Comprehensive Guide to Playing Video Poker Online


Remember when 5-Card Draw was the poker game of choice? You won’t find it at too many casinos anymore – unless you play video poker at All 17 of our online video poker machines are based on 5-Card Draw, one of the simplest ways to play the world’s most popular card game like Jacks or Better. You can learn to play video poker in just a few short minutes – and with a little extra study, you can figure out how to play the game like a boss.





Video Poker Overview

Video poker games started coming out in the 1970s, when 5-Card Draw was still the most common way to play poker. Casinos in Nevada loaded up on these games in the 1980s; they’re especially popular with Las Vegas locals, and you can even find them at gas stations and grocery stores. Even better, you can play video poker online right here at


Video Poker vs. Table Poker

Aside from video poker, casinos have other poker-based games as part of their larger selection of table games. If you’re playing live, the biggest difference between the two is the presence of a human Dealer. With video poker, it’s just you and the machine, which can be less intimidating for some players. Video poker also has lower house edges in general than the table games – even lower than Blackjack, if you play your cards right.


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Video Poker Rules

Every video poker game at follows the same basic 5-Card Draw rules. After you place your bet, you’ll receive five cards, face up. Then you’ll have one opportunity to dump as many of those cards as you like and draw new ones. The stronger poker hand you make, the higher your payout will be, based on the paytable that you’ll see displayed prominently on each game. The standard poker hand rankings apply, which we’ll get to shortly; some games also introduce Wild cards, giving you the chance to make high-paying hands like Five of a Kind.

Payouts also increase depending on how many “coins” you choose to bet. You can bet anywhere between one and five coins at the stakes you’re playing; depending on the game you choose, denominations may range from one cent all the way up to $5. For the most part, your payouts will increase in step with the number of coins you play. For example, making a Royal Flush in the popular Jacks or Better video poker game will pay 250X if you bet one coin, 500X if you bet two coins, and so on. But if you want to hit the jackpot, bet the full five coins, and you’ll win 4,000 times your bet when you make a Royal.


Online Video Poker Hand Ranking

Each video poker game requires you to make a hand that’s at least a certain strength in order to payout. Jacks or Better is exactly what it says on the tin: You have to make at least a Pair of Jacks. With that in mind, here are the hand rankings for Jacks or Better, which doesn’t use any Wild cards.

  • Royal Flush (As-Ks-Qs-Js-Ts)
  • Straight Flush (Ts-9s-8s-7s-6s)
  • Four of a Kind (As-Ah-Ad-Ac-3c)
  • Full House (As-Ah-Ad-7d-7c)
  • Flush (As-Ks-Ts-7s-3s)
  • Straight (As-Kh-Qd-Js-Th)
  • Three of a Kind (As-Ah-Ad-7d-3c)
  • Two Pair (As-Ah-Th-Td-3c)
  • Jacks or Better (Js-Jh-Th-7d-3c)

Once you introduce Wild cards, these rankings get shaken up a little. Joker Poker adds a single Joker to the standard 52-card French deck; you can now make Five of a Kind, which ranks just below a Royal Flush in this game. In addition, if you make a Wild Royal using the Joker, it pays less than a “natural” Royal, while a Sequential Royal (Ten-Jack-Queen-King-Ace of the same suit, in that order) is the highest hand possible. Deuces Wild and Loose Deuces have even more possible hands, since all four Deuces act as Wild Cards. Make sure to consult the paytable for each game before playing at


Video Poker Winning Tips

Thanks to the power of computers, math wizards have figured out the optimal way to play every single video poker machine under the sun. Memorizing the right plays can reduce the house edge to almost nothing; however, these strategies are rather complex and can take a while to learn. Near-optimal strategies, on the other hand, can be learned more quickly, and you’ll make fewer mistakes while you’re at the machines, giving you almost all the benefits of optimal play. These strategies are widely available on the internet – just make sure you choose one from a reliable source.

The other key to maximizing your play at is to manage your bankroll properly. Play only at stakes you can afford to lose, and plan your sessions so they fit your schedule as well as your bankroll. But do bet the maximum five coins every time, so you can hit those jackpots when you make a Royal; if you’ve been betting one coin at the 25-cent level, bet five coins at the 5-cent level instead.


Video Poker FAQ

Q: Can I make a living playing video poker?

A: Only if you play live at bricks-and-mortar casinos. You’ll have to find a machine with a progressive jackpot that’s grown beyond a certain level, and you’ll need a bankroll large enough to chase down that rare Royal Flush – it only happens once every 40,000 hands.


Q: Are there times when it doesn’t matter which cards I choose to keep?

A: Yes. The most obvious situations are when you get dealt a hand that cannot improve, like Four of a Kind in Jacks or Better. Other times, you might have a hand where your best options have the same expected value – although one choice might have lower variance than the others, meaning you’ll make a lower-ranking hand at a higher frequency.


Q: Can I play video poker for free?

A: Absolutely. Use the “Practice” mode at to try all the games on our menu. You can play for free as long as you like until you’re ready for real money video poker.


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