Video Poker – Game Overview & Best Casino Sites
When it comes to online casino games, video poker is and always has been one of the all-time player favourites. Combining the simplicity of slots and the intrigue of poker, this game is preferred by many people over traditional casino games. The fact that it has the highest return-to-player percentage in the industry probably helps, too. Check out our top picks for best video poker game out there, as well as the casinos where you can give the titles a try. Read More
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- Highlight: Best Mobile Game
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- Play at: Ladbrokes Casino
In this article, we will explain all there is to know about video poker – from the core rules and different variations, to companies that develop such games and best casino sites to try them at. We will also give you some free tips and strategies in order for you to get better at the game. Use the quick navigation bar below to jump straight to the topic that interests you.
How to Play
Video poker is based on the five-card draw version of poker. Initially, you place your bet, and receive five cards. After getting a good look at them, you get to choose which ones to keep, and which to discard. For every card you discard, you get a new one from the deck. After the second draw, the game checks whether your hand has one of the winning combinations, and if it does, you get a reward. If not, you lose your bet and try again. The different winning combinations are based on the classic poker hands, and can be found in the paytable of every video poker game.
Payouts for the different combinations are based on how rare they are, the game itself, and the operator that is hosting it. Usually, the possible combinations start from a pair of Jacks, which pays even money. All other combinations are the same as the ones in classic poker.
- Two Pairs
- Three of a Kind
- Full House
- Four of a Kind
- Straight Flush
- Royal Flush
Some video poker games even feature progressive jackpots or other bonus features, making many players really hooked on the game. To sum it all up, video poker is a really easy, fun, and addicting game, that combines the easy gameplay of slot machines with the slightly-more-strategic aspect of poker.
The Different Variations
Video poker has quite a lot of variations. Many of them feature a wild card (a card that substitutes any other in order to form a winning combination), or a payout modification (for example, four aces with a five would pay a higher amount). Let’s take a closer look at the most popular and common types of video poker.
Jacks or Better
Also known as ‘Draw Poker’, this is probably the most common and well-known video poker game. The winning combinations start at a pair of jacks, which pays 1:1. The variants of the game that pay the best are known as 9/6 Jacks or Better, since the payout for a full house is 9:1, and the payout for a flush is 6:1. If played with a perfect strategy, the RTP percentage for Jacks or Better can go as high as 99.54%! Below, you can see detailed information about the possible combinations in 9/6 Jacks or Better.
|Four of a Kind||25:01:00||3,924,430,647||0.24%|
|Three of a Kind||3:01||123,666,922,527||7.44%|
|Jacks or Better||1:01||356,447,740,914||21.46%|
This variation of video poker adds a joker card to the game. The joker is usually a wild card, used to substitute any other for a winning combination. Also, in this game it is possible to get a new winning combination – five of a kind!
In this variation, all twos are considered wild cards. With this rule in effect, four of a kind combinations occur approximately every fifteen hands on average. This combination makes up for about a third of the return-to-player percentage of the game! Theoretically, the RTP for Deuces Wild can reach as high as 100.8%, when played with a flawless strategy, of course. Unfortunately, this full-play version can only be found in Nevada. UK casino sites feature Deuces Wild games that have slightly smaller theoretical returns.
Bonus / Double Bonus / Double Double Bonus
Those variations of video poker feature improved payouts for four-of-a-kind combinations. Such games once again sport some of the highest RTP in the casino gaming world, at least on theory. Keep in mind that those percentages apply for full-pay versions of the games, and only when they are played with a perfect strategy.
- Bonus Poker – 99.2% RTP
- Double Bonus Poker – 100.2% RTP
- Double Double Bonus Poker – 100.1% RTP
Modern online casinos usually feature video poker games that have slightly smaller RTP, but that is nothing to worry about. The percentages are still among the highest in the industry, and guarantee you some fabulous payouts.
Top Developers of Video Poker Games
Due to the many game variations and high popularity, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of video poker titles out there. Almost every casino software developer has done something on the subject, and new games keep on coming out regularly. However, some companies just do it better than others. Let’s take a look at the leading developers of video poker games right now.
