Video poker is essentially the merging of two very popular online casino games, poker and slots. A popular casino game ever since the 1970’s, video poker has continued to pull in the punters to the online casinos. Video poker is a mix of the classic card game and slots, creating one of the best loved casino games.

Video poker gives players the best odds of any online casino game. But in order to take advantage of these odds, you do need to possess a certain amount of skill and knowledge. That’s where we come in. Read our ultimate guide to find out all you need to know to play and win. Discover the different types of games, the rules and top tips for a fool proof strategy.

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Popular Games

There are multiple types of the game, all with the same basic rules but with a few tweaks. Some games are played one hand at a time, while others are multi-play, with three to 100 hands. Here’s a look at the most popular games:

Jacks or Better

Easily the most popular game is Jack or Better. It’s the most basic variant, and is perfect for the poker novice to get to grips with the game and card combinations.

Deuces Wild

In this variant, deuces or twos act as wild cards which can be substituted for any card in the deck. Deuces Wild gives players a greater winning chance and so the payout rates are adjusted to suit.

Aces and Eights

This game plays like Jacks or Better, but has a higher payouts on four of a kind for Aces, Eights, and Sevens.

Double Bonus Poker

Again, based on Jack or Better but with a substantial bonus payout on 4 of a kind of Aces, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and Kings.

Joker Poker

In this variation you have 53 cards instead of the standard 52, the additional card being the Joker. The Joker acts as a wild card to replace any other card in order to make a winning hand.


Video Poker Odds

One of the attractions of video poker is that it is one of the few games where it is possible to bring the house edge down so much that the odds can be brought in favor of the player. Video poker is a game of skill, and therefore the challenge is to become good enough in the game to change the odds in your favor.
Assuming long term, optimal play, the odds of video poker in some of the variants are as follows:

Jacks or Better – 99.54%, Deuces Wild – 100.75%, Double Joker Poker – 99.96%, Deuces and Joker Wild – 99%, Double Bonus Poker – 100.17%.

The odds in video poker are first determined by the number of cards that are in the deck (ranging from 52 to 57, depending on the variant being played). The odds are then determined by the cards dealt to the player and the cards that the player decides to hold on to. This shows the blend between elements of chance and skill in video poker.

Expert video poker players will recommend learning the basic winning strategy of video poker machines in order to maximize the chance of winning. Strategy charts are available online to teach players the way to improve their odds on popular forms of the game. It is possible to tweak the basic strategy of one variant of video poker to suit another form, thus improving the odds on a wide range of games typically found at online casino sites listed in Ireland.

game rules
Video Poker Game Rules

The objective of video poker is to achieve the best possible poker hand, based on the cards dealt. It has an element of skill in that players have the opportunity to improve the cards they are originally dealt by swapping them for others.

The first move in video poker is to choose which variant to play and to add coins into the machine. Once players choose the number of coins they wish to play, they press ‘deal’ and five cards are dealt to them. Players need to decide which cards they wish to keep back (hold) to create their ideal poker hand, and which they wish to discard. Cards not chosen are replaced once the ‘deal’ button has been pressed again. This will result in a final hand being dealt, and winning combinations are paid out according to a predetermined pay table and the variant of video poker being played.

The majority of video poker games are played with a deck of 52 cards. Game rules are generally the same across all variants, with some differences.
In Jacks or Better for example, at least one pair of Jacks is required in order to start winning. In Deuces Wild video poker, the number 2 (deuce) is the wild card and stands in for others in order to form a winning hand. In Jokers Wild, in comparison, the Joker is the wild card and players require a rank of two-pair in order to form a winning combination.

Ten Play Power Poker sees players dealt 10 hands instead of the usual one, which makes for very fast and exciting video poker action.
In progressive video poker, a separate jackpot exists which continues to grow until one lucky player hits the big prize and takes it home. When the jackpot is won, it is reseeded and starts growing again.

button information
Video Poker Game Buttons Information

Video poker is a very simple game to play and the machine has very few buttons. Players will nevertheless want to familiarize themselves with them so that they can understand how the video poker machine works.

These are some of the buttons one may find on a typical video poker machine:

Bet One: By pressing this button, players wager one coin at a time for up to five coins.
Bet Max: One click of this button sees the maximum number of coins (five) wagered.
Bet: The player clicks on chips to wager on the game, before deciding how many coins to wager (1 – 5).
Draw Deal: After the bet is placed, cards are dealt. This button is also pressed after the player has already been dealt cards and has decided which cards to hold on to.
Hold: Players click on the cards they are interested in hanging on to in order to ‘hold’ them.
Cash Out: This button is clicked when players want to end their gaming session and cash out their winnings.

Online Video Poker Glossary

Aces and Eights: A form of video poker where landing 4 Aces and 4 ‘7s’ earns the player an extra payout.
Aces and Faces: A form of video poker where landing 4 Ace cards of the same rank earns the player an extra payout.
All American: A form of video poker where landing a Straight Flush sees good payouts.
Bet Max: The maximum bet that can be placed on the video poker machine.
Bonus Deuces Wild Video Poker: A form of video poker where deuces (2’s) act as wild cards.
Cash Out: Players request to have their credits moved into their account.
Complete Hand: A winning video poker hand where all cards are used in a combination.
Deuces: Cards to the value of 2.
Deuces Deluxe Video Poker: A form of video poker where extra payouts are awarded for combinations such as four deuces, royal flush with a deuce and others.
Deuces Wild Video Poker: A form of video poker where deuces act as wild cards.
Full Pay: The ultimate payout on a specific game.
High Card: Cards which are Jack, Queen, King or Ace.
Jacks or Better: A classic form of video poker.
Kings or Better: Two Kings are the minimum required to form a winning hand.
Max Bet: The maximum number of coins wagered per spin.
Multi Play: Multiple hands of video poker are played at once.
Odds: The chances of winning in a game of video poker.
Payout Schedule: A predetermined table which shows which prizes are paid for winning hands.
Progressive Jackpot: A side jackpot that is added to when certain games of video poker are played, and which grows (progresses) until it is hit.
Quads: Four cards of a kind.
Rank: The value of a card.
Royal Flush: A video poker hand which consists of a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace.
Straight: Five cards in sequence but not of the same suit.
Straight Flush: Five cards in sequence and of the same suit.
Three of a Kind: A video poker hand which consists of three cards of the same denomination.
Tens or Better: A form of video poker where at least a pair of tens are required to start winning.
Two Pairs: A video poker hand which consists of two pairs.
Wild Card: A card that substitutes for others in the pack to help form winning combinations.
Wild Royal: A wild card that is used to form a Royal Flush.

