Video poker

Video poker is a popular game type online as well as offline. Part of the appeal is of course that the player is allowed to make decisions during the game that actually impacts the end result. In this regard, video poker is more similar to games such as blackjack than 100% luck based games such as roulette and baccarat.

Pretty much all video poker games available online are based on five card poker and allow for once change of cards. The player freely decides how many cards to discard from the starter hand – from none to all five of them. All cards are dealt face-up, there are no hidden cards.

Video poker is played against the house, not against other players. Unlike games such as Caribbean Stud Poker, you known right from the start exactly how good your hand must be for you to get paid. Example: If you are playing Jacks or Better video poker, you need a pair of jacks or higher to win something.

jacks or better

Playing a round of video poker

This is how you do it on most video poker machines:

  1. Make your wager.
  2. You are now dealt your starter hand. It consists of five cards. All cards are dealt face-up.
  3. You inidicate which cards to keep and which cards to discard.
  4. For each card that you elected to discard, you will get a new replacement card from the deck. You now have your finnished hand.
  5. If your poker hand is good enough (according to the paytable for this particular game) you get paid. Your hand is not compared to any other hand.

    The higher ranking a winning poker hand is, the more you get paid. So, a pair of jacks pays less than a set, which in turn pays less than a full house, and so on. Check the paytable for the machine for detailed information.

Some video poker games use wild cards, which makes it possible to form the unusual poker hand five-of-a-kind.

Jacks or Better video poker

One of the most commonly available video poker games is Jacks or Better. In this game, you need a pair of jacks or better to get paid. The better the poker hand, the more you get paid.

Standard Jacks or Better is played with a 52 card deck. There are no jokers and no cards are wild.

Always consult the payment schedule for the machine at which you wish to wager, because they do differ. Below, you’ll find an example of a payment schedule used by many, but certainly not all, Jacks or Better video poker machines.

Winning poker hand 1 coin wagered 2 coins wagered 3 coins wagered 4 coins wagered 5 coins wagered
Royal Straight Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a Kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full House 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a Kind (Set) 3 6 9 12 15
Two Pair 2 4 6 8 10
Pair of Aces 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of Kings 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of Queens 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of Jacks 1 2 3 4 5

If you crunch the numbers, you can see that this video poker machine promotes 5 coin wagers by giving an extra big payout for a Royal Straight Flush on a 5 coin wager. Instead of getting the expected 1250 coins, you get 4,000 coins!