Last Update: Mar. 14, 2013
Video poker made its entry to the casino in the seventies; and is today one of the most popular forms of gambling. For the player who likes a game of skill, a low house edge, the possibility of large wins, and the anonymity of playing alone there is nothing else that can compare to video poker. The rules of video poker are simple; you play 1 to 5 coins, the machine give you five cards, you choose which to hold and which to discard, the machine replaces your discards and pays you off according to the value of your hand.
You may have heard the adage that the "house always has the advantage." Video poker is an exception to that rule. If you look for the most liberal pay tables, and play them properly, you can have a thin advantage. Some pay tables, which are slightly in the machine's favor, can return over 100%, if you factor in incentives such as cash back, free play, mailers, and other comps.
Following are the rules for standard video poker.
Following are some strategies to some of the most popular video poker games:
Quick Quads strategies:
Ultimate X strategies:
For just the pay tables and returns of major games and pay tables see my Video Poker Return Summary.
Can't find the game or pay table you're looking for? Video Poker Help Starts Here also carries lots of return tables.
Play for Fun
Practice over a dozen video poker games on my new and improved video poker game.
Five-Card Hand Calculator
My free video poker analyzer will calculate the best way to play any hand and any pay table for most video poker games.
Game Return Calculator
My video poker analyzer will calculate the return for just about any video poker game in seconds.
I'm very proud to offer the only free video poker strategy maker. Enter any common game and then the pay table and the calculator will produce a near-optimal strategy. Here is an example of the output for 9-6 Jacks or Better.
Miscellaneous Advice and Comments
Video Poker in San Diego
In November 2008 I did a video poker survey of the 11 casinos in San Diego County.
Video Poker in Macau
For a detailed explanation of the video poker scene in Macau, please visit my companion site, Wizard of Macau .
Video Poker Wizard
Please support this site by purchasing my Video Poker Wizard. For a host of video poker games, you can practice your game, with or without advice, or analyze any hand or pay table. A great way to have fun and improve your game anywhere.
Reason #2 why the Wizard likes Bovada:
No-hassle practice games
Most online casinos spend more effort trying to separate you from your money than they do trying to give you a good experience. They have all kinds of popup windows, they usually make you download their software, and if they do offer play-in-browser games then you have to register an account before you can play. And if you register they start sending you emails trying to get you to deposit real money.
But Bovada is different. They have no popup windows at all, and their practice games play right in your browser, with no download, and no registration required. You don’t even have to give up your email address. It couldn’t be simpler: just one click and you’re playing the game.
I wish all online casinos showed this much respect for their players. Other casinos practically ask for your first born child to play for free. Meanwhile Bovada is patient and does not twist anybody’s arm to play for real money. You can play as long as you like for free with no obligation. The real-money games are available if that’s your preference, but if not, you can play the free practice games for as long as you like without hassle.