Video Poker Rules

If you are fairly new to gambling then you might not be very familiar with all casino games. If you are interested in video poker but you are not sure if your knowledge of standard poker will be enough, you can continue reading. We will introduce you the rules of this wonderful game, which we are sure you will very much enjoy.

You can think of video poker as a variation of slot machines but with a much better chance of snagging a win. If you add the winning hands of classic poker to the randomness of slots, you will get a video poker game. Since it is not solely based on luck, however, this casino games is favorite to those who are on the lookout for good payouts and great winning odds.

You do not need to stress when hearing that video poker also incorporates the winning hands of classic poker. This game is much simpler and easy to play and you will have no issue to understand the rules of video poker. It should be noted that with the rise of virtual casinos and online video poker, there have been many variations to the game. Those may include rules slightly different to the ones of traditional video poker. Despite that, the objective of the game is always the same and even with a few adjustments to the gameplay, video poker is very easy to play.

In addition to the pretty simple rules of video poker, it is also a game that allows the use of strategy. If you learn how to play the game in the best way possible, you can definitely achieve great outcomes and enjoy a rather fruitful gambling experience. Nowadays, players have numerous options of video poker available online. This gives them the chance to choose the most rewarding one and dive into lucrative and entertaining casino adventures.

General Rules of Video Poker

General RulesIf you are looking for an easy explanation of the rules of video poker, look no further. To be completely honest, there is nothing complicated about this casino game which is why many players enjoy making bets on it.

If you have ever played Five-card draw, then you will have no issue playing video poker since it is based on this simple poker variation. In Five-card draw, players are dealt 5 cards and they can choose to discard or keep either one of them in order to form a winning hand. If they decide to discard any card, they will have to replace it with another one from the deck.

Similar to the aforementioned poker variation, video poker machines deal players 5 random cards. While this sounds a lot like classic slots, you actually have better chances to win on video poker since the outcome of the game will actually be determined on the next deal of cards. Whether you are playing at a land-based casino or you have decided to play on video poker online, the rules of the games will be the same. After you have been dealt the 5 random cards, you will be allowed to discard some or all of them if you do not think your current hand will bring you a good payout.

If your second hand has formed a winning combination, you will receive a payout which will be determined on the rank of your hand and the size of the bet you have made. While there might be differences in the winning hands of different video poker variations, there are the general poker hands that will bring you a win. If your second hand at video poker is Royal Flush, Full House, Four-of-a-Kind, Flush, Straight Flush, Straight, Three-of-a-Kind, Two Pairs or Pair, you can expect a rather rewarding outcome. There are also some video poker options that incorporate wild cards which can help players to form winning hands easier and there is usually a different payout for those special hands.

When you are playing video poker online, often you have the option to play the game for fun. This will allow you to fully grasp the rules of the particular variant and start playing for real money whenever you feel confident enough. Whichever video poker version you decide to play, you will still be able to win by sticking to the essential rules of the game.

The Video Poker Machine

Video Poker MachineVideo poker has started its journey from the land-based casino in Sin City. During the 70s it started catching the attention of slot fans and it quickly became favorite to many casino enthusiasts. While throughout the years, many video poker variants emerged on the scene, the two most popular have definitely been Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.

If you are curious about the video poker machine and how it works, keep on reading. When you take a look at its design, you will notice that it resembles typical modern slot machines. This being said, since the game of video poker does require more decisions and action, compared to slots, the video poker machine does have additional buttons. This way the player can navigate his/her gameplay and either discard or keep cards.

If you take a look at the top of the video poker machine, you will notice that there is a cylindrical light which has two different colors. This part of the machine is often called “a candle” or “tower lights” and is usually white on the top and colored on its bottom part. The color on the bottom indicates the denomination of the bets you are allowed to make on the particular video poker machine. Usually, the color red is used for denominating nickles, yellow indicates quarters, blue is used for dollars and purple is typically used for higher values.

Paytables in Video Poker

PaytablesJust like in any other casino game, the payout is also very important at video poker. Even if you are simply playing for fun, you still are recommended to pick a variant that promises the best payout. On older video poker machines where there is just a single type of game, the paytable can be seen on the playscreen. It should be noted that it is possible for two games to have the same name but still have different paytables. This is why it is important to check your options before you start playing.

However, if you are visiting a casino where the video poker machines are of the newer models which offer several games, you will not be able to see the paytable on the playscreen. In such cases, players must approach the machine, pick their denomination, which may be quarters, dollars, etc., and select the variant they would like to play. Only then, will you be able to see the paytable for the specific game you have selected. Do take into consideration that different denominations might also affect the payouts of the game.

If you are playing video poker online, you will also have the chance to see the paytable before making any bet. This will help you to decide whether the respective game is worth playing for real money. Knowing the paytable is crucial for players since proper payouts will guarantee them that they can enjoy a better outcome when they win.

Usually, the average profit that a casino enjoys on every video poker play is 3%. Respectively, the potential return that players can enjoy is estimated at 97%. This return to player percentage (RTP) is determined thanks to the paytable of the specific game. A better payout for a certain hand will indicate a higher RTP which ultimately will mean a better outcome for the winners.

While it is important to learn to use strategy if you wish to improve your winning chances on video poker, you should still combine your tactics with a game that offers good payouts. This will lead to the ultimate advantage and will bring you lucrative results.

