also include the joker as a Wild card, usually two per deck. Whenever the Wild is drawn, it can be held in place to substitute for any card of the player’s choosing. This valuable card can swing the odds in the player’s favour, so it’s no surprise that video poker games like Joker Wild are incredibly popular. Although not as widespread as Jacks or Better poker and Deuces Wild, Joker Wild still sports a decent RTP (Return To Player) percentage. Aside from these three popular variants, players can also enjoy Bonus Deuces Wild, Double Double Bonus Poker and Jacks or Better Double Up. If you’re looking for something a little closer to classic poker with all the conveniences of playing video poker, check out first-person poker games like Casino Stud Poker. 

Regardless of the game you choose to play, every round of poker should be approached with a dedicated and well-researched strategy. You will encounter different payouts, hand rankings and rules, so your gameplay strategy must be adjusted accordingly. 

When you’re ready to get started with video poker, head to LV BET and discover our incredible portfolio of video and live poker tables! Whether you prefer single-player gameplay or the authentic ambience of playing with a live dealer, we definitely have the perfect game for you.

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