Video Poker is one of the more popular games you will find in a casino. Video Poker machines can be found all over a casino floor, from being on the floor in the bar area, to near a casino lobby, and even embedded in the bar where you can sit and grab a drink while you play. Real Money video poker is also available at most online casinos, which gives you the opportunity to play the game in your underwear should you so choose.
This Real Money Video Poker Guide page is going to cover many topics so that you can become familiar with all there is to know about the game. When you have this information, you will find the idea of playing real money Video Poker much more appealing. This is because we are going to outline not only the history of the game and its variant but also some strategy and how to find the right video poker machine. Topics we are going to cover on this page include:
At LegitCasinosOnline.com, our team reviews all the casinos that we come across to be able to recommend to you the best casinos for your particular needs. Video Poker is an exciting game to review, as there can be a big swing from one casino to another regarding how many variants of the game are available. We know that this means a lot to an avid video poker player. If you are new to real money video poker, then after reading this page you will also understand why it is important to have as many options available to you as possible when you sit down to play.
We have reviewed hundreds of casino sites, and you can read all of our in-depth reviews by clicking on the Reviews tab of this site. If Video Poker is where you want to start betting real money, then we can get your on your way with our Top 5 Recommended Video Poker sites.
If you are in a land-based casino, there is no option to play Video Poker for free, but if you are on the Internet, you will find many places that offer the exact same games without paying a cent. While we suggest that maybe you play a few hands of a new variant of the game for testing purposes, it is our belief that all gambling games are better when there is real money on the line. Also, it will only take one winning hand of play money Video Poker until you shake your head and wonder why you didn’t just play for real money in the first place.
Now, all gambling is meant to be fun, and video poker is no exception. We always tell our players to play within their limits and never risk more than you are comfortable with losing. However, real money Video Poker can be played for mere pennies a hand, so even if you don’t have a big bankroll, you can still feel the excitement that comes from dealing cards in a real-money environment.
Video Poker is also a game that plays very well on mobile devices. Most online casinos have browser based games that are adapted to fit the screens of phones and tablets. The video poker game doesn’t require a lot of space so it can be played with ease on any size mobile device.
Although there are different variants of real money video poker, all of which come with minimum qualifying hands and adjusted payout tables, the core concepts of the game remain exactly the same. We will cover the different variants and why payout tables matter later on, but let’s focus on the mechanics of the game to start.
When you are playing video poker for real money, whether online or in a land-based casino, you will first need to select the value of each coin you wish to wager. All real money video poker machines, have a minimum and maximum bet amount, from which you can select a size that is comfortable for you. Following that selection, you then must choose how many coins you want to bet on the hand. IN every hand, you have the choice of betting 1 to 5 coins. The payout tables are affected based on the number of coins that you choose, which is where our strategy section will begin.
OK, now that you have selected the coin value and the number you are betting, you press the “Deal” button and you are dealt 5 cards. The object of the game is to make the best 5 card poker hand that you can, understanding that to qualify to win, each Video Poker variant has a minimum hand you must achieve. If you are new poker in general, here is the hand ranking from best to worst:
In real money video poker, once you receive your initial 5 cards, you have the option to discard as many as you would like and re-deal more cards to try to improve your hand. You have already made the wager, so there is no reason not to try to improve your hand unless of course you have been dealt a very high hand already. We’ll cover the basic hold strategy a little later on.
After you decide which cards to hold and which to discard, the cards are dealt to fill your empty spots, and then you find out if you have a winning hand or not. If you have a winning hand, the appropriate amount of credits are deposited into your balance, and the whole process starts over again.
There are many variants of real money video poker. Each of these is designed to give you more pleasure or to give you the chance to make hands by adding wild cards. However, the more wild cards there are, the higher hand you have to achieve to meet the minimum requirements. Let’s cover the most popular types of real money video poker you are likely to come across.
Jacks or Better
The original real money Video Poker game, also known on some machines as Draw Poker, is a game which only uses the original 52 cards, and pays players for having a hand that at the minimum is a pair of Jacks.
