Video Poker Guide

If you combine the fun and simplicity of online slots with the excitement and thrills of 5 card draw poker, you will have the sensational experience of video poker.

If you’ve been playing slots for a while, and are up for a new challenge, then you might find that video poker is a good choice. While it’s not as simple as slots, it is a high-energy game that can be learned quickly.

In our ultimate guide to video poker, you are going to discover everything you need to know about this fun casino game. We have found you the best casinos to play at for UAE players; we’ll teach you the rules, and give you all the tips and strategies you’ll need to increase your chances of winning real money video poker games.

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    The Best Online Casinos to Play Video Poker

    Once you’ve signed up to an online casino, you can be playing video poker in minutes, but the challenge is to find the best casino available. We have removed that obstacle by doing all your homework for you; our team of professional online gambling experts has found the best online casinos for UAE players.

    Our experts have a checklist of requirements that each site must meet before it gets added to our list of trusted online casinos. We expect the best sites to be licensed and regulated, be totally secure, and offer exceptional customer service. Welcome bonuses and promotions should be generous, and the casino should have a good selection of video poker games on offer.

    All you need to do is choose any from the list below to sign up to.

    What is Video Poker?

    Video poker is a skill-based game that has a simple user interface similar to slots combined with the gameplay of 5 draw poker. It can be played at land-based or online casinos. In this guide, we will be discussing the online version of video poker. While it lacks the popularity of roulette or blackjack, it is an exciting and challenging game. Many online gamblers have made video poker their favorite at the casino. It’s a game that offers fantastic rewards and has an exciting, keeping you on the edge of your seat gameplay.

    The Benefits of Online Video Poker

    With UAE residents having to travel abroad to enjoy video poker at a land-based casino legally, the online games offer up a lot of benefits. When you visit an offline casino, you might find that it is so busy that you can’t even get to play on the video poker machine that you want to. This will never happen at an online casino, as you are guaranteed to be able to play any variant of video poker your heart desires at any time, day or night.

    Probably the biggest advantage of playing online is the big welcome bonuses that are offered by internet casino sites. By using these bonuses to play video poker, you are basically getting real money games for free. As well as welcome bonuses, most online casinos have ongoing promotions offered all the time. It makes sense to keep on signing up to new casinos just for these amazing bonuses.

    How Do You Play Video Poker?

    With the perfect combination of luck and skill, video poker is a stimulating game.

    Probably the most popular version you can play, and one that is found at all the best online casinos is Jacks or Better, which is based on the standard 5 card draw poker game. This is the game that we are going to show you how to play in this video poker guide.

    From the lobby of the online casino, you’ll choose the video poker game you wish to play.

    You can usually choose to play in free play mode or for real money; it’s best to play a few free games first before you opt for the more exciting real money video poker.

    The standard interface is very simple: you have various buttons at the bottom of the screen, which you will use for different options such as bet, deal or hold. At the top of the screen is usually a chart showing you the different payouts, depending on the video poker hand values. You can opt to turn the sound off if you want to play silently.

    The standard Jacks or Better game is played with a single 52 deck of cards.

    You’ll begin by placing a bet, and then you will be dealt a hand of 5 cards. We will discuss the values of the cards in a while, but essentially, you are trying to form the best poker hand you can. From your initial 5 card hand, you will use the hold button option to keep the cards you believe are the best to hold on to. You will then press the draw or deal button, and the cards you didn’t hold will be replaced. If you have a winning hand, you will receive a payout based on the cards you hold.

    The best video poker hand is a royal flush, and this can payout at an amazing 800:1, and that is why video poker fans love the game; with a small outlay, you do stand a chance of making a big cash win.

    Next up, we are going to take a look at the different winning hand values in the Jacks or Better video poker game. Depending on the variation of the game you are playing, the payout will vary, but the interface will show a payout chart on the top of your screen.

    The Winning Hand Values for Video Poker

    Jacks or Better – This is the winning bet that the game is named after; it’s the lowest hand score you can win with. Just like it says, you need Jacks or Better, so if you have two jacks or pairs of the other face cards [Queens or Kings], you’ll win the round.

    Two Pair – Another self-explanatory card hand; you need two pairs of cards that rank the same, for instance, two kings and two fives.

    Three Of a Kind – Three cards that have the same value or rank, such as 5 of Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds.

    A Straight – Five cards running in sequence from any suit, so a run of 1,2,3,4,5 would be a straight.

    Flush – A flush is 5 cards from the same suit; they don’t have to run in sequence.

    Full House – Combine a three of a kind with a pair, and you have a full house.

    Four of a Kind – Four cards that have the same rank, one of the examples would be all four Queens.

    Straight Flush – Like the flush, you need 5 cards from the same suit, but this time, they must all run in sequential order: 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack of Clubs, for instance.

    Royal Flush – Every video poker fan’s dream is a Royal Flush; if you have a Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace from the same suit, you have achieved this!

    Now you have an understanding of how video poker is played; we’ll reveal some of the best tips and tricks to help secure those real money wins!

    What're the Best Strategies & Tips for Playing Video Poker?

    Use video poker cheat sheets – Cheat sheets or strategy charts are a fantastic resource for video poker enthusiasts. While you might be frowned at for taking one of these to the land-based casinos, no one can see or do anything about it if you use a cheat sheet when playing online. These video poker strategy charts show you the exact next move you need to take, whatever the hand you have been initially dealt with. There are plenty of video poker cheat sheets available online to choose from.

    Play in free mode – Online casinos give you the option of playing video poker for free. If you haven’t played this game before, then it’s a good idea to play a few rounds in the free play version first. You’ll get to know your way around the interface, and you can test out your video poker cheat sheet!

