Video poker is an online casino game that combines traditional poker variants and online slot game elements. Here at Mansion Casino, we are to guide you about this popular online casino game. We cover the rules, the different variants you can play, payout tables and even recommend the best video poker casinos.

Sounds good? Let’s get started with this ultimate guide to video poker.  

1

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The Rules: How to Play Video Poker

Video poker is a simple and easy game to understand. Our experts are here to guide you to break down everything you need to know about this popular casino game.

In the next section, we cover the aim of the game, how to win, the buttons and so much more. Let’s jump in!

How to play Online Video Poker & Rules

Video poker online is based on five-card poker where the aim of the game is to make your best five-card hand. The best-ranked hand you can get is called a royal flush, which is 10, J, Q, K, and A in the same suit. Nevertheless, the chances of landing it are a whopping 649,739:1!

The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with four suits; clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts. Ace acts as a low or a high, with the weakest card being 2 and the strongest Ace.

To start the game use the buttons at the bottom of the screen, There, you can edit your bet size and launch a new game. Depending on the variant, there will be other betting rounds.

Once you’ve started you’ll be dealt five random cards. From there, you can decide to hold or change the cards you have to make the best possible hand. Notably, at many video poker casinos, you’ll only win on a pair if it’s jacks or better.

You’ll win if you hold a hand better than the dealer, running from the lowest high card up to a royal flush. We’ll cover the poker hand ranking in the next section.

Poker Hand Ranking

Depending on the video poker casino sites and the variant, you will not win on every hand even if it’s better than the dealers. With some, you’ll need to get at least a pair of jacks and with others, you must land at least two pair or three of a kind.

Below, we’ve made a handy guide on the strongest to weakest hand when you play video poker.

  • High card: The lowest possible hand where you do not land anything except the highest card possible. On this occasion, ace is the best and 2 is the worst.
  • Pair: A pair is when you have two of any card. The strongest hand is AA whilst the weakest is 22. If you’re lucky you may get dealt a pair at the start of the game.
  • 2 pair: 2 pair is when you have two sets of pairs such as JJ and 99. Interestingly Ace beats them all so an AA and a 22 will beat a KK and a QQ. The last of your five cards will be a high card.
  • Three of a kind: Three of a kind is landing three of the same number such as three 7s. In some variants you could be dealt two 7s at the start and in the community cards a 7 is dealt. Otherwise, in five-card poker, you’ll just be dealt 3 7s.
  • Straight: A straight is five cards in ascending order but not in the same suit. For instance, A, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in different suits. The best straight you can land is 10, J, Q, K and Ace.
  • Flush: A flush is when you hold five cards in the same suit. This is difficult to land as you’ll need 5/13 cards. Ace is the highest flush possible you can hit.
  • Full house: A full house is when you have one pair and a three-of-a-kind. The three-of-a-kind takes precedence, so if you hold AAA and 22, this will beat KKK and QQ.
  • Four-of-a-kind: A four-of-a-kind is when you hold all four numbers for all four suits. Also known as quads at many video poker casinos, the odds of landing a four-of-a-kind are 41460/1.
  • Straight flush: A straight flush is when you have a straight in all the same suit. For example, you are holding 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of diamonds. The odds are an impressive 72, 193/1.
  • Royal flush: The royal flush is the best possible straight flush which you can get. Sometimes at video poker casinos“royal flush” will just be under straight flush. It’s when you get 10, J, Q, K and A in the same suit.

Video Poker Features

When you play at video poker casinos, the games have many buttons. We cover each one in depth for you below.

Bet max button: The bet max button allows you to place the maximum amount you can bet on each round. The amount will vary depending on the video poker casino sites.

  • Hold button: Once you’ve been dealt the five random cards, the next thing you need to do is pick which ones you want to keep. For this, just press the “Hold” button directly underneath each card.
  • Deal button: When you’re happy with the bet size and want to start the game, hit the “Deal” button. Next, five cards will be dealt to you randomly.
  • Draw button: Once you’ve pressed hold on the cards you want to keep, press the draw button to be dealt new cards. From there, you make your best hand.

How to understand the paytable

When you play at video poker casinos the paytable is located in the top right or left corner of the game. There, you’ll be able to see how much you’ll get paid if you land a particular hand. It will be displayed as odds and it will vary on the game. As an example, you’ll get 1:1 on jacks or better and 80:1 on a royal flush.

Video Poker Bonuses and Promotions

When you register to any of our recommended video poker casinos, you’ll be able to claim a bonus that can be used on your preferred game. This is perfect to boost your bankroll and maximise your gaming experience.

However, before you claim any video poker bonus, make sure to read the terms and conditions first. Some aspects include the wagering requirements and the game contributions.

Wagering requirements mean how many times you must play through the bonus funds before you can make a real money withdrawal.