Tens or Better
Similar to the Jacks or Better game, Tens or Better rewards players at a slightly lower level, paying out anyone with a pair of tens or better. However, the payout table for this game is slightly adjusted making the payout percentage in fact slightly worse than Jacks or Better even though there are more winning hands.
Aces and Eights
This version of real money video poker also uses only 52 cards. However, there are three additional paying hands, which involve getting four of a kind Aces, Eights or Sevens. This is a nice bonus for players who are accustomed to playing Jacks or Better because the minimum winning hand does not change.
As the name implies, Joker Poker is a real money video poker variant that introduces a 53rd card, the Joker. In this game, the Joker can represent any card, making it much easier to complete straights and flushes or even to pair any card on the board. As a result, the minimum winning hand is higher for this game. You may come across versions of Joker Poker that includes Kings or Better, Aces or Better and Two Pair or Better; you obviously want to search for the game that has the lowest minimum qualifying hand.
The Deuces Wild real money variant only used 52 cards, but the four 2s in the deck are all considered wild cards. This propels the minimum winning hand all the way to a three of a kind. However, it also introduces two new pay lines. In Deuces Wild you can win big for having a 5 of a Kind, or by getting the ever-elusive 4 Deuces.
Deuces and Joker
You are probably starting to get the picture here; Deuces and Joker is a form of video poker in which there are 53 cards, but 5 of them are wild. This is the only game that has a higher payout level than the Royal Flush. In Deuces and Joker, there is a significant bonus paid for a max bet that ends up with the player getting all wild cards in their hand.
On top of these variants, there are bonus versions of many of the games, which pay out special bonuses for achieving particular high hands.
Now that you have an understanding of the different variants of real money Video Poker, it is time to teach you about the payout tables for the games. We won’t go into the payout tables of each game on this page; for that, we encourage you to click on the link to our Video Poker Payout Tables Explained page.
For the purposes of this summary and to be able to start discussing strategy in the next section, we are going to look at two different payout tables: Joker Poker and Deuces Wild. When you are looking at a payout table, especially if you are looking online, you should be able to quickly either read or determine the payout percentage of the game. This is crucial because the payout can range from 95% to 99.5% depending on the game and the amount bet. Here is the payout table for a typical Full Pay Jacks or better game:
|Hand||1 Coin||2 Coins||3 Coins||4 Coins||5 Coins|
|Four of a Kind||25||50||75||100||150|
|Three of a Kind||3||6||9||12||15|
|Pair (Jacks or Better)||1||2||3||4||5|
As you can see, the payouts are multiplied the same across the board no matter how many coins you play, except for the max bet of 5 coins where you receive an enormous bonus of 4000 coins if you get a Royal Flush. We’ll get into how to play this in our Strategy section.
By comparison, Deuces Wild can have several different payout tables. We will explore these on the Payout Tables Page; here is the most common payout table you will find for Deuces Wild:
|Hand||1 Coin||2 Coins||3 Coins||4 Coins||5 Coins|
|Natural Royal Flush||250||500||750||1000||4000|
|Wild Royal Flush||25||50||75||100||125|
|Five of a Kind||16||32||48||64||80|
|Four of a Kind||4||8||12||16||20|
|Three of a Kind||1||2||3||4||5|
Looking at this table in comparison to that of Joker Poker, you can see that the minimum payout has changed to a three of a kind, but the natural Royal Flush is still the most valuable hand, followed by Four Deuces as they are all the wild cards. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to payout tables, however; we recommend you dive deeper into our Payout Tables page.
Many people assume that real money video poker machines are the same as slot machines, requiring not real strategy at all. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, if you polled a group of gambling professionals, they would not only tell you that playing with no strategy is foolih, they would also probably have unique thoughts on optimal strategy.
Let’s look at the two most essential pieces of real money video poker strategy that all players should follow:
ALWAYS BET THE MAX COINS
This one is pretty clear. If you look at the payout tables above, or any payout table for that matter, the bonuses being paid out to players are for those who have bet the maximum 5 coins per hand. This is obviously to the house advantage; the more you bet, the more the house stands to win on each hand. However, depending on the game and the payout table, betting the max number of coins can actually put the theoretical payout percentage at over 100%, giving you the slightest of edges if played perfectly.
