Ultimate Video Poker Guide

Whether you are curious about trying video poker for the first time, or you want some tips to improve your game, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll talk you through the basics of the game and give you some tips to improve your strategy. If we liked to gamble, we’d say that you’ll soon be adding video poker to your list of online casino favorites!

Since the 1970s the game has grown in popularity in land-based casinos and has become a regular feature of online casinos, too.  While some may have been put off by the thought of playing poker at a machine, they were quickly won over by the advantages of anonymity when playing, the low house edge, and the element of skill involved.

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How to Play

Although there are several varieties of video poker, which we’ll explain below, they are almost always played with a 52 card deck, with some games including jokers. You make your wager at the start, then press the deal button. Players then receive 5 random cards from the deck.

Now you form your hand; you can discard cards and keep others. You are aiming to achieve a valuable poker hand. If you don’t know your poker hands, it would be worth doing a little research to familiarize yourself. Press draw and you will be dealt random cards to replace those that have been discarded. Depending on the value of your hand, and the paytable, and how much you wagered, you will receive the appropriate payout. 

The fact that each version of video poker has a paytable means that you can go in search of the best video poker machines. We recommend practising using free video poker games first, then moving on to real money once you have grasped the concept and have a strategy in place.

Varieties

Most video poker games are based on five-card draw poker, but there are different versions of the game. Here are a few of the most popular forms:

Free Ultimate Video Poker

Some versions of Ultimate Video poker are free to play and enjoy. What better way to have a chance at practising and honing your skills before parting with your hard-earned cash. We suggest checking out as many free options as possible while learning the best method for you. 

Jacks or Better

 If you have played video poker before, you will most likely have been playing Jacks or Better, as it’s a popular and common form of video poker. The aim of the game, as the title gives away, is to make a five-card hand that contains a pair of jacks or better.

Jacks or better is the starting point, and then the value of your hand moves up as usual to two pairs, three of a kind, and so on up to a royal flush.

Deuces Wild

In this variation of the game, all number 2 cards are wild, which means they can be used to replace any other card in the deck to complete your hand. With the exception of the jacks or better hand, the remaining winning hands are the same.

Double Bonus

This game works on the same premise as Jacks or Better, where that is the starting hand for winning and still holds the lowest value. However, in this game, you receive one payout for four of a kind when they are from 5 to the king, and a higher return for four of a kind that is 2, 3 or 4. You get double that amount for four aces.

Jokers Wild

This game is similar to Deuces Wild. In this version, the jokers are included in the deck when  you draw a joker, it can be used as a wild card, replacing any other card from the deck to make your hand.

Ultimate X Video Poker

In standard video poker, you are offered the choice to bet 1 to 5 coins on each hand. There is an option to double your maximum bet and wager 10 coins in Ultimate X Video Poker. When you activate this feature, you are given a multiplier based on your final winning hand. The multiplier is applied to your payout for your next hand.

Ultimate Video Poker Tips

As mentioned, finding a machine with a good pay table is essential. Once you know how much you stand to win, you can work on your strategy.

If you want to play for the top jackpot, which is the bonus that comes from getting a royal flush, you need to bet 5 coins per hand. Start with free video poker, and then increase your bets as you feel comfortable.

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Take advantage of the fact that you don’t have an opponent. Slow down and take your time over deciding which cards to hold and which to discard. The general rule for success is: don’t hang on to a kicker and don’t give up a winning hand in the hopes of getting an even bigger hand.