The popular casino game of video poker exploded in land casinos in the late 1970s and early 1980s, providing gambling fans with an easy, personal and lucrative way to play and win at poker. Since then, video poker has become as integral a part of land and online casino gambling as slots and table games.
In fact, being one of the first true 'video games' ever developed, video poker has probably made the easiest transition into online casinos due to its computer graphic format. Today online video poker is available in plenty of 5-card draw variants including Deuces Wild, Aces and Faces, Jacks or Better and many more.
List of 39 Online Casino Bonuses that allow Video Poker
The great thing about video poker is that it is very easy to play, although you'll require a basic knowledge of poker to master this game. Here are the video poker rules.
The object of video poker is to make a winning 5-card poker hand as per the standard 5-card draw hand rankings (see below). The better your hand, the more you'll win. Regardless of the video poker variant you are playing, each hand starts the same way. Once you've selected your ideal bet size, simply click 'Deal'. You'll automatically be dealt five cards.
If you have a winning hand, you must 'hold' the winning cards. For instance, if you are playing Jacks or Better video poker (which means the lowest possible winning hand is a pair of Jacks) and you are dealt a pair of Jacks, you must hold onto the Jacks (although most online video poker games will hold all winning cards for you automatically).
Once held, click the deal button again and all of your cards that were not held (in the above example three) will be replaced with new cards. If either or all of the new cards did not improve your pair of Jacks, you'll be paid out for a pair Jacks. If you were dealt a third Jack, you'll be paid out for Three of a Kind. If you were dealt another pair, 5s for instance, you'll be paid out on Two Pairs and so forth.
And that's the video poker basics covered. But there is another feature that most online video poker games boast called the 'Gamble' or 'Double' feature. The way this feature works is that whenever you win, most video poker games will give you the option to collect your winnings or double the full amount of your winnings or double half the amount of your winnings. If you click Collect, you retain your original winnings and the next hand begins.
If you choose Double (and risk all of your winnings) or Double Half (and risk half of your winnings), the dealer will deal five cards face down except for the first card. You then have to choose one of the four face down cards and if it is higher than the upturned card, you'll double your winnings. If it is lower, you'll lose all or half or your winnings. You can choose to collect after each successful double or double half or keep going for as long as your luck holds out.
Winning Video Poker Hands (from highest to lowest)
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- Jacks or Better
In terms of video poker strategy, the best way to win consistently is to learn the odds of which cards to discard and which to hang on to. In addition, beware of the Gamble feature. We would advise you to use the gamble feature only if your winnings are equal to your initial bet. In other words, only if you get your bet returned to you. If your winnings are higher than your initial bet, always collect.