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Video poker has only gotten more popular as one of the go-to gambling games in both physical and online casinos. Not only does video poker offer some of the best odds, but it can also be played solo and free from the psychological pressure you’d feel in a live poker game. Plus, the player’s skill can influence the game’s outcome though luck still plays a small role.

If you’re reading this, this means you don’t plan on just relying on luck to win video poker games. The good news is that we’ve put together a solid video poker strategy to guide you and raise your chances of winning. We’ll dive into different rules, odds, and other video poker tips.

Let’s get started!

Learn the Rules of Different Video Poker Variants

There are many video poker versions but they all share one thing- they’re based on five-card draw which uses the standard 52-card deck.

This also means that the poker hand rankings of the five-card draw also apply to video poker variation in some ways. Here are the poker hand rankings sorted from strongest to weakest:

  • Royal flush
  • Straight flush
  • Four-of-a-kind (quads)
  • Full house
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three-of-a-kind (trips)
  • Two pair
  • One pair
  • High card

Knowing video poker rules allows you to make smart choices about which cards to hold. A card that’s worthless in one game could be a game-changer in another, and each decision you make affects the outcome.

Here are the basic rules of popular video poker game variations.

Deuces Wild Poker Rules

Deuces Wild is quite different from other video poker games as deuces (2s) are your wild cards or jokers. That means you can swap out a deuce for any card you want to create a winning hand. This game-changer also devalues hands like one pair and two pairs, since you can now whip up hands like five-of-a-kind, straights, and royal flushes using deuces. In the Jokers Wild variant, jokers work just like deuces do.

Just keep in mind that the payouts are usually lower in Deuces Wild since it’s easier to snag a winning hand. To make up for it, you can still double up your winnings in bonus rounds.

Please read our post on how to play Deuces Wild to learn all of the game’s rules.

Bonus Poker Rules

Bonus Poker and Double Bonus Poker take their cues from Jacks or Better. But these video poker versions spice things up by offering additional payouts for four-of-a-kind, and the size of the bonus varies based on the rank of the cards. Plus, these games allow more winning poker hands, each getting its own unique bonus payout.

To learn more about the best hand and subtle differences between these video poker versions, please read our how to play Bonus Poker article and Double Bonus Poker guide.

Tens/Jacks or Better Rules

Jacks or Better video poker is a popular casino game because of its simplicity and good payout. As the name suggests, you only win and score a payout if your hand has at least a pair of Jacks. The best winning hand you can get is royal flush just like five-card draw poker. A poker hand consisting of a high card or pairs lower than Jacks won’t get you any payout.

The same logic applies to Tens or Better video poker game except that you need at least a pair of Tens to win.

Do read our full guide on how to play Jacks or Better and Tens or Better to learn more about the games.

Aces and Faces Rules

Aces and Faces video poker is another variant that’s pretty similar to the classic Jacks or Better game but with a twist. In Aces and Faces, you also need a pair of Jacks to win but you get higher payouts for four-of-a-kind hands made up of face cards (Kings, Queens, Jacks) or Aces.

Some versions have a Double or Gamble feature where you can double up your winnings by picking a higher card than the dealer’s.

To learn more about this variant, check out our guide on how to play Aces and Faces.

Memorize the Video Poker Odds

You know that moment when you’re playing video poker online and you’re like, “Man, that royal flush is so close, I can almost taste it”? But what are the odds of actually nailing it? Check out the video poker odds table below to see your real chances of getting that winning hand.

  • Royal flush (dealt hand): 1 in 650,000
  • Royal flush (created by the player): 1 in 40,000
  • Four Aces: 1 in 16,236
  • Straight flush: 1 in 9,150
  • 2s to 4s with a kicker: 1 in 6,984
  • Four Aces: 1 in 5,761
  • Four Deuces: 1 in 4,909
  • 2s to 4s: 1 in 2,601
  • Four-of-a-kind: 1 in 423
  • Full house: 1 in 90
  • Flush: 1 in 85
  • Straight: 1 in 80

Bet Small Initially

Start your video poker game session by betting the minimum amount of coins. This way, you won’t lose big as you’re warming up.

Once you’ve hit your stride and are in the zone, max bet to increase your potential winnings. If you land a royal flush, you’ll score a massive prize.

Stick to Your Pair

Don’t discard a low-scoring pair in video poker except for Joker or Deuces Wild. Keeping a scoring hand is always better than risking a loss by ditching a low pair to chase a potentially higher-scoring hand.

The only time that you can discard a pair is when you’re trying to get a big payout from a straight or a flush.

Learn to Settle

If a royal flush is within reach, go for broke and break up a straight or flush to get it. Otherwise, hold on to the hand you’ve got.

Slow Down and Know When to Stop

Don’t forget, games are set up to make money for online casinos. So, the longer you play video poker, the more you’re likely to lose.

But one cool thing about playing online is the freedom. Nobody’s rushing you, and there’s no clock ticking. You can take your sweet time deciding what cards to keep or ditch. You can even pause the game and take a break whenever you want.

Pacing yourself can cut your hourly losses, which in turn gives you more time to maybe hit that royal flush or rack up some decent winnings.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many video poker players just ignore this basic idea and then wonder why their online casino bankroll is gone in a flash.