Gaming contributions mean the weight of which games you can use the bonus funds on. Depending on the video poker casino sites it will vary from 5% - 100%. 

The Best Video Poker Online Casinos

Finding the best real money casinos to play video poker can take time. Nevertheless, that is why we are here to help you.

Here at Mansion Casino, our experts have been helping UK players find the best online casinos for years. We take a range of factors into play before recommending, from payment methods and bonuses to casino games and customer support options.

With this in mind, below are our recommendations for the best video poker online casinos. 

666 Casino Video Poker

666 Casino

666 Casino offers UK players many video poker games on the platform. What’s more, with the welcome bonus, you can use the funds on any of the titles. Nevertheless, it will only contribute 20% towards each game.

You can enjoy RNG video poker versions such as Super Joker, Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild on the 666 Casino website. In addition, you also have the choice between top game developers such as SYNOT and Aspire Global.

If you want to practice first – no problem on all video poker games demo versions are available.  

UP TO £66 BONUS + 66 EXTRA SPINS

FruitKings Casino Video Poker

FruitKings Casino

The video poker section at FruitKings Casino is extensive with 15+ to try. These include classic five-card video poker, Texas Holdem and Three Card Poker.

UK players can also enjoy live versions of video poker titles. For example, Video Poker First Person and Video Poker Live are on offer. Both are supplied by Evolution Gaming.

When you open an account, you’ll get a matched bonus of up to £50 plus 100 free spins on Book of Dead.  

GET 100% BONUS UP TO £50 PLUS 100 BONUS SPINS ON BIG BASS SPLASH

Winomania Casino Video Poker

Winomania Casino

At Winomania Casino you can enjoy live versions of classic video poker titles. These include Caribean Stud Poker, Three Card Poker and Texas Holdem. The titles are supplied by Evolution Gaming and stakes start from as little as 50p per game.

When you open an account, all UK players are eligible to claim the welcome bonus. It consists of a 100% matched bonus of up to £100 plus 100 free spins selected slots.

You can also claim cashback offers every week which can be used on the video poker games at Winomania Casino.  

100% UP TO £100 + 100 bonus spins

Variation of Video Poker

As we’ve previously touched upon, UK players can play a wide range of video poker variants. In this section, we’ll briefly cover the most popular ones with a description of how each game operates.

Jacks or Better

The video poker game called “Jacks or Better” is a simple variant where the aim is to land at least a pair of jacks to get paid. You’re dealt five cards and you can decide to hold to discard. From there, you’ll be dealt new ones and you’ll be paid out accordingly. If you get a pair of jacks or more you’ll be paid 1:1. For the other hand rankings, the paytable is directly above the five cards so you can easily see.

Texas Holdem

At many video poker casino sites, you’ll find tons of Texas Holdem variations to play. It’s easily one of the most popular online casino games in the UK. To start the game just select your bet size and hit the deal button. Next, you’ll be dealt two cards as will the dealer. You can place another bet or hit the check button to see the flop. You can place more bets after the flop, the turn or the river or you can check. Whoever has the best hand between you and the dealer at the end wins.

Joker Poker

Joker Poker is a fun variant where the Joker card doubles up as wild and can be substituted for any card. However, the minimum card ranking you need to get paid in the game is two pairs. You can also enjoy mini-games such as betting on whether the cards will be red or black or wagering on the suit of the cards. The game is made by leading game developer, Play n’GO and has an RTP of 95.01%.

Aces and Eights

A similar variant to Jacks or Better, Aces and Eights gives you extra bonuses for landing Aces or Eight four of a kind. In addition, once you win, you can play double or quit high card games against the dealer. Just select a card from five and if it’s higher than the dealers you’ll win. You can keep doing this for as long as you want.

Playing Video Poker for Free vs Real Money

Now you know the rules of video poker and we’ve given you variants to try, it’s time to start playing. Don’t worry, if you’re not ready to wager real money, online casinos offer demo versions. This is perfect so you can practice first without losing any cash.

Play for Free

The best way to learn how to play video poker is by practicing by playing the demo version first. When you hover over the title you want to play press the “demo” or “play for free” button. From there, the game is the same as you’d play for real money. In the top corners press the “i” or hamburger icon to read the rules of the game. Then, you can practice without wagering any real money and master the rules. You may also decide to play demo versions to just play for fun.

Play for Real Money

Nothing beats playing video poker for real money. Once you’ve practiced the game and read all the appropriate rules it’s time to start wagering. On many video slots, you can play for small stakes but if you’re a high roller you can edit your bet at the bottom of the screen.

To be able to play video poker for real money you must first open an account. Take a look at our recommended video poker casinos, pick one and register. From there, upload your identification documents, make the minimum deposit, claim the welcome offer and start playing! 

