Video poker is a very popular way for gamblers to play online poker. It’s basically just a digital version of the classic poker formula. In some video poker games, players play directly against other players. However, in other games players compete only against computers.
Some people believe that video poker is the same thing as a slot machine. This could not be farther from the truth. Both games have a video element, but the actual games are completely different.
Video poker is a great game for the player. Consequently, it doesn’t really favor the house. Video poker actually gives close to the highest return-to-player (RTP) percentage in the entire gambling market. RTP is the average amount a player can expect to get back from their wagers out of a set number of plays. Some video poker games give players a 99.5% RTP percentage.
Video Poker Online Casinos
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How to Play Video Poker Online
It’s easy to get started playing video poker online. Follow these steps and you’ll be at the table in no time!
Step 1: Choose a Video Poker Online Casino
First, you have to pick an online casino to play at. Only a few US states offer legal and licensed online casinos. Laws vary for each state. The largest legal online gambling markets in the US are found in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
We have reviews on every licensed online casino in NJ and PA. These casinos are reputable. We have confirmed that each on is licensed. Licenses are issued by the New Jersey Division and Gaming Enforcement and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Keep these points in mind when researching online casinos:
- Reputation: Look into casino ownership and research the casino’s reputation. Many online casinos are backed by major casino names. These will likely be the most reputable.
- Game Choices: Check out the variety of games the casino offers. Some online casinos offer a few different types of video poker.
- Casino Bonuses: Online casinos offer bonuses to their players. These incentives draw new players and keep regulars coming back. They can give free cash or cash back.
- Website Interface: The internet of today is a lot different than it was 20 years ago. All licensed online casinos will have excellent and intuitive websites. Check out a few to find the one you like best.
- Customer Support: Reputable casinos offer attentive support. Most will have support available on a 24/7 basis.
- Deposit & Withdrawal Methods: Most licensed online casinos give gamblers tons of payment options. The majority will accept all credit and debit cards, bank transfers, Paypal, Skrill, and more.
Step 2: Create a New Account
Next, after you choose a casino, you need to make an account. This is always very easy to do. Online casinos don’t want players leaving because it’s too hard to sign up.
Licensed online casinos will ask for basic personal info. Usually, this include you full name, email address, phone number, and social security number. Additionally, you’ll need to create a username and password.
Social security numbers are required for identity verification. Occasionally, only the last four digits are required. This helps protect you and the casinos.
Step 3: Start Playing Free Video Poker Games
Finally, once your account is created, you can start playing video poker. Most online casinos offer free video poker. You can play with fake chips just to experience the game and have some fun.
This is a great way for beginners to learn the game of poker. Experienced players can use this to get warmed up or try out new game versions. Overall, it’s a great way to experience online video poker without the risk.
Step 4: Make a Deposit & Play for Real Money
First of all, you should know that this is optional. You can keep playing free video poker if you want. However, some players want to play for real money. To do this, you’ll need to deposit some cash.
These are some of the common deposit methods at licensed PA and NJ online casinos:
- Credit / Debit Cards: Visa and Mastercard are accepted pretty much everywhere. American Express and Discover are accepted too but not as widely.
- ACH / Bank Transfer: This method lets you deposit into your casino account right from your bank account.
- E-Wallet: These include services like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. They are safe and easy to use.
- PayNearMe: This method lets you deposit actual cash. However, you need to go to a 7-Eleven convenience store to do it.
Video Poker Games Available Online
Check out the list below to see a few available online video poker games.
Free Online Video Poker Games
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Best Video Poker Games for Real Money
Unlike some other online casino games, there are some “best” options for video poker.
Jacks or Better is a popular video poker game. It’s player-friendly with a 99.54% RTP percentage and low volatility.
Double Double Bonus Poker is also great for real money play. It’s made by Game King. It offers a 99.51% RTP percentage. Occasionally, it also gives bonus payouts.
