A Guide on How to Play Video Poker

Dennis  «Dennis_Stets» 
06 Feb 2024

Video poker stands out as a game of skill and attracts players armed with various strategies, who are trying to win. Here even a small income always provides the opportunity for a bigger one. A prospective player will have an advantage if they know how to play it well. Would you like to know it? Perhaps the following video poker tutorials can be helpful to you.

How to play video poker

So how to play video poker? First of all, it is regarded as an intellectual game that needs a certain level of ability, which makes it extremely difficult. Nevertheless, grasping the fundamental rules of the game isn't overly challenging. Similar to other games of chance, it commences with a bet — typically it’s a minimum wager. It should be placed prior to the distribution of the cards.

After placing a wager of one to five coins, the player is dealt five cards. He selects which cards to hold and which to fold, just like in Texas Hold’em. The cards are changed with new ones drawn from the same virtual deck when the payments are made by hand.

If you need additional help, you can look out for a special video poker school. And for today we have something to offer on our site!

Brief history of the game 

With the introduction of slot machines to casinos and the widespread commercial availability of PCs, video poker also entered the casino world in the 1970s. For a young game (compared to roulette or craps), its popularity today is impressive. 

Card swap poker was introduced in 1979 by SIRCOMA and helped video poker increase its share among casino games. In the 1980s, the game became less intimidating because people became less nervous about electronic devices. In the 1990s, video poker had already become very popular, mainly because of the low denomination machines available in casinos.

Steadily holding its ground today, video poker now has widespread popularity among millions of gamblers.

Rules how to play video poker at casino

The primary rules for how to play video poker at casino are straightforward, as mentioned earlier. Following are some terms that will enhance your comfort level while engaging in the game.

  • Hand: The set of 5 cards you hold either before or after being dealt.
  • Full Hand/Prepared Combination: When all cards in your hand form a nuts-combination such as a straight, flush, full house, four of a kind or straight-flush.
  • Deuce: A fundamental term in video poker, referring to cards with a face value of 2 in the deck.
  • Swap: The act of replacing cards dealt by the distributing hand.
  • Double: A feature present in certain online video poker games that enables you to double your bet on a winning combination.
  • Full Payout: When learning, encountering games with full payout implies a superior payout schedule. For instance, payouts at 9/6 J (jacks) and above are considered better than those at 8/6, bringing the possibility of payback closer to 100% or even more.
  • Multigame: A type of game allowing players to play up to 10 hands simultaneously.

Let’s continue to learn to play video poker. Following this, a virtual deck comes into play for card distribution in a video poker game. The casino meticulously ensures that this process occurs in a completely random order, employing an RNG (random number generator). This carefully approach establishes a fair gaming environment, where players have an equal chance to discover strategies that might provide them with an advantage.


After you learn video poker, for those who have come to play for a short time and continue their trip to the other slots, this part of an article will not be very useful. But those who stayed in video poker seriously and for a long time, it will be interesting to learn the basic strategies of the game.

Although there aren't many variations of this slot on the Internet, we'll discuss playing video poker strategically.

Deuces Wild 

From the name it is clear that in this video poker machine, deuces play a huge role. Therefore, let's talk about two situations: when the player has cards with deuces, and when they do not.

If there are cards with twos:

  • 2-2-2-2-2: Retain all the cards; this is the optimal situation.
  • 2-2-2-2: Preserve the cards under a wild flush or a five of a kind.
  • 2-2-2: Keep any combination that begins with a four of a kind or higher. If none, discard all cards except twos.
  • 2: Retain any potential combination. Hold onto 4 cards for a straight flush and 3 cards for a royal flush. If such options are unavailable, discard all cards except twos.

If there are no deuces in the cards:

  • Straight Flush: Retain 4 cards.
  • Royal Flush: Keep 3 cards.
  • Flush: Preserve 4 cards.
  • Two Single-Suit Cards (Ten to King): Hold onto both cards.
  • Possible Pair: Save any pair.
  • If none of the above match: Fold all 5 cards.

The above lists can be used as a cheat sheet until the player memorizes them. There is no time limit on a player's turn. Therefore, the casino user can think about their decision as much as they want, unlike classic poker.

If it’s hard for you to discover the following strategies, we’ll recommend you to contact an experienced video poker coach.

Jacks or Better

Online casino video poker presents a plethora of varieties, yet Jacks or Better stands as a true pioneer. This type of slot has been enjoyed since the seventies, and despite its venerable age, it continues to maintain popularity.

