If you already know how to play poker, you are on a good track to do well in video poker. But as similar as they may seem, they are not the same thing. After all, one of the big differences is that you can’t bluff your opponent in this type of poker.
While video poker variations may look pretty much the same, every video poker game has something different and unique. Finally, not every video poker game has the same odds. Here are video poker games with the best odds and how to play them.
How to Calculate the Odds to Find the Best Video Poker Game
Video Poker Basics
Unlike other slot machines, the outcome of a video poker round is influenced by player choices. And even your best bluff won’t be able to outsmart the slot machine!
For example, Jacks Or Better is the most popular, and also the simplest variant of video poker. Winning combinations are the same as in poker, with the exception of pairs of ten or less – hence the name of the game literally translated as «Jacks or Better». In each game round, the player is dealt five cards and can decide which cards to keep and which to discard, receiving a number of new cards equal to the number of discarded cards, thus forming a new set of five cards.
Players’ choices impact the final result. Consequently, players are faced with several dilemmas. Let’s take a look at some of the video poker odds so you can decide better.
High Pair or Three of a Kind
When playing Jacks or Better, a pair equal to or less than 10 does not win, but it creates a lot of doubts when deciding which cards to keep. Doubt arises when you have to decide between holding a low pair or a card higher than 10.
And what’s the best decision: keep the low pair or give it up and keep a card higher than 10? It is impossible to know which cards will replace the discarded cards, so it remains to analyze the odds of video poker.
By keeping the low pair you are discarding three cards, which means there are 16215 possible outcomes. Of these, 28.7% generate payments, distributed as follows:
- No Premium 71.29%
- Two pairs 15.99%
- Three of a kind 11.43%
- Full House 1.02%
- Poker 0.28%
- Straight 0%
- Flush 0%
- High Pair 0%
- Straight Flush 0%
- Royal Flush 0%
On the other hand, when discarding the low pair and keeping the high card, there are 178,365 possible outcomes. Of these, 33.7% generate payments, distributed as follows:
- No Premium 66.38%
- High Pair 25.48%
- Two pairs 4.98%
- Three of a kind 2.30%
- Straight 0.39%
- Flush 0.28%
- Full House 0.16%
- Poker 0.03%
- Straight Flush <0.01%
- Royal Flush <0.01%
According to video poker odds, keeping the high card is a choice that will result in more frequent payouts. However, to know which of the options will generate the most income in the long term, you will have to multiply the probability of each winning hand by the respective payout. The option that returns the best sum will be the best choice in the long run.
Flush or Straight
The decision between chasing a Flush or a Straight depends on the number of cards you have to discard. To chase any of these combinations you must block at least three cards. If that doesn’t happen, the odds of getting it drop dramatically.
In this case, the golden rule is to block the combination that allows you to block more cards. If the number of cards is the same, let’s see an example where you can choose between blocking 3 cards that can form a straight (case 1) or a flush (case 2). In both cases, hands with cards equal to or less than 10 are considered. Let’s see what the video poker odds say.
Odds when blocking four cards:
|Hand of the Round||Probability (Case 1)||Probability (Case 2)|
Odds when blocking three cards:
|Hand of the Round||Probability (Case 1)||Probability (Case 2)|
The analysis of the odds of video poker, in its Jack or Better variant, shows that the Flush is more likely the greater the number of cards blocked. The odds are slightly in favor of the straight by holding fewer cards, in case it can be dealt cards at both “ends”.
In general, it is worth playing video poker. Of course, it’s not the same experience as a poker table with dangerous opponents and high stakes, but video poker allows for a consistent and fun experience, especially in online casinos. If you like to play and celebrate some significant wins, you will have a lot of fun (especially if you use the strategies we mentioned).
Transparent Odds VS Opaque Odds
As can be seen from the example above, video poker has transparent odds and every player will know what to expect in every scenario. The playing deck has 52 cards, therefore these are the chances of getting a card:
- Any card – 1/52
- Any ranking – 1/13
- Any suit – 1/4
Each hand will have specific payout rates and hence the players will know beforehand what to expect in terms of winnings and the chances of getting a card.
