Video Poker

Video poker has become one of the most popular games in Canada. Gamblers love the game because they get a taste of classic five-card poker in a shorter game of skill with a low house edge, big wins, and the possibility of playing alone. So rather than spending hours going up against players in a drawn-out game of poker, video poker makes it easy to win quick payouts, with rounds lasting just several minutes.

Where to Play Video Poker in Canada

If you’re looking to find the best video poker online, you can find plenty of options at gambling sites in Canada. In fact, many online casinos have an entire section devoted to the game. At Online-casinogames.ca, we recommend video poker games from Canadian online casinos like Royal Vegas, JackpotCity, Spin Palace, Casino.com, Lucky247, and Casinoland. We also recommend to start slow with free video poker before going all in.

These days, almost every online casino offers a mobile version of their site allowing gamblers to play their favorite games right from their smartphone or tablet devices. You can find mobile video poker games at JackpotCity, Casino.com, Lucky247, and Casinoland.

How to Play Video Poker

Now that you know where to find the best video poker online, let’s take a look at how to play along with the best strategy for video poker so you can win the big payouts.

  • Most games use a standard 52-card deck. Some variations include the joker as a wild card.
  • Make a wager then press “deal” to receive your first hand.
  • Choose which cards to hold or discard.
  • The computer replaces discarded cards.
  • The computer pays out according to the value of the hand.

At first, video poker might look a lot like a standard game of five-card poker. After all, the computer deals five cards as soon as you press play. The rules are very simple. You play 1 to 5 coins. Then the computer deals you five cards. After receiving your first hand, players have the option to hold (keep) or discard one or more cards and receive replacements from the dealer.

At this point, if you have a winning hand, you receive your winnings. The amount paid depends on the value of your hand. You can view the payouts listed in the game’s pay table.

Video Poker Winning Hands

At the end of each round, you will receive pay outs according to the value of your hand. Let’s take a look at the different winning hands. We included the payout and probability of each hand according to the most common version, Jacks or Better. You can read more about this variation and others in the section below titled Video Poker Variations.

Royal flush

  • A straight flush including an ace, king, queen, jack, and 10 of the same suit
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 800
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.000025

Straight flush

  • A hand containing all of one suit in continuous sequence
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 50
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.000111

Four of a kind

  • A hand containing four cards of the same rank
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 25
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.002363

Full house

  • A hand containing three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 9
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.011517

Flush

  • A hand containing five non-sequential cards of the same suit
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 6
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.011087

Straight

  • A hand containing sequential cards in at least different suits
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 4
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.010637

Three of a kind

  • A hand containing three cards of the same rank
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 3
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.074543

Two pair

  • A hand containing two cards of the same rank plus another set of cards of the same rank
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 2
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.129552

One pair or less

  • A hand containing two cards of the same rank
  • Jacks or Better Pays: 1
  • Jacks or Better Probability: 0.214437

Video Poker Variations

As we mentioned, online casinos have lots of video poker variations giving bonuses for certain hands or involving wild cards. Let’s take a look at some of these varieties and how to play each:

Jacks or Better: One of the most common variations, Jacks or Better, has payoffs beginning at a pair of jacks.

Bally’s All-American: Similar to Jacks or Better, All-American follows the same rules with pay outs starting at a pair of jacks. All-American has increased payouts for flushes, straights, and straight flushes, but reduced payouts for full houses and two pairs.

Tens or Better: Another variation of Jacks or Better with the minimum paying hand starting at a pair of tens, rather than a pair of Jacks.

Joker’s Wild: In Joker’s Wild, the joker card serves as a wild card, substituting cards to make stronger hands. The inclusion of the wild joker also adds another winning hand, 5-of-a-kind.

Deuces Wild: In Deuces Wild, all 2 cards become wild, substituting cards to make stronger hands.

Bonus Poker: Based on Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker has a higher payout percentage for four of a kind.

Double Bonus: Based on Jacks or Better, Double Bonus has a bonus payout for four aces.

Double Double Bonus: Based on Jacks or Better, Double Double Bonus has bonus payouts for four aces, four aces with 2, 3, or 4, four 2, 3, or 4 cards, and four of a kind (5 to King).

Because video poker has such a variety, you’ll find differences in the house edge percentage for each. The most common version of the game, Jacks or Better, has a low house edge of 0.46%. That compares to other popular games like blackjack with a 0.28% house advantage, Caribbean Stud Poker with a 5.22% house edge, single zero roulette with a 2.70% house edge, or slots which typically have a range of 2%-15% house edge.

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Video Poker Strategy

Know When to Hold: As you can see, the game strategy requires you to know the different winning hands. Make sure to remember the winning hands or keep a cheat sheet nearby.

When you receive your first set of cards from the dealer, always hold high value hands like a royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind, or two pair. We also suggest that if you have a three of a kind, discard the remaining two cards for the opportunity of a four of a kind. If you have two pair, discard the fifth card for a chance at a full house.

Choose Games with Odds in your Favor: When gambling online, most games work in favor of the casino by including a house edge. This means that the computer takes a certain percentage of the wagers so that the casino can make a profit.

However, with video poker, the house only has a thin advantage over the players. In fact, some pay tables with a slight house edge can return over 100% if you include incentives like cash back, free play, and other special promotions. The odds of the game and payout for winning hands depend on which variation you decide to play.

Practice Play: They always say “practice makes perfect”. Now that you know the rules of the game, we suggest trying out demo versions before betting real money. You can find a number of free video poker games below so you can learn the game without any risk. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have more skill to play real money video poker games.

Conclusion

With a low house edge, plenty of exciting variations, and the chance of winning big payouts, it comes as no surprise that video poker has become one of the most popular online casino games. In fact, Canadian casinos often feature a special section devoted entirely to video poker games like Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Double Double Bonus, and more.

This game of skill attracts gamblers who love to test their luck with the perfect strategy and take home major cash pay outs from a winning hand. So what are you waiting for? Play video poker online to test your skills and see if you can get the big payout on a royal flush.