Video Poker

Love video poker? LCB has the best video poker bonuses sorted and ranked just for you!
100% up to
$1000
90x(b+d) Wagering
200% up to
$2000
60x(b+d) Wagering
Skip To The List of Bonuses

Video Poker by aka Wizard of Odds

The first video poker game was unleashed in 1979 by IGT under its previous name SIRCOMA.  This was only a few years after the first video slot machine was unveiled, both taking advantage of lower costs in producing cathode ray video monitors.  As our caveman ancestors probably stared at campfires for hours, so have gamblers become hooked on the warm glow of video-based gambling machines. 

The Rules & Variations

The rules of video poker are based on conventional five-card draw poker.  However, the goal isn't to beat other players, it is to form winnings hands, the harder the hand to form, the more it generally pays.  The most basic pay table was originally called "Draw Poker," but has become known today as "Jacks or Better." 

The machine has three key buttons that are important to the play process of each hand: 

• “Deal” will confirm a bet and deal five random cards across the screen.

• “Hold” features 5 buttons (one for each card), select the card(s) you wish to keep with an option to hold zero to all five cards

• “Draw” will replace any cards that were not held with random cards from the rest of the deck. 

Some of the many other games that have come along, generally with the idea of pumping up the big wins at the expense of the small ones are Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker Plus, Double Double Bonus Poker, Triple Double Bonus Poker, Super Double Bonus, and Super Double Double Bonus. Wild card games are some of the most popular video poker games, namely Deuces Wild and Joker Poker.

While there have been variants of the game, one that bears special mention is multi-play video poker.  Here the player doesn't play one hand at a time, but many, each starting with the same cards on the deal, but are dealt independent cards to each hand on the draw.  Lately, many new variants have come along that have some kind of bonus feature, which the player must double his bet to activate the possibility of earning it.

Popularity

Video poker is an enormous success in the United States.  However, its popularity has failed to have a universal appeal.  Perhaps because poker is also very popular in the United States and even non-players are familiar with the basic rules.

Playing Video Poker Online

Internet casinos usually have plenty of video poker games to choose from.  I imagine that this is because once one is designed, it is easy to clone it over and over with different pay tables.  However, most software providers of games to Internet casinos evidently know nothing about the mathematics of the game as they tend to have bizarre pay tables that can have a house edge anywhere from 0.1% up to 20%.  Take BetSoft, for example.  At last count, they offered 19 different video poker games with a house advantage ranging from 0.2% in Split Way Royal to 16.4% in Pyramid Bonus Poker.  It would be an understatement to say it pays to shop around.

 

Game selection is only half the battle.  The second half is knowing which cards to keep and which to throw away.  Video poker strategy can get complicated and there is a different strategy for every game.  The good news is our sister site, Wizard of Odds, has a wealth of information about video poker, including return percentages for hundreds of games and pay tables, calculators, strategy generators, and a demo game that corrects you when you make a mistake. 

If you hunt out the best games and play your cards right, or nearly right, video poker can be one of the best games in the casino.  However, it requires a lot of homework to play well.  If you just play your own best guess, you are going to part with your money quickly.

I could write a book on video poker strategy but let me just give you a few examples, based on 9-6 Jacks or Better (the 9 refers to the pay on a full house and the 6 to a flush), to give as an example of how to think about the game. 

Strategy

Expected return is the amount of profit or loss an investor anticipates on an investment that has various known or expected rates of return. It is calculated by multiplying potential outcomes by the chances of them occurring, and summing these results. - investopedia.com

Example 1

    

This is one of the most frequently made and expensive errors in video poker -- the choice between a single high card or a low pair.  The right play is the low pair, by far.  The expected return holding the low pair is 82.37% of the bet amount, compared to only 48.29% for the high card.  By the way, do not even consider holding a kicker to a low pair.  That is something you might do in live poker, but not video poker.

  expected return = 82.37%

 expected return = 48.29%

Example 2

    

Here is one that occurs a fair bit and I think most players play incorrectly -- the choice between a high pair and three to the royal.  Going for the royal is certainly the more exciting hold.  However, as a rule of thumb, the more conservative choice is usually right.  In this situation the expected return of the pair of queens is 153.65% and the three to the royal draw is 128.95%.

  expected return = 153.65%

   expected return = 128.95%

Example 3

    

Here is one that is easy to make a mistake on.  I must confess I've made this error playing video poker games that correct on errors.  On first glance, it looks like an ace plus a lot of junk.  Easy, keep the ace only.  However, the correct play is the go for the three to a straight flush draw.  The expected value of holding the suited A-2-5 is 54.30% while the ace only is 46.56%.

   expected return = 54.30%

 expected return = 46.56%

Example 4

    

I know I said that usually the conservative play is the right one, but here is an exception.  The choices are three to a royal or four to a flush.  The right play, in general, is to hold the three to a royal.  In this case the expected value of hold the three to a royal is 128.68% and the four to the flush is 127.66%.  Video poker is full of close plays like this.

   expected return = 128.68%

    expected return = 127.66%

Example 5

    

Here we have three different high cards.  Which to keep?  The general rule with three unsuited high cards is to keep the lowest two only.  The reason for the lowest two is that there are more ways to form a straight around them.  There is an exception with J-Q-K, where you should hold all of them.  In this example, the expected value of holding the jack and queen only is 49.92%.  Holding all three is 45.61%. 

  expected return = 49.92%

   expected return = 45.61%

Test Yourself

You can use my video poker hand analyzer to calculate the right hand for any set of cards under any pay table for all the common video poker games.

