Video Poker: The complete guide to getting started

When it first appeared in the early 70’s, video poker was also known asslot poker“, as it was clearly similar to a slot machine with spinning reels that made up your poker hand. Video poker has had no trouble making its way into real casinos because there is no interaction with a dealer and the cards are obviously not real, so this casino game is fast and even allows on some machines to play a multitude of games simultaneously.

But what makes the huge difference between standard slots and Video Poker is the player’s decision making: the player must decide after each first draw which card(s) to hold to make up his final hand, the one that will establish the strength of his hand and therefore his potential win.

The obvious answer to the question “Why play Video Poker?” is that you are in control of your own destiny and therefore your winnings, unlike a slot machine where you have only one click to make and then take your chances.

Best Casinos to play at at poker videos

he best way to get started easily and without risk is to take advantage of video poker bonuses. Whether you are a beginner or not, video poker bonuses allow you to inflate your bankroll effortlessly and with minimal risk. There are free video poker bonuses or after payment. But very often you will have to make a deposit at the casino to benefit from the best games and video poker bonuses. In return, you will receive generous bonuses and it will be easier to recover your bonus winnings and jackpots. You will therefore be betting the money offered without taking the risk of impacting your own capital.
Poker being a game of strategy before being a game of chance, it will be easy for you to get the video poker bonus offered by your casino as well as the associated winnings. Learn the winning combinations and only play big when you have a very strong hand. The odds will then be on your side and you will win many hands. You will then easily turn your bonus video poker into a gold mine.

Cresus Casino this is a clear differentiator for playing video poker games, even if this online casino offers a bonus less than Jackpot City or else Wild Sultan The number of games and withdrawals of winnings are much higher and faster. Also discover the best casino bonuses for video poker!

What are the advantages of playing the Video Poker game?

In the case of video poker, the deck consists of 52 cards (or 53 in the case of a game with a Joker – also called Wild Video Poker): therefore the possible combinations are known and can be understood and calculated by the player in order to gain a slight advantage over the machine, at least for the time it takes.

It should be noted that in some states of the USA Video Poker is not recognized as a game of chance but as a game of skill, which shows the huge difference between slot machines and Video Poker.

With the help of technology, video poker machines are now being played on neatly designed touch screens instead of the reel machines that were abandoned in the mid-80s in favour of screens.

Video Poker is first and foremost a game of talent where you try to reduce the amount of luck by making the right decision. It is very playful, and above all very quick to play: a hand of video poker doesn’t even last 10 seconds if you are reactive.

Playing without real money

There are many online casino platforms offering free video poker games in trial versions, i.e. without money or called “Play Money“.

These versions are intended to make you play for free, without depositing money, but they can also allow you to familiarize yourself with Video Poker without risk, understand the combinations (which we will see later) and set up your first strategies without fear of making a mistake.

Note also that there are mobile applications, which can be played without money and only for entertainment. They are available for download from the stores of your smartphones.

Without download

Whether it’s at online casinos or even flash gambling sites, you can play video poker without having to make any downloads at all. Usually it is the online casinos that offer you to play these games or jackpots are set up and can reach very large sums.

Video poker games are affordable at different starting bet amounts and can be played from your web browser or even from your smartphone. All you need to do is register at the online casino in question to open an account. You can then decide whether or not you want to credit that player account to play for real money and start winning money in the video poker games.

Become familiar with the rules of the game

If video poker has become very popular very quickly it is because it is very simple to understand the rules of the game.

However, before you even start playing, unlike slot machines where you can start playing immediately, it is best to know the basics, the basic rules of video poker.

It won’t take you more than 10 minutes and you’ll be ready to play and start making money.

Develop your strategy, practice online for free

This is one of the golden rules for all games, so it applies even more here even if the rules are very simple: test, try, train for free, without having to spend money on the free versions of online casinos.

This will give you 2 huge advantages:

  1. To be able to understand the rules;
  2. Establish game strategies to maximize your winnings when you switch to real money mode;

The rules of video poker

Although there can be dozens of video poker variants (with wild cards, bonuses or multihand) all video poker games operate according to a similar set of rules:

  • First you receive 5 starting cards (your hand);
  • Of these 5 cards you can choose to keep or discard one or all of them for a second draw;
  • The cards you choose to discard will then be replaced in a second and final draw;
  • Your final hand is then dealt, if that hand matches one of the qualifying hands, then you win the associated wager;
Poker hand rankings

Here is the ranking of the hands in poker (they are not all qualifying, on each Video Poker machine you will have the payout grid according to their strength) :

