How to Play Video Poker

Video Poker follows the same rules as the regular five card draw game but is played in single player mode and on a video screen, much like a slot machine. The player is dealt five cards and is given the option of keeping the cards he wants and discarding the rest. Replacement cards and then dealt for the discarded ones. This final five card hand is assessed and you are paid out according to the strength of your hand. Although the odds paid out for the different poker hands varies from machine to machine, the following table of hand rankings gives a good indication of how odds tend to be proportioned:

Video Poker Hand
Royal Flush
Straight Flush
4 of a Kind
Full House
3 of a Kind
2 Pair
Jacks or Better
Example Payout
250 for 1
250 for 1
25 for 1
9 for 1
6 for 1
4 for 1
3 for 1
2 for 1
1 for 1

There are many different versions of video poker which feature different wild cards, bonuses and some that have progressive jackpots. The above table is based on a typical Jacks or Better game with no wild cards.

Most casinos also offer you a "double or nothing" bonus round option of doubling your winnings if you win. If you choose this, a new hand will be dealt with the first card facing up and the last four facing down. The face-up card is the dealer's card, and you have to pick one of the four face-down cards as your own.

  • If the card you pick is higher than the dealer's card, you will win double the amount that you won from your video poker hand.
  • If the card you pick is lower, you will lose and you will also lose the winnings from your video poker hand.
  • Ties will normally result in you getting your money back, but each casino is different and the rules can vary, so be sure to check them.

In some casinos you can theoretically continue to double your forever, but most casinos will only let you double your winnings up to five times.

Be Gamble Aware