How to Win at Video Poker: Best Video Poker Strategies (2024)

Posted:12:10 Apr 27, 2023Last Update:12:21 Apr 27, 2023

How to Win at Video Poker: Best Video Poker Strategies (1)

Poker, of course, has been one of the most prominent casino games since casinos existed. The method of playing the game brings with it some prestige to the players, so it’s no wonder it is played online. Video slots have existed since the seventies. With the introduction of computers came the promise of virtual gaming. And, as we can see today, it has become a full-fledged industry, with Video Poker encompassed in it.

Just like the original, Video Poker is based on cards. It involves players who try to amass the highest hands and rewards – Royal Flush. Playing Video Poker is entertaining, and having a strategy for Video Poker is surely beneficial.

Developing a Video Poker strategy is of prime importance to hit the big barrels. This may not always guarantee successful betting, but it will surely bring you closest to winning constantly. In this piece, you’ll learn how to play Video Poker and win.

Basics of Video Poker: How to play Video Poker

Poker is a game of decisions and little luck. There are many variations of Poker, but the most popular type is Texas Hold’em. It has its peculiarities, just like every other type of Poker, but generally, it adheres to the same rules and principles. To understand how to play Video Poker, you must first understand the original Poker.

Poker is played and won depending on cards and players’ hands. Four suites are available; clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. Each suite has 13 ranks, from Ace to two – the lowest value. And games are won and lost due to these variables.

Winning a Poker game depends on the player’s hand – a combination of suites and ranks. Whichever of the players has the most valued five-card hand wins the game. The most valued hand in Poker is the Royal flush. Other hands, such as the Straight Flush, down to a two-of-a-kind, are of varying values and determine if a player will win or lose.

At the beginning of the game, the dealer distributes cards to the players. The community card – 5 throughout the game – is distributed around the table in a clockwise direction. The player can include any community card in his hand to create a five-card hand. At the end of the game, the player with the most valued hand wins the bet.

Video Poker is similar to the original Poker, the only difference being the venue. While original poker is played in a land-based casino, Video Poker is played online. In Video Poker, after placing your bet and hitting “Deal”, the machine gives you five random cards to select from. When you’ve selected, press “Draw”. This replaces the cards with new ones. Your win depends on the value of your hand at the end of the round.

Video poker rules

Understanding Video Poker rules are integral to winning. When you have the rules at the back of your mind, making informed decisions on your hand and how you play becomes easier. Despite that there are variations to these rules, most share similar principles.

Firstly, Video Poker is played on the five-hand rule. The winning combinations should be a set of five cards. This combination of five cards determines the value of a player’s hand and dictates how much or if any payout will be received.

Also, the winning hand is quite an artwork. It is a list of nine potential hands. The list is arranged in descending order below.

  • Royal Flush: Involves a Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and an Ace of the same suite.
  • Straight Flush: Requires five straight cards of the same suite.
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank, plus a fifth card of any rank.
  • Full House: Three cards of the same rank plus two of another rank.
  • Flush: Contains five cards of the same suite.
  • Straight: Five cards of the same rank but of a different suite.
  • Three of a Kind: Three same-ranked cards plus two miscellaneous.
  • Two of a Kind: Involves two same-ranked cards with three unparallel cards.
  • Jacks or Better: The lowest value in Video Poker. It involves just two same-suited Jacks.

Understanding these rules ensures that you knowledgeably play the game and increases your odds of winning.

Best Video Poker Strategies

Poker is unlike most other casino games. While there is still the element of luck, the involvement of thought and decision-making supersedes any other casino game. One may often find himself thinking, and observing opponents, to make the most informed decision to win. Though this is quite reduced, a video poker strategy is still needed. To increase your chances of winning, here are the best video poker strategies:

Vet the License

A major strategy of video poker is checking the license. Before you register for Video poker on any casino site, make sure that you investigate it to ascertain that it’s legitimate. Typically, you’ll see the body that licenses them on the sites and the regulatory bodies it reports to. Legit casinos have these and showcase them.

