How to Play Video Poker - A Guide to Playing Video Poker

Video Poker is an easy game to learn, especially if you already play Poker. Fundamentally, your goal while playing the game is simply to form the best poker hand by keeping or discarding the cards dealt to you on the screen. Want to know more? Learn how to play Video Poker by reading through our guide below. 

Video Poker Rules

how to play video pokerSimilarly to Slots games, Video Poker is traditionally played at land-based casinos on a machine. Yet, let’s make this clear from the very start of this article; the fact that it’s played on a machine is the only thing that the two casino games have in common. Essentially, Video Poker has much more in common with the classic table game, Poker. And just like Poker, its quicker casino cousin, certainly requires more skill and decision-making than your average Slots game does. Ultimately, if you want to play the game, you’ll need to know how to play Video Poker, which meshes the rules of Poker as well as its own little twists together.

  Video Poker Rules are:


  •    A combination of Poker rules and Video Poker’s own twists;
  •    Very easy to learn;
  •    Are complemented by Video Poker strategy;
  •    The payout in Video Poker depends on the hand ranking obtained. 

The Main Aim of Video Poker Online

The main aim of the game in Video Poker is to form the best Poker hand. This is done by making decisions about which cards to discard and which to keep. So while it’s not completely needed to know some form of strategy, it can definitely be worth your while to learn some before playing the game for real money in order to help you strike the best combination which will grant you the opportunity to maximize your payout.

How to Play Video Poker 

There aren’t too many steps and rules to keep in mind when you play online video poker. You input the number of coins you wish to play and click on deal/draw, or click on the "Play Max Coins" button. You’re now dealt five cards as in five-card draw poker.

  How to Play Video Poker for Beginners:


  •    Place your bet; 
  •    Press the ‘Deal’ button for your cards to be dealt out;
  •    Select which cards to keep and which to discard;
  •    Click the ‘Draw’ button for the cards to change and wait for the outcome. 

1) Place your bet 

Like other casino games, the first step to playing Video Poker is placing your bet. While playing a typical Video Poker game, you’ll be able to do this either by clicking on ‘Bet One’, ‘Bet Max’ or by simply selecting the amount you’d like to bet using the arrows. Generally speaking, minimum and maximum bets will vary from one game to another depending on which variant you choose to play and at which online casino.

2) Press the ‘Deal’ button for your cards to be dealt out

Once you’ve placed your bet, the next thing you’ll have to do is to click on the ‘Deal’ button for your cards to be dealt out. Both in Online Video Poker as well as in land-based Video Poker, there’s no dealer present and your cards will be dealt out electronically.

3) Select which cards to keep and which to discard

Now you’re faced with a decision: which cards to keep and which ones to discard. Use the buttons underneath each card to indicate whether you wish to hold or fold it.

4) Click the ‘Draw’ button for the cards to change

Once you have selected which cards you wish to keep, press the deal/draw button again to receive replacement cards.

5) Wait for the outcome

After you’ve performed all the necessary steps, you’ll get your final hand and the only thing left to do is to wait for the outcome.

Video Poker Hand Rankings

In Video Poker, hand rankings really matter. The better your hand ranks, the better your payout will be and the more money you’ll be able to pocket at the end of the game. So if you’ve never played Video Poker or the classic table game, Poker, we really recommend acquainting yourself with their hand rankings. Below we outline each hand ranking from best to worst. These hand rankings are the ones that pertain to Jacks or Better, the most well-known and widely played Video Poker variant.

Royal straight flush – A royal flush is definitely the best hand that you can have in Joker Poker Video Poker. Essentially, it consists of a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit (ie. Either diamonds, clubs, hears or clovers).

Straight flush – A straight flush is perhaps the second best hand ranking you can possibly have in a game of Video Poker. It’s made up of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. For example, 6,7,8,9,10.

Four of a kind – As the name implies, 4 of a Kind implies that there are four cards of the same value. Each card belongs to a different suit.

Full house – A full house consists of any 3 cards carrying the same numerical value together with 1 pair. For example, you have 3 cards with 4s on them and two aces.

Flush – A flush consists of a poker hand made up of 5 suited cards that are not in consecutive order.

Straight – Five consecutive cards of mixed suits are known as a straight.

Three of a kind – Two cards of different value together with three cards of equal value is known as three of a kind.

Two pair – A two pair consists of a set of two cards that are of the same value or two other cards that are of different values.

Jacks or Better – Any single pair that’s either made up of Jacks or higher will win the hand. For example Js, Qs, Ks or As.

