How to Play Online Video Poker
Online Video Poker is identical to the land-based version. It is originally a gaming machine, so it has always been based on software. It was a saving grace for players who felt intimidated sitting at a gaming table but wanted something a bit more challenging than slots.
At online casinos, it has gained a huge following not just as an alternative for slots but as a unique gambling game all its own. Different Video Poker variants have slight modifications, but you can expect a set of standard rules across them all.
Read on to learn the classic gameplay behind this game, from the online Video Poker basics to how to place bets and how to win Video Poker online.
Online Video Poker Basics
Online Video Poker is based on five-card draw Poker. The objective is to get a hand combination that awards a payout. At the start of each game round, you get five face-up cards. You need to hold favourable cards and draw new ones to replace those you’d like to discard.
8 different hand combinations award a payout in online Video Poker. In order of highest to least paying, they are:
- Royal Flush – A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit
- Straight Flush – five cards of the same suit and in sequence. E.g., 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
- Four of a Kind – four cards of the same value
- Full House – three of a kind and a pair
- Flush – five cards of the same suit, e.g., all spades, or diamonds, etc.
- Straight – five cards of any suit but in a number sequence.
- Three of a Kind – three cards that have the same value
- Two Pair – two different card pairs. E.g., two 7s and two 4s
Different variants have additional hand rankings. For instance, Jacks or Better pays out for having a hand with a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. Deuces Wild, apart from using 2s as wild cards, also offers the largest payout for landing four of a kind 2 value cards.
To learn how to win Video Poker online, you have to keep these payout combinations in mind. Fortunately, the paytable is often pinned at the top of the playing field, so you can always keep an eye on how much you stand to win.
The game also provides advanced suggestions to help you out. For instance, if there’s a three of a kind in the mix after dealing cards, those will automatically be held. This feature helps you to never miss out on a win that is already in place.
Steps on How to Win Video Poker Online
We’ve highlighted the online Video Poker basics, but how exactly does it pan out at an online casino? Below are step-by-step instructions on how to start playing:
- Set the amount you want to bet. First, you select your coin size using the + or – buttons on the control panel. Second, you choose the number of coins to play, usually between 1 and 5 coins.
- Select the “Deal” button to start the game, and get your initial 5-card hand.
- Hit the “Hold” button to keep the selected cards and “Draw” to receive new cards in place of discarded ones.
- Check the paytable to see how much winning hands pay, as this differs depending on the game variant you’re playing.
- Your winnings are added to your credit balance.
Note that some versions like Double Bonus Poker will allow a bonus round where you can double down on your winnings.
Which Bets Should I Play?
The hand combination you should go for depends on what you’re dealt. Imagine getting a starting 5-card hand with the following values:
- 7, 7, 2, 5, 9
Here, going for a Royal Flush just isn’t feasible. Aiming for a Straight Flush is a long shot. Instead, you could try going for a Two Pair by holding the two 7s and one single number. You could take your chances on a Full House the same way. Or try for a three or a four of a kind by holding only the 7s and drawing new cards for the remaining three positions.
Keep in mind that you’re technically not trying to beat a dealer or playing against the casino. The focus is to get one of the hand combos that award a payout.
The casino RNG deals randomly, so each card you receive is a chance event. However, it all comes down to your decision-making. There isn’t a method on how to cheat online Video Poker, as there’s a house advantage on all bets. However, there are several strategy tips to guide you on the best choices on how to win Video Poker online.