Check Out the Paytable

The paytable showcases the values of wins and variables that a player gets if he is victorious in a game. Different online casinos offer distinct pay tables and values, some better than others. The best way to increase the chances of profit while playing Video Poker is to ensure you’re playing in a casino with a favourable paytable. You can generally find an online casino’s paytable on its official site; it is quite easy to discover.

Stack the cards wisely

Coming next on our video poker strategy chart is stacking cards wisely. While playing the game, you may encounter a situation where you can potentially hit one of two high hands. It sounds pleasurable, however, this may put you in a losing position. Understanding your hand and aiming for the most realistic combination is best. Thus, if you have two cross-positions, abandoning the far-fetched one for the most realistic one may serve you better.

Choose Low Pairs over High-Valued cards, sometimes

Dreaming is good, but sometimes, returning to reality may be more helpful. Given that you don’t know each player’s card, playing the long game may be risky. Keeping two low-scoring cards that could get you little benefit is sometimes better than holding one high-valued card without any pair in sight.

This may seem ambitious at the time but could ensure you win nothing. A popular tenet of Poker is to never yield a winning hand in search of a higher hand. Decision-making is the basis of Poker, and making a realistic decision is almost always better.

Join the Player’s Club

This is not always a bad idea. Even though you are made to play more and longer, many benefits come with being a part of the player’s club. Of course, the individuals here are almost always high-rollers, meaning that they spend the most at the casino. Joining the club exposes you to special treatments, exclusive bonuses, and inside information. However, this is a good video poker tournament strategy.

Straight/Royal Flush Quest

Searching for a straight flush or a royal flush can hamper your game. We mentioned before that you should not give up a winning hand in the search for a bigger one. Fixating your mind on trying to hit the highest values may ensure that you lose the value you hold. Don’t chase a straight flush unless you’re certain that you can pull it off. And if not, sticking with your value is best.

Payout Percentage

Making sure that you play a Video Poker game with a reasonable Return-to-player is central to your success on the table. Some casinos have lower payout percentages, which means that your loss is higher over time, while your gain is less. The average payout percentage of Video poker is 95% – 96%, and anything lower than this may stymie your ability to hit big wins.

Catch the promotions and bonuses

As we stated previously, Video Poker is highly competitive by its being online. Hence, game providers often offer bonuses and promotions to attract players to their sites. These bonuses, if taken advantage of, could prove useful for you. A free round, for instance, could reduce the chances of staking irresponsibly or, what’s worse, staking out of your budget. The opportunity to play without loss while still gaining something is effective for players. Also, various bonuses like welcome bonuses and deposit bonuses can reduce the cost of playing Video Poker.

How To Win at Video Poker

Playing Video Poker is a wholesome experience, and there are indeed many aspects to it. Besides executing expert strategies and tips, other best practices teach you how to win video poker. There is massive competition among the game providers and the need to attract and keep players. The ways you can take advantage of these benefits to win Video Poker are:

Learn the basics

Trying to win Video poker without knowing the rudiments is like swimming without learning to do so. To boost your chances of winning, you should learn the basics and master them.

Play Free Games

Many casino review sites offer the chance to play games without the risk of loss. Although the benefit of gain is eliminated, what playing free Video Poker affords you is a training ground to hone your skills. As you know, the famous saying goes; Learning Poker is easy, but mastering it could take a lifetime. Thus, a chance to practice is welcome and could increase your winning odds and, maybe, catalyze your winning streak.

Max Coins

Staking Max coins increases the potential for a massive payout. It is one of the ways of maxing out your winnings in Video Poker; something like a multiplier. Many casino experts advise players to go heavy on the Max coins to reap huge rewards when they win a Poker round. Imagine getting a Royal Flush with a Max coin. Adopting this advice is profitable. However, like everything else, make sure you exercise good judgment before you take the risk.

Have a strategy

Playing Video poker with a strategy is like a cheat code. It puts you one step ahead of other players since you can anticipate situations and respond properly to them. Having a strategy is very important in Video poker.

