1 May

How to Win Cash Playing Video Poker Online

Increase Your Odds of Winning Online Video Poker with these Quick Tips

How to Win Cash Playing Video Poker Online

What’s the best casino game to play with strategy? 99 out of 100 people will answer blackjack. Only the most educated gamblers know that certain video poker games offer the lowest house edge in the casino. Play your cards right, and with just a smidgen of luck, you can make a nice profit.

How to Play Video Poker and Win Real Money

Like any strategic gambling game, it takes hard work and dedication to achieve an optimal return. The following steps will walk you through setting up an online casino account, picking the right video poker games, and employing basic strategy. We cannot guarantee you’ll win, but we can promise you the best chance of prospering.

  1. Learn to Play: All video poker games follow the same basic set of rules, akin to a traditional 5-card draw poker game.
  2. Pick a Game: Each video poker variant differs from the next in some way. Find out what separates the good from the bad, and how to pick the lowest edge video poker game.
  3. Employ Proper Strategy: Gut instincts won’t help you beat the house. Only precise decision-making strategies will achieve optimal returns.
  4. Online Casino Account: Learn how to join a safe casino website, make a secure deposit, and play for real money.
DisclaimerNot all forms of gambling are legal in all provinces of Canada. The legal age to gamble also varies by province. Breaking the law is a serious matter. The information provided on this website is meant for educational purposes only, and we will not be held liable for any irresponsible/illegal activity on your part. Know the gambling laws in your province and follow them. The following pages provide more information on Canadian gambling laws:

1. Learn How to Play Video Poker

Video poker is one of the easiest games to understand. It’s the same as any 5-card draw poker game. Your goal is to achieve the highest-ranking poker hand possible from the cards you’re given. Unlike traditional poker games, you’re not competing against other players. Instead, you’re hoping to develop a strong enough hand rank to evoke a payout. The higher the hand’s rank, the more it’s worth.

Every video poker game is played in two phases; the starting hand phase, and the draw phase. In the first phase, you’re given 5 cards to start. You will look at these cards, then choose which ones to keep, and which ones to discard. Click on each card you want to keep, and the word HOLD will appear over it.
Next comes the draw phase. When you’re ready to discard, press the DRAW button. All cards that were held remain, and the rest are replaced with new ones. Note that you can discard as many cards as you like (up to all 5), or none at all.

Once the draw phase is complete, the results are shown. If you have a good enough hand for a payout, your winnings are received. Your hand is highlighted on the paytable to reflect the winnings. If your hand was not good enough, you lose your bet.

Poker Hand Ranks

The minimum winning poker hand can vary from one game to the next. In a game of Jacks or Better Video Poker, the minimum hand rank to win is a Pair of Jacks, meaning a Pair of Tens, or anything less, loses. Traditional poker hand rankings, from highest to lowest, are as follows:

Poker Hand Description
Royal Flush Ace-high straight (A-K-Q-J-10), suited.
Straight Flush Any 5 cards in sequence, suited.
Four of a Kind Four cards of the exact same rank.
Full House Three of a Kind + Pair
Flush 5 cards of the same suit.
Straight Any 5 cards in sequence.
Three of a Kind Three cards of the exact same rank.
Two Pair Pair + Pair
Pair Two cards of the exact same rank.
High Card None of the above; highest card in hand.

2. Picking the Right Video Poker Game

When you’re aiming to win, choosing the best game has everything to do with its expected return. It’s what the industry calls the theoretical return to player, or RTP for short. The rules of each game and its paytable will determine the RTP, based solely on mathematical probabilities.

Most video poker games boast an RTP of 98% and up, but there are a few with lower RTPs that should be strictly avoided. Deuces Wild is one of the most popular video poker variants in the world, but only among those who don’t pay attention to strategy. Its four wild cards make the game seem more rewarding, and more fun to play, but the trade-off is an RTP of 96.77%. If you come across a game called Louisiana Poker, steer clear! It has the worst RTP I’ve ever seen in a video poker game, coming in at just 93.45%.

On the opposite end of that spectrum are ultra-high RTP games. An online variant known as All Aces presents an RTP of 99.92%. That means that, with the right strategy, players can (theoretically) expect to win back 99.92% of all money wagered (in the long term), and will conversely lose 0.08% of all money wagered. This still gives the edge to the casino, but it’s so slight that, with the tiniest smidgen of luck, you can easily make a profit.

Thus, picking the right game is all about choosing the one with the highest RTP (i.e. lowest house edge). As I stated above, to the best of my knowledge, the highest RTP video poker game online is All Aces (99.92%). It is a game developed by Microgaming. You can view the entire line-up of Microgaming video poker variants and their respective RTPs here:

Luck = Volatility

When I say luck, I’m talking about the volatility, or variance, in a game. All casino games exude volatility. If they did not, short-term and long-term results would be equal. In turn, there would be no winners, just a lot of small-time losers.

Variance is easiest to explain in terms of flipping a coin. The odds of landing on heads or tails are 50/50. They are always 50/50. That doesn’t mean that a coin that lands on heads will land on tails the next time it is flipped.

It is the variance that often results in two, three, four, even ten or more of the same results at a time. These are short-term results, and rarely match the expected return. However, if you were to flip a coin one million times, those long-term results would be a lot closer to the expected 50/50 percent of heads versus tails.

3. Playing Video Poker with Basic Strategy

I’m not going to bore you with a list of situational decisions to be made while playing video poker. Do you have any idea how long this section would be if I did? The truth is, that the strategy for every variant of the game is different. The rules and paytable of each game determine the best way to play.

With that in mind, I am recommending the following mobile apps for training purposes:

WinPoker for iPhone and iPad

WinPoker is an older app, and it shows. Despite its clunky, outdated appearance, the math is precise and it features 31 different video poker variants. Personally, I appreciate the lack of glitz and bling, as it’s less distracting. The only downside is this one will cost you CA $13.99.

Practice Video Poker for iPhone and iPad

If you’re looking for a free option, here’s another good video poker app that’s worth checking out. This one is only available for iOS devices. It covers 10 different video poker games, and allows you to change the paytable to accommodate other variants that aren’t listed.

Video Poker Trainer for Android

Honestly, there aren’t as many good video poker strategy apps for Android as there are for Apple devices. Video Poker Trainer is the highest-rated edition, and offers the most features overall. It includes a situational strategy for 8 common games, but seems to be more aimed at entertainment than education. It’s a decent option, though, if you need to go with Android.

  • Oops! This App is No Longer Available 🙁

4. Where and How to Play Video Poker for Money

Choosing the right online casino is the most important step of all. Not all iGaming websites are what you would call upright businesses. You need to choose one that is reputably licensed, has at least a few years of distinguished operation under its belt, and accepts players from your country.

Don’t worry, it’s not such a daunting task. All it takes is a little knowledge, and a few minutes’ worth of due diligence on your part. This brief tutorial will teach you everything you need to know:

Funding an Online Gambling Account

Once you’ve chosen an online casino, you’ll need to make a deposit to play for real money. If the operator is trustworthy (see Crash Course above), you have nothing to worry about. All you have to do is follow simple instructions.

Start by pressing the Banking/Cashier button from the menu. Next, choose Deposit. A list of eligible payment methods will be provided. Select the one that suits you best, and follow the directions provided. The money should appear in your account within a few seconds.

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