Video Poker: A Guide to Playing for Free or Real Money in 2022

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How to Select Free Video Poker Sites

The simple approach is to conduct an internet search for “casinos near me with video poker.” However, it is even easier to avoid the hassle of dressing up and visiting a land-based gaming facility.

Instead, you can stay at home and enjoy playing on video poker machines from the comfort of your room. Here is how players can choose a site that fits their needs!

Licenses and Security

A reputable online casino will always secure a license from a reputable gambling facility. A license confirms that the platform complies with regulations, laws, and industry standards.

Apart from that, look for transaction encryptions and other security measures. They ensure players feel safe on the platform. Finally, an independent certificate from e-COGRA or similar bodies confirms that the software guarantees fair-play and equal odds for all players.

Video Poker Selection

The next thing to consider is which variations of this game the platform offers. There is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to the best video poker game to play. Trying all variations for free is wise when deciding which variation fits you the most.

Cross-Platform Support

The best casinos will ensure players can enjoy video poker on PC, laptop, and mobile devices. As for playing on the go, some sites offer free apps for Android and iOS. Others ensure their website is mobile-friendly and require a web browser. Either way, the important thing is that everything works smoothly, and you can enjoy all video poker variations regardless of your location.

Payment Methods

Check out the payment methods and confirm the one you want to use is listed. The most popular options in Canada include debit and credit cards, e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill, bank transfers, Interac, etc. Most casinos will secure instant deposits, but confirm that withdrawals are also as fast as possible.

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Free VS Real Money Video Poker

You might like to keep things casual and enjoy free video poker, Jacks or Better and similar variations. But did you know there is an option to play real money video poker and take things to the next level? We compared both playing styles and here are the pros and cons we discovered!

Why You Should Choose Free Video Poker

  • Excellent for newbies – beginners need time to understand the rules. Instead of using a video poker trainer, free play allows learning all rules yourself. Players can get comfortable with the game’s interface and proceed to invest real money only when confident enough for that challenge.
  • No deposit required – enjoying video poker doesn’t require investing a single cent. That is the beauty of playing for free – it is possible to play as long as you want without investing any funds.
  • Peace of mind – not investing money means you don’t have to worry about your finances. That provides peace of mind and ensures a casual and fun gaming experience!

Is Real Money Poker Better Than Playing for Free?

  • It is a lot more exciting – if you like the excitement and thrill of real money gaming, you will love video poker for actual cash.
  • Profit while having fun – not only these games are entertaining, but they can boost your finances.
  • Use bonuses and other promotions – the best video poker sites offer welcome and other bonuses for players who want to try this game.

What Is the Best Video Poker Game to Play?

The good news is that free video poker sites offer a wide variation of games to play. From classics like Jacks or Better to modern machines, everyone should find their favorite easily. If you want to play video poker, here are the most popular variations available.

Jacks or Better

It is a classic and one of the best video poker machines to play out there. The casino industry finds this game the foundation of video poker. The rules are simple – you receive five cards and then replace the ones you want to swap. Finally, hand ranking is used to determine the winnings, and you can use the gamble feature to double them. It requires having at least a pair of jacks to win in this game!

jacks or better poker

Double Bonus

This variation is similar to Jacks or Better, but it includes an advanced payout structure for four of a kind winnings. The best strategy for Double Bonus video poker is to aim for four aces since they pay a lot more than four twos.

If you are looking for additional excitement, try the Double Double Bonus video poker. It is a more complex game that adds more depth to this variation.

Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild adds a wildcard to the classic video poker structure. Deuces (2s) are wildcards, and they replace any other card. That gives you plenty of room to win, which is why payouts are somewhat lower than in Jacks or Better.

Joker’s Wild

A similar game to the above-mentioned variation. Instead of 2s, jokers are added to act as wildcards in Joker’s Wild. A joker will even be a booster for certain prize tiers within this game.

How to Play Free Video Poker Jacks or Better

It is time to learn how to play video poker! We focused on Jacks or Better, but the gameplay is similar in other popular variations, too. Here is a detailed explanation of a single round in online free video poker!

Step 1: Pick the Desired Variation

Perhaps you want to experiment with a specific Jacks or Better video poker strategy, or you’d like to try a new gaming variation. Either way, everything starts by picking the site and game you want to play. Before you start, read the rules and discover all details about that variation.

Now, pick whether you want to play for free or real money. After deciding that, load the game and enter the main screen.

Step 2: Pick the Desired Bet

Your first step is to choose the preferred bet size. In video poker, your money will usually be presented in coins or “credits.” It is possible to convert this to real money and return the funds to your account after finishing playing.

For now, set the desired wager based on your playing preferences. Video poker allows players to remain at small bet sizes, but also increase wagers to boost adrenaline and thrill while playing.

Step 3: Click to Deal

In the first stage, you click on the “Deal” to see your initial cards. The software will deal you a hand, and you will notice cards on the screen. Take a look at them and establish your current card value.

Step 4: Choose Cards for Swapping

You will notice buttons like “hold” or “keep.” These serve to mark which cards to keep after the initial draw. Once you select them, click on “draw” and replace the other cards. You will receive random new cards from the active deck.

Step 5: Receive Potential Winnings and Play Again

The video poker machine will now award potential winnings. Make sure to analyze your hand and understand hand strength and why you won that much. Click on “Draw” to initiate a new round.

