How to Play Online Video Poker

★ Quickfire poker action without the bluffing

★ Some games have a positive RTP

★ Dozens of variants to try

Video Poker looks both easy and difficult at the same time. Indeed, it is easy to play, but it’s hard to master

Here we will explain the rules and gameplay and show you the best crypto casinos to play video poker at

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What is video poker?

Video Poker is one of the oldest gambling style games to be played on a machine. Essentially, you need to make the best five-card poker hand that you can, and you are paid out depending on the strength of your hand.

It’s played like a slot game, with animations happening on screen. Unlike other types of poker, there’s no bluffing and no long games. Each round takes only seconds.

You need to know the poker hand rankings to get started. Remember, a royal flush is the best, with a high card the lowest-ranked hand.

Play video poker

Hand Rankings

Royal flush10h-Jh-Qh-Kh-Ah
Straight flush4c-5c-6c-7c-8c
Full house5c-5s-5h-Jh-Jd
Two pairQd-Qc-5c-5s-2d
High cardKc-10h-7d-3c-2s

Online video poker rules

Jacks or Better is the most famous and popular game. This gives you a payout for every hand you make with a pair of jacks or better.

Here are the rules for Jacks or Better, but every video poker game is similar to the below: 

1. Choose your stake

Enter your stake. Always bet with what you are comfortable losing, but with this game, it’s always best to bet five coins, i.e. the max bet per hand (not necessarily stake). This gives you bigger payouts for big hands and keeps the house edge low. 

2. First deal

After bets are placed, you’ll receive five random playing cards. Luck is key here. You can be dealt a bad hand, a great hand, or an in-between hand. 

3. Hold or discard

Assess your hand. Here you have the choice to get rid of your cards and replace them with new ones. You can choose to change just one card or discard all of them.

There are numerous cheat cards you can find online that tell you the best strategy to use, when to keep cards, and when to discard. 

In simple terms, unless you have a ‘premium’ hand straight away, you always want to try and improve your hand into something better. This means getting rid of low-value cards that aren’t pairs. Remember, you need at least a pair of jacks to get paid. 

4. Second deal

Unless you keep all your cards, the cards you have selected to be discarded are replaced with new ones. This completes your hand – there are no further swaps. 

5. Payout

Next, your hand is compared to the paytable. You receive your winnings based on that. For Jacks or Better and most other video poker games, you need at least a pair of jacks for a payout. 

The exception is 10s or Better, in which you need at least a pair of 10s, but it’s less common to find that.


Video Poker is an anomaly among casino games as it’s possible to find games with an edge in your favour. That is, if you play perfect strategy every hand, you can beat the casino.

The aim of video poker is to create the best hand possible, but you aren’t going to hit big hands every time, and there’s more value to be had in taking lower-ranked hands to guarantee small wins.

Here are a few beginner’s tips:

Forget the kicker

In regular poker, a kicker can make the difference between winning and losing. The kicker has zero value in video poker, so never be tempted to hold on to a card as a kicker. 

Play 9/6 games

9/6 refers to the odds of getting a full house (9/1) and a flush (6/1). Full pay machines are hard to find online (and even harder offline), but they are essential in keeping the house edge down. 

Playing at 8/5 or even 7/5 paytable gives the advantage back to the casino. Paytables will always be displayed clearly, so you can check before you start playing.

One high card

If you have nothing but a high card (jack or better), discard all the other four cards.

One pair

Always keep the pair and draw three other cards to give yourself the best chance of making three of a kind or even better. 

A straight or better

If you get lucky and hit a straight or better, keep your cards and never discard them. You want to lock in the win.

The only exception would be playing a video poker game like Deuces Wild, where it’s possible to get five of a kind (the wild card becomes any card that can improve your hand). 

In this case, if you had four of a kind, you should draw one card in the hope of hitting the bonus. 

Playing video poker at crypto casinos

Video Poker is a smart choice for casino players, so naturally its popular with intelligent crypto holders.

Join the action in three steps:

  1. Choose a trusted Gambling Crypt casino and sign-up
  2. Deposit crypto like BTC or LTC instantly
  3. Play a range of top video poker games 
Video Poker Royal Flush

More casino game guides

Video Poker Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, if we are referring to RTP (return-to-player). While it’s possible to find a few 99% slots, most are between 94-98%. Some video poker versions have an RTP of over 100%. The problem is you need to play perfect strategy every hand and grind out small wins. Slots are far easier to play with no skill required.

No. Assuming you are playing at a legitimate, licensed casino, then video poker is not rigged. Honest games use a random number generator, like slots, to ensure completely random results. Video Poker games are provided by trusted game providers who would never compromise their reputation by creating fixed games.

Exceptionally disciplined players playing perfect strategy every hand can grind out profits playing at games with an RTP of over 100%. However, this requires intense concentration and time to make sure you play every hand perfectly.