Video Poker Rules — How To Play, Variations & More - BLITZPOKER

Video Poker Rules — How To Play, Variations & More

Video Poker Rules

In the early 1970s, video poker started out and faced challenges in gaining acceptance. Back then, people called the machines “poker slots.” Video poker shares many features with slot machines. Both are simple to play, as they don’t need a dealer or other players. The card combinations in video poker, similar to slot reels, are controlled by a random number generator. Video poker is a fun, interactive game. It mixes poker and slot machines. It’s quick to learn. This guide will explain how to play video poker online. We’ll look at different versions and teach you what makes a winning hand. If you’re looking for the best online poker platform in India, check out BLITZPOKER for an unmatched gaming experience.

Video Poker Origin

Video poker became popular when mixing a TV-like screen with a solid-state CPU was affordable. These early machines came out in the mid-1970s, alongside the first personal computers. Though basic by today’s standards, they marked the beginning of video poker. During the 1980s, video poker became more popular in casinos. People found these machines less scary than table games. Now, video poker is very common on casino floors. It’s especially liked by Las Vegas locals. They usually visit casinos away from the main Strip. These local casinos often have cheaper machines or better odds.


In online casino video poker, like in a game of 5 Card Draw, players aim to get the best hand. They decide whether to draw new cards or keep the ones they have. The stronger the poker hand, the more money you win. For instance, a royal flush wins much more cash than three of a kind.

In a typical video poker game, you get five cards with a big HOLD button below them. A deal/draw button in the right-hand corner of the screen gives you a new hand or, if you’ve chosen some cards to hold, it draws replacements for those discarded.

Video Poker Rules: Hand Rankings

Royal Flush

The best hand you can have. It consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all in the same suit (e.g., hearts or spades).

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit (e.g., 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). They must be in order and share the same suit.

Four of a Kind

This is four cards of the same rank (e.g., four Queens or four 2s).

Full House

A hand with three cards of one rank and two of another (e.g., three Aces and two 6s).


Five cards all in the same suit, but not in sequence.


Five cards in a sequence, but not in the same suit (e.g., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Three of a Kind

Three cards that have the same rank (e.g., three 9s).

Two Pair

Two pairs of cards with the same rank (e.g., two 8s and two 4s).

Pair (Jacks or Better)

A pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. Pairs lower than this usually don’t count as a winning hand in most video poker games.

Video Poker Rules

  • While there are various versions of video poker and different game options, all video poker games follow similar rules:
  • Standard poker hands are used.
  • You get five cards at the start.
  • You can keep or discard any number of your cards.
  • All discarded cards are replaced in one random draw.
  • If your new hand matches any qualifying poker hands, you win the prize.

How To Play Video Poker

Now that you know the basics of video poker, let’s discuss how to play it at a casino. Whether you prefer playing on your phone or online, the process is similar. You can play online in many states. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Find a Site to Play Video Poker

To begin, find a casino that offers video poker. Create an account and register. Most online casinos offer a welcome bonus for new players who sign up and deposit money. This bonus is often required to play real money video poker.

Check the Pay Table Before Selecting a Game

Choosing the right pay table is key to maximising your winnings in video poker. The pay table shows the payouts for different winning hands and is displayed on the machine’s screen. Look for specific payouts that boost your returns. Also, set a spending limit and stick to it to enhance your experience and reduce losses.

Pick a Video Poker Game

Find a poker variant you enjoy. If you’re in the US and can’t find a regulated online casino, many offshore casinos offer various video poker games for both beginners and advanced players. Sites like Wild Casino or Bovada provide a range of poker games to try before betting real money.

Set Your Bet Size and Press Deal

Choosing the right bet size involves managing your bankroll and the game’s betting limits. Consider these points before setting your bet size: Each video poker machine has a range of betting limits, usually allowing bets of one to five coins per hand.

Always be aware of your bankroll – set a specific amount for playing video poker and stick to it. Your bankroll should determine your bet size. Once you’ve chosen your bet size and checked the pay table, press the “Deal” button to get your first hand.

Draw Your Cards

After pressing “Deal”, you’ll get five cards. Choose which cards to keep and which ones to discard. Then press the “Deal/Draw” button to get new cards from the deck to replace the discarded ones. After this second draw, you’ll get your final hand based on the pay table.

Results and Payouts

The machine calculates the results after the second draw. If you win, the screen shows the winning combination and payout amount, and your account is credited. You can start a new game by selecting the bet size and pressing the “Deal” button again.

Variations of Video Poker

Video poker comes in many types, each with its own rules and features. Some popular versions are:

  • Deuces Wild: All twos (deuces) are wild cards in this game.
  • Joker’s Wild: Here, a Joker serves as a wild card.
  • Anything’s Wild: Players pick a rank to act as the wild card before they start playing.
  • Pay Schedule Modification: Games like “bonus,” “double,” or “triple” offer higher payouts for four aces with a low kicker, like a four.
  • Multi-Play Poker: Players begin with a base hand, and each extra hand draws from a different set of cards but shares the base. Versions include Triple Play, Five Play, Ten Play, Fifty Play, and One Hundred Play.

Some versions add side bets for extra rewards. For a fee, players might get multipliers or other bonuses, such as:

  • Super Times Pay and Double Super Times Pay: These offer a chance to multiply all winnings in a hand.
  • Hot Roll, Dice Fever, and Atomic Fever: Similar to Super Times Pay, these games provide multiplier factors.
  • Ultimate X: This game doubles the bet and applies a multiplier based on the strength of the final hand to the next hand.
  • Super Draw 6: By doubling the bet, players receive a sixth card to improve five-card hands or create special six-card hands with their own payout table.

An older and less common version is Pick a Pair, where players choose between two pairs of three cards, one face-up and one face-down. In standard video poker without wild cards, players can expect to get a four-of-a-kind approximately once every 500 hands. A royal flush, which usually offers the highest payout, might only show up after tens of thousands of hands.

Difference Between Video Poker and Poker?

If you want to know the differences between video poker and standard poker, there are plenty. The most obvious one is that video poker is played against a computer, not a dealer or other players. So, you don’t have to ‘read’ opponents or figure out their tells.

You also don’t have to worry about making a great hand and then losing to a better one from another player. In video poker, unlike Texas Hold ‘em or Three Card Poker, your hand is the only one that counts. This is a relief for anyone who has experienced too many bad beats!

Some people say video poker is ‘easier’ than poker, but learning the right strategy for different video poker variants still needs some skill. However, it’s a great way for new players to learn to build and identify winning poker hands without needing a lot of money.