Ever since first being introduced to land-based casinos in the 1970s, video poker has been a favorite game of smart gamblers who want to play the games with the best odds in the casino. Video poker machines routinely offer returns of over 99%, meaning that the house edge is less than 1%. In some cases, machines even offer returns of over 100%, giving the player a slight edge over the casino!
But, it is not a game for lazy players. These returns are only possible if a player uses optimal strategy, which changes depending on the game you’re playing. However, if you’re a fan of strategic game play and want to get the best odds possible, video poker might be right for you.
These days, almost every type of game found in real world casinos has been ported to the online casino world. Savvy gamblers have found it to be just as lucrative as it is in brick-and-mortar casinos, making it one of the most popular games in the online gambling industry.
The 4 machines pictured above are just a small selection of the video poker games found online
There is no one recommendation that could possibly cover all the games that can be found online. Each casino has different machines and different pay tables, meaning that the casino site that offers the best Deuces Wild game may not be the place to go for the best Jacks or Better action. Overall the recommendations on this page represent a happy middle ground, offering competitive paytables, alongside great promotions and fast cashouts. We don’t even mention safety and security, as these are prerequisites for anyone we recommend on this site.
A Refresher on the Rules
Rules for online video poker vary from game to game, but the basic structure of each game is the same. The player inserts between one and five coins into the machine, after which he receives five cards dealt at random from a virtual 52-card deck (in some games, the deck will also contain one or more jokers). The player may then choose to replace as many cards as they like; these cards will be replaced by new cards drawn from the deck. The players hand is now finalized, and payouts will be given based on the strength of the player’s hand.
Playing for Real Money
What are the Best Games Found Online?
There are an endless variety of video poker games available in live casinos, and most of those now have online counterparts. Some of the most popular ones are listed below, with their theoretical returns for the player with optimal strategy and a full pay table:
- Jacks or Better: 99.54%
- Deuces Wild: 100.77%
- Bonus Poker: 99.17%
- Double Bonus: 100.17%
- Double Double Bonus: 100.07%
As you can see, these online games can offer some of the best odds in the casino! Finding full pay machines for the games which offer over 100% returns is rare, especially online. However, even some of the “short pay” machines will offer returns of well over 99%, making them excellent options.
How to Make Money?
Each online video poker game has a unique strategy that you’ll need to use in order to get the full return from each game. These strategies determine which cards you’ll keep and which you should discard when given the opportunity to do so. You can find these strategies in our individual articles that cover different machines, such as Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. If you’re a poker player, many of the strategies you’ll be used to simply won’t apply here; in fact, some of the optimal strategy is counterintuitive, so you’ll want to read up on the game you’d like to play first.
One tip that you can apply no matter what game you play is to always play the maximum number of coins allowed – usually, five. On almost every machine, a royal flush will pay reduced odds per coin if you play less than the maximum number of coins. While royal flushes are rare, they do make up a fair amount of the player’s return, so you’ll want to get full value for them.