Not all casino games offer good value for money, but video poker is an exception. With correct strategy and good comps, some titles even produce a theoretical return of better than 100 per cent. Let us show you how, why and where to play the best real money video poker games online.
Best online video poker casinos
Internet casinos carry dozens of popular video poker games from trusted software developers such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment and BetSoft. We’ve tested each of our recommended gambling sites to ensure they meet the highest industry standards for game quality, fair operation and player security.
How to play video poker
The vast majority of video poker games are simple electronic variants of five card draw. They use a single standard deck of 52 cards, sometimes with one or two Jokers thrown in. Players receive five cards and can then choose to hold their strongest cards and discard the rest for new ones, as per a standard game of draw poker. If the resulting five-card hand matches one of the combinations on the pay chart, it wins a payout at the odds listed.
Most video poker machines allow players to bet either one, two, three, four, or five coins per hand, with coin denominations ranging from 0.01 up to 2.00. The rule of thumb is to always bet five coins, because popular titles such as Jacks or Better usually offer a bonus payout on the top-paying hand – the royal flush. If there is no bonus or jackpot, however, the odds are the same whether you bet one coin or five.
Video poker strategy
Unlike slot machines, video poker is a game of skill. Players who employ proper strategy can lower the house edge considerably compared to those who play by instinct or intuition. Indeed, most popular video poker titles have a return rate of more than 99 per cent with correct play.
Each type of video poker game has its own basic strategy chart – a sheet of set plays for every possible combination of cards a player might draw on the initial deal. These are easy to find on Google, especially for popular titles such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Joker Poker.
Although it may look daunting at first, video poker strategy is often quite simple. Casino staff tend to be more lenient with ‘cheat sheets’ at the machines than at the blackjack tables, so you don’t necessarily need to learn all the moves by heart. That’s not even in the equation when you play real money poker games on the Web, as you can keep a strategy sheet open in another browser tab and refer to it as and when you need.
Popular video poker games
For sheer variety, Internet video poker is hard to beat. There are dozens upon dozens of variants out there, some of which come with wild cards, bonus payouts and even progressive jackpots. But be warned: bigger payouts don’t always equate to better odds overall.
- Jacks or Better
This is the game upon which almost every other mainstream video poker style is based. It is so-called because the lowest paying hand is a high pair – thus, you need Jacks or better to win. On a full pay machine, where full houses are 9 for 1 and flushes are 6 for 1, the house edge is 0.46 per cent.
- Deuces Wild
All the Deuces (Twos) act as wild cards, which makes it much easier to draw the bigger hands. There are also unique combos such as four Deuces and the wild royal flush. While most of the payouts are reduced and the lowest winner is a three of a kind, some Deuces Wild Poker games pay at over 100 per cent with correct strategy.
- Joker Poker
As the name suggests, a wild Joker is added to an otherwise standard playing deck. There are two payout formats: Kings or Better and Two Pair or Better. The former is the more favourable, as some versions at online casinos return at better than 100 per cent.
- All Aces
Available at leading Microgaming casinos such as Royal Vegas and 32 Red, this twist on Double Double Bonus offers better odds than most high-variance video poker games. Play All Aces online with proper strategy for a house edge of only 0.08 per cent.
- All American
In exchange for a reduced one-coin payout on a two pair, players get increased returns on straights, flushes and straight flushes. Pay charts for online All American Poker can vary from casino to casino, ranging from as low as 96.50 per cent to as high as 99.60 per cent.
- Other online video poker games include:
- Aces and Eights
- Aces and Faces
- Bonus Deuces Wild
- Bonus Poker
- Bonus Poker Deluxe
- Deuces and Joker
- Double Bonus Poker
- Double Double Bonus
- Double Joker Poker
- Jackpot Deuces
- Louisiana Double
- Tens or Better
Playing Video Poker online
There are hundreds or even thousands of online casinos that have video poker titles, with upwards of 30 different variants available to play. These games are provided by leading iGaming software companies, including giants like Microgaming, Net Entertainment and RealTime Gaming. The best Video Poker site will depend on your location and the gambling laws within your jurisdiction.