Additionally, Bonus Poker is a great video poker version. This game is a bit more volatile, but it still gives players a 99.17% RTP percentage.
Typical Video Poker Payouts
Pay tables for online poker vary by game type and casino. Ultimately, it comes down to the specific game you’re playing.
The volatility and risk inherent in a video poker game can influence the paytable. For example, Jacks or Better has some of the lowest volatility in all of video poker.
Consequently, the game has a basic paytable. There are no bonus payouts. Check out the paytable below.
Usually, video poker games that are more volatile will offer higher payouts. Bonus Poker is a great one to compare with Jacks or Better since it’s a bit more risky.
Check out the Bonus Poker paytable below.
Progressive video poker jackpots are out there, but they don’t exist in PA or NJ. A player can’t win more than 4,000 coins on any single video poker hand. This would be done via a royal flush.
Video Poker App Choices
Online video poker games work on all mobile devices. Players can access them via mobile web browsers. Online casino websites are designed for mobile use so they will work seamlessly. Everything will respond to the device screen for a smooth experience.
In Pennsylvania, all the major online casinos offer mobile apps. Here’s what you can expect from the top 3 online casinos in PA:
- Hollywood Casino & Unibet: Both of these major online casinos have Android and Apple apps available for download.
- PlaySugarHouse: This online casino has an Android app available. Apple users can download an app too, but they will also need the GeoGuard locations verification app.
Video Poker Bonuses
Players can use casino bonuses when playing video poker online. Every new player will receive a welcome bonus when they make a new casino account. Usually, these bonuses give a small amount of free cash for wagering. This is called a no deposit bonus.
Additionally, the no deposit bonus is a common welcome bonus. This bonus gives players matched funds on their first deposit up to a set amount.
We’ll break down each type of bonus in greater detail below.
Video Poker No Deposit Bonus
This bonus is simple and easy for new players to activate. Usually, when you make a brand new casino account, you automatically qualify. Occasionally, you’ll need to use a specific promo code to get the bonus cash.
A no deposit bonus is great because it gives you free cash! You can use that cash to place a few bets without risking your own money. However, there are drawbacks too.
You won’t be able to withdraw the bonus cash or bonus winnings until you satisfy a specific wagering requirement. This requirement tells you how much must be wagered before the bonus us cleared. You can find all the bonus rules in the terms and conditions for the offer.
Here is an example of how a no deposit bonus works:
- You get $20 in free cash for making a new account.
- The wagering requirement is 10x.
- You must wager at least $20 x 10 to clear the bonus.
- That means you need to wager at least $200 before you can withdraw any bonus winnings.
Video Poker Deposit Match Bonus
This bonus is only available if you make a deposit of your own money. It will match a portion of what you deposit up to certain amount. This bonus also has terms and conditions. Be sure to read these thoroughly. Once you satisfy wagering requirements, you can withdraw the bonus cash and bonus winnings.
Here’s how a typical deposit match bonus works:
- The casino offers a 100% deposit match up to $500.
- You deposit $1000 in your account.
- You end up with $1500 in total funds.
- The wagering requirement is 5x.
- You need to wager 5 x $500 in order to withdraw.
- You’ll have to wager at least $2500 before you can withdraw any bonus funds.
Video Poker Comp Points
Usually, online casinos offer loyalty programs. Similar to the comp programs of land-based casinos, these can give players some great perks. Occasionally, players will even get free cash. You can maximize your rewards by playing at an online casino and it’s land-based partner.
In Pennsylvania, the online PlaySugarHouse casino has a great loyalty program. You can both earn and use these points at the land-based Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Both PlaySugarHouse and Rivers Casino are under the same ownership.
Video Poker Bonus Promo Codes
Occasionally, you will need a promo code to activate an online casino bonus. We have a long list of great bonus codes on our site. Be sure to check this list and use the codes during signup to get the best welcome offers.
