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The Best Guide To Video Poker 2023

In any land-based or online casino in the Philippines, the slots section is one of the most popular areas in the building. Video poker machines will be found here alongside classic and video slot machines, but the games are completely different. 

Video poker is a game of skill where your knowledge of poker and understanding of the game should give you better chances. This article will teach you everything you need to know about video poker so that you’re ready to play at any online casino. 

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Brief History of Video Poker

The first poker machine was created in 1891, but Charles Fey was responsible for the modern ‘skill draw’ poker machine. These early machines used a physical drum having 10 playing cards imprinted on each of the 5 reels. 

In the mid-1970s, personal computers were being developed, which introduced monitors and processors. At first, the idea was turned away by Vegas casinos, but video poker became so popular thanks to Si Redd that all casinos in Vegas had to install the machines.

Video Poker

How To Play Video Poker At An Online Casino

Because video poker is derived from 5-card draw poker, the game involves trying to come up with one of the winning combinations from different variations of the game. 

Objective of The Game

The main goal of video poker is to get the best possible poker hand. Once you receive a set of cards after dealing, you want to switch as many cards as you can to end up with the highest possible poker hand. At the very least, you want to get a combination with some kind of payout. 

Rules of Video Poker

Video poker uses the same poker hands as table poker (more on this later). The game starts when you draw 5 cards to start. From these, you can choose to hold any number of cards so that these won’t be switched on the next draw. 

After the final draw, the cards are checked to see if they match any poker hands, then you receive a corresponding prize. 

Steps to Follow

To play, these are the steps you will need to follow:

  • Select the variation of video poker you want to play.
  • Enter your credits by choosing one column from the five on the pay table.
  • Select how much you want to wager on the game.
  • Click on the ‘Deal’ button to receive the first 5 cards.
  • Pick the cards you want to hold among the 5 dealt previously using the ‘Hold/Cancel’ button.
  • Hit the ‘Deal/Draw’ button again to save the cards you held previously and replace the rest.

At this point, the game may ask you to double your bet if you win, and you can choose to do so or not. 

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Hand Rankings Used in Video Poker

There are 10 basic hand rankings in poker that can be listed in descending order as follows:

  • Royal flush – comprises of an ace, a king, a queen, a jack, and a ten all of the same suit.
  • Straight flush – where cards of the same suit appear in sequential order.
  • Four of a kind – occurs when you draw four cards of the same ranking and the fifth card is ignored. 
  • Full house – with three cards of the same ranking and a pair of the same ranking, this is a full house. 
  • Flush – when you have all five cards with the same suit regardless of their ranking.
  • Straight – when five cards appearing sequentially are referred to as regardless of the suit. 
  • Three of a kind – forms when you have three cards of the same ranking. 
  • Two pair – simply means there are two pairs of the same rank. 
  • One pair and high card – none of these hands have any reward. 
  • Jacks or better – the lowest ranking in video poker that includes a single pair of jacks.
  • Five of a kind – in games involving a wild card or the Joker, it is also possible to get a hand where all five cards match. 
Video Poker Hand Rankings

Video Poker Glossary

You will encounter several terms used to describe the game, but the most important to remember are:

  • Credits – on a physical machine, this would be the coins, currency, or ticket inserted.
  • Bust – to lose. 
  • Cash back – to receive a portion of your wager on a losing hand.
  • Comps – additional bonuses received from the casino as a reward.
  • Deal/draw – deal refers to the first set of cards dealt while draw refers to the second.
  • Hold/cancel – after cards are dealt, you can select up to 5 cards to save before the draw, but you can still cancel the hold before the draw if you change your mind.
  • Pay table – represents the payout ratio for every type of game as per the credits.
  • Payback/return – it represents the percentage payout for playing a particular game.
  • Variance/volatility – describes the swings a player experiences on their bankroll when playing a specific game.
  • Full pay/low pay – full pay games have a higher payout than low pay games.
  • Royal flush cycle/cycle – the average number of hands it takes to hit a royal flush.
  • Bankroll – an amount of money set aside just for playing video poker games.
  • Deuce – the nickname of a card with a rank of two.
  • Face cards – cards that have pictures of faces such as the king, queen, or jack. 
  • Garbage hand – when you have a poor hand that is unlikely to result in any reward. 
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Video Poker Variations

Online casinos have been able to modify video poker over the years to create many different variations, and these are the 5 most common. 