Play Like a Professional - Tips and Strategies

Now that you’ve tried different video poker games online for free, you want to start playing for real money. First, find a video poker casino site on our page here at Mansion Casino.

Next, our experts will provide you with a good video poker strategy and tricks to stay ahead of the curve. You can read them all below.

Video Poker Tips & Strategies

  • Choose the right pay table - The pay tables determine how much you’ll win with each hand. Therefore, take a look at each paytable on different variants to find the best game for you. There are hundreds of video poker variants and the pay table on some are much better than others. A few minutes of your time could result in much better returns.
  • Claim a bonus - Before playing video poker, check our page for the latest online casino bonuses. You may find one which you can use on video poker games online. This is beneficial because it gives you the chance to boost your bankroll at no additional risk.
  • Check the RTP - The RTP or return player means how much, on average players will win over a period of time. It’s a number out of 100, with 100 being a true game such as coin toss. The difference is the house edge. The higher the number is, the better chance you have of winning. 

Mobile Video Poker

You can play at mobile casinos if you enjoy video poker. All the games will be available on your device and each one is optimised to your screen size. You can either play in a mobile browser or download the official casino app.

Playing on a mobile device provides a much more convenient experience than that of playing on a PC. In addition, you may even find exclusive mobile bonuses.

On the other hand, playing on a mobile device can drain your battery faster compared to a desktop. Also, the internet connection and graphics on PCs are often superior to that of smartphones and tablets.

Playing Video Poker vs Poker

Video poker at online casinos is not the same as regular poker such as Omaha or Texas Holdem. The main difference is that in video poker, the game is of chance. Therefore you cannot bluff as you would in a game of Texas Holdem.

Video poker is a much faster game also. Rounds can be finished in a matter of seconds compared to when you play regular poker.

You can play many different video poker games at once on your mobile device or PC, you wouldn’t want to do that with regular poker games.

In video poker, you’re playing the dealer whereas in regular poker you’re playing the other players at the table. For the latter, you can either play cash games or enrol in a tournament. However, this is not the case with video poker.

Video poker is a fun game taking all the best things about poker which allows you to play quickly and on a low budget.

Below we bring the pros and cons of regular poker and video poker. 

Video Poker Pros
Video Poker Cons
  • Low betting stakes
  • Fast gaming experience
  • Hundreds of variants to play
  • Able to claim a welcome bonus
  • Mini games
  • No bluffing
  • Mainly based on luck
Poker Pros
Poker Cons
  • A skill-based game
  • Can play cash games or tournaments
  • Social element
  • Bluffing
  • Use statistics to play better
  • Time consuming
  • Rare to find bonuses

Video Poker Glossary  

Action: The total amount of money wagered during a playing session.

Bet Max: The maximum number of credits a player can wager on a single hand.

Deal: The distribution of cards to the player at the beginning of a hand.

Draw: The replacement of cards in the hopes of improving the hand.

Hold: The cards a player chooses to keep in their hand during the draw.

Paytable: A table that shows the payout for each possible hand in a particular video poker game.

Royal Flush: The highest-ranking hand in video poker, consisting of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit.

Straight: A hand with five consecutive cards of any suit.

Flush: A hand with five cards of the same suit, not in sequence.

Full House: A hand with three of a kind and a pair.

Four of a Kind: A hand with four cards of the same rank.

Jacks or Better: A common video poker variant where the minimum winning hand is a pair of Jacks.

Wild Card: A card that can substitute for any other card to form a winning hand.

Double Up: An option to gamble winnings by attempting to double them through a separate game.

Discard: The cards a player chooses to get rid of during the draw.

Multi-hand: Video poker games that allow the player to play multiple hands simultaneously.

House Edge: The casino's advantage in a particular video poker game.

Optimal Strategy: The mathematically best decision to make in a given video poker situation. 

Video Poker FAQs

Are video poker machines and slot machines different? 

Yes, video slot takes elements of slot machines such as wilds and mini-games but is based on popular poker games. With online slots, you just need to spin the reels to win. In video poker, you still need to pick which cards you want to keep to make your best hand.  

What does full play mean in video poker? 

Full play refers to the optimal video poker strategy you can utilise to maximise your winnings. This means making the best mathematical decisions based on whichever cards you are dealt.  

What is the difference between video poker and real poker?

Video poker is mainly a luck-based game where you cannot bluff the dealer. With real poker you are not playing the dealer instead, other human players.  

What is the best hand in video poker?

The best hand you can land is called a straight flush. It consists of having a 10, J, Q, K and an Ace in the same suit. If you’re lucky and land one you’ll win a huge jackpot.  

What is the RTP of video poker?

The RTP for video poker games varies from 93% all the way up to 99%. The best variants to try for high RTPs include Jacks or Better and Double Bonus Poker.