Full-Pay and Short-Pay Video Poker

Full-PayIf you are not very familiar with the game of video poker, you might not be able to recognize whether a certain machine offers good payouts. What is more, the paytable for some variants may be different which can at times be confusing. As video poker started becoming very popular at both land-based and online casinos, there have been different variants of the game emerging everywhere. What you will often notice about various video poker games is that they might offer payouts different than the standard ones.

The games which offer the highest payouts for a certain video poker variant are known as full-pay. If you are on the lookout for lucrative results, you are advised to always look for full-pay variants. This way you can significantly improve your winning odds and even tilt the scales in your favor when using the right strategy.

The video poker options which offer lower payouts compared to the full-pay ones are known as short-pay variants. Since you will not see a casino, whether it is a land-based or a virtual one, promoting its games as full-pay or short-pay ones, it is up to the players to determine which game will provide the best payouts. This is why it is important to learn how to recognize a full-pay video poker game.

Since there are different video poker variants, each one of them has a particular full-pay version. In order to be able to find a machine or an online option which will give you the most lucrative results, you should be able to recognize which the full-pay variants of the different video poker games are.

Tips for Beginners

TipsIf you wish to enjoy a video poker game which is both rewarding and exciting, you should know a few things. If you follow the tips we going to share with you, you will be able to quickly elevate from the level of a rookie to a casino expert who knows how to maximize his/her winnings.

While standard poker might be a bit intimidating, video poker is really not that intense. On top of that, it is a game that can easily bring those who are willing to learn great results. While it is not necessary to start applying these tips from the very beginning, you can definitely improve your gameplay with time by following the advice we have for you.

When you have finally found a video poker machine or online variant that offers the highest possible payout, there is only one way to fully appreciate the best reward. If you opt for making a maximum bet, you will be able to revel in huge payouts when hitting a winning combination. While the strongly desired Royal Flush or Four Aces are difficult to be achieved, when staking the maximum amount of coins, you have the biggest chance to land the highest payout the game is offering.

As it was mentioned earlier, it is very important to check the paytable of the game you are about to play. Whenever you have too many options, it is absolutely the best to pick the one that offers the full payout. This would drastically improve your chances of hitting huge payouts. In fact, when you use the right type of strategy and opt for a high paying video poker variant, you have some of the best odds of winning, compared with the ones that other casino games are offering.


Full-PayAs you can see, there is nothing complicated about video poker and whichever variant of the game you choose to play, you can enjoy a fruitful outcome. Whether you have visited a land-based casino or you have opened an account at a gaming website, you will be able to enjoy different variants of this exciting game. The reason why many players find video poker entertaining is the fact that in addition to the pure luck, there is the opportunity to affect the final result by your own decisions.

While video poker incorporates the winning hands of typical poker, it is definitely a much easier game to understand and play successfully. Despite Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild being two of the most commonly played variants, there are definitely many other video poker options you can enjoy.

When choosing the video poker variation you would like to play, you should consider the payouts it offers since they will determine the RTP. The higher the RTP, the better your chances of winning are. Combining this with a great strategy and maximum bets can lead to a very lucrative and enjoyable video poker adventure.

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Find the answers of questions people asked so far:

Dan Ashley

How to pick the video poker variation with the best rules?

Asked by: Ashley | Asked on: 2023-05-27
Answered by: Dan | Answered on: 2023-05-29

As with other casino games, if you are on the lookout for more potentially rewarding gaming sessions, you should opt for the options with the highest possible RTP. If you play video poker, you can also use the correct strategy to maximize the potential long-term return of the game. To do that, however, you must make sure that you are playing a full-pay version of the game or at least a video poker variation that pays as close as possible to the full-pay one. To recognize full-pay versions, you must take a look at the paytable of the game before you start wagering real money. For instance, the full-pay version of Jacks or Better is known as 9/6, indicating the payouts for Full House and Flush (9 to 1 and 6 to 1 respectively). That said, there are many versions of Jacks or Better that would adjust the payouts for these two hands to pay lower, which will also decrease the RTP of Jacks or Better.

Dan Erica

What is Auto Hold in video poker and should I make use of this option?

Asked by: Erica | Asked on: 2023-06-04
Answered by: Dan | Answered on: 2023-06-05

You may like playing video poker as it is a casino game that may offer players an RTP of above 100%, giving video poker fans an advantage over the house. However, that is only true if players know how to utilize the correct optimal strategy for the corresponding video poker game. In many variations of video poker you will find online, you may be given the choice to choose which cards to keep and which ones to discard or you may use the Auto Hold option of the game. Based on the optimal strategy for the respective video poker game, some of the cards dealt on the first draw may be automatically held. This is a very useful feature if you have not mastered the correct strategy yet. However, letting the game decide instead of you may often make the experience less entertaining as you will not be making the decisions yourself.

Dan Jason

Where can I see which is the full-pay version of a specific video poker variation?

Asked by: Jason | Asked on: 2023-09-12
Answered by: Dan | Answered on: 2023-09-13

In our reviews of popular video poker variations, we have covered the full-pay version of each game or the best-paying option you can find at most online and land-based casinos. That way you can compare the payouts for each hand and see if the version you are about to play will give you the best possible long-term return. Of course, you can also browse the internet to check the full-pay variants of different video poker games if you did not find what you were looking for in our reviews. Keep in mind, that the full-pay variant may sometimes give the player a bigger advantage and even tilt the scales in favor of the player. That is why such variations are nearly impossible to find sometimes. That said, you can easily find the next best option to play online or during your next visit to a land-based casino.