Online video poker is a main attraction at many internet casinos and its popularity has only grown with the Texas Hold'em explosion.
In the simplest terms, online video poker rules employ a combination of 5 card draw and slots. It is played on a machine that requires a new bet accompany each hand. Payouts, like in slots, vary depending on the size of that bet.
Each starting video poker hand consists of 5 cards. As with draw poker, you decide which to keep and which to replace in an attempt to end the round with the best video poker hand.
However, unlike draw poker, online video poker removes the complications of betting on hands with multiple players. It also places no limit on the number of cards you can put back. You simply get a 5-card hand, hold X number of cards, get new ones, and see if your hand holds up at the payout table.
How to Play Video Poker Online: Four Most Popular Variations
Jacks or Better Video Poker
This is by far the most popular form of video poker among both land and online casino patrons. The name Jacks or Better refers to the fact that you get paid if your hand contains a pair of Jacks or better. There are no fancy video poker rules, no wilds, just a single draw.
Jacks or Better video poker is an excellent game version for beginners because its odds are fair and it lays the foundation for developing future video poker strategies. When you've had your fill of Jacks or Better video poker, you can move on to a more exciting variant.
Jokers Wild Video Poker
This video poker variation employs a 53-card deck. Like pai gow poker, the deck contains a joker that is wild. Unlike pai gow poker, the joker in Jokers Wild video poker can be any card at any time. Jokers Wild video poker does not have the ace restrictions that pai gow poker does.
Playing with a joker improves the player's odds, so payouts are only awarded on hands of kings or better, rather than jacks. The joker appears about one in every ten hands, so if it comes up when you play video poker, be sure to make the best use of it.
Deuces Video Poker
Deuces Video Poker is played with a standard 52-card deck, where all 2s in the deck are wild. This not only improves player odds, it also removes the lowest ranked card.
As a result of these improved odds, payouts in Deuces Wild are unusual. You are only paid when you play three of a kind or better, and even then the payouts are smaller for everything but a natural royal flush (no wilds). Still, the relative ease with which you hit good hands in Deuces Video Poker typically compensates for these lean payouts.
Some machines deal a single video poker hand from which you choose what cards to keep and which to replace with new ones. These machines then deal multiple outcomes for the video poker hand you kept. You must pay the initial bet for each hand, so if you want to bet 3 coins per hand, a 3-handed game will cost you 9 coins per round.
For example, if you are playing 3-handed Jacks or Better video poker, you might get an opening hand of AK732 of various suits. The correct play would be to keep the AK.
You would then be dealt three possible replacements for the 732, giving you 3 new hands. These new hands might be: AKAAK, AKA43, and AK975. With this outcome, you would collect for getting a Full House and a pair of aces, and would lose your bet on the last.
Some multi-handed video poker games offer up to 52-handed video poker. Try it out to get a sense of online video poker rules, odds and strategy. Good Luck!