Check the Game’s RTP

Think of Return To Player (RTP) as the chunk of money you spend on an online casino that eventually comes back to you as winnings. For example, a Jacks or Better video poker game with an RTP of 96% means the game pays out $96 for every $100 bet across the board.

Just keep in mind that you won’t necessarily get the RTP percentage back on every individual bet. But it’s still smart to pick a video poker game with a higher rate.

Take Advantage of Bonuses

Bonuses can look super tempting, but they’re not all the same. If you’re thinking about grabbing one, do your homework on the offer and its terms.

For instance, you can receive a 100% casino bonus when you make your first deposit on Bspin. This means that if you deposit 1 BTC, your total credit will be 2 BTC.

Not all online casinos can double your bankroll as some only offer free spins on certain games. So, read the bonus terms of your preferred online casino before depositing your crypto.

Be Wary of Progressive Jackpot Video Poker Games

A progressive jackpot keeps growing every time someone plays the game but doesn’t win the big prize. You can play video poker with a jackpot on both land-based and online casinos.

Some Jacks or Better video poker games boast killer progressive jackpots, but they might have poor pay tables. So, keep your eyes peeled and make sure you play video poker with a decent pay table. A game that you have no chance of beating is basically a money pit. Try the free games first and follow these video poker tips before you start betting real money on progressive jackpot games.

Avoid the Kicker

When playing video poker, don’t fall for the common mistake of hanging onto the kicker. Lots of card players wrongly believe that keeping a kicker raises the odds of winning money. That’s false so, ditch that idea!

Apply the Best Video Poker Strategy for Each Variant

The video poker strategy will vary a bit based on the variant you’re playing. Check out this video poker cheat sheet for different situations you might run into.

Deuces Wild Video Poker Strategy

  • Keep all four deuces if you get them
  • Keep your three deuces only if they can turn into a royal flush or five-of-a-kind (quints)
  • Keep any paying hands if you don’t have any deuces
  • Keep three cards that could form a royal flush.
  • Keep a pair if none of the above applies

Double Bonus Video Poker Strategy

  • Keep three cards that could make a flush
  • Keep four cards that are heading toward a flush
  • Keep any pair even if they’re low-scoring
  • Keep a single high card if you get one
  • Discard your cards if you don’t have any pairs

Tens / Jacks or Better Video Poker Strategy

  • Keep four cards if you’re one card away from a straight or a flush
  • Keep three cards that can form a royal flush
  • Keep any pair you get and draw three new cards
  • Keep three cards that can form a straight flush
  • Keep any Jacks or cards higher than a Jack if none of the above applies

Aces and Faces Video Poker Strategy

  • Max bet every time
  • Keep any pair regardless of its value
  • Discard any card if you’re very close to a royal flush
  • Keep four cards that could form a flush
  • Keep any winning hand unless you can get a royal flush

Playing video poker is a blast and win you some money if you play right. Expect some losses at first but you can mitigate that by practicing in free-play video poker games before betting real money. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be unstoppable.

Sure, luck plays a part but a solid video poker strategy will help you win most of the time. That means you have to think carefully, don’t let emotions get the best of you, and quit while you’re ahead.

Questions from Our Players and Readers

What is full pay video poker?

Full-pay refers to the variant of a video poker game that pays out the most. Any variant that pays out less is called “short-pay” or “low-pay.” Here at Bspin, we’ve got both full pay and short pay Bitcoin video poker games you can play.

What video poker game is best to play?

If you’re a beginner, you might want to start with Jacks or Better since it’s the most common variant. But as mentioned earlier, many players quickly move on to Deuces Wild because of the house edge. Ultimately, follow your personal taste and play different video poker games you like best. You might even prefer something completely different from these options.

What video poker has the best odds?

Deuces Wild has a low house edge if will apply our video poker strategy to the full-pay version. Just keep in mind that you might only see this advantage after playing a huge number of hands.

Is video poker beatable? / Can video poker be beaten?

There’s no fool-proof way to beat video poker games in every round. Luck or randomness is always a variable. That said, video poker does offer better odds and payouts compared to many other casino games. Stick to the video poker strategy we’ve outlined above and play methodically to beat the game.

Is video poker better than slots?

Whether video poker is better than slots depends on what you’re looking for in a game.

If you don’t know how to play video poker, slots are better since it’s easier to understand. Slots also often come with a wide variety of bonuses and potentially massive jackpots.

Online video poker can be better than slots because the former has better odds and a lower house edge compared to the latter. Additionally, you can influence the outcome with our video poker strategies.

Is video poker profitable?

Video poker has better payouts compared to other online casino games. You can know the expected return by looking at the game’s pay table. Some versions offer an RTP (Return to Player) of over 99%.

That said, you may still lose money if you play online video poker since there’s no such thing as 100% RTP.

Is video poker rigged?

In regulated and reputable casinos, like Bspin, games are not rigged. Regulated casinos operate machines that use Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure that each card dealt is statistically independent and unpredictable.

Regulatory agencies typically require rigorous testing of the RNGs and regular audits to ensure fair play. In our case, the government of Curaçao conducts random audits of every game on our platform.

However, it’s important to note that not all casinos are reputable or regulated. If you play video poker online at an unregulated casino or a location that doesn’t adhere to licensing requirements, there’s a higher risk that the games could be rigged against you.