Guide To Online Casino Video Poker Variants

Video poker is a fun and easy-to-learn casino game that can be found at hundreds of sites. You can play at a range of stakes, and the gameplay is easy: make the best five-card hand you can and win a payout based on your cards.

Payouts and jackpots vary from game to game, but casinos often have half a dozen video poker variants at least. The best thing is that you can put your video poker play towards a top welcome or reload bonus. Let’s take a closer look at this popular online casino game.

Getting Started: Finding Video Poker Games

Most online casinos offer a range of video poker games, often from its own lobby. Stakes can vary, but it’s common to find bets ranging from just 25p a hand. Bear in mind that many video poker games let you bet up to 5 coins on each hand. Games can be played one hand at a time, or you can choose from Multi-Hand and progressive variants.

Most video poker games can be played instantly through the browser, or you can download a game to your desktop app. They take up around 2MB a game.

How To Play Video Poker

If you know a little about 5-card Draw poker, you’ll get the hand of Video Poker quickly. Once a bet is decided, hit the ‘Deal’ button. A 5-card poker hand will now be dealt out on-screen.

Players now have two options: to hold their cards or discard them and re-draw. Winning hands and pairs are automatically held by the computer. After a single re-draw, a payout is made based on the quality of the player’s 5-card hand.

Look at the paytable on-screen (just above the cards) and you’ll see how many coins are paid out for each hand. These are typical payouts for Jacks Or Better video poker when betting 1 coin:

Royal Flush – 250 coins

Straight Flush – 50 coins

Four of a Kind – 25 coins

Full House – 7 coins

Flush – 5 coins

Straight – 4 coins

Three of a Kind – 3 coins

Two Pairs – 2 coins

One Pair (Jacks Or Better) – 1 coin 

Note that in this popular version of video poker, the minimum hand you can get paid on is a pair of jacks or better. That can help you decide whether to hold cards or re-draw.

For one coin, a pair of jacks returns 1 coin. If you bet two coins, you’ll receive 2 coins for a pair of jacks, and so on. Similarly, for a Royal Flush, 250 coins are paid out for a 1-coin bet. For a 4-coin bet you’ll receive 1,000 coins. However, hit a Royal Flush when betting five coins and you’ll get a 4,000-coin jackpot – quite a leap.

Gamble: In some variants, you can try to double your winnings (or half of them) by playing a Gamble round. A card will be dealt face up and you must select from one of the four face-down cards. If it’s lower than the up-card you lose your winnings. If it’s higher, you double up!

Popular Online Video Poker Casino Games

You’ll find a variety of Video Poker variants at online casinos. Most allow bets from just 25p per hand, but some of the multi-hand versions let you bet up to 100x your stake on each game.

Jacks Or Better: The most popular form of video poker, this has a minimum payout of 1 coin for hitting a pair of jacks or better.

Jacks Or Better Multi-Hand: Played with the same rules as Jacks Or Better, Multi-Hand lets you place bets across many lines in one game. For example, if you are dealt K-K in the bottom line, it can be replicated across all hands before you make a re-draw.

Multi-Hand Jacks Or Better can usually be played with 4-100 hands simultaneously.

Each line is played with a different pack of cards but held cards are replicated across all lines. There is also a double-up/gamble option in the game. Progressive 10-Line Jacks Or Better pays out a special jackpot if you land a Royal Flush on the main line when betting the maximum.

Deuces Wild: In Deuces Wild, all twos act Wild and substitute for all other cards. This can give players lots more winning hands, but it means the minimum winning hand is higher – 3-of-a-kind in this case. A ‘natural’ Royal Flush (made without Wilds) is the top payer.

Deuces Wild payouts (for betting 1 coin):

Natural Royal Flush – 250 coins
Four Deuces – 200 coins
Wild Royal Flush – 25 coins
5-of-a-Kind – 15 coins
Straight Flush – 9 coins
4-of-a-Kind – 4 coins
Full House – 4 coins
Flush – 3 coins
Straight – 2 coins
3-of-a-kind – 1 coin

(In some versions of Deuces Wild, a pair of aces or a two-pair hand will also pay out even-money.)

Aces and Faces: Aces and Faces follows the gameplay of Jacks Or Better (with a pair of Jacks the minimum winning hand) but better payouts are awarded for a four-of-a-kind in aces, kings and queens.

Joker Poker: Similar to Deuces Wild, Joker Poker lets you use the pack’s jokers as Wilds to help form winning hands. Typically, a minimum qualifying hand is a pair of kings. Players can also use the Double-Up/Gamble bet.

Top Tip: Holding And Folding

It’s important to read the paytables before you start playing. Each game will have one, and this will give you a good indication of where the best payouts can be found.

There’s no point playing a ‘Wild’ video poker game unless you’re playing the maximum stake. The jump from Wild Royal Flush to Four Deuces (25 coins to 200 coins) is so big you need to make the most of the pay hike.

When it comes to holding cards, you need to know whether to throw cards away or hold onto them. Look at the highest card in your hand. Is it a jack or higher? If so, hold it and redraw to a pair of jacks or better. OK, you won’t win a lot, but an even-money return is better than a loss.

Similarly, look for three consecutive cards (open-ended straight draws) like 3-4-5. These have the potential of filling out either end. That’s a particularly good strategy in a multi-hand game where you can make lots of straights. A straight pays 4 coins in Jacks or Better, remember, so they are worth going for.

Where you have multiple hands possible (e.g. a pair with four spades), ignore the pair and concentrate on the flush draw. Video poker can be a game with big swings but it’s important to chase those high-paying hands.

Accessing The Best Casino Bonuses

Remember, video poker can be used to work off a casino bonus. If you’re looking to work off a bonus with your video poker play, check the terms and conditions first. Video poker may be eligible but generally only about 5-20% of your gameplay will contribute.

If that’s the case, pick the right video poker games and bets, and consider upping your coin bets and holding pairs and high cards only when you play.