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Video Poker Payouts – Which Hand Pays the Best?

The best video poker strategy is to learn all rules of this game, and that includes understanding hand rankings. Let’s take a look at what players should know about hand strength and video poker payouts!

Royal Flush

The rarest and best hand you can have when playing real money and free video poker. It consists of suited cards from 10 to A. While this combination happens rarely, it is equal to winning a jackpot in other games.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is a suited straight of any five sequential cards apart from a royal flush. It can be from 2 to 6, or from 9 to K, or any other single-suited straight in between.

Four of a Kind

Another strong hand in online video poker gambling is four of a kind. Since players only use a single deck, that means you will have to land all four of the same card number. The value is identical whether players land 2, 2, 2, 2 or A, A, A, A combos.

Full House

A full house is a combination of three identical card values mixed with a pair of other card values. Users don’t have to match the suits, and all 3-2 combinations are worth the same.


If you happen to land five cards that belong to the same suit, that will be a flush. For this video poker combination, card value is irrelevant.


A sequence of five cards is called a straight in free video poker. Your sequence might be 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 10, J, Q, K, and A. As long as those cards are of different suits, it marks a straight in your hand rankings.

Three of a Kind

If you land three cards of identical value, you will be the third-lowest in hand rankings in most video poker variations.

Two Pairs

Most beginners find this confusing, but two pairs have a lower value than three of a kind. You get the same payout regardless of the pairs you get.

Two of a Kind

Some also call it a single pair, and it is the lowest hand you can get in most video poker variations. Some variations don’t even acknowledge this as a valid hand, and others require you to have a pair of specific strength to count.

Game Variations and Payouts

If you play video poker machines, always follow the hand ranking table for the variation currently played. For example, some variants won’t award you for landing two of a kind, and others will require to have a pair of Jacks Or Better.

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When it comes to payouts, they might be from 1x for the lowest winnings to 4,000x if you land a royal flush. Once again, this also depends on the video poker version chosen.

Can You Play Slots for Fun and Video Poker at the Same Website?

Whether you play slots for fun, video poker, or table games, it is nice to have them all available on the same website. That way, there is no need to switch platforms when changing a game.

The good news is that most casino sites offer a wide variety of games. That includes slots with different reel layouts and a number of paylines, as well as table games like roulette and blackjack. The selection usually includes classic video poker machines, too.

Depending on your preferred website, players might be able to choose from hundreds of games. When it comes to video poker, a selection of five or more games should cover all gaming needs. Casinos frequently compete on which platform will offer more slots. That is why players can enjoy various slots from classic three-reel machines to advanced five-reel layouts with extra features. Those include bonus rounds, free spins, and mini-games you play within that software.

Newbie-Friendly Tips for Winning at Classic Video Poker Machines

What is the best video poker strategy for winning at this game? That depends on your playing style, but here are some tips that will improve your odds when playing video poker free online!

1.      Always Play for Free First

If you don’t have previous experience with this game, playing for free is the best video poker trainer you can find. You will have fun discovering how the interface and gameplay work. Once you are ready, participating in real money games will be easy. If you stick to the same game, everything will look identical, except you will be investing actual cash.

2.      Learn the Basic Terms

Here are some terms that could help to improve your odds when playing video poker:

  • Credits – most games will show your funds in credits or coins rather than actual cash.
  • Discard – it is an action that chooses to swap the cards you don’t need after the initial hand.
  • A face card – jacks, queens, and kings belong to this category.
  • House edge – the mathematical advantage of the casino when you are playing video poker. Every game comes with a house edge, and this one is no exception.
  • Paytable – it is a table that showed how much players win when assembling particular hands.

3.      Master the Art of Keeping the Right Cards

Jacks or Better video poker requires at least a pair of jacks to win. However, higher prizes like a flush or four of a kind won’t consider card values. That is why adjusting the strategy based on your current hand is required.

For example, having three 2s is a sign to keep them since it marks a chance to get a poker after replacing other cards. But if you don’t have a strong initial hand, keeping aces or other high cards is advised.

4.      Play Responsibly

Always play only with the money that you can lose. That is the only way to have fun and enjoy video poker. Otherwise, you risk compromising finances and affecting your quality of life.

Consider deciding on a particular sum to spend before starting a session. Do not go over that sum and try to spread your bets and enjoy the game.

5.      Use Bonuses and Promo Codes

Many video poker for winners tips advises using welcome bonuses and other promotions when playing. Some casinos will grant no-deposit bonuses, and others offer deposit matches. These are bonus funds players can spend on video poker. They are an excellent jumpstart and can help users to boost their profits for free.

Video Poker FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I play multi-hand video poker?

Some platforms offer multi-hand video poker variations on their websites. These games allow playing with multiple hands at once. Although players might need some experience, it can take the thrill and engagement to an entirely new level.

Are casino bonuses eligible for video poker?

Yes, most casino bonuses are eligible to be used on video poker. Make sure to read all terms and conditions first. That way, anyone can confirm that a bonus is eligible for this type of game.

What is the RTP (return to player) percentage in video poker?

It varies on a particular game and platform. However, it usually varies from 95% to 99.5%. These RTP percentages are higher than in most other casino games.