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PokerNews Video Poker Guide: How to Play & Beat Video Poker, and Where to Play Online

Everyone is aware of the classic poker game played in casinos, as well as the popular online version - but did you know there is another variant to try with Video Poker?

Video Poker offers a lot of the same strategy and gameplay as the online version, but with the ability to play on your own, so you can try out different hands and types of bets, without worrying about other players. With our guide, we'll examine the origins of the game, how to play video poker, as well as some of the variants you can try.

Read our Guide to Video Poker to find out:

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What is Video Poker?

'Video Poker' is a term commonly used to refer to poker games offered by online casino sites. It differs from 'online poker' which is a poker game played online but with other players, whereas video poker is played solo, as with most other casino games. Unlike casino games of chance, where results are based on a Random Number Generator, video poker has more of a skill element to it. This makes it a great option to practice your hands before you hit the tables - either online or in a real casino!

Poker dealer

How to Play Video Poker

Almost all video poker games on offer are based on a game of Five Card Draw. The objective of video poker is just like any other game of five card draw: build as strong a hand as possible by choosing to hold or disregard specific cards and to bet accordingly.

Put simply, it works like this:
  • You're dealt a hand of five cards.
  • You get the chance to keep any cards you want, and to get rid of any you don't.
  • You can receive new cards to replace any you give away. This is your final poker hand.

Learn more about playing Five Card Draw with PokerStars Ambassador Mason Pye!

When playing video poker, it's common to make a bet first, assuming you have deposited enough funds at the online casino you're playing with. Sometimes there may be options to make specific bets or a maximum bet. You can also refer to the 'paytable' onscreen, which tells a player how much can be won for different hands, e.g. a straight flush, full house, and so on. There will be a 'Deal' option you can press to receive your five cards. Once the hand has been played to completion, any winnings are paid out according to the paytable.

The Best Strategy for Video Poker

It is true to say that video poker is often said to be the most popular casino game, and the lower house edge is a big part of this. However there are still a few strategies you can learn and put into practice to try and get the better of video poker whenever you play. So what are the basics to a good video poker strategy?
  1. Learn the rules: Sounds a bit silly (not to mention. obvious!) but you should be familiar with the rules of Five Card Draw as a bare minimum before playing. As the outcome of the game is based on a good poker hand, you should know how to decide which of your dealt five cards to keep and which ones to discard.
  2. Know the odds: A thorough understanding of the video poker odds will help you learn what outcome you need for the biggest win depending on the hand you build.
  3. Look at the paytable: Each video poker game you play will display the paytable showing the odds for each winning hand, so it's worth brushing up on this before you play. If you know the hand required for a certain payout, this makes it 'easier' to make decisions about your cards.

Want to know more about How to Beat Video Poker? Read the full guide >

Video Poker on Mobile

Video Poker Games to Play Online

You'll be pleased to know that there are a wide variety of video poker games to play, and most decent online casinos offer some or all of these. Here we've listed some of the better and more interesting versions you can play, as well as links to specific strategy pages for each of these video poker games.

Play Jacks or Better Video Poker

Jacks or Better is very similar to straight five-card draw, but you get an extra point for every pair of Jacks (or higher) that you receive. You can also play more hands with Jacks or Better, providing players with more potential winnings.

Read our full Guide to Jacks or Better to find your best strategy >

Play Deuces Wild Video Poker

Before we tell you anything else about Deuces or Wild, you should know it has one of the highest RTP of any video poker games! This makes it an engaging and worthwhile option, alongside any video poker variants on this list.

Deuces Wild video poker includes the option to replace any card with a deuce, making 2s wild cards. This means that the paytable for a game of Deuces Wild is more compelling when you consider the potential returns.

Find out How to play Deuces Wild Poker >

Play Let It Ride Video Poker

Slightly different to the other games on this list, Let It Ride has seven players, although you don't technically share the game with them. You build up your winning hand with three cards dealt face up (your cards) and two cards face down (the community cards - these are the dealer's cards when playing live Let It Ride poker). You then base your decisions on whether or not to trust your cards - do you forfeit (Pull) your bets or you want to continue aka Let It Ride.

Read more about Let It Ride Video Poker >

Play Five Play Video Poker

What's better than a hand of video poker? Five hands of video poker! With Five Play Video Poker you can play five hands at once every time you hit the 'Deal' button. Even better, you can play five different variants of video poker all at once - one per hand to a maximum of five.

Just like some of the other video poker options we've shown here, the goal of this game is the same: you need to create the best possible five-card poker hand to win. Build up your hand by keeping/discarding any of the cards you receive.

Find out more about Five Play Video Poker >

Video Poker on Laptop

Play Video Poker at Online Casinos

Whilst the games on offer differ hugely from one casino to the next, in our experience most online casinos worth playing at, will have a variety of video poker. The really, really exceptional sites will provide the games we've shown in this article, so you have a bit of choice when starting out.

If you want to know more details on specific games available at the best online casinos, you can consult our casino reviews where we do a comprehensive, deep dive into each of these sites. If you just want to get started playing right now, take a look at the list of the best casinos for video poker below.

Best Sites to Play Video Poker for Real Money

So here you go - the best places to play video poker for real money. Note, due to the way that our site works, this list will show the top casinos available in your location. This is according to the online casinos that are regulated and licensed where you live. If you're not in a location that offers real money gambling, we'll show you where you can play video poker for free.

Play Video Poker for Free Online

For anyone not resident in a location offering real money casino games, or for people just wanting to practice their online poker without risking real money, there are a number of social casino sites and mobile apps offering free online poker. These include some huge names in the world of online poker, such as Global Poker, PokerStars Play, and the World Series of Poker's Social App.

Just to make you aware, the free online poker sites shown below will depend on your location.

In addition to these sites, some real money casinos allow new players to sign up and either play games with a no deposit bonus (basically free play available without needing to deposit any money), or to use a demo option to try out games for free. So it's always worth taking a look at some real money casinos if they are available to you, and seeing what's on offer.

Find out more about Free Online Poker >

Video Poker FAQs

How can you play video poker?Video poker works the same as online poker in a lot of ways, but the main difference is that you're not playing against other players but a computer simulation.
Can you win playing video poker?Like a lot of casino games, video poker has a big element of chance to it, so there's no guarantee of winning when you play. However you can increase your chances of winning more in video poker, you should learn the rules of playing and try out specific video poker strategies to see which works best.
What video poker game has the best odds?

Deuces Wild video poker has the best return out of most video poker games, due to the fact that deuces act as wild cards, and therefore these cards provide you with countless winning combinations you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Can you play video poker for real money?Yes, most online casinos that offer real money gambling have a few video poker options to try out. Similarly, some of the biggest and best online poker sites also allow players to use a video poker option. We recommend checking out FanDuel Casino, PokerStars Casino, bet365 Casino, 888casino, and PartyCasino.
Can you play video poker for free?Yes you can find free video poker at some of the biggest names, such as WSOP, PokerStars Play, GG Poker, and Global Poker.
What are the best casinos to play video poker?We recommend checking out the video poker games at: FanDuel Casino, PokerStars Casino, bet365 Casino, 888casino, and PartyCasino.
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