On the other hand, some casino games, most notably slot machines, do not have such transparent odds. As the symbols can come anytime, anywhere, it is impossible to predict the next move. Hence, slots outcomes are completely random at all times and therefore we call such odds “opaque”.
Casino Edge for Video Poker
The house edge is simply a small probability that online and physical casinos keep to themselves to ensure that players lose at some point, that is, that not all players are winners and the casino goes bankrupt. For video poker, the casino edge will depend on several criteria, such as the type of video poker, the game, the game provider, the casino itself, etc. In short, the lower the video poker house edge, the greater the chances of winning.
House Edge vs. Payback Percentage
Apart from the house edge, one of the first terms to become familiar with when starting to play at an online casino is return to player (RTP). It is a percentage that returns each game after a certain time. It pretty much calculates the same thing as the house edge, just the reverse. If the house edge is how much the casino gets from a player, the return-to-player displays how much the player will get from the casino, or in this case, a video poker game.
In the case of video poker, the RTP will depend on the variant chosen to play. For example, if you decide to play Jacks or Better you will have an RTP of up to 99%.
Aside from RTP, it’s also a good idea to look at the volatility of a game. A game with high volatility will offer you the chance to win more, but also to lose more. In addition, you can always apply game strategies or little tricks that you will learn with experience. In video poker, the amount of money you can win will depend on two factors.
On the one hand, and as you can imagine, your winnings will depend on the hand you get. In this sense, it is important that you know well the best hands and the profit percentages of each one to know if you stand up, if you keep asking, or if you decide to opt for some other option.
On the other hand, the winnings will also depend on the amount of credits or coins you initially bet. If you plan to spend just a few minutes playing the game, you should ideally place high stakes, as long as you have enough experience in the game. Think that this could also lead to great losses. If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy a long game, you can make smaller bets by spreading the bets on each game.
What Video Poker Has the Best Odds?
Jacks or Better
As seen from the example above, Jacks or Better is probably the most popular type of video poker, and is a game modality based on Closed Poker (5 Draw Card). The objective here is to get a 5-card combination that includes a pair of jacks or something better within the poker combo ranking.
The game starts with your bet and then you are dealt 5 cards. At that time, you can choose to discard as many cards as you want to receive new cards. Then, you must assemble the best possible combination and show. If you get a pair of jacks or better (hence the name of the game), you win. That’s about a 46% chance of getting a winning hand.
The payout paid in Video Poker Jacks or Better depends on the combination you have set up. The minimum possible to win is 1:1, which is the pair of jacks. That is, you bet $10 and receive $20 ($10 you bet and + $10 profit). However, if you land a Royal Flush (0.0025% chance), you can win up to 800x your stake.
Tens or Better
Video Poker Tens or Better is a variation of Jack or Better. It works the same, but what changes is the minimum hand to win: just a pair of 10s or better. In this case, the player has slightly more favorable odds, as he adds 12 new pairs to his ledger, exponentially increasing the winning combinations.
Video Poker Joker’s Wild is yet another variation of Jacks or Better. It works exactly the same (it’s a Closed Poker game where you need at least a pair of jacks to win). However, the difference is that there is a joker in the deck. The joker can be used as a substitute to form stronger hands than you would otherwise have. For example, a 5-card hand that had only one jack, but also has a wild card, now has a pair of jacks and wins the game.
Another variation of Jacks or Better. This time, the game adds 2 as a wild card. However, it requires you to have at least a Three of a Kind (3 of a kind) to win. An advantage of Video Poker Deuces Wild is that the presence of 4 jokers in the game makes it possible to draw a Four of a Kind (4 cards of the same value) once every 15 plays, on average. However, it is important to pay attention to payout amounts before playing.
Sigma Flush Attack
This is a different form of video poker. Here, you play a mix of video poker with a slot. Your objective is to get a Flush (5 cards of the same suit). Each time you get it, the machine “stores” the information. When you accumulate a specific amount (varies from machine to machine, but is usually 3, 4 or 5 Flushes), the game enters Flush Attack Mode.