Be Calm

Casino games are made to elicit profit for the casino. Meaning the odds are against you from the onset. The only chance you have at beating the house is to exercise calm and make only calculated moves. Doing this already boosts your chances of winning the game.

Video Poker Bankroll Management

Video Poker bankroll means the same thing as in other casino games. It is the amount of money saved solely to prolong play time to recover all or more of the money spent playing. It serves as a guarantee for profit, but in reality, it could lead to heavy loss when not utilized properly.

A successful bankroll depends heavily on Volatility and Probability Rate. That is, if the volatility is high and an RTP is 100%, the chances of recovering the bankroll and even making a profit are high. However, using a bankroll on low volatility and RTP games will only amass further loss.

Experts recommend that Video Poker bankrolls be x3 to x5 the value of the Royal Flush. When setting a bankroll, you can either save up or find an investor. But make sure the risk is proportionate to the reward.

Pay Tables and Payout Percentages

Pay tables in Video poker are similar to that of Slot machines. Understanding it as a Video Poker strategy is good for your winnings. It outlines the combinations that form a win and stipulates the value for that particular win. In Video poker, the pay tables are stipulated in the form of hands. It’s quite straightforward, given that it’s almost always a 52-card deck with already established combos. Payout percentage also highlights how frequently a player will get paid out.

To understand a paytable, you must first understand the MO of the game. Understanding the symbols, combinations, and interface is important to interpret what the paytable is saying adequately, and a good strategy for video poker. For instance, Video poker’s paytable includes a Royal Flush as the apex payout. So, understanding what a Royal Flush means is paramount to understanding how to use it.

To understand payout percentages, rate them over a hundred. A payout percentage of 96% simply means that for every 100% of money played, an average of 96% is returned. A game with a higher payout percentage is better for profit.

Progressive Jackpots

Progressive Jackpots are more popular in Slot machines. However, some Video poker providers offer progressive Jackpot. This is a good way of determining a video poker strategy.

It simply refers to a scenario where despite hitting the biggest win possible in a game, the value keeps increasing until a player has won. When the player wins, the cumulative is handed to him as a reward.

When a game is being played, even if the value has gone beyond the jackpot, the game continues until it is won. The additions to the jackpot come from a percentage of the player’s wager and keep summing until someone wins. Using the same strategy for video Poker games will still suffice for progressive Jackpots.

Video Poker Tips

Bringing it all together, there are various aspects of playing Video poker and combining them may be difficult. In that case, here are some Video poker tips to help you become a pro and win the game; who knows, even hit Royal Flush. The tips are:

  • Master the rules of the game: There are different variants of Video Poker, and each of them tweaks the convention a bit. However, the principle underlying the game remains intact. Hence, mastering these principles and rules ensures the player knows what to do and expect in situations.
  • Use Strategies: After mastering the game’s rules, using strategies to support your understanding of those rules is very important. Unlike many other casino games, video poker depends on luck just a little. Hence, a strategy is needed to navigate the game properly.
  • Learn the paytables: As you’ve understood, pay tables are very important for Video slot games. So, vetting this in a Video slot is important.
  • Try free games: Practice makes perfect. But practice doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Trying free games could hone your skills.
  • Swipe Bonuses: By taking available bonuses, you increase your chances of winning the round or compensating for the loss.


The video Poker strategy is very effective for winning a game. Experts and professional poker players develop strategies to defeat the house and stack the wins. Thus, we can assert that strategies and Video poker go hand-in-hand.

Creating a strategy for Video Poker is very important to anybody who wants to profit from the game. The tips, strategies, and lists offered in the article could be of great utility should you adopt them. Soon, you’ll be on your way to Royal Flush.

How to Win at Video Poker: Best Video Poker Strategies (2)

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With 4 years of experience in writing about online gambling, Catalina has decided to gather all her knowledge and share it with others on one platform. Her main goal is to provide detailed information so that players could gamble in a more safe way.Smart and responsible gamblingis her motto.

