March 21, 2023 by

What Makes Video Poker Online Great?

Video poker online has a lot going for it. First, it gives die hard poker fans a chance to play poker without the existential threat of a bluff to contend with. Online video poker also offers gamers many different video poker games.

Slots Play Casinos says that video poker online is one of the best games online casinos offer!

Do Land-based Casinos Offer Many Video Poker Games, Too?

Land-based casinos are not located in cyberspace as are online casinos such as the ones we recommend. Land-based casinos bring in terminals for video poker play. In theory, then, they might offer a wide range of video poker games but there is a catch.

Only one player can play at any one video poker terminal. That means that many fewer players can enjoy video poker at land-based casinos at any given moment.

At an online casino, the number of players on any one game at any one moment is literally unlimited. That’s the fun of cyberspace! For this reason, an online casino may be called a video poker casino; no land-based casinos can boast of that moniker!

In addition, at 99.5%, the return to player rate in video poker is higher than in slots. So, land-based casinos have the incentive to bring in many more slots terminals than video poker terminals!

Since land-based casinos cannot alter the return to player rate in video poker, they have another way to increase the house edge. We will talk about it a bit later on.

How Do You Play Video Poker?

The basic rules are very simple. There might be slight changes in the rules for different online video poker games. Here are the basic rules:

  1. The dealer deals five cards to the player.
  2. The dealer gets no cards at all!
  3. Online video poker is always a form of five card draw poker.
  4. Thus, the competition, as it were, is all between the player and the pay table.
  5. The player decides which card or cards if any to trade in for new cards.
  6. Players can discard all five cards if they wish to do so.
  7. If the player has a winning hand, he or she receives money from the casino.

Very simple, indeed!

Video Poker Strategy is Not as Simple!

When gamers start playing online video poker, they tend to play by hunch. Video poker strategy requires that players think outside the box!

The most common strategy mistake new gamers make is to keep a winning pair even though they have the chance for a much better hand, one that pays a lot more than a simple winning pair pays

How Can New Players Learn the Best Strategy for Video Poker?

There are two excellent ways to learn strategy in video poker. One is to print out a strategy chart for the variation they want to play. Each variation has slightly (or greatly) different strategy.

The second excellent way to learn video poker strategy is to play free video poker.

Online Casinos Offer Many Free Video Poker Games

One of the hallmarks of good online casinos is that they offer unlimited free play. This extends to all the casino’s games. Playing free video poker games with a strategy chart in hand is the best way to learn how to play video poker!

When you play free online video poker, you will not win any real money. Instead, you will gain priceless experience playing the games and variations.

Let’s Play Video Poker Online

The three most popular video poker games are Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and Bonus Poker. The best strategy is different for each of these variations.

Here is where free video poker is truly invaluable. Gamers may use the wrong strategy card for a variation they are checking out! When you play free video poker, this common rookie mistake costs you no money!

Video Poker May Come in a Multi-hand Version

Multi hand video poker is not a variation per se. It is rather a gaming mode, a way to play online video poker that gives tremendous benefits and carries extra risks.

The benefits in multi hand video poker are the accumulating large pay outs for top hands. The risks are that players have to bet the maximum on every hand in order to qualify for the big bonus pay out for a Royal Flush.

The Pay Out in Video Poker is Very Important

We said above that we would talk about how land-based casinos alter the house edge, in their favor of course, in video poker. First, we must emphasize that NONE of the online casinos Slots Play Casinos recommends plays this insidious trick on video poker players.

What is the Trick?

The trick is to change the pay out for a full house from 9 coins to 8 and for a flush from 6 coins to five. These two pay out schedules are called 9-6 video poker or 8-5 video poker.

The difference these tweaks create is significant. Simply put, in 9-6 video poker the return to player rate is about 99.5% while in 8-5 video poker it is a few percentage points less. In 9-6 video poker, gamers can win money with just a little luck while in 8-5 video poker, a player needs a lot of luck to win real money!

The number of winning hands remains the same but the value of the winning hands changes dramatically!

Guess in Which Game Land-based Casinos Pull a Similar Trick

If you guessed blackjack, go to the head of the class! Many blackjack tables at land-based casinos pay only 6-5 for a blackjack. This also seems like a minor change in the pay scale but it increases the house edge by a few percentage points making even the best strategy insufficient to help a gamer win over the course of a blackjack session!

All of the casinos Slots Play Casinos recommends pay 3-2 for a blackjack!

Online Casinos Make Gaming Easy and Fun

Although the subject of this article is video poker online, and although we do recognize the appeal of an occasional jaunt to a land-based casino, we have to point out that online casinos are better in many ways than land-based casinos.

Online Casinos Keep Track of All Gaming Data

Land-based casinos give players a player’s card where all of the important data is kept. So, a player at a land-based casino has to keep track of her or his player’s card. “Now where did I put that card?”

A good deal of casino credits are stored in players’ cards for the “next time” the players go back to the casino, if ever!

Online casinos have banks of computers that keep track of every gamer’s data.

Online Casinos Offer a Plethora of Deposit Bonuses

The great benefit of bonuses is that gamers can play with the casino’s money instead of with their own money! Land-based casinos offer free alcohol so players can get just tipsy enough to give the casino more of their own money than they had expected to give when they got to the casino!

Online Casinos Make it Easy to Play for a Short Time

As the song goes: “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow”.

After spending a few hundred dollars just getting to a land-based casino, it is hard for players to play for a short time. The incentive is to get the most out of one’s weekend at the casino. This leads to playing when one is too tired to make good decisions, too hungry to make good decisions, too tipsy to make good decisions, and so on!

Slots Play Casinos Offers Gamers Many Bonuses

We have worked out many bonus offers with a large number of online casinos. In addition, SPC publishes one or more articles every week. We hope that you make SPC your go-to place for good advice and information about gaming.


Jack Marsh Picture
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Jack Marsh enjoys examining the world around him from many different points of view: the mathematical, the psychological, the political, and the philosophical.

He will write from a mathematical perspective on why the cards fall the way they do, from a psychological perspective on why gamblers gamble the way they do, from a political perspective on why forms of entertainment that are encouraged in one place are prohibited in another, and from a philosophical perspective on the nature of happiness ... [Read Jack Marsh full bio]