In this mode, you earn 100 or 125 credits the next time you flush, instead of the usual 30. That is, you have a unique opportunity to profit much more. However, these games are a little rarer.
Strategies to Win at Video Poker
Check below a selection of 3 good strategies for you to increase your chances of winning when playing video poker!Pay Attention to the Paytable
Each video poker machine and game has its own paytable. For example, the payout for a Flush is usually 30 units. However, despite this being common, not all digital games follow this pattern. Therefore, it is vital that you pay attention to the paytable of each game (all machines are required to display, both in the in-person and digital casino) to choose that video poker machine that is most advantageous for you.Don't Forget the Jackpot Bonus
When playing video poker, it is important that you carefully read the rules of each machine so as not to miss opportunities. In many cases, there are limitations to getting the highest payout when you pull the most potent combination in poker, the Royal Flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit). So it’s important that you keep this minimum bet in mind when playing. Of course, it is extremely rare to take the Royal Flush, but it is possible.Control Your Ambitions When Playing
Video poker is a game of odds, simple as that. As there is no bluff and no emotional opponent (it’s you against you), you should always be aware of the higher odds of winning. This means that when you discard cards, you always need to think about what will give you the best chance of winning.
For example, a common mistake is for a player to have, say, a 5, 6, 7, and 8 in his hand, in addition to an Ace. That person then, knowing he is one card away from a Straight, chooses to just discard the Ace. This strategy is wrong because Straight has a low probability of happening. So even if you get another 5 or 6, you will have a pair that is not enough to win. Also, by discarding too few cards, you are attracting little chance of winning.
Therefore, if you want to play in a way that increases your chances of profiting in online video poker, then the ideal is to always discard all cards that cannot form a pair of jacks or more. While this means losing a Two Pair every now and then, it is a strategy that minimizes your losses.
How to Choose a Casino Site to Play Video Poker?
With so many casino options available online, you must find a good casino site that will offer lots of video poker variants but also protect your hard-earned money and make sure you’re playing at a reputable establishment. Here are some ways to look for the best casino site with video poker games.
Search About the Casino
The first step in choosing a safe and reputable online casino is to do your research. Be sure to read reviews from reputable sources and take the time to review the company’s licensing and accreditation. A good way to do this is to visit the company’s governing body website; for example, all UK licensed casinos will have the “UK Gambling Commission” prominently displayed on their website. This will give you peace of mind that the casino is subject to strict regulations and guidelines, and that your money is safe.
Look for Security Features
When you are creating an account at an online casino, you will be asked to provide personal information such as your name, address and date of birth. It’s important to make sure that any website you’re considering sharing this information with has robust security measures in place to protect your data. Look for features like SSL encryption, which ensures that your data is encrypted when transmitted between your computer and the casino’s servers, making it unreadable by any third parties.
Check the Payout Rates
Another important factor to consider when choosing an online casino is the odds offered on different games, including video poker. All casinos have an inherent house edge, which gives them an edge over the player, but some games are better than others in terms of player odds. For example, blackjack has one of the lowest house edges of all casino games, while slot machines have some of the highest. So if you’re looking to give yourself the best chance of winning at video poker, make sure you choose a casino that offers favorable odds on the games you want to play.
Read the Terms and Conditions
Before signing up to any casino site, it is important that you read the site’s Terms and Conditions to ensure that you are aware of the rules applicable to your use of the site and games. Also, make sure you are aware of the casino’s deposit and withdrawal policies, as well as any bonuses or promotions offered, so there are no nasty surprises later on.
Good Customer Support
Last but not least, make sure you choose a casino that offers good customer support. After all, if you have any issues or questions regarding your account, or the video poker games, you will need to be able to easily contact the casino for help. Look for a casino that offers multiple support channels such as phone, email and live chat so you can get in touch in a way that is most convenient for you. Also, make sure the casino has a good track record of customer service and issue resolution to ensure you are in good hands.
How to Join a Casino Site?