    Slow it down – Playing video poker at speed is going to result in mistakes; once you have been dealt your initial 5 card hand, you have as long as you like to decide on your strategy of which cards to hold. Make use of the time and pace yourself to play as perfect a game as you can.

    Don’t play while tired or distracted – Video poker requires certain skills and strategies for the chance to win; you don’t want to have missed out on that Royal Flush, because you were distracted by the TV! Some games in the online casino totally rely on chance, but video poker needs your attention and concentration.

    Play the maximum bet – Winning with Royal Flush is every video poker player’s dream, but if you want to get the most value on the bet, you’ll need to play with the maximum credits to get that 800:1 payout. You’ll see on the payout table at the game you are playing how the payout for each winning hand depends on the credits you have wagered.

    Keep an eye on your bankroll – You’ll have winning streaks, and you’ll have off days, so managing your bankroll is important. It might seem obvious, but we have seen a lot of gamblers make crazy decisions with their money in the heat of the game.

    Understand the video poker variant you are playing – If you are playing other video poker games than Jacks or Better, make sure that you understand the rules and check the paytable to see what the returns are.

    Different Online Video Poker Variations to Play

    There are plenty of variants of video poker to play. If you’ve mastered Jacks or Better, then here are some to try.

    All American Video Poker – The gameplay isn’t any different to the standard Jacks or Better game, but it’s the payouts that have changed for this game. The best hand and highest paying is still Royal Flush, but if you make a Straight, Straight Flush or a Flush, you get a much higher payout than is usual. The downside is that Full House and Two Pair have a lower payout in All American Video Poker than in a standard.

    Aces and Eights – This game has some Wild West history attached to it, as it also has the macabre name ‘The Deadman’s Hand.’ In 1876, infamous gambler and gunslinger Wild Bill Hickock was shot dead during a game of five-card stud with his final hand of the Ace of Clubs, Ace of Spades, 8 of Clubs, and 8 of Spades; this hand got the name the Dead Man’s Hand. With that grizzly piece of history out of the way, the gameplay is very similar to Jacks or Better. Aces or 8’s feature a higher payout for getting four of a kind, as well as a smaller payout for four sevens.

    Aces and Faces – it’s another video poker game with a small variation on Jacks or better; Royal Flush is still the hand that can’t be beaten, but you get an increased payout if you get a four of a kind that consists of the Face cards and an Ace.

    Deuces Wild – In the Deuces Wild variant, the 2’s are counted as wild cards and can be substituted to form a winning hand, making the game extra exciting; for instance, if you had a pair of 9’s and a deuce card, the 2 would substitute as a 9 giving three of a kind.

    Loose Deuces – This is a variation on the Deuces Wild game, but with the addition of an exciting double or nothing bonus round. If you’ve played Deuces Wild and enjoyed it, you might enjoy giving this fast-paced game a go. Because of the wild 2’s, the payout table isn’t that generous until you get to the top of the pay-table.

    Joker Poker – Played with a 53 card deck, this version is simple to play, with the addition of a Joker as the wild card.

    Pick a Pair – Sometimes known as ‘pick’em,’ this adds a whole new way of playing video poker. Rather than being dealt the usual five-card hand, you’ll be dealt two pairs of cards on either side of your screen. You can pick one of the cards from the pair on the right-hand screen, and add it to the cards on the left, giving you three cards; you will then be dealt with another two cards to make up the standard 5 card hand. This unusual variant is a lot of fun and is well worth a game if you see it available at an online casino.

    Multi-hand – You might also find it called ‘multi-play.’ There are Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild versions of the multi-hand format. You’ll play the game like any other, and push the deal/draw button, but rather than drawing just the one set of cards, you’ll draw anywhere between three and a hundred! You will have to bet on each hand, so this is where good bankroll management comes into play.

    Progressive Jackpots – In progressive jackpots for video poker, the jackpot grows as a percentage of every bet that is added to a jackpot prize fund. Usually, the jackpot is won when a Royal Flush is hit, but there are video poker variations where jackpots can be won on other hands.

    With so many exciting variations to play, you can understand why video poker fans love this game. With the best online casinos offering some fantastic welcome bonuses, why not head over to one of our recommended casinos and start enjoying the thrilling delights of video poker.

    A History of Video Poker

    Video poker doesn’t have the illustrious history of many casino games; we can look back to the early 1970s to see the start of it. The first video poker machine was the Poker Matic, but it was Si Redd’s Coin Machines that blazed the path ahead, and the first commercial poker machines were produced in 1979 by International Game Technology.

    Throughout the ’80s and 90s, the big clunky machines of the ’70s became smaller and more streamlined and grew in popularity at land-based casinos. Video poker still thrives at the land-based, and even more so at the online casinos, we can’t wait to see what innovations the future will bring.

    Video Poker FAQ

    The actual gameplay uses the same rules and strategy, but if you play online, there are a number of advantages. For instance, you receive generous welcome bonuses when playing online that can be used to fund your play. You also can play in complete privacy, and you won’t need to wait around for a video poker machine to be free.

    Yes, the best online casinos that we recommend are mobile-friendly; video poker is available on the iPhone, iPad, and any Android device. You’ll have options to access the mobile casino directly from your browser or download a free app to play the video poker games.

    The top online casinos are using software that produces completely random and fair outcomes. They are regularly audited by independent authorities. All the casino sites we list are licensed and regulated and have excellent track records.

    A safe strategy would be to start with Jacks or Better, as most variations are based on this game.

    While there is luck involved in the hand you are dealt, you are required to use strategy to optimize your game for the best outcome possible.