By  Jayson Peter    

How To Win At Video Poker: 5 Useful Tips and Tricks

How To Win At Video Poker: 5 Useful Tips and TricksVideo poker is a form of poker that’s usually played on poker machines. Unlike Texas Hold’em or Omaha, video poker is a single-player game and is played either on video poker machines on in the form of online video poker. There are numerous versions of video poker, but the majority of them follow the same rules.

If you’re on this page, the chances are that you’re looking for a way to beat online video poker, and this guide is going to help you in your effort. It will help you understand how this game works and what to pay attention when playing it.

Here are several things you’re going to read by reading this article.

If what you’ve read so far seem promising, make sure to read this article until the end. After reading the guide on how to beat video poker, you’ll gain in-depth insight into this game and understand all the intricacies which you’ll be able to use in your favor. Read on!

Video Poker Rules of Play – How Is It Different from Other Types of Poker?

Keno Winning StrategyVideo poker is a popular game found in many land-based and online casinos. Unlike other types of poker that are played with a dealer and against other players, video poker is basically a single-player game.

It is based on five-card draw poker. At the start of every round, you’ll receive five cards once you make a bet. After that, you’ll have an option to replace some of the cards in order to improve. The new hand you created with replaced hands is your final hand. If you have a valid poker hand, you can receive a prize based on a payout chart which is usually provided in the game.

Therefore the steps of playing video poker are the following.

  1. Select an online casino that offers online video poker and open an account
  2. Choose one of the available poker games (there are many variations)
  3. Select the betting amount — you can select 1 to 5 coins and select how much your coin is worth
  4. Receive five cards and analyze them
  5. Select the ones that you wish to replace
  6. Receive replaced cards
  7. Claim the prize if you have a valid poker hand

As you can see, the basic rules are rather easy. However, there are many video poker variations, so let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.

Most Important Online Video Poker Games

There are so many video poker variations on the web right now, that it would be difficult to list them all here. That’s why I am going to mention just some of the most popular ones here. That doesn’t mean that the ones that aren’t mentioned aren’t good. It means that they are just less popular compared to the ones in this article.

Here’s a short overview of popular online video poker games.

  • Jacks or Better – Video poker doesn’t consider a pair a valid hand, but Jacks or Better does. However, that pair has to be at least a pair of Jacks.
  • Deuces Wild – Deuces are considered wild cards and can replace any other card to make a valuable hand.
  • Bonus Poker – Some hands have better payouts than others.
  • Double Bonus Poker — Also, some hands have better payouts than others
  • Jokers Wild — Jokers can replace any card to help you create a valid hand.
  • Pick ‘em Poker — You are dealt two cards, but get to pick the additional three cards.

These are just some of the variations, but they are definitely not the only ones. In fact, there are further variations with slightly different rules, such as Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Double Jackpot Poker, Bonus Deuces Wild, Deuces & Jokers Wild, White Hot Aces and more.

Essentially, all of these titles differ a bit and this directly their odds and payouts. However, you should know that, in the end, the majority of online poker games have a similar RTP (return to player) percentage that usually goes up to 99%.

Finally, you should take into account that all of the games follow the hand rankings that are identical to all other poker games, and I will talk about that a bit later.

Video Poker Tips to Win

Video poker is a game of chance more than it is a game of skill. When compared to Texas Hold’em, video poker definitely lacks the human factor that accounts for the “skill” necessary in this game. In other words, you cannot read other players and bluff if there are no other players. Therefore, video poker relies on the element of luck, pretty much like online video slots.

However, there are still several things that you can do in order to improve your overall online poker experience. Let’s take a look at them.

Choose a Good Online Casino

There are many great online casinos out there, and some of them have a better offer of online video poker than others. Essentially, you want to choose a casino that has a great selection of video poker games and a generous bonus for new players.

Of course, you should also choose casinos that have a proven history of successful payouts, and offer various deposit and withdrawal methods, so that you can start playing video poker as soon as possible.

The list of casinos offering online video poker is long, but I narrowed it down to just a couple of them that are worth your time and money. You can find them on this page, so feel free to explore them and learn how to get the most of them.

Master One Type of Video Poker

Although the beauty of online video poker is that it comes in many forms, I advise focusing on just one type for starters, especially if you’re new to this game. That way, you’ll be able to master the game, learning all those small tricks while in the process. Once you feel confident enough, you can start playing other forms of online poker.

Practice Before Playing for Real Money

You probably wonder this — how to choose the best poker game for you if you haven’t tried them all? The good news is that you don’t have to play these games for real money at first.