For deposit match bonuses, you will need to enter the code during the deposit process. There will be a clear place where you can do this.
How to Win at Video Poker
Overall, it’s impossible to guarantee wins at any casino games. However, players can maximize their odds of winning by using a bit of strategy. If you keep a few tips in mind, you’ll give yourself the best chances of success.
Play Video Poker Games with High RTP
Ultimately, video poker games with high RTP pay out more money to players in the long run. The more you play these games, the more you are likely to earn. However, a high RTP does not guarantee success. You can still lose money on these games. A high RTP simply means you have the best chances to earn a profit over time.
These are the top paying versions of video poker online:
- Jacks or Better: 99.54% RTP
- Double Double Bonus Poker: 99.51% RTP
- Bonus Poker: 99.17% RTP
Always Bet Five Coins in Video Poker Games
Overall, players must wager all five of their coins per hand to unlock the highest payouts. If you bet five coins, you set yourself up for the maximum royal flush payout. That’s the game’s highest payout.
For example, this is how much you’ll win with a royal flush based on the number of coins bet:
- One-credit bet = 250 coins
- Two-credit bet = 500 coins
- Three-credit bet = 750 coins
- Four-credit bet = 1,000 coins
- Five-credit bet = 4,000 coins
Use a Video Poker Trainer or Strategy Chart
Certainly, there is strategy involved in video poker. Experienced players already know the right moves to make in specific situations. However, for new players it can be tough to figure this out. Consequently, video poker trainers and strategy charts are now widespread.
Keep in mind that every version of video poker will have slightly different strategy. You can find strategies for every video poker type online.
These are the best tools for video poker strategy:
- Video Poker Strategy Chart: These charts show you the value of individual hands and the odds associated with each for specific situations.
- Video Poker Trainer: These work kind of a like free video poker games. It’s basically a way to play video poker that allows you to go back and fix mistakes as you play.
If you practice regularly using these video poker tools, you can greatly increase your chances of winning.
Use Free Video Poker to Practice
Once you make an account at an online casino, you can play free video poker. Free video poker is just like the real money version. However, since there is no real money, the free version has no risk. Consequently, it’s a great way to practice your video poker skills and strategies.
Video Poker History
Some people confuse video poker and slot machines. The reason for this lies in the origins of video poker itself.
When video poker first appeared in the 1970s, it took the basic form of a slot machine. The game was housed in a cabinet with a control panel and video screen. It was a primitive version of today’s video poker games.
The earliest video poker games used old-school CRT televisions. The picture quality wasn’t great by today’s standards, but at the time it was excellent. Below the screen was a basic control panel with simple buttons to control the game.
The game became popular by the end of the 1970s. By 1980, game developer IGT had installed Draw Poker video poker machines across Las Vegas and Atlantic City. This helped push the game into the public eye. Shortly after, IGT release Jacks or Better. This version is still popular today in online video poker.
Ultimately, as the decades passed, video poker stayed mostly the same. However, the technology did change. Soon, the cabinets got a bit smaller. They ditched the clunky CRT televisions for slim touchscreen panels. Touchscreens revolutionized video poker machines because the screen also became the control panel.
Video Poker Terminal Game King
Today, Game King is one of the world’s most popular video poker terminals. It’s also made by IGT. This terminal was the ultimate digital casino gaming technology for a long time. It’s still found in land-based casinos around the world. Crucially, this video poker terminal included multiple game versions in a single machine.
Presently, this style of video poker terminal has taken over. You’d be hard pressed to find a modern video poker terminal that doesn’t have a few games in one machine. Some of today’s most popular video poker games include Deuces Wild, Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus, and Ultimate X.
Even today, there is a lot of variation among video poker games. Not all video poker games offer the same house advantage or RTP. Check the game’s payables for more info.
Video Poker Revenue in the USA
Certainly, video poker is a popular casino game. However, it’s unclear how much revenue this game actually brings to casinos.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board is a great source for gaming statistics and historical data. Unfortunately, the organization doesn’t specifically report on video poker stats. It’s grouped together with slot machine revenue.