Jacks or Better proves to be an excellent video poker machine for beginners due to its straightforward rules and easily graspable strategies. Acquainting yourself with the basic strategy can contribute to achieving favorable outcomes. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that luck plays a predominant role in slots, outweighing your skill. 

Additionally, we recommend utilizing top notch videopoker training software, which is available both as premium options and, more often than not, for free. Notable programs include Wizard Coach, WinPoker, Video Poker Coach, and others.

Poker hand


Royal Flush / Straight Flush

Keep everything as it is.

Four of a Kind

Keep four cards of the same value, change the remaining card.

Full House

Keep everything as it is.

4 cards to Royal Flush

Keep the cards to royal flush, change the remaining card.

4 cards to Straight Flush

Save the cards to a straight flush, change the remaining card.


Keep everything as it is.


Keep everything as it is.


Keep the set safe, change the remaining two cards.

Two Pairs

Keep the two pairs, change the remaining card.

Single-suit K-Q-J or Q-J-10

Keep those cards, change the remaining cards.

Pair of jacks or higher

Keep only the pair, change the rest.

3 cards to Royal Flush

Keep these cards, change the rest.

4 cards to Flush

Keep these cards, change the rest.

Odd K-Q-J-10

Keep these cards, change the rest, even if it's T.

Small Pair

Keep only this pair, change the rest of the cards.

4 cards to Straight with no pair 

Keep these four cards, change the remaining card.

Unsuited 3 cards

Keep these cards, change the rest of the cards.


Keep these cards, change the rest of the cards.

Two singles >10

Keep these two cards, change the rest of the cards.

Single-spread 10-J

Keep these cards, change the remaining cards.

Also your future winnings depend not only on the chosen strategy, but also the individual style how do you play video poker.

All American 

The unusual payout system is the main feature of All American. It is more profitable for the player to choose video poker All American with the highest odds. It is also possible to take advantage of the risk game and double your winnings (the risk game is offered automatically by the system).

Here gamblers have freedom to take as much time as they need for each move, giving players the opportunity to carefully consider their decisions to get a winning hand. With the progress of a practical basic strategy, players can make well-informed choices once they have acquired the skills to navigate playing video poker slot machines effectively.

When there are no ready-made combinations, consider retaining the following cards:

  • A Royal Flush needs four cards.
  • Straight flush requires four cards.
  • A flush is four cards.
  • A Royal Flush requires three cards.
  • Four cards in a row.
  • Three cards in a single suit.
  • Three Jacks or higher cards.
  • A Royal Flush requires two cards.
  • Holding a King or Jack.
  • Unmatched pair.

Hope you’ll find our new video poker tutor really useful. This type of slot has been around for a long time, so there are a few basic strategies that help you win. Here players only have to memorize these solutions, but don't think that you can win with them all the time.

Video poker is still a slot machine, and luck plays a huge role in it. So play responsibly and get from the game only pleasure — not negative emotions.

You’re looking for a qualified video poker strategy trainer? Contact us right now and you’ll get the first lesson for free.

How to start playing video poker?

Before you start playing the best video poker game for free, you will need to register. To speed up the process, it is possible with the help of authorization through social networks or poker rooms, thus bypassing the fields of the registration form.

Free mode is an excellent choice for relaxed leisure, or a detailed study of the rules with the construction of further winning strategy.

If you have not yet formed your own winning tactics, we recommend taking advantage of guidance from experts which will help you win at video poker more often. We found out top-5:

  1. Choose models with maximum payouts. The ideal multipliers are x6 for a royal flush and x9 for a full house. Games with similar multipliers have a marginal payouts and return up to 99% of invested funds;
  2. Take risks at maximum bets. Very often when playing at the limit players get winnings increased several times more than when playing at the average beta. In addition, choosing the maximum bet is a chance to hit the progressive jackpot;
  3. Study the rules of video poker online before starting a gambling session. You must understand the principle of accruing payouts, bonus activation and other important points;
  4. Do not aim to split strong cards, because this way you will only increase the advantages of the club. Betting on a weak pair is better than a phantom attempt to catch a high winning combination;
  5. Don't forget about bankroll limits. Make sure you have enough money on your balance before you start. Minimum bets will not help to increase 100 dollars several times. It’s better to choose a more modest entertainment.

Good luck, guys!

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