As a matter of fact, the majority of online casinos offer their users to play games for free by providing fake money. Therefore, if you opt to play for free, you’ll be able to explore the game an all of its options before actually using real money for that. However, you should also take into account that there will not be real-money rewards either, as long as you play the free version.

Once you try enough types of video poker, you’ll have a general idea about all of them, and some will be more appealing to you than others. That means you’re ready to choose one type and begin mastering the game for real money.

Always Pay Attention to Payout Chart

Payout chart is a chart that shows you how much money you’re going to receive for each type of hand. These charts are almost always visible during your session so that you can have a great insight into your possible rewards, this can help you have a better understanding of your bankroll and how to play your next hands.

Adopt a Bankroll Management Strategy

Video poker, just like many other casino games, require you to manage your bankroll. It means that you should always be aware how much money you’ve spent and won on playing the game. There are various strategies that are universal for all casino games and can help you manage your bankroll better.

The basic rule is to have two limits. The first limit is the one on the amount you’re willing to spend on playing video poker. Simply put, you should always determine the amount for your next session, or even for a whole week/month. That amount shouldn’t be big, and it definitely shouldn’t affect your income much. Just think of it as money you’d spend for entertainment.

The other limit is the winning limit. There’s an unspoken rule that every winning streak becomes a losing streak if you play long enough. That’s why it’s important to determine the winning cap when you play any casino game, including online video poker. Once you reach the desired amount in your session, you should quit for the day.

Bonus Hint: Don’t Use the GambleOption

Like many online video slots, some video poker games offer you to double your winnings by gambling them. You can choose this option after any winning hand and gamble your chances. It’s usually conducted by drawing a card. If you draw a higher card than the one presented, you’ll double your winnings. If you draw a lower — you’ll lose all your winnings.

The gamble option is widely regarded as negative as it impacts the RTP and increases the house edge. That’s why you should avoid gambling your winnings after a successful hand. 

Video Poker Odds of Winning + Payouts

Talking about video poker odds is actually talking about poker odds in general since the odds of having a certain hand are similar in the majority of poker variations. Therefore, let’s take a quick look at the odds. Make sure to remember the following table, as it can come in hand while you play the game.

Hand Odds
Royal Flush 649,740:1
Straight Flush 72,193:1
Four of a Kind 4,165:1
Full House 694:1
Flush 509:1
Straight 255:1
Three of a Kind 47:1
Two Pairs 21:1
Valid Pair (J, Q, K or A) 7.96:1
Any Pair 2.37:1

The chart above is for the game Jacks or Better, which is often considered a default type of video poker. In other words, you’ll receive a prize for one pair only if it’s jacks, queens, kings or aces.

What you will see below is a typical payout table for Jacks or Better. What you should take into account is that there are several types of video poker Jacks or Better games, which are basically divided by the Full House and Flush payouts. Therefore, if you play a 9/6 Jacks or Better, you’ll receive a payout that is nine times your bet if you have a full house and six times your bet if you have a flush.

Other types are 9/5, 8/6, 8/5, 7/5, and 6/5. Naturally, the one with the best odds is the 9/6 one. Here’s a short payout table overviewing the payouts for that game.

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 800
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 9
Flush 5
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pairs 2
Valid Pair (J, Q, K or A) 1

The important thing to take into account is that the payout changes depending on the type of video poker you play. Therefore, make sure to check it before you actually start to play for real money in order to have a better understanding of how it works.

Video Poker Strategy Chart – How Many Cards Should You Re-Draw?

The last thing I want to talk about in this article is the strategy for playing video poker. Once again, I’ll focus on Jacks or Better optimal strategy, but you should know that this strategy is similar to other variations of online poker.

Although there are various charts our there that can help you, I just wanted to point out this one that I deem essential for learning advanced video poker strategy. The chart below simply tells you how many cards you should drop (change) based on your starting hand. Let’s take a look.

Hand Cards to Change
Royal Flush 0
Straight Flush 0
Four of a Kind 0
Full House 0
Four cards of Royal Flush 1
Flush 0
Straight 0
Four cards of a Stright Flush 1
Three of a Kind 2
Two Pairs 1
High Pair 3
Three cards of a Royal Flush 2
Four Cards of a Flush 1
Low Pair 3
Four cards of a Straight 1
Three cards of a Straight Flush 2
Two cards of a Royal Flush 3
Two high cards 3
One high card 4
All low unrelated cards 5
Jayson Peter

Jayson Peter Author

Hello my fellow Americans. My name is Jayson Peter and I am the Chief Editor of I have been working in and out of the gambling industry for the past 20 years. You will be able to read the latest reviews on US casino rooms, find out the legality of gambling in your state and much more.