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How do you win consistently in video poker? ›

Before we dig deep into all facets of the game, here are some key video poker rules to play by.
  1. Play within your means.
  2. Within your means, always play the maximum bet to qualify for progressive jackpots.
  3. Stick to “Jacks-or-Better” and avoid wild-card games as those reduce payouts on big hands.
Dec 23, 2019

What are the best hands to hold in video poker? ›

One of the most important strategy tips for video poker players to remember is that low pairs are almost always more valuable than high cards. You win more hands when you hold a Jack or higher, but have larger average payoffs and win more money when you hold low pairs instead.

Is it better to play multiple hands in video poker? ›

In regular video poker, you can only bet on one hand at a time. If you miss out on a straight or flush, it can really affect your bankroll. That's why multihand video poker is so advantageous. If you decision hand has good starting cards, you can replicate them across four more hands.

Is it better to play video poker fast or slow? ›

You want to play as fast as you can, but—and this is a big but—still maintain accuracy of play. It's possible to play as many as 1,200 hands per hour (or even more) while still adhering to perfect strategy. However, it's difficult to keep such a blistering pace for very long and maintain perfect play.

Should you hold a kicker in video poker? ›

Obviously, you should hold the three of a kind, but should you hold the kicker, too? If you discard the kicker, you get a two-card draw and maximize chances at completing four of a kind. If you keep the kicker, you get only a one-card draw, but every time you complete four of a kind it will bring the kicker jackpot.

Is there any skill in video poker? ›

Video poker is totally different to traditional poker when it comes to strategy and skill. It is much more a game of luck based on randomness than anything else. Your mathematical skills and bluffing skills won't help you much. That being said, it doesn't mean you won't win as you might just have luck on your side.

What game has the best odds in video poker? ›

Based purely on odds, Double Bonus Poker is the best video poker game to play. Statistically, your odds in this game are so high that you'll get paid to play. Jacks or Better is another great choice because of its popularity and an outstanding balance of payout and house edge.

What are the odds of hitting a royal flush in video poker? ›

INITIAL DEAL: Your chances of getting a royal on the first five cards are the same as in five-card stud poker games: 1 in 649,740: There are 2,598,960 possible five-card combinations in which card order doesn't matter. Four of those are royal flushes, so the chances of a royal on the deal are 1 in 649,740.

What are the odds of getting a royal flush in video poker? ›

You can expect to be dealt a two-card royal flush once in every 13 hands on average (or about 46 times per hour). Even though the frequency of being dealt a two-card royal is great, the odds of drawing a royal from it are long: one in 16,215.

Should you go all in preflop with Jacks? ›

Stack depth is crucial when playing pocket Jacks. When in the 30 to 40 big blind range you're almost always going to want to get it all-in with Jacks. There are only a few hands that beat you preflop and most players will cram it in at this stack depth with a relatively wide range.

What is the recommended bankroll for video poker? ›

A good rule of thumb for a long term video poker bankroll is three to four times the pay for a royal flush. A good rule of thumb for a trip bankroll is 10 percent to 16.67 percent of the total amount run through the game for a low or middle variance game respectively.

How do you understand Jacks or better? ›

Similar to Poker, the objective is to achieve the strongest possible hand. With Jacks or Better, you get an extra point for every pair of Jacks or higher you receive. You can also play up to 100 hands at a time, therefore the more hands you bet with, the greater your potential winnings will be.

How often should you get 4 of a kind in video poker? ›

Four of a Kinds, on the other hand, should occur about 1 in about 420 hands. With the average player playing hundreds of hands per hour and perhaps thousands in a session, this hand becomes critical to our chances of success over a session or two.

Does it matter how many times you run it in poker? ›

Any type of hand can run it twice in poker. The idea that some types of holdings prefer to run it twice while other types of hands prefer to run it once or thrice is a myth. Running multiple times doesn't confer any advantage over other players; it simply helps to reduce variance.

Are video poker machines fair? ›

The bottom line is this: you can rest assured that video poker games in major gaming jurisdictions are not rigged. Henry Tamburin is one of world's most respected blackjack experts and a world-class player.