Video Poker Payouts

The strength of your hand depends on which type of Video Poker game you play. Different Video Poker variations have different payout structures. However, the payouts are always based on traditional poker hand rankings. Have a look below to find the different hand rankings:

Full Pay Jacks or Better Machine Payout


Casino Payout

Royal Flush 800
Straight Flush  50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House  9
Flush 6
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 2
Jacks or Better 1

As you can see from the pay table above, when it comes to Jacks or Better you need at least a pair of Jacks or Tens to be eligible for payout. Yet, in some other variants of the game, this might differ.

Some Video Poker variations have wild cards or jokers which makes it possible to create other hands such as five of a kind. There can also be different payouts for, say, a royal flush including a wild card and a natural royal flush. The key here is to always study the payout table before you start playing so you know how to play.

Video Poker Variants & Their Rules 

video poker rulesNo matter if you’re a Poker player or you’d simply just rather keep the same game format but play a more simplified version of the game, Video Poker offers the perfect alternative for you to play. And although the main version of Video Poker is Jacks or Better, there are so many other popular variations you’ll be able to find at both online casinos as well as land-based ones as well. Two of the most commonly played variations of the game, after Jacks or Better, are Multi-Hand Video Poker, Progressive Video Poker, Deuces Wild and Joker Poker.  Some other fun but lesser-known variations are 10s or better and Aces and Faces. Aces and Faces has a higher outcome for four of a kind outcome, and 10s or better has smaller payouts as there are quite a lot more winning combinations. Provided that you’d like to learn how to play a different Video Poker variant to Joker Poker, we highly urge you to go through the guides which pertain to each one of them and find out more about them. 

Multi-Hand Video Poker Rules

At online casinos, you’re able to play multi-handed Video Poker. In some games, you play 50 hands simultaneously. The gameplay in multi-handed games works exactly like traditional Video Poker – with the little difference that you get 10, 20 or even 50 hands that you bet the same amount on. The first 50 hands you get (if you play 50-handed poker) are identical and you then decide what to keep and what to discard across the board. You then get new, random cards on each hand and every single hand is then compared to the payout table. In other words, you may win on some hands and lose on some.

Deuces Wild Rules 

Deuces Wild is a well-known variant of Video Poker that uses a 52-deck of cards with no jokers. However, in this version of the game, the deuces that are present in the deck are wild meaning that they can be used to substitute any card in the deck of cards to form a great hand.  If you’d like to find out more about how to play Video Poker Deuces Wild, have a look at our full Deuces Wild Video Poker guide at CasinoTop10. 

Joker Poker Rules 

Joker Poker (or Jokers Wild) is played with a deck of 53 cards. All the regular cards you’ll typically find present in a regular deck as well as one Joker, which acts as the game’s wild card. Essentially, the main aim throughout this game is to keep all your best cards and discard the rest in hopes of acquiring a better hand. The best hand you can have in this game is a Royal Flush and the worst is Kings or Better.  Find out more about the game by visiting our Joker Poker Video Poker page where we delve into everything from rules to strategy and even Joker Poker payouts. 

Progressive Online Video Poker Rules

You may also want to try a Progressive Jackpot Video Poker game. These games offer a special large payout for making a royal flush (or some other very strong hand.) Every game that is hooked into the progressive jackpot pays into the same pool, making for some tremendous prize funds. Of course, a royal flush is very difficult to hit and most players go their entire lives without ever hitting one, but if you do hit it, it can change your life.

How to Play Video Poker and Win 

The great news about playing Video Poker rather than its classic counterpart is that you don’t actually have to care about other players and your main goal is simply to get the strongest hand possible. However, to play optimally it’s certainly good to study a little bit of Video Poker strategy. In doing so, you will know what to throw away and what to keep in different situations. And this can differ from machine to machine. Once you’ve learned a bit more about how to play the game strategically, go ahead and play some Free Video Poker by heading to our free casino games page. 

Learn How to Play Video Poker & Head to an Online Casino Today! 

With a rudimentary knowledge of Poker, you’ll definitely be able to play Video Poker without much difficulty. Yet, before you head off through an online casino’s virtual doors to gambling to your heart's content, make sure you know how to play Video Poker by reading up on its rules first. After all, Video Poker may be closely related to Poker, however, it is its own game in its own right. Once you’ve learned the rules of the game, make sure you compliment your new-found knowledge by learning a bit of strategy too. Once you’ve learned a combination of both, you’ll be practically ready to play at one of the online casinos for real money in our list! 

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