A Beginners Guide to Winning in Video Poker

A casino game based on five-card draw poker, video poker is popular amongst players who like playing a primarily multiplayer game alone, without any disturbance. Touted as one of the best casino card games, it has been popular since the 1970s. Unlike traditional slot machines, video poker lets you make your own game choices, giving you some control over the outcome of the game.

Objective of the game

The objective of the game is to acquire a particular set of cards offering a payout. The winning combination sets are similar to those of traditional poker, meaning players familiar with poker face no difficulty in playing its video counterpart.

How to play

Based on the classic five-card draw, the game starts by pressing the deal button. The player is dealt five cards and has the option to discard and replace either one card, or the entire hand to curate a winning combination. The computer then decides whether the player has a winning hand and if so, then a payout based on the combination is made.


With its popularity amongst the masses, variants of the game are common. Even with variations, most video poker games operate under similar rules:

  • Standard “table” poker winning combination and hands are used
  • Five cards are dealt to the player
  • It is possible to choose to hold or discard any or all the cards
  • Cards from a random draw pile replace the discarded cards

Essential strategies for Video Poker

The general rule for any Video Poker is as follows: always set a maximum bet. The card replacement strategy follows a few general rules. If cards made up the finished combination: Flush with variants, Full House, all five cards must be held. If a player does not have four cards of the same suit, four consecutive cards, three successive cards of the same suit, and no high cards, all five cards must be replaced.

Video poker variants

One of the most straightforward game variants, Jacks or Better Video Poker, is suitable for newbies. To win, the winner needs to hold a pair or a winning combination. In a case when a winning combination isn’t made, it is recommended to keep 4 cards of the same suit or four cards that form a sequence. If none of the above options work, the highest card in hand should be held, or the entire hand exchanged.

Deuces wild strategy, another popular variant turns all deuces into wild cards. To get the initial bet back, the player needs at least three cards of the same rank and a straight flush for a modest win. With the highest win potential, this variant is popular amongst professional players.