  1. The Royal Straight Flush (usually pays 250 times the starting bet);
  2. Straight flush (usually pays 50 times the starting bet);
  3. The Square (usually pays 25 times the starting bet);
  4. The Full House (usually pays 6 to 9 times the starting bet);
  5. The Color (usually pays 5 or 6 times the starting bet);
  6. The sequel (it usually pays 4 times the initial bet);
  7. The three of a kind (usually pays 3 times the starting bet);
  8. The double pair, 2 pairs (usually pays twice the starting bet) ;
  9. Pair of Jacks or better (this combination usually pays back your original bet);

Variations of video poker

Video poker always uses the same rules and always the same hand strength ranking, however there are some small variations to break the monotony and offer more fun for the players, here are some of them:

  • Jacks or Better: The most common video poker game, the payout of hands is above the pair of jacks;
  • Deuces Wild: As the name implies, every 2 in the deck is a joker and can be of any value, replacing any card;
  • Double Bonus: This variant gives bonuses on the squares you can make up with aces, 2s, 3s and 4s. The payout grid then displays the extra bonus;
  • Deuces and Wild: In this variation there are 53 cards, 1 Joker is added and the 2 can replace any card from the deck. The highest possible payout is a four of 2 and a joker, which pay out an incredible 5,000 to 10,000 times the starting bet, depending on the casino.

Double or nothing rules

At the end of each hand, if you are a winner, even if you only win once, then you will be offered a mini game: double or quits, or as the name clearly indicates, you can double your winnings or lose it all.

It is up to you whether or not you want to accept this game, you can refuse to take part in it and thus cash out your winnings directly without risk.

The game: The machine offers you 5 cards which are turned over, you only see the back of the cards, you must choose one of these 5 cards which will be stronger than the one which is visible, the banker’s card. If this is the case you win double your initial winnings, otherwise you will lose everything.

If you win, this mini game will be offered to you again. If you lose, you will return to the original video poker game.

How is a Video Poker game played?

When you arrive at a video poker machine, you first have to put credit on it, that is to say a sum of money, which you wish to have available at all times to make your bets.

Then you will have to choose the variant of your game (sometimes there is only one of them, sometimes several, it depends on your online casino). And finally, you will have to choose the amount of your bets. This is the amount that you bet on each hand, and therefore you are potentially able to lose or win.

The game starts when you click or press the “DEAL” button, your 5 cards will be dealt to you. You will then be asked for your choice, the game has started! Good luck!

As said just above, a double or quits mini game will be offered to you at the end of the game if you are a winner.

Video poker games and their free bonuses

In online casinos, few bonuses are 100% dedicated to Video Poker games.

However, the welcome bonus offers are fully compatible with video poker. Very often free bonuses are given to loyal players to reward them.

In this case, the casino offers them the possibility to play video poker games for free (free play) (eligibility requirements to be read on the site when this happens).

Play directly from your mobile phone

Video poker being very simple and above all very fast, it lends itself particularly well to a mobile use and contrary to traditional online poker which requires to be concentrated and present several hours in front of his mobile (especially for online poker tournaments), video poker can be played more lightly and without particular attention, each move can be spaced by long minutes).

All online casinos now have a mobile version, so video poker on smartphone is very easily accessible on all our phones and this, without downloading, since the casinos integrate the games directly on their site in mobile version and therefore playable from your browser type Mozilla, Chrome etc. …

Security and transparency on video poker games

Just like slot machines, video poker machines are regulated and the Return to Player Rate to players is widely known and communicated according to variances. So you can play with complete peace of mind thanks to this transparency and enhanced security at the vast majority of online casinos.

Here are the RTPs (player payout rates) for the main Video Poker variants:

  • Valet or better: 99.5%
  • Deuces Wild: 100.76%
  • Double Bonus: 100.17% Bonus
  • Deuces and Wild: 99.06%

Be careful, these rates take into account the huge bonuses possible on each variant, hence a FCR > 100% in some cases.

The history of video poker

As mentioned above, video poker appeared in the early 1970’s, it was intended to entertain slot machine players even more, but very quickly these “poker slots” (it was their first name) had a major utility in the development of gambling in the United States essentially: indeed, the passage to a regulation of games of chance have forced some establishments in most states of the U.S. to remove the slot machines from their rooms.

But since video poker games are not considered (from a legal point of view) as games of chance, then these machines were able to compensate for the temporary withdrawal of these slots.

Later with the rise of screens and then touch screens, video poker games took off again and are now ubiquitous in all real casinos but also in all online casino rooms where they are very successful.

Conclusion on video poker games

To conclude, if you want a simple, fast game that can pay big money without having to make too complex decisions but still keep your hand on variance and chance (thanks to your own decisions) then don’t hesitate and play video poker right away, while of course taking advantage of one of the many welcome bonuses that are offered to you on our tests and reviews. All of the online casinos we offer you offer video poker games!

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