real money account
Playing Online Video Poker for Real Money

At online casino sites recommended by Ireland, it is possible to play video poker for free or for real money, in both download form or instantly off the browser using Flash technology. In all cases, it is required to register for an account. When players want to play video poker for real money, whether download or Flash video poker, they need to fund their account. The process is very simple and requires just a few minutes to complete.

The steps are as follows:

    • Click the button “Play for Real Money”.
    • Click the button “Create an Account”.
    • Take a few minutes to fill in the required fields.
    • Read the Terms and Agreements of opening an account and agree to them.
    • Click the button “create”.You have now created a real money account to play video poker.

How to play like a professional

Video poker is much more than a game of chance. While it does have the some of the best odds for online casino games, you have to put in the work in order to have the edge against the house.

As with any game, if you want to play like a pro, you’ll need to get to grips with the game rules. It’s wise to choose and stick to one or two game types until you feel comfortable with the card combinations, there are many to learn!

The best thing about playing online, is that you are playing alone and can take your time. Playing a slower game, means less mistakes are made. For the same reason, take breaks in your game play to ensure you stay sharp.

Video Poker Strategies

Each game will have different winning combinations and so will have slightly different strategies. A video poker strategy basically consists of memorizing the combinations and knowing what to do when you see certain cards in your hand.

Whichever game you opt for, do a little research online to find a strategy chart. This will detail the card combinations and whether you should hold or discard. For example, if you’re playing Jacks or Better and have only one high card, hold it and draw four new cards, or if you have a pair of 10’s, hold them and draw 3 new.

The more you play, the easier it will be to recognize the cards and know what action to take. The best way to learn the strategies is to play the free games available at many online casinos. It also makes sense to know how to play before you start putting down any real-money.

Money Management

Before you begin playing you’ll need to build up a bankroll, and the general rule with poker is the smaller the bankroll the higher the risk or ruin, where one bad streak could clean you out. You want to play for as long as possible, so have the cash behind you and choose games which accept low bets, which will allow you to bet the maximum credits without the risk of going bust.

Maximize your bankroll by making use of the online casino deposit bonus. It’s basically free money to play with, and any winnings can be a nice boost to your bankroll from the very beginning.

Also set yourself wagering limits, either daily, weekly or monthly and stick to them. Don’t be tempted to chase losses with bigger bets.


Taking Jacks or Better as an example, the payout percentage on a perfect play is approximately 99.54%, meaning that the house edge is just 0.46%. Of course, perfection is hard to obtain, but even as a beginner using a basic strategy, the payout is still an impressive 99.52%.

Most online casinos offer a Jacks or Better with a 9/6 ‘full pay’ table. This means that if you were to get a Full House you’ll be paid 9 to 1, and 6 to 1 on a Flush.

Buttons information

While each online casino and game variation will look a little different, the games tend to have the same on-screen buttons to enable play. Here’s what you can expect when you enter a game:

Bet One

This increases your bet, you can wager between 1 and 5 coins per hand.


Click to receive your first 5 cards, and then again when you wish to receive new cards.


Under each card you’ll usually see a ‘hold’ button, click to keep the card.

Bet Max

This will automatically bet the maximum 5 coins. If you want to receive the best payout on a Royal Flush then you’ll need to bet the maximum.

Video Poker Free bets

One huge benefit of online casinos over the bricks and mortar casinos, is the fact that you can play your favorite video poker games for free online. A quick search online and you’ll find a host of online casinos offering free games with no deposit necessary.

Many online casinos will also offer video poker tournaments for regular players or VIP members. The tournaments often give you free play bonuses, plus you get to keep the winnings.

Interesting Facts

Unlike many other casino games which originated in France, the birthplace of the traditional card game was in New Orleans, in the American south and was originally played with just 20 cards. Four players were dealt five cards and it was a simple matter of who had the best hand.

The very first electronic video poker machines were introduced in the 70’s and were known as ‘poker slots’. The bulky, primitive machines weren’t very popular in the beginning, but in 1979, Draw Poker was introduced. The game provided more winning hands and so popularity soared, making it a staple for the casino houses.

The idea behind the machines was to create a poker game for those players who didn’t enjoy the pressure of the tables. The machine allows players to play alone, and against the casino rather than other players.

A standard 52 card deck consists of 2,598,960 possible five card hands, and the odds of being dealt a Royal Flush is about 1 in 649740.

The poker term “Dead Man’s Hand” is a hand consisting of two pairs, of Aces and Eights. It’s the hand that was supposedly held by the notorious American gunslinger, James Butler Hickok, also known as “Wild Bill”, when he was shot in the head during a poker game.


Popular Videopoker Games
2 Ways RoyalAces And FacesAll AmericanDeuces WildMegajacks