Best Video Poker tips for beginners

February 8, 2024
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Looking for something new from your online gambling in 2024? Then why not try Video Poker! It’s easy to learn, it’s fun, and thanks to its unique blend of strategy and luck. It’s a firm favourite among online gaming fans.


Don’t worry if you’re a beginner, or even if you’ve never gambled online before – Video Poker is simple enough for you to pick up and enjoy. No matter what your skill level. And if you play your cards right. It could bring some big rewards your way too. Take a look at our guide to the ins and outs of Video Poker. And get ready to deal yourself into a wild jackpot ride!


Learning the basics of Video Poker


First things first, before you start to play Video Poker, you’ll need to learn the rules first. As a game that combines elements of both slot machines and Poker too, Video Poker is endlessly engaging. And wonderfully easy to learn as well. Quite simply, the objective of the game is to create the best possible hand from a standard deck of 52 cards. Similar to the rules in 5-Card Poker. The better your hand, the more you’ll win based on your game’s specific paytable. That’s all there is to it!


But how does it actually work? First off you’ll need to choose your bet size. One that’s tailored to your budget. Once you’ve settled on this, hit the ‘Deal’ button and the casino will instantly deal you a hand of 5 cards from a random shuffle. Your job then is to decide which cards you’d like to keep. And which cards you’d like to discard. In order to decide this, you’ll need to look at the cards you’ve been dealt. And determine the strongest hand that you can create with them.


Video Poker is quite the game.


To keep a card, just tap on it, then press the ‘Draw’ button once you’ve selected all the cards you’re happy with. You can even discard all 5 of them if you like (although this is obviously a riskier proposition). You’ll then be dealt a second round of cards to make up your final hand in Video Poker. And it’s here where you’ll be paid out (or not) depending on the strength of your hand.


Learning hand rankings


If you’re not familiar with the game of Poker, you’ll need to spend a little time learning more about hand rankings. As it’s this knowledge that’ll help you build the best hand possible. On the other hand if you are a Poker player. Or even just know a little about the game. You’ll find it easy to navigate given that the hand rankings in Video Poker are identical:


Royal Flush – 10, J, Q, K, A, all of the same suit
Straight Flush – 5 sequential cards of the same suit
Four of a Kind – 4 cards, all with the same value
Full House – 3 cards of one suit and 2 cards of another
Flush – 5 cards of the same suit
Straight – 5 sequential cards of varying suits
Three of a Kind – 3 cards with the same value
Two Pair – 2 cards with the same value


The stronger your hand in Video Poker, the more you’ll win (based your chosen game’s paytable). That’s the good news. The even better news is that you’ll be paid out instantly. Meaning you can go on to play another game, and hopefully win even more. Super easy, super exciting too!


Strategy for beginners


Are there really any kinds of strategies you can play in Video Poker? Isn’t it all just based on chance? Yes, while Video Poker is as dependent on luck and randomness as any other online gambling game. There are still points you can bear in mind in order to help your game play along and protect your bankroll at the same time.


1. Know your paytables. We’ve mentioned this already but it’s worth exploring a little further. That’s because with the vast selection of Video Poker games available. It’s important to know exactly what you’re playing for in each one. Every individual Video Poker game has its own paytable. And you’ll need to be aware of the stakes involved in order to help you make informed decisions while you’re playing.


All you need is a little research.


By doing a little research beforehand, and paying attention to the paytable displayed within each Video Poker game, you’ll have crucial information as to which game will give you the best return on your investment. Because value is where it’s at. Not only that, knowing which paytable to play and which strategy to use could ultimately help you decrease the house edge to less than 1%. And help give you the winning advantage you’re looking for!


2. Start simple. With so many different types of Video Poker available. The choice can be almost overwhelming, particularly if you’re a beginner. That’s why it’s best to start with something easy. In order to build your confidence and gain experience without risking your bankroll at the same time.


Our top pick? Jacks or Better Video Poker, where all you need for a win is a hand with at least 2 Jacks.


It’s easy to play, it doesn’t involve a lot of strategy, and it’s fun too – which is what we call a win-win!


3. Know your hands. Your Video Poker hands, obviously. By far the biggest part of mastering Video Poker is knowing which cards to keep and which to discard. And it’s here where basic strategy comes in very useful. By finding the right strategy charts online and learning which cards to keep in which scenario. You’ll be able to make optimal decisions every time you play. Not only will this help improve your winning opportunities, it’ll give you the best chance of minimizing the damage to your bankroll at the same time.


4. Play within your limits. This doesn’t just apply to Video Poker but to every online gambling game. Before you hit the bet button in a gaming session, always make sure your gambling budget is in place. And that you stick to it throughout your game play. Make sure to set limits on your wagers, your losses, your winnings, and even the amount of time you spend gaming, if necessary. The more you’re able to play responsibly and manage your finances and your behaviour, the more successful you’ll be in the long run.


Improving your Video Poker odds


So now that you know the rules of Video Poker and some basic game play strategies. Let’s look at how we can improve your odds of winning.


Explore other variations


We’ve already recommended Jacks or Better as a good starting point for beginner players. Once you’ve gained more confidence and experience though. Try branching out and looking at other Video Poker variations, like Deuces Wild or Double Bonus Poker. You may even want to venture into Power Poker variations. Where you’ll be playing 5 hands of Video Poker simultaneously. For 5 times the winnings. The more types of Video Poker you explore. The more diverse and exciting gaming experience you’ll have.


Maximize your coin value


When placing your bets in video poker, look at playing the maximum number of coins. If you can afford to. Not only will it enhance your potential returns. It’ll give you the opportunity to go after the grand jackpot. Particularly if you’re holding a Royal Flush (a 10, J, Q and K of the same suit). Some online casinos even offer a bonus for a Royal Flush when playing with max coins. Making this a strategic choice for maximizing your payouts. So take a look at your bankroll, see if it’s a choice you can afford to make, and get your max coin bets on!


Play for free first


We know that we recommended you start with Jacks or Better Video Poker. But if you’re new to online gambling as a whole (or even if you just want to practise first) you might be better off playing for free. Most online casinos will offer a range of free or demo Video Poker games. More than enough for you to play without needing to place any real money bets. By playing Video Poker for free and testing the waters in a risk-free environment, you’ll gain the valuable experience you need. While protecting your bankroll at the same time.


And last but not least? Have fun! It’s not an actual Video Poker strategy. But it is the golden rule of gambling online. Whether you’re playing for free or real money, whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned expert. Make sure you focus on fun and entertainment. Because that’s what gambling’s all about.


So if you want to mix things up with your gambling this year and sprinkle in a little excitement too, consider adding Video Poker to the list of games you play. Whether as a once-off or more regularly. It’s easy to learn, easy to play, and it could be a welcome addition to your bankroll as well, if you’re lucky! Here’s to good luck and good gaming in 2024 and beyond!

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