Introduction

Video poker can be played in all online casinos. It is essentially a stripped down version of five-card draw poker with many variations. The main difference between video poker and regular poker is that the game is played against the casino software, and not against other players.

Is Video Poker a Game of Skill?

Video poker games are popular at online casinos because they are fast-paced, and when played with some skill, offer a low house edge. Although the game does require a large amount of luck, the odds of winning can be improved when players make the correct choices according to the hand dealt and the rules of the video poker variation that is being played.

Since the payouts basically follow regular poker hand wins, players can follow this as a general guide when making choices for video poker hands. However, it should be noted that each game variation allows for some changes in the payout amounts. A special hand may pay out more than one would expect according to the list of winning hands. The pay table is readily available to players, and should be consulted before making a decision regarding which cards to change.

Playing Video Poker Online

After having placed your initial bet, you need to click on the deal or draw button. Five cards will appear on the screen. Using your knowledge of poker hands and the rules of the specific video poker game, you will need to pick which cards to hold, and which should be replaced. The cards that are being discarded will disappear, and new cards will take their place. It is important to note that cards can only be exchanged once. Winning hands are then paid out according to the pay table, and a new hand can be played.

Some of the popular variations of the game include Jacks or Better, Jacks or Better Multi-Hand, Joker Poker, 10s or Better, Deuces Wild, Mega Jacks, and Aces and Faces. When playing Jacks or Better, as the name of the game makes clear, the lowest possible winning combination will be a pair of Jacks. The single hand video poker games are probably the best choice for new players, who can spice things up with multi-hand games once they have some experience with the game.

Video Poker Hands

Again, it should be noted that this order can change from one variation to another, however, the basic list of poker hand wins is the starting point for all video poker games.

  • One Pair - this is the smallest possible winning combination.
  • Two Pairs
  • Three of a Kind
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Royal Flush - this is the best possible winning combination in almost all video poker variations. When playing the maximum bet, this hand will pay out larger amounts.

Free Video Poker Games

Playing video poker for free at your chosen online casino is a great way to get to know the game. If you are not already a poker player, you can build up your skill with regards to which cards are best to hold, and which are best to switch. After playing some practice games for free, you can move over to real money video poker and enjoy the benefit of taking home your winnings.