Video Poker Rules: How to play successfully

Video poker is one of the most popular casino game formats. The card game in arcade design offers you good chances of winning. This introduction to the most important video poker rules will help you get even more out of your winning opportunities. Here you can find out everything about the rules of the game, variants and how best to play for real money.

The Video Poker Guide: How to play

With so many versions, it can be difficult to keep track. However, all of these are based on the same basic principles. Therefore I try to explain this game to you in this video poker guide. The card values in Video Poker correspond to those in Texas Hold'em. I'll show you all the basics. Once you have internalized this, you can increase your chances again - even if luck is the decisive factor in the end.

Of course, each variant is characterized by different rules and peculiarities, which I will of course address in the Video Poker Guide. All in all, you will find the four steps mentioned in every video poker variant. As you have just seen, certain winning combinations are automatically held after the cards are dealt. These are often pairs - and thus the combinations with the lowest winnings. In some video poker versions you can double your winnings in the risk game. If you decide to do so, you will compete against the dealer in a duel. Player and dealer each receive one card - the higher value wins. If you lose the duel, you lose everything. On the other hand, you can keep playing the risk game until you lose or decide to quit.

You win with these cards

Video poker is all about having a combination of cards that qualify for a win. Although the winning combinations differ slightly depending on the game variant, you will generally find card values as in regular poker. The order from strongest to weakest combination is: royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair and one pair.

The Paytable

The paytable is the first thing you see after starting a game and is therefore the subject of the Video Poker Guide. This contains a list of all possible odds and card values. You can also read the win rate for each winning combination in the table. The win rate is multiplied by the stake that you set at the beginning of a game. The following view shows the payout values for each hand. The table also shows you the lowest winning combination - a pair of jacks. The lowest winning combination depends on the video poker variant. The structure and style of the table can also vary./

Video Poker Game Guide

Have you familiarized yourself with the rules and are still unsure? No problem. The following sections of the Video Poker Guide introduce you to the game interface. You will also receive an explanation of the most important buttons and options. In the end, you should have enough clarity to keep track of things throughout your game.

The video poker user interface explained

In Video Poker you will find a slightly different playing surface depending on the variant. However, all of these versions share the same basic mechanics, buttons, and options. The paytable always shows the odds. In addition, you will always find similar buttons for setting the bet size and for the basic card actions in each version. The names of the buttons are always in English, even in German online casinos. Only in the rarest of cases do they deviate from the labels mentioned above. With special variants, however, further buttons could be expected. With these video poker versions I recommend you to play a free demo version beforehand.

How to Play Video Poker - An Introduction

If you feel unsure about the video poker rules, you can find a video here. This shows you the step-by-step process of a whole game. Once you see this practical example, you will gain more confidence to play video poker. Watch the film directly and stop at any time to follow the individual steps.

How to choose the right video poker variant

As already mentioned, there are a lot of different variants. These provide variety with their subtleties and small deviations from the classic game format. The versions can differ by different rules and payout rates. That's why I've prepared a clear PDF file for you with the most popular video poker variants.

Jacks or Better

One of the most popular variants of Video Poker: Jacks or Better is named after the lowest winning combination, a pair of Jacks. Nevertheless, this version fully follows the classic rules. You can expect an outstanding payout rate: The game offers an RTP value of 99.5%.

Tens or Better

In Tens or Better, a pair of tens represents the lowest winning combination. There are no other exceptions to the rules. In the Power version of the game, 5 hands are played simultaneously. This requires higher stakes, but is rewarded with even more attractive prizes.

Aces and Eights

This video poker variant impresses with the fact that you get the second highest winning combination in the game after a royal flush with two aces or two eights. Hence the name. The lowest winning combination is a pair of jacks.

Deuces Wild

In Deuces Wild, all pairs are wild and can substitute for any other card in a winning combination. Since high combinations are often created in this way, there are only wins from three of a kind and higher. This version has a high payout percentage of 99.38%.

Aces and Faces

The paytable at Aces and Faces offers a special feature: For your hand with 4 aces or 4 eights you receive the second largest win. In addition, you can double your winnings at the end of each win in the risk game. However, there are no other deviations from the classic format.

Joker Poker

In Joker Poker you play with a deck consisting of 53 cards: a standard deck and an additional joker. The joker substitutes for any card and suit in a winning combination. In a "power" version of this game, you are given 5 hands per game.

Louisiana Double

In the Louisiana Double, the deck of cards is expanded by a 53rd card, the double. The card does not represent a joker, but it doubles the odds of any winning combination. So if you have three of a kind and the double, you can expect big wins. Unfortunately, due to higher winning opportunities, the variant has an RTP of 94% and higher volatility.

Poker Pursuit

This variant from the manufacturer Microgaming allows you to increase the stakes as soon as three or four cards are revealed. Since a pair of ten cards already wins, this video poker variant allows the fun of a more aggressive playing style and betting strategy on the part of the player.


Strictly speaking, Red Dog is not a video poker variant. Rather, it is a poker-based guessing game. In this two cards are dealt and you have to guess if the third card will form a winning combination with the two. The game master tells you the spread between the two cards, and therefore your chances of winning. You can change your bets based on that.

How you choose and start your video poker game

Now that I've explained the rules of video poker to you, there's only one thing left to do: choose the right game for you. I'll show you 4 game versions for different types of players: a suitable variant for beginners, my favorites for real money games in video poker online casinos or a version with a lot of variety. In addition, you will also find many other online variants. Nevertheless, this selection gives you a small taste of the different video poker rules. If you would like to find out more about a version, you can click directly to the respective test report.

You should keep this in mind when choosing a game

When deciding on a game version, you should consider certain features. You can already tell from factors such as the payout percentage and level of difficulty whether a variant is suitable for you. Some players prefer variants where strategies can be used. My tip: If you are unsure, try the video poker variant as a free demo. If you would like to play with a cryptocurrency, check out the best bitcoin video poker casinos.

Pay attention to the payout percentage and house edge

The payout rate, often RTP (return to player) value, is of great interest to players. Finally, it provides information about the theoretical profit expectation of a game. Since the video poker variants also have different rules, this affects different RTP values depending on the game. Most video poker rules include RTP's between 92% and 99%.

Choose the appropriate level of difficulty

Almost all video poker games are based on the basic rules. These are more suitable for beginners. Others are characterized by larger deviations from the rules. Especially with somewhat more complex variants, you should look at a video poker game guide. But nothing beats trying it out: You can almost always try out a game as a free demo version. This is available to you in the best online casinos in USA.

Play with a strategy

There is already a large selection of video poker strategies. These are based on mathematical calculations and probabilities. They serve you as a decision-making aid in order to obtain even greater chances of winning. You can also find out more about this topic in my video poker glossary.

Frequently asked Questions

Despite the simple game principle, there is a lot to discover in video poker. I tried to give you an insight into the topic. My video poker rules for beginners should provide a suitable guide. With additional tips on this page you can ensure maximum chances of winning. Do you have any further questions? Here you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

How does video poker work?

Video poker is based on the basic rules and card values of poker. The slot machine-like design is characteristic. Depending on the game variant, you can expect special functions and deviations. You can find out exactly how to play in my Video Poker Guide.

How do you win at video poker?

Although luck is key, with video poker you can maximize your chances of winning with the right strategy and knowledge of the rules. You can find valuable information about this in my Video Poker Tools and Resources section.

Which video poker game has the highest RTP?

The payout rates depend on the game variant. However, you will often find versions with excellent payout percentages of over 99%. You can read everything worth knowing about the RTP values ​​in video poker in my test report.