Video poker game

What is Video Poker and How to Play (and Win)?

Have you ever walked past a video poker machine in a casino and wondered how to play? Or, maybe you’ve played before but haven’t had much luck winning. Video poker is a popular game that can be found in casinos all over the world, but it can be intimidating to beginners.

Video poker first appeared in the 1970s and quickly became a favorite among casino-goers. It’s a game that combines the luck of slot machines with the strategy of poker, making it a unique and exciting experience. However, it’s important to understand the rules and strategies before playing.

In this article, we’ll explain what video poker is, how to play it, and share tips on how to improve your chances of winning. Whether you’re a beginner or just looking to up your game, read on for everything you need to know about video poker.

dollar bills

What is Video Poker? 

Video poker is a type of electronic casino game that is based on traditional poker. It’s played on a computerized machine that looks similar to a slot machine. The objective of the game is to make the best possible poker hand using five cards that are dealt to the player. 

Furthermore, the player can choose to hold or discard cards and then receive replacement cards in order to try and improve their hand. The payouts for winning hands vary depending on the specific game and the ranking of the hand. Video poker machines are found in many land-based and online casinos and are popular among both casual and serious gamblers.

The Advantages of Video Poker 

Many avid players like playing against real-life opponents as opposed to a machine, but there are many advantages to video poker, such as the following: 

  • The game is more engaging than other casino games that rely purely on chance.
  • Video poker typically has a lower house edge than other casino games.
  • Many video poker machines offer a high payout percentage.
  • It’s a fast-paced game that provides instant gratification.
  • Video poker machines are widely available in casinos, making it easy for players to find a machine that suits their preferences.
  • Video poker is a solitary game, which can be appealing to players who prefer to play alone rather than at a table with other players.
  • Offers a wide range of betting options, allowing players to choose a bet size that suits their budget.

Difference Between Video Poker and Live Poker 



Video Poker 

Live Poker 

Playing Format Electronic machine Physical table and cards
Speed of Play Fast, with no wait times Slower, with wait times
Skill Level Relies more on strategy Relies more on psychology
Social Interaction No interaction with others Interaction with other players
Betting Limits Fixed betting limits Variable betting limits
Probability Consistent and predetermined Affected by human factors
Payouts Fixed payouts for hands  Variable payouts for hands
Availability Widely available in casinos Limited availability


Video poker is a single-player game, while live poker can be played with multiple players. Live poker also has a dealer who manages the game, while video poker uses an electronic system.

How to Play Video Poker 

video poker machine

Not everyone knows how video poker works or if it has the same rules as live poker. To assist you, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide on how to play video poker so you can have fun and increase your chances of winning. 

1. Choose a Video Poker Machine

Select a video poker machine that suits your preference and budget. Video poker machines are available in various denominations ranging from penny machines to high roller machines.

2. Insert Money into the Machine

Insert the desired amount of money into the machine to start playing. Most machines accept cash, credit cards, or player club cards.

3. Select Your Bet Amount

Choose the amount you want to bet per hand. The betting options are usually displayed on the screen, and you can select the amount you want to bet by using the buttons on the machine.

4. Deal the Cards

Once you have selected your bet amount, press the “deal” button to start the game. The machine will deal five cards face up on the screen.

5. Choose Which Cards to Keep

After the cards are dealt, you can choose which cards you want to keep and which ones you want to discard. You can keep any number of cards from 0 to 5.

6. Draw New Cards

Once you have selected the cards you want to keep, press the “draw” button to discard the remaining cards and draw new ones to replace them.

7. Evaluate Your Hand

The machine will automatically evaluate your hand and pay out any winnings you may have based on the paytable displayed on the screen. The payouts are based on the rank of your hand, with higher-ranking hands paying out more.

8. Continue Playing

If you win, you can choose to collect your winnings or continue playing by selecting the “deal” button to start a new hand. If you lose, you can insert more money into the machine to continue playing.

9. End the Game

When you are finished playing, press the “cash out” button to collect any remaining credits or winnings from the machine.

10. Know the Rules

Before playing video poker, make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and paytable of the machine you are playing. This will help you make informed decisions when selecting which cards to keep and which ones to discard and increase your chances of winning. 

Tips on How to Win Video Poker 

  • Know the rules of the game and understand the paytable.
  • Develop a strategy based on the type of video poker game you are playing.
  • Consider playing the maximum number of coins to increase your potential payout.
  • Understand the importance of holding onto certain cards and discarding others.
  • Pay attention to the cards that are drawn and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Practice playing video poker for free before betting real money.
  • Avoid chasing losses and know when to walk away.

Final Thoughts 

Video poker is a thrilling and fast-paced game that combines strategy and luck. By understanding the rules and strategies, players can improve their chances of winning big. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, video poker is a game that everyone can enjoy. So why not give it a try and see if you can hit that royal flush? Happy playing!

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