How to Win at Video Poker – Strategies 2023

Playing online video poker is a fun thing to do because it gives you wins a lot more often, but still has an element of strategy to it. Should you hold a high card with a pair to hope for two pair? Maybe discard the other card to go for Trips, what do you do? Video poker strategy is important and while there’s not a lot you can do to count cards, you can make better decisions to increase your win probability.

Veritop will help players through the perils of video poker and guide them through the basics of the game. We teach players how to win at video poker. All from explaining what it is, how it works and how to win. Check out the hand rankings and the odds and try to make decisions that benefit your game.

What is Online Video Poker?

Online video poker is an electronic version of five card draw poker. What players will do is sit down in front of a video poker machine in person, or if online, navigate over to an online casino that offers video poker, and then start playing. It’s one of the most popular forms of online poker and online casino game and is also often referred to as a slot machine because it’s played similarly to a slot.

The game will differ in how the machine decides the winning payouts which is usually determined by the type of cards a player has. For example, Jacks or Better will require that the player ends with a pair of Jacks or something better in order to win. With a game like Deuces Wild, any 2 that a player might get will serve as a wild card.

How Does Video Poker Work?

If a player is dealt two Kings, a 5, 8 and 10, then it makes sense to hang onto the Kings, hoping for a third to pop up. You could also get rid of the Kings looking for a straight, but it would be far more unlikely. And considering the fact that you would already win with the Kings, it’s a bad wager.

The goal of the game is to hit any kind of combination on the paytable in order to win. You’re not playing against other players, or the dealer or anything like that, just simply playing against the cards and random number generation.

Players will be presented with an all-too-familiar style of poker with five cards in front of them. After the wager is placed, the user will be dealt five cards. This is what the initial stage of the game is, with five cards. After this, players will get the chance to hold onto cards before swapping the ones that they don’t hold with new ones. If you decide to hold three cards out of the five, in the next stage, the machine will replace two of them. This only happens once, and players will win depending on what kind of card rankings and combination is left standing at the end of the second stage.

How to Win at Video Poker

Online video poker is actually pretty similar to other online casino games in that the randomness is truly random. When you play something like blackjack, you might be thinking that the cards can be counted and that once you’ve seen a card, you won’t see it again. But because it’s all done with RNG and calculations, the cards you’re seeing are from a fresh deck each time.

In this way, online video poker is random, just as every other online casino game, apart from something that is manually done like live dealer games. With online video poker, you’ll get 5 random cards, have to hold, or replace a number of cards, then you’ll get more cards to replace them that are also completely random. This makes it really difficult to give yourself an advantage over anyone else when you’re looking to win real money.

However, there are a few things that players can do in order to win a little more than they lose, and often, if luck is on their side, they can make some profit from online video poker. The house edge is quite low in the game, so if you literally play your cards right, good things can happen.

The Pay Tables and Hand Rankings

The most important thing that any player who is taking on video poker can understand is how the pay tables work and the order of hand rankings. Pay tables are perhaps one of the most vital things to look at when you decide to play. These will tell you how much you can win for specific hands, and more importantly, how much each hand is worth based on the amount of coins you’re playing.

The most impressive hand in video poker is a royal flush, just like it is in any other poker game. The full order of hand rankings is as follows:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • 4 of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • 3 of a Kind
  • Two Pair
  • One Pair

Bankroll Management

Managing your bankroll is another important aspect to playing any online casino game, not just online video poker. Having a bankroll that you can effectively use and manage while playing online can take you further and further into the game. It’ll allow you to know and understand how much you can still play without putting yourself in trouble.

Say for example that you’ve decided you’re going to be playing a particular video poker game. You want to play the maximum coins and you want to spend $200. You know exactly how many turns you have to play and could have a fair estimate of how long you’re planning to play too. It’s straightforward mathematics.

Sign up to a Player’s Club

One of the most interesting aspects to online casinos is signing up to the club that exists within that casino. Think about it, the online casino wants players to come back time and time again, doing so, will rack up reward points for players. It’s a win-win scenario if a player is planning to spend that money anyway.

Being part of a player’s club will net any player free reward money, additional promotions, bonuses and much more. Some online casinos will even offer free gifts ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. There’s literally nothing to lose if you plan to gamble anyway.

Play the Max

We always recommend to players that they try to play the maximum amount of coins as often as they can. The reason for this is because the more you play, the more you’ll win. As obvious as that might sound, the more you spend in a particular game, the more you’ll earn if you happen to land a good hand.

By comparison, if a player puts one coin in and gets a royal flush, they’ll win a large amount, but would be more than double if they played 2 coins. 5 Coins as a wager will give players as much as 20x the win with a single coin. That’s impressive!

Understanding Odds

It’s really important that as a player, you understand the odds of getting certain hands. This will help you to realize how unlikely it is that you’re going to hit it big, but it will help you in understand how to choose the right kind of cards to hold. The chances of getting two pair is greater than the chances of getting three of a kind. So if a player has two Kings and a Queen, it makes more sense to hold onto the Kings and the Queen because it’s 21:1 you’ll get two pairs, but 47:1 that you’ll get Three of a Kind.

These odds are never static though, and they’re always changing. Consider yourself incredibly lucky to get four of a kind or anything more, as those odds start going into the thousands. Grabbing a pair of J, Q, K or A at any time during the game though, is just 7.69 to 1, so it’s not outlandish to think you’ll win often!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the best way to win real money playing video poker?

    Understanding the game that you’re playing is by far one of the easiest ways to win a bunch of real money playing video poker. 

  • Does video poker have good odds?

    Video poker has exceptionally good odds, more so than most other casino and online casino games. The house edge for most video poker games is as little as 0.5%, meaning that for every $100 that is paid into the machine, on average, $99.50 comes out. So if you’re lucky, play your best game, and use strategy, you could end up making money or at worst, losing a fraction.

  • Is it possible to play online for free?

    A lot of online casinos do offer video poker, but fewer online casinos offer video poker for free. Thankfully, we’ve put together a list of some of the best online casinos around that offer video poker where players will get to play the game for free, no strings attached. You will likely just have to register an account at the casino and then you’ll be good to go!

  • Which video poker game is the best to play?

    This is purely down to preference as most people will enjoy different aspects of the different kinds of video poker. The most popular games are video poker titles like Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild or Bonus Poker. They’ll play in exactly the same way, except they’ll have different pay tables, some will have bonuses and other games will feature a single card as a wild that can act as any other value card.

  • How can I study and understand the hand rankings?

    The hand rankings in video poker and online video poker are exactly the same as they are in regular poker. Whether you’re playing Texas Hold’em or Five Card Draw, the hands are the same. Royal Flush is always the best hand to get no matter what poker you’re playing, and video poker is the same. The only difference is that if you get any pair less than Jacks, in most scenarios, you won’t qualify for a payout in video poker.

  • Is it possible to cheat at video poker?

    Anything in this world is possible but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to cheat at video poker. Even if you can, the chances are almost zero that you will be able to get away with it. Video poker in both land-based and online casinos is played electronically with random number generation. That means that there’s no traditional things that you can do cheat the system. Anyone interested in doing so would need to hack the software or something similar.