Tuesday, August 11, 2020

How to Choose a Video Poker Variation

Staff Writer in Casino Strategies 30 Oct 2017


You fancy the idea of playing poker against the machine but once you found yourself at an online casino you get overwhelmed by all the options you have? If a multitude of Video Poker variations you can choose from makes you indecisive, you have landed on the right page. In this article we will deal with all the aspects you should take into consideration when choosing which one of them you will play.


Before you opt for a Video Poker variant, you should explore the paytables of offered games. Once you start scrolling them, you will notice that not all the games pay the same way. What you should look out for is a full pay paytable, which means that the machine pays 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush hand. If we talk about Jacks or Better, which is undoubtedly one of the most popular Video Poker variations, the overall expected return to player differs depending on the paytable. The full pay game has the return of 99.54%, which makes it one of the games with the lowest house edge of only 0.46%. The same variation with 9/5 paytable has the return of 98.44% while this rate decreases to 98.39% if you opt for an 8/6 machine and so on.

If the casino you play at does not offer full pay Video Poker variants, opt for a 9/5 machine which still pay better than 8/6 machines. Learning about paytables is one of the first things you should do before you place your bets on a Video Poker game.

Hand Ranking Requirements

Another thing you have to check out while exploring a paytable is a hand ranking system. Not all the games treat poker hands the same way, so learn about ranking requirements before you place your bet. Keep in mind that some Video Poker variations require at least a pair of Queens or even two pairs to deliver a payout, so choose the one that you will play wisely.


Some Video Poker machines offer double-or-nothing bonus bets. This feature provides a player with an opportunity to use their winning as a bet in a game during which they can double their previous payout or lose it. The machine will draw a card at random and the player should choose one card from a set of five face-down cards. The player wins if their card value is higher. If the values are the same, the player pushes. Another variation of the Double up feature includes guessing if the hidden card is red or black. This is a wager with no house edge which will add more excitement to the gameplay and provide you with a chance of doubling your winnings. If you like to risk, you might consider playing Video Poker variants with the Double up feature included.

Lucky Numbers

You are already familiar with the fact that Video Poker is a game of skill. By applying a proper strategy and choosing a right machine, a player can gain an edge over the casino. However, this is a game of luck at the same time and while your performance may depend on your decisions and moves, you still have to be lucky enough to get good cards which will create a nice poker hand. Some players are more superstitious than others and believe that their lucky numbers can contribute to a better result. If you are one of them, you can choose a Video Poker variant based on the numbers it uses. Some Video Poker games include numbers like 2, 7 or 8 which act as wild cards. If any of these is your lucky number, give a variant which includes it a try and by applying the right strategy you can create a good poker hand to beat the machine.

Theme and Looks

Video Poker is all about playing cards, so there aren’t many options to choose from when it comes to themes and graphics. Yet, we have to admit that some variant look better than others and if this aspect of the game is important to you, you can choose one with aesthetics that you like best. However, no matter how good a Video Poker variant can look, it is more important how it pays, so instead of one coming with all the bells and whistles, choose a full pay machine which will deliver nice payouts in the long run.

To learn how to play Video Poker and improve your winning chances, read our Tips & Strategy articles.


Staff Writer



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