However, outside of Nevada, it’s easier to judge the success of video poker terminals. Certainly, it’s a big draw in states that don’t allow traditional casinos. You can find video poker terminals across the USA in racinos, bars, and cardrooms.
Some US states do report on specific video poker revenues. They include Illinois and Louisiana. Louisiana reported approximately $600 million in video poker revenue in 2013. This accounted for about 20 percent of the state’s daily revenue from gambling.
Illinois reported about $300 million in video poker revenue in the same year. The state’s total gambling revenue for that year was approximately $1.5 billion.
The Value of This Game is Disputed
You might be surprised to know that in Nevada, video poker machines can be found outside casinos. In fact, these machines can be found across the state in gas stations, grocery stores, and convenience stores. All of these machines see regular use.
However, despite this, the value of these games is disputed. That’s because video poker generally gives the player a bit of an edge. Specifically, video poker has a very low house advantage and high RTP. Consequently, these video poker machines attract serious players who know how to maximize their winnings.
It’s theoretically possible for a serious video poker player to get a 99% payback rate from a machine. This can be done using special promotions and loyalty program points. It also takes a bit of know-how. Consequently, casino directors are not convinced that video poker really has a benefit for the casino.
Professional Video Poker
It’s true that professional video poker players exist. These players are seeking to maximize their winnings at every chance. Consequently, they will wait for the right moment to play.
For example, a pro video poker player will look for a high payback machine. They will also accumulate promotional offers over time which they use to maximize their earnings. In combination with a casino loyalty program, these players can earn money at a positive rate from video poker.
Let’s take a look at a hypothetical way that this might play out.
Say that a casino has a video poker game with a 99.96% RTP. It’s generally not given any attention by management. Well, let’s say that the casino is offering a free car as a prize. In order to enter the drawing, you just need to play in the casino. Additionally, because that video poker machine isn’t acknowledged, casino management forgot to remove it from this promo.
It’s possible that casino management also forgot to remove that machine from the casino’s 1% cash back offer for slot club members. With that program, players can also earn free rooms and food with enough plays.
With all these advantages combined, it becomes clear how an expert player can actually gain value from playing video poker. In this example, the player gets entries in the car drawing, slot club cashback, slot club comp offers, and the machine’s payouts.
It’s safe to say that video poker isn’t going anywhere. Specifically, the introduction of online video poker has made the game explode in popularity. New video poker games are released regularly. Some of the latest video poker releases include Super Triple Pay Jackpots, Powerhouse Poker, and Triple Wheel Poker.
At last year’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, there were plenty of new video poker games on display.
Magic Deal Poker
This new version of video poker is a 10 coin per line game. The key to this version is the “magic” card that appears every few hands. Occasionally, two or three of these can appear per hand. The magic card is basically a wild. Once the hand completes, the machine assigns a value to the magic card or cards. The values will be whatever gives the player the best hand.
Ultimate X Spin Poker
This new video poker game gives players multipliers to score big wins. It has a more expensive buy-in that most at 90 coins.
This game is really about the multipliers. A low-value hand can easily become quite valuable with the right multiplier.
This type of game seems exciting, but in reality it comes with extra risk. Inexperienced players can easily end up deep in the hole after just one hand.
Bonus Streak Ultimate X
This game has a lower 10 coin buy-in. Additionally, it has some multipliers too. However, in this game the multipliers can carry over across a few hands. This game has its own unique strategy and it can be hard to play successfully. However, it you get lucky and win a hand on a multiplier, you can earn a big payout.
Flip and Pay Poker
This is another game with mystery cards or magic cards. It’s made by IGT. The buy-in is 10 coins. The name comes from the way cards are played. One card will flip to another card of the same suit, either one higher or one lower, to improve the player’s hand.