Video Poker Rules

When you choose to play video poker, it’s important that you’re aware of the numerous game variations that have evolved over time. This is to ensure that you don’t get mixed up with the different video poker rules each variant has. After all, no one would wish for their bankroll to shrink because he confused the Jacks or Better strategy with that of Deuces Wild.

But before you learn myriads of video poker rules, make sure that you have a solid grasp of the basic rules of this popular casino game.  Having a full understanding of these rules will help you to easily pick up the mechanics of its game variations.

This is a common rule across all variants: a player must collect five cards forming a hand that ranks high in the system in order to win the highest possible payoff; in this case it’s a jackpot when you end up with a royal flush.

Although you may find that the video poker machines are already flashing cards on their screen, keep in mind that the game only begins once you deposit money or insert a bar-coded ticket. In the event you’re playing video poker online, the game starts as soon as you make a wager. Upon wagering, expect the machine to deal five cards from a 52-card virtual deck.

Once you have analyzed all five cards in hand, decide which of these you will hold and which you will discard. Keep in mind that as part of the video poker rules, you can opt for card replacements only once every round, so don’t get this part confused with table poker. As such, you only have one more chance to form a winning hand to score payouts. Always remember that it’s better to have a higher-ranked hand to win bigger payouts as posted on the pay table.

To have a clear picture of the hand rank system, here are all possible winning hands ranked from highest to lowest:

  • Royal flush
  • Straight flush
  • Four of a kind
  • Full house
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair
  • Pair

Now, depending on the video poker rules of each game variant, expect to see some added twists to make the game more fun. For example, you can catch a five of a kind in Deuces Wild since the deuces play as a wild card, therefore giving the player to choose whichever value and suit he wishes to complete a winning hand. But once you have mastered these basic rules, you will, no doubt, have an easier time learning the rules of the other video poker games.