Video Poker

One of the most sought-after games in casinos since the 70’s, video poker combines the thrill of a game of chance with the challenge of using the best strategy. Canadians love to play this fun game that relies less on skills than table poker but also gives you more control than luck-based slot machines. Furthermore, it’s easy to pick up and anyone can enjoy this game.

Perhaps the most alluring pull of video poker games is the extremely low house edge, which often goes below 1%, giving some of the best odds in the casino. If you’re looking for a game of skill, high payout rate, and a chance to win big without competing against other players, there’s nothing better than playing video pokers. So put your poker prowess to the test at one of our recommended video poker casinos now and see if you could get that Royal Flush!

Here’s a list of our recommended video poker casinos:

Rules of video poker

The rules of video poker are very simple and you’ll be enjoying the game in no time at all. First, choose a trusted online casino like one of our recommended sites and get yourself a hefty welcome bonus while you’re at it. Then, head over to the games section and look for the video poker options. To start off, choose something uncomplicated, like Jacks or Better, and once you’ve mastered the basics, you can try out something more complex like the All American.

Decide on your coin limit: most video poker games allow you to wager anything from 1 to 5 coins. You should always bet the maximum amount of coins because the payout increases from 250 to a whopping 800 to 1 when you get a royal flush. Any wager less than the maximum amount will only pay out 250 to 1 even when you successfully make the top hand.

Draw your cards: now press the “deal” button and let the fun begin! You’ll receive five cards face up and you have a choice to keep any of them and discard any of them too. To keep the cards you want, just “hold” them by clicking on them. Once you have decided on which cards to retain, press the “draw” button. The cards you didn’t hold will disappear and new cards will replace them. This is your final hand and it will determine if you have a winning combination and how much you’ll receive.

Winning: the strength of your hand determines the payout amount. The winning combinations are based on the universal poker hand rankings (from lowest to highest):

  • Pair: two cards of the same rank plus three unrelated cards.
  • Two pairs: two different pairs plus one unrelated card.
  • Three of a kind: three cards of the same rank plus two side cards.
  • Straight: Five sequential cards that are not in the same suit.
  • Flush: Five cards of an identical suit but not in a sequence.
  • Full house: three of a kind plus a pair
  • Four of a kind: four cards of a matching rank plus a side card.
  • Straight flush: Five cards in a sequence of the same suit.
  • Royal flush: 10, J, Q, K, A of an identical suit.

Odds in video poker

It’s no secret that casinos set different odds to different games with a bit of house edge in the vast majority of its games. Although most gamblers like to mix it up a bit, experts know where to look for the highest chance to win, and you can find this in video pokers, the casino’s best-kept secret.

The payback percentage of video pokers changes between variations and starts at 96% but often goes above 99%. For example, in a game of Jacks or Better, you can achieve an amazing 99.54% return on your money if you play with an optimal strategy. Even if you make some mistakes, the house edge is still less than 1%. However, if you’re a master at the game, the best games to play are the full pay Deuces Wild games. Assuming that you could play with the perfect strategy, not only could you achieve an even higher payback rate but the house edge completely disappears with a spectacular 100.7% average rate of return!

Compare this with the house edge of the more popular online slots, which rarely have a payback percentage of more than 98%, it’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for the best game to win. Although blackjack games could also offer a payout rate of over 99%, it doesn’t offer a chance to win big on a single bet. In stark contrast, if you draw a royal flush with a $5 wager in video poker, you could walk away with a staggering $4,000!

Variations of video poker

If you’re not familiar with video pokers, you could find the overwhelming number of variants bewildering. However, most of them are simply a variation based on two main games:

  • Jacks or Better: this is the most basic version of the game and many consider it to be the original video poker. The game play is very straight forward where you receive five cards, hold the ones you prefer, draw new cards to replace the discarded ones, and check if you have a winning combination. The lowest winning combination is a pair of jacks or better, hence the name.
  • Deuces Wild: similar to Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild also involve being dealt five cards and then deciding on which ones to keep and which ones to discard. Your payout also depends on the strength of your final hand. However, the Deuces Wild deck includes four wild cards, which you could use to replace any other cards to form the best poker hand, significantly increasing your chances to achieve a winning combination.

Microgaming, the leading software provider for casinos, make video pokers in every variation from classics like Jacks or Better to special games like Tens or Better Power Poker. For some of the best video poker games, you should check out the main Microgaming brands on the internet.

Another exciting feature of video pokers is that some of them have a progressive jackpot too, just like progressive slots. A progressive jackpot is where the prize money grows larger in value as more players wager on any of the games that are linked to the pot until someone wins and cashes it in.

In video poker games, there are different ways to trigger the jackpot, usually involving making a royal flush:

  • Jacks or Better: draw a royal flush on a maximum amount of coin bet.
  • Deuces Wild: get a natural sequential royal flush which means that you must draw a hand of 10, J, Q, K, A of an identical suit with no wild cards and in that order. You must also be betting with the maximum amount of coins.
  • Joker Poker: end up with a royal flush in your final hand while betting the maximum amount of coins.

Conclusion

Video pokers might not offer the most stunning graphics nor glitziest effects, but it’s the best game in the casino for serious players who want to win big. The house edge in video pokers are already at an astonishing low, add in a progressive jackpot that could potentially win you hundreds of thousands of dollars, there’s no comparison when it comes to the best game for big payouts.

Whether you’re new to video poker or an expert player, everyone can read up and learn the best strategies for all variations of the game. So whenever you’re ready to reap the massive rewards of video poker games, just head over to one of our trusted sites now and receive free bonuses to help you out even more!