Video Poker is considered one of the best bets at online casinos. However, this card game comes in many variations, and they don’t pay the same way. Video poker is a game of skill, and as such, it allows you to make the moves that can affect the outcome. Before you start playing any of the game variants, you should know all about it.
Video Poker can be considered as a combination of a slot machine and a Poker game. As such, it can help you learn how Poker works and how to play it. However, Video Poker pays higher prizes than any Poker variant while offering a pretty high return to player. In other words, it comes with a low house edge. As a matter of fact, some Video Poker variants have an RTP above 100%, which means that the player has an advantage over the casino.
What makes Video Poker similar to slots is the fact that the RNG deals the cards. On the other hand, in Video Poker, you get to choose which cards you will keep and which of them you will discard to create the best possible 5-card hand. That’s what makes this game similar to Poker games. Cards are valued like in Poker, yet each Video Poker game has its own paytable.
When choosing a Video Poker variant, you have to be familiar with how it pays. All payouts are listed in a paytable, so that’s where you should look up for the answers. You should check out how much a full house and a flush pay, to be specific. What you see in the paytable affects the theoretical RTP of the game.
For instance, a 9/6 Jacks or Better game boasts an RTP of 99.54% while the same game with a full house paying 8:1 and a flush paying 5:1 has an RTP of 97.3%. When you translate these numbers into money, while playing 9/6 Jacks or Better, you will theoretically lose £0.46 on £100 wagered. As for 8/5 Jacks or Better, your theoretical loss increases to £2.7 on £100. The first version of the game is called full-pay.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the most popular Video Poker variations you can play online.
Jacks or Better is undoubtedly the most popular game variant, especially its full-pay version. It is considered the basic variation all other games are derived from. The main goal in the game is to create a 5-card poker hand that is a pair of Jacks or higher, hence the name. Initially, you receive five cards, and you get to choose which of them you will keep or discard. The maximum payout is earned with a royal flush, and it pays 800:1 when you play the maximum bet of 5 coins.
Another Video Poker variation you can find at most online casinos is Deuces Wild. It shares most features with Jacks or Better. What makes it different is the fact that all deuces act as Wilds that can complete your hands. Another big difference between these two is in the paytable, starting with the lowest hand that can earn you a prize being a three of a kind. A royal flush is the most lucrative hand, and if you complete it with no Wilds included, you will earn 800:1. It is called a natural royal flush. This is one of the games where the player has an advantage over the casino as its RTP sits at 100.76% provided you find the full-pay version of the game. However, most gambling sites offer 8/5 Deuces Wild with an RTP of 99.73%.
Again, we have a game that slightly differs from Jacks or Better. While the two games share most of the rules, there is one that makes Bonus Poker an entirely different game. It is in the way a four of a kind hand pays. In Jacks or Better, all these hands, regardless of the cards, pay the same. In Bonus Poker, four Aces pay 80:1, which is the top payout for this hand ranking, while other hands pay 40:1 and 25:1. Also, the full-pay version of Bonus Poker has an RTP of 99.17%. Yet, a full house and a flush pay 8:1 and 5:1 in it.
Another Video Poker variant where you can get an edge over the house is Double Bonus Poker. It boasts an RTP of 100.17%, and it is very similar to Bonus Poker with the difference in payouts awarded by a four of a kind hand. To put it simply, all payouts for this hand are doubled when compared with those paid out in Bonus Poker. Another difference is in how much a full house and a flush pay. If you find the full-pay Double Bonus Poker variant, these two hands can earn you a payout of 10:1 and 7:1, respectively. However, because of these lucrative prizes, low-ranking hands pay smaller amounts. For instance, two pairs will earn you 1:1 instead of 2:1.
You are looking again at a game where you can have the edge over the house as Double Double Bonus Poker comes with an RTP of 100.07%. Its name suggests that it shares certain features with Double Bonus Poker, yet the most significant difference between these two is in payouts, which are higher in Double Double Bonus Poker. Payouts are higher for a four of a kind hands going up to 400:1. Also, the game allows you to create these hands with the kicker.
Another variation of Bonus Poker triples payouts for four of a kind hands. They can pay up to 240:1, which is three times as much as in Double Bonus Poker. The RTP for Triple Bonus is 99.94% with the right paytable. However, you may find the game with an RTP ranging between 94% and 95%, which is not that attractive offer, we must admit.
Also known as Joker Poker, this is the last entry in our list of the best Video Poker variants you can play online. Instead of 52 cards, Joker Wild has 53 cards in play because of a Joker that serves as Wild and can complete your hands. It differs from Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild thanks to a different paytable as well. To win a prize, you need to create a hand consisting of a pair of Kings or better. If you create a hand composed of two pairs, you will get even money instead of 2:1. The game allows you to create a five of a kind hand that pays 200:1. Just like in Deuces Wild, you can have a royal flush and a natural royal flush created without Wild. The latter pays 800:1. By playing the game according to the perfect strategy, you can benefit from the RTP of 100.64%.
Now that you know the basics of the most popular Video Poker variants, choose the one you like best and make sure to learn the proper strategy to increase your odds. This is the game that allows you to benefit from a high RTP provided you make the moves according to the strategy, just like in Blackjack. Also, check out our top 7 Video Poker tips to make the most of playing the game!
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