Should you slow roll in poker? ›

Slow rolling in poker is one of biggest sins you can commit. It is extremely frowned upon by all players at the table. And it will gain you zero respect, friendliness, or warm sentiments from others if you do it. Essentially, it is breaking the highest form of etiquette and good manners at the poker table.

When should you slow play in poker? ›

Slow playing works best when you are facing opponents who play a high percentage of hands (are "loose") and who show a tendency to bet and raise a lot postflop (are "aggressive"). These players will frequently "bet the hand for you," so to speak, and start building a pot, often on the flop.

Can you learn poker by watching? ›

For many people, poker is a game of chance. But the truth is, there is a lot of skill involved in playing the game well. If you want to improve your poker skills, one of the best things you can do is watch poker tournaments.

Which poker machine pays most? ›

What slot machines have the highest payout percentage? The Ugga Bugga slot machine game has the highest payout percentage, at 99.07%. The second highest is Mega Joker by NetEnt, with a 99% RTP.

What is the best RTP for video poker? ›

9/6 Jacks or Better is widely regarded as one of the best video poker variants due to it offering an RTP of 99.54% with optimal play. Unfortunately, not all versions offer this paytable. You may find versions of Jacks or Better that pay as low as 6/5 for a full house and flush.

Is video poker a skill or luck? ›

Video poker is totally different to traditional poker when it comes to strategy and skill. It is much more a game of luck based on randomness than anything else. Your mathematical skills and bluffing skills won't help you much. That being said, it doesn't mean you won't win as you might just have luck on your side.

How often do you hit a royal flush in video poker? ›

You can expect to be dealt a two-card royal flush once in every 13 hands on average (or about 46 times per hour).

Is video poker predetermined? ›

Video poker machines determine their outcomes via a random number generator. This is a computer program that cycles through thousands of numbers per second. When you hit the deal or draw button on a video poker game, the RNG (random number generator) stops on the number it was on that instant.

Can casinos control video poker machines? ›

In other words, the casinos can alter the odds for the winning combinations of symbols in a slot machine but they can't for the cards in video poker. All they can do for video poker is (legally) change the payouts for the winning hands.

Why is poker good for the brain? ›

Playing poker can have a number of mental and health benefits. The game can help you improve your decision-making skills, math skills, and strategic thinking skills. Poker can also help improve your memory and reasoning skills. Playing poker can also help relieve stress and anxiety.

How often do you hit a royal flush in Jacks or better? ›

The precise odds depend on game and playing strategy. In 9-6 Jacks or Better, your royal chances are about 1 in 40,391, while in 9-6 Double Double Bonus Poker they're 1 in 40,799 and in 9-7-5 Double Bonus Poker they're 1 in 48,035.

What are the odds of getting 4 aces in video poker? ›

Video Poker Statistics
Jackpot FrequenciesOdds
Four of a kind1 / 423
Four Aces1 / 5,761
Four Aces with a kicker1 / 16,236
Four Deuces1 / 4,909
8 more rows

How do you know if a video poker machine is going to hit? ›

You cannot tell when a modern slot machine will hit because the outcome of each spin is random. No matter how many times a machine has spun, and no matter what the outcomes of those spins were, the probability of the next result remains the same.

What does 9 6 mean in video poker? ›

Crypto video poker is becoming also popular, with many people opting to play with Bitcoin and Ethereum instead of dollars or euros. In video poker, a 9 6 means full-play jacks or better. This is a common term that is used and is the most popular and well-known version of video poker.

Can you make a living playing video poker? ›

Theoretically, Yes. Though finding full pay Deuces Wild games is difficult, you can find them in some places. Typically, you'll only find them at the $. 25 - $2.00 bet level though.

What hands do you play video poker on? ›

Starting with the highest paid combination, the hands are ranked in the following order: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, and Jacks or Better. A Royal Flush is formed when you have a Ten, a Jack, a Queen, a King, and an Ace of the same suit.

What are the odds of winning Jacks or better video poker? ›

The overall RTP of the full pay Jacks or Better video poker machine is 99.54%. This means that the casino has an edge of under 0.5% over the player.


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