You wouldn’t want to be playing a real money video poker hand for only a couple of coins only to get that Royal Flush finally, would you? If you are concerned about the amount you are spending per hand, you can always dial back the minimum bet to a more comfortable range. The only drawback from that is you may not qualify for a progressive bonus that the game may offer, but that is all part of the risk/reward element of playing any casino game for real money.
KNOW WHAT TO HOLD IN YOUR HAND AND WHAT TO DISCARD
The biggest mistake in video poker is when a player holds the wrong cards, giving them less than an optimal chance of beating the game. AS we mentioned, if you play perfect strategy, some machine are designed to pay out more than 100%. However, to take advantage of this, you need to be keeping the right cards. Each game is slightly different, and you can look into our detailed Video Poker Strategy Guide for the optimal way to play each hand. Let’s just use one simple example of what to do in basic Jacks or Better strategy. Here is a quick chart to outline what hands you could receive and what to do, in order of mathematical chances:
|First Five Cards||Action|
|Full house or better||Hold|
|4 to a royal flush||Discard 1|
|Straight or flush||Hold|
|Three of a Kind||Discard 2|
|4 to a straight flush||Discard 1|
|Two pair||Discard 1|
|High pair||Discard 3|
|3 to a royal flush||Discard 2|
|4 to a flush||Discard 1|
|Low pair||Discard 3|
|4 to an outside straight||Discard 1|
|2 suited high cards (J or higher)||Discard 3|
|3 to a straight flush||Discard 2|
|2 unsuited high cards (if more than 2 pick then pick
|Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K||Discard 3|
|One high card (minimum J)||Discard 4|
|No high card||Discard 5|
Some of these may seem obvious. However, there are some nuances like discarding a 4th flush card if three of the cards are the ones needed to get a Royal Flush. Of course, there is a lot more to strategy than we can cover on one page, so click here if you want to dig deeper into our Video Poker Strategy Guides.
There isn’t really any difference between playing video poker for real money online or in a land-based casino. The biggest difference is the number of options you have to play at one particular casino. In a land based casino, you may only find 3 or 4 variants on any given video poker machine. Online, a good casino operator will give you all the options they can find, understanding that everyone has a different preference. If you can’t locate the game, you like at one online casino, moving to another casino is as simple as a couple of clicks, versus having to leave the land based casino to head to another (if that is even an option where you live).
Many of the terms used in Video Poker are the same that are used in the casino for other games. Some of them you will already know very well, but if you are new to real money gambling, it never hurts to read through the glossary so you know what other players may be talking about when you sit down at a video poker machine.
Here is a link to our Video Poker Glossary page.
Hopefully, our Guide to Real Money Video Poker hasn’t left you with too many questions, and you are pumped to hit your local casino or to check out one of our recommended online casinos. We get a lot of questions sent to our site, and we have summarized a few of the more frequently asked Video Poker questions here.
We get this question a lot. You would think that with so many winning hand combinations that you would find yourself with winning hands more than you do. This typically comes down to the way a hand is played. If you are playing to optimal strategy, you will find yourself with the best chance of winning money, but this sometimes means giving up sure wins. Many people who play defensively tend to take the easy win rather than gamble, resulting in more winning hands but overall a losing session.
Online casino site software has been questioned ever since their inception. When looking for a place to play, you should be searching for the logo of one of the third-party auditing firms whose job it is to ensure that the games you are playing at home are playing to the exact math as the ones you will find in a land-based casino. Any software that has been certified by one of these firms can be considered trustworthy.
All the variants of real money Video Poker offer players the same level of excitement. However, the game you choose really depends on what types of hands you want to get more often. Playing a game without a wild card means you are less likely to get one of the hands like a full house or flush, but the minimum qualifying hand is lower for games using no wild cards. It’s completely up to you which game you play, the only recommendation from us is that you research the pay tables to ensure you are making the most of your chance to win money.
Again, this is a subjective question; the amount of money you can win is directly related to the amount of money you are betting on each hand. Video Poker can be very lucrative if you play perfect strategy, max coins, and maximum value. However, not everyone has that kind of bankroll, so if you are looking to win big, we suggest that the priority should be playing the max coins each hand no matter what denomination you choose to play.