Best Video Poker Bonuses

Bonuses Found: 80

Show Filters
Virginia

To save you time, we are only displaying casinos that are accepting players from Virginia.
If we have jumped the gun, you can remove that filter by clicking here.

Limitless
Bonus code: LCBNOLIMIT

Exclusive Bonus - Read Details

100% up to $1000

Bonus code: LCBNOLIMIT

1xd lowest WR

4.1 / 437 votes

Slots of Vegas
Bonus code: NEW190

190% up to $1900

Bonus code: NEW190

30xb lowest WR

0.7 / 414 votes

moreless CLAIM

Sloto'Cash
Bonus code: TABLE1MATCH

100% up to $500

Bonus code: TABLE1MATCH

25x(b+d) lowest WR

3.9 / 1138 votes

iNetBet
Bonus code: LCB210

Exclusive Bonus - Read Details

210% up to $500

Bonus code: LCB210

40x(b+d) lowest WR

3.5 / 662 votes

300% up to $1500 + 100 Spins

300x(b+d) lowest WR

3.3 / 151 votes

Uptown Aces
Bonus code: TABLEACES1

150% up to $750

Bonus code: TABLEACES1

30x(b+d) lowest WR

3.9 / 696 votes

Everygame Classic
Bonus code: SIGNUP100

100% up to $100

Bonus code: SIGNUP100

300x(b+d) lowest WR

3.7 / 107 votes

iNetBet
Bonus code: 100GAME

100% up to $500

Bonus code: 100GAME

25x(b+d) lowest WR

3.5 / 662 votes

Casino Adrenaline
Bonus code: LCB125

Exclusive Bonus - Read Details

125%

Bonus code: LCB125

150x(b+d) lowest WR

3.6 / 558 votes

Shazam
Bonus code: ALAKAZAM

250%

Bonus code: ALAKAZAM

175x(b+d) lowest WR

4 / 170 votes

MrO
Bonus code: KICKOFF

400% up to $10000 + 400 Spins

Bonus code: KICKOFF

40x(b+d) lowest WR

4.3 / 206 votes

BoVegas
Bonus code: WELCOME

250% up to $5500

Bonus code: WELCOME

175x(b+d) lowest WR

3.2 / 98 votes

400% up to $2000 + 100 Spins

400x(b+d) lowest WR

3 / 59 votes

Slots Plus
Bonus code: IDBVEGAS

150% up to $3000

Bonus code: IDBVEGAS

90x(b+d) lowest WR

5 / 519 votes

Captain Jack
Bonus code: GS001

100% up to $1000

Bonus code: GS001

60x(b+d) lowest WR

1.1 / 221 votes

moreless CLAIM

Club Player
Bonus code: WELCOME250

250%

Bonus code: WELCOME250

60x(b+d) lowest WR

0.5 / 274 votes

moreless CLAIM

177% up to $2888

350x(b+d) lowest WR

2.9 / 85 votes

MrO
Bonus code: LCB450

Exclusive Bonus - Read Details

450% up to $10000

Bonus code: LCB450

45x(b+d) lowest WR

4.3 / 206 votes

350% up to $300

400x(b+d) lowest WR

2.7 / 203 votes

Vegas Casino Online
Bonus code: VEGASPLAY

300% up to $3000

Bonus code: VEGASPLAY

90x(b+d) lowest WR

5 / 591 votes

El Royale
Bonus code: GARNET

240% up to $2400

Bonus code: GARNET

200x(b+d) lowest WR

2.3 / 156 votes

moreless CLAIM

200% up to $1000

400x(b+d) lowest WR

2.5 / 265 votes

300% up to $3000 + 50 Spins

450x(b+d) lowest WR

2.9 / 25 votes

Ruby Slots
Bonus code: NEW250

250% up to $2500 + 25 Spins

Bonus code: NEW250

60xb lowest WR

0.8 / 187 votes

moreless CLAIM
Exclusive Bonus - Read Details

150% up to $150

500x(b+d) lowest WR

3.6 / 714 votes

300% up to $500

500x(b+d) lowest WR

2.5 / 163 votes

Lucky Legends
Bonus code: DOUBLEBITS

150%

Bonus code: DOUBLEBITS

50xb lowest WR

1.9 / 54 votes

moreless CLAIM

Old Havana
Bonus code: Havana250

250% up to $2500

Bonus code: Havana250

60x(b+d) lowest WR

5 / 278 votes

Old Havana
Bonus code: Havana200

200% up to $2000

Bonus code: Havana200

60x(b+d) lowest WR

5 / 278 votes

Treasure Mile
Bonus code: Code: 200BRIGHT

200% up to €/$4000 + 50 Spins

Bonus code: Code: 200BRIGHT

600xb lowest WR

3.1 / 384 votes

Load More Load All Bonuses remaining: 50
Latest Casino Bonuses
Latest Casino Bonuses

Latest Video Poker Related News

All Video Poker Related News

Join today and start earning rewards

You will immediately get full access to our online casino forum/chat plus receive our newsletter with news & exclusive bonuses every month.

Enter your name

Enter your email address

Join instantly with your social account