- .Microgaming have been around since the conception of online casinos, and have probably developed the first video poker games ever. They are still going strong to this day, and their portfolio features quite a lot of video poker titles. Some of their best titles in the genre include Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Deuces & Joker Poker, Aces & Faces, All American, Bonus, Double Bonus, and Double Double Bonus. Microgaming’s titles may not look the best, but they still play like a charm.
- .Playtech are currently the biggest and most famous developer of casino software in the world. It is only natural that they have created some of the best video poker games out there. Their titles include All American Poker, Jacks or Better, 2 Ways Royal, Deuces Wild, Aces & Faces, and Joker Poker. Games by Playtech always look awesome and have plenty of cool customisable options. Also, all of their games are fully optimised for mobile devices, making it possible for players to enjoy them on the go.
- .NetEnt are a company renowned for creating games of the highest quality. Their video poker titles are no exception, and even though they are few in number, they are probably the best we have ever played. You can choose between Deuces Wild, All American, Jacks or Better, and Joker Wild. All those games feature amazing graphics and sound, along with full mobile optimisation and many customisable options. NetEnt titles are considered exemplary in the field of online casino gaming.
Best UK Casinos for Real Money Video Poker
Nowadays, there are an awful lot of online casinos out there. If you want to play video poker with real money, you need to make sure you are playing at a licensed, honest, and reputable operator. We have already done our research, and now we will present to you our top picks for best video poker casinos in the UK.
888 Casino is one of the best operators in the UK – if not the best out of them all. Their collection of games features a huge amount of NetEnt titles, and they have one of the most awesome bonus offers and specials in the business. 888 has plenty of video poker games for you to enjoy, and the variety is great. Check out our detailed review of the operator here.
Betway is another top operator around here, and they have one of the biggest game collections out there. They stand out from the rest with their huge welcome bonus – it can go up to £1000! Their games are developed mostly by industry giants Microgaming, which means that you can enjoy a wide variety of video poker titles. Learn more about Betway in our dedicated review.
Ladbrokes are a famous brand in gambling, and their online casino is up to all standards. With more than 500 available games and exclusive bonus offers, Ladbrokes’ casino is one of the best in the business. Their software is provided by Playtech, which means a lot of available video poker games. You can find out everything about this repuable operator in our review.
|Initial Hand||Cards Held||Cards Drawn|
|Four of a Kind||5||0|
|Four to a Royal Flush||4||1|
|Three of a Kind||3||2|
|Four to a Straight Flush||4||1|
|Three to a Royal Flush||3||2|
|Four to a Flush||4||1|
|Four to a Straight||4||1|
|Three to a Straight Flush||3||2|
|Two to a Royal Flush||2||3|
|Two High Cards||2||3|
|One High Card||1||4|
Strategy & Tips
Even though it’s a game based on luck, there are certain strategies that you can utilise when playing video poker. As we already established, there are many variations of this game. Since they have different rules, it is really hard, if not impossible, to come up with a universal strategy that would work on all of them. For this article, we will focus on the most common and widely played version – Jacks or Better. Here is a basic strategy table, which works best in the short term, but has good chances to keep on working for long games. The first column shows your initial hand, the second shows the number of cards you should keep, and the third – the amount you would draw. For example – if you are dealt two pairs initially, you hold them, and draw one new card. Consequently, if your opening hand has a Full House, it will not be advisable to switch any cards. So, you keep five, and draw zero. It’s as logical and easy as it gets.
Although this is a very simple strategy, it works surprisingly well. Don’t forget that video poker has an extremely high RTP, and is generally one of the most profitable casino games out there. Even if you lose a couple of games, you are almost guaranteed to recover your losses in the next few rounds. So, don’t be afraid to play this game – chances are that you will end up winning some cash in the long run, or at least go back to where you started. This is why video poker is one of the preferred games for newcomers to the online casino scene.
Video Poker Is a Simple & Rewarding Casino Game
Video poker is one of those classic games that no casino can do without. Its popularity has never been bigger, and the game itself has never been more accessible. So, if you are willing to give this game a shot, make sure you do it at one of our recommended casinos. Make sure you claim the welcome offer that the casino is offering, as covering the wagering requriements on games like video poker or slots is really fast and simple. After that, use your cash to start playing for real, and you will soon discover the charms of video poker. Use our basic strategy and enjoy this fun and simple game!