Before starting the video poker game, you must register in the casino, ie. open an account at an online casino. Luckily, it’s a pretty quick and easy process. Most casinos will ask you for basic information such as name, surname, date of birth, gender, email address, username and password of your choice, address and phone number.
If you are not only planning to simply try the video poker games, but also want to play for real money and bonuses, we recommend that you fill in the required fields with your real data. Otherwise, if you win something, you will not be able to cash it out, since the entered data will not match your real one, in the identification process.
Also, what you will often have to do is confirm your registration via a verification link sent to the email address you entered. After that (or even without it), your registration is complete, you have an account and your profile and you are ready to try the games that the casino offers, in free play mode, completely free of charge.
But before you indulge in the magic of the real video poker game, for real money, with the possibility of winning big, you need to pay attention to a few more things.
Terms & Conditions
In addition to the standard caveats that you must not be under 18 and that you must not open multiple accounts using the same IP address, the terms vary from casino to casino. Starting with the list of countries whose residents are not allowed to play in the casino or are prohibited from some or all bonuses, through the rules about your account, depositing money and withdrawing earnings, prohibition of fraudulent practices, suspension, account closure, bonuses, privacy of your data, jurisdiction, right down to the paragraph on responsible gambling. What you will also find among the rules is the maximum time and method of payout of the money you win, as well as whether there are weekly or monthly limits on the amount of money you win. Sometimes, certain games are excluded from the bonus, and since you are planning on playing video poker, make sure to know which games are eligible for certain bonuses.
To avoid potential problems or inconvenience, please read the terms. Our sincere recommendation. It is important that you know your rights, but also your obligations and responsibilities. Besides, you can learn a lot and see how it works, especially if you are a beginner. If you have certain doubts, questions or problems after that, please contact Customer Service (Support) directly.
What are the best places to play Video Poker?
Video poker is one of the great attractions of online casinos. After all, as you saw above, there are many different variations and many ways to win (including some more interesting odds than other more popular games). However, to choose a good online video poker casino, it is necessary to evaluate 3 factors – the offer of video poker machines (and their payouts), casino welcome bonuses (especially those with Free Spins), and reload or cashback bonuses that allow you to boost your play every week.
What is Video Poker?
Video poker is a game in which the participant competes against a machine. In the first place, the player receives 5 cards and then comes the only action that must be carried out, which is to choose which cards to keep and which ones to discard. Once the discard occurs, the play that the participant has achieved as the highest is valued, and it will be the one that brings him the prize. Each play carries a fixed and invariable prize.
What Are the Video Poker Features?
The main feature is that there is no interaction with other people, which is the magic of poker after all. The participant has to have his concern only in the play that he connects without caring in the least about anything else. In conventional poker, the play of each one is as important as the possible plays that the rivals at the table can connect.
What Are the Basic Video Poker Rules?
The rules of video poker are really simple. First of all you choose the amount you play in the hand. Then you receive your 5 cards, and you choose which ones you keep and which ones you discard. Later you receive the cards that replace the discarded ones and it only remains to assess the hand obtained in case of a prize and collect it.
The amount of the prize is greater the stronger the hand, being the minimum the pair, double pairs, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, poker, and the highest and best paid that is the royal flush.
What Are the Tips for Playing Online Video Poker?
Try to be cautious and look for easy moves. When it comes to choosing to fold, avoid looking for unlikely plays like straights or flushes. The straight happens when we have, for example, 5,6,7,8, and both 4s and 9s will serve us well. It is not at all advisable to look for such cards because the odds of getting them are highly unlikely. If we, for example, gert an ace, then we will have 5,6,7,9,A, and that would be a losing hand.
Where to Play Video Poker Online?
There are many online betting houses and casinos that offer this form of gambling, as well as hundreds of pages that allow you to play video poker online without real money (via a demo mode). These websites will allow us to try, search for techniques, strategies and others without assuming any type of risk. In case you venture to play with a real balance, the best rooms are those with the best reputation and rating, and more specifically, you can look for rooms that work the casino section with the greatest dedication.