Advanced Video Poker Guide


Advanced Video Poker Guide


Online Real Money Video Poker at Bodog

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Comprehensive Online Video Poker Guide


When it comes to casino games with a rock-bottom house edge, it’s hard to rival video poker. Most of the time, low house edge is reserved for games with a steep learning curve—like blackjack or craps. That’s not the case with video poker; if you know the basic hand rankings of Texas Hold’Em, you’re halfway to a winning video poker strategy.


Video poker is massively popular today, but it wasn’t always that way. When casinos rolled it out in the ‘70s, you needed two pairs to win a payout, and that wasn’t easy to get. When the game-makers loosened the minimum requirement to a pair of Jacks, video poker shot up in popularity, attracting people who liked game strategy, but found table games intimidating.


We’re glad video poker found its place in the casino market because we’re big fans of this simple yet rewarding game; that’s why we’ve stocked our Video Poker section with close to 20 games. To get you up to speed, we’ve compiled this comprehensive video poker guide, which shares the game basics, explains different categories of video poker and breaks down the paytables so you know what to look for. There are definitely ways to increase your winnings playing video poker, which is why we compiled these video poker tips.


Why Play Video Poker?


Anyone who likes the solo play of slot machines, but prefers the stimulation of table games will undoubtedly like video poker. Unlike with slots, video poker gives you control over the outcome of a round because in each round, you make a major decision that impacts your odds of winning: you get to choose which cards, out of five, could lead to a strong poker hand.


A lot of strategy is involved and good decisions are rewarded with a Return to Player that teeters above 99% depending on the game. Combine that with the fact that most video poker games include a major jackpot for landing a Royal Flush, and it’s clear why some casino players play video poker and only video poker.


Video Poker Basics


If you’re playing online video poker for the first time, there are a few things you need to know before getting started, including the rules of the game, an understanding of paytables, and an awareness of how to place the best bets for your video poker dollar.


The goal of the game is to draw a poker hand that meets the game’s minimum requirement for a payout. This could be a Pair, or 3 of a Kind; it’s always listed in the paytable. To start, you’ll be dealt five cards face-up. Out of those five cards, choose the ones you want to keep for your final hand. There are no rules regarding how many you can keep; simply click the cards you want, and the rest will be replaced with new cards when you hit “Draw.” As soon as you receive the new cards, your final hand is set. If it meets the minimum requirement, you get paid according to the paytable.


Some video poker games include a round of Double or Nothing, where you can try to double your win through a head to head face-off with the Dealer. To play, four cards are placed face-down on the screen, and one card (the Dealer’s card) is placed face-up. Pick one of the four cards, and if it’s higher than the Dealer’s, you win, and your payout is doubled. You can keep playing as long as you’re winning; however, a loss ends the Double or Nothing run, bringing you back to the main game screen.


All the information needed for payouts is included in the video poker paytable. Here, you’ll see a list of all the winning hands along with their coinciding payout.



Royal flush 10, J, Q, K, A of same suit 10H, QH, JH, AH, KH


Straight flush in sequence, five cards of same suit 3S, 4S, 5S, 6S, 7S


4 of a kind four cards of same rank 6D, 6S, 6C, 6H


Full house 3 of a kind, plus a pair 2H, 2D, 2S, 3H, 3S


Flush five cards of same suit 2D, 4D, 6D, 8D, 9D


Straight five cards in sequence 3H, 4C, 5H, 6S, 7D


3 of a kind three cards of same rank 7H, 7S, 7D


2 pair 2 pairs of different rank JH, JD, KS, KC


1 pair 1 pair (2 cards) of the same rank KS,KC


Take a look at this Loose Deuces paytable, and you’ll see that payouts increase systematically with each additional coin wagered. It’s important to always check how the payouts increase from 1 coin to 5 coins for the Royal Flush, as that reveals whether or not there’s a jackpot. With Loose Deuces for example, the payout increases by 300 coins for each additional coin wagered up to 4 coins. At 5 coins, the payout jumps from 1200 to 4000, meaning you absolutely want to bet 5 coins if possible. Had the payout been 1500, there would be less incentive. If 5 coins isn’t in your video poker budget, simply decrease the coin denomination to bring down the cost.


Video Poker Categories


Video poker may have started with just one version, but there are plenty of different ways to get in the action now. Wild cards, bonus payouts, single and multi-hand variants are examples of the different types of video poker games that you can play in our casino. We’ll explain each category.


Wild Card


Would you go for a higher minimum hand requirement if it meant getting a wild card that substitutes for any other card in the game? Deuces Wild, Bonus Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, and Loose Deuces are all wild card video poker games. All of these options, except for Joker Poker, have minimum hand requirements of a 3 of a Kind. Joker Poker’s minimum requirement is a pair of Kings and better.




Determining whether or not a video poker game has a jackpot means looking at the pay jump from Royal Flush on a 4-coin wager to Royal Flush on a 5-coin wager. If there’s a jackpot, there will be a higher jump than what you see leading up to the 5-coin wager. With the sole exception of Bonus Deuces Wild, all our video poker games include a jackpot for winning a Royal Flush on a 5-coin wager. Joker Poker includes a second jackpot that’s 5X the size for landing a sequential Royal Flush.


Jacks or Better


The most traditional video poker game you can play at Bodog is Jacks or Better. This no-frills video poker game has no wild cards or bonus payouts. Instead, it has a low minimum hand requirement and consistent payouts for all nine winning hands. Just be sure to check the paytable before playing to make sure you’re at a full pay machine. A full pay Jacks or Better pays 9 coins for a full house, and 6 coins for a flush.


Jacks or Better may not offer the flashy bonuses of some of the other video poker games, but it pays more for the mid-to-low tier hands. Because you hit these lower-tier hands far more often than the top-tier ones, you win more frequently, which is why Jacks or Better is considered a low-volatile video poker game.


You can play Jacks or Better four different ways: 1, 3, 10, or 52 Hands. When you play the multi-hand variants, you have a primary hand and secondary hands. For your primary hand, you select the cards you want to keep. Those cards will appear in all of your hands; however, each hand gets a unique set of replacement cards for the discarded ones, leaving you with final hands that are semi-unique. One thing to watch for when playing multi-hand versions of video poker is the paytable, as the multi-hand versions pay marginally less for a couple of mid-ranking poker hands.


The Importance of Video Poker Charts


A video poker chart is similar to a blackjack strategy chart, as it tells you the right way to play your hands, according to the math. Should you keep a low pair or three connectors to a Royal Flush? Follow the chart, and you’ll make the optimal move every time.


It certainly takes longer to use a video poker chart than a blackjack one, as you need to figure out every way your video poker hand can be played before checking how each way ranks in the prioritization list. But after some practice, your actions will begin to flow more naturally, as you get a better grasp on video poker strategy.


Learning how to play video poker well will not only set you apart from other players, it will also give you a taste for strategic decision-making in a casino. At that point, you may want to diversify, and learn how to dominate other games as well. But keep in mind, with the exception of certain blackjack games, no other game has a lower house edge than a full pay Jacks or Better video poker machine.



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