Jacks or Better

It is the most basic variation and popular for the high payout of 99.54%. Payoffs begin with just one pair of jacks and work upwards. The full pay version is known as 9/6 because of the payout on full house and flush bets, but there are plenty low pay versions. 

Tens or Better 

Very similar to jacks or better, except that payoffs begin with a pair of tens and payouts on full house and flush bets is 6/5. 

Deuces Wild

All twos are considered wild cards in this variation, thereby providing a payout as high as 100.8%. 

Joker’s Wild

Here, the joker is included in the deck of cards to act as a wild card. In this game, it is possible to get a five of a kind hand, and also very likely to win because of the high return. 

Bonus, Double Bonus, and Double Double Bonus 

On bonus and double bonus poker games, you get a bonus if you draw a four of a kind or four aces respectively. Meanwhile, the double double bonus game gives you a bonus on four aces, four 2,3 or 4, and four aces with 2, 3 or 4

All of these are variations on the jacks or better game with the inclusion of the bonuses. 

Playing Video Poker Games on Your Mobile Device

Most casino games can now be played on mobile including video poker. On most online casinos, you can easily access the games from any web browser thanks to flash-based casinos. Even on mobile devices, web browsers can still access the same content. 

Some online casinos may even provide additional mobile apps to install on mobile to ensure an even better experience. But for the most part, flash-based systems can deliver great graphics and performance with no need for additional apps. 

Playing with Real Money Vs. Free to Play

Many online casinos will allow you to play a few games for free, and some even provide completely free video poker. These are great offers and services that should be used to learn more about the game and practice any strategies you have. 

However, the only way to win and make money is by betting with actual money. With each draw, you stand to win a lot more than you wagered, and that’s the main goal of playing poker. Besides, there is a thrill that comes with betting actual money that you never get when playing for free. 

Video Poker Game

How To Increase Your Winning Chances And Mistakes To Avoid 

Video poker already has some of the highest payout percentages in Philippines online casinos, and yet you can still win more by following these 3 steps:

Always Select Full Pay Games

In each variation of video poker, there are full pay and low pay games. Casinos create low pay games by reducing payouts from the full house and/or flush, thus reducing overall payout. 

Choose A Paytable With the Highest Returns

A game’s returns will be derived from the pay table, which is how some games have over 100% profitability. Always go for the pay tables with the highest returns. 

Play the Maximum Number of Credits

The returns on a pay table rise exponentially as you add more credits. For this reason, you stand to win a lot more as you use more credits, even though you’re risking more of your bankroll. 

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How To Choose An Online Casino To Play Video Poker

With so many online casinos to choose from, use these 3 considerations to pick one: 

Valid License

It is very important that an online casino be licensed before choosing to sign up and play. Plenty of scam websites exist that will only rip you off, so confirm that the company is licensed. In most cases, casinos are licensed in Malta, Curacao and the UK. 

Casinos in the Philippines are regulated by PAGCOR (Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation). 

Available Games

In addition, you also want the casino to offer games with the best payouts. Every variation is different, so the casino you pick should have a variety of full pay games. 

Casino Bonuses and Offers

Bonus offers from a casino should be one of the most important factors to consider as these can help raise your wins and give you more free chances to win big. 

Source of Gaming Software

While online casinos provide the interface to play video poker, game developers are responsible for determining the payouts, design, and performance of the games. Therefore, make sure the developers can be trusted to provide a fair gaming experience. 

Video Poker Vs. Slot Machines

Slots are some of the most popular games, mainly because they are relaxing and do not require any skill. When lucky a player can win a lot of money especially on progressive slots

However, video poker has higher payout percentages, sometimes exceeding 97%. With a bit of practice and strategy, you are more likely to win at video poker than a slot machine. 


Compared to many casino games, video poker is still relatively new. Nevertheless, it is easy to see why it is growing so fast in popularity given the high returns and the possibility of more success with a bit of strategy. 

It’s not that difficult to learn either, and anyone can master the game after a few tries. Making use of casino bonuses and offers, you can start playing video poker today and perhaps win a lot of money.


No. Video poker has more variations than table poker.

Yes. Although the payout on video poker is high, the house still has a slight advantage.

Absolutely. Many online casinos allow players to play for free using casino bonuses and bonus points.

After clicking on deal/draw, a random number generator (RNG) produces 5 random cards.

Ensure you play full pay games and select games with a high payout percentage.

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