Video Poker Machines: Types and Tips for Maximizing Wins

Video poker is a popular casino game that combines elements of both slots and traditional poker. It offers players a unique and strategic gaming experience, making it a favorite choice among casino enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the different types of video poker machines available, the rules and strategies to play, and tips to help you maximize your chances of winning.

Understanding Video Poker Machines

What is Video Poker?

Video poker is a casino game that blends the simplicity of slots with the skill and strategy of poker. Players are dealt a hand of five cards, and they must decide which cards to keep and which to discard in the hopes of forming a winning poker hand.

Types of Video Poker Machines

There are several variations of video poker machines, each with its own unique rules and paytables. Some of the most popular types include:

Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better is one of the most common video poker variations. In this game, players need at least a pair of Jacks or higher to win.

Deuces Wild

In Deuces Wild, all twos (deuces) are considered wild cards, which means they can substitute for any other card to form a winning hand.

Double Bonus Poker

Double Bonus Poker offers bonus payouts for specific four-of-a-kind hands, providing an extra layer of excitement.

Joker Poker

Joker Poker incorporates a Joker card, which acts as a wild card. This increases the chances of creating strong poker hands.

Bonus Poker

Bonus Poker offers enhanced payouts for certain four-of-a-kind hands while maintaining a standard poker hand hierarchy.

How Video Poker Machines Work

Video poker machines are powered by random number generators (RNGs) that ensure the game's fairness. Here's how a typical video poker game works:

- You place your bet.
- You are dealt five cards.
- You choose which cards to keep and which to discard.
- New cards replace the discarded ones to complete your final hand.
- Payouts are determined based on the strength of your hand and the paytable.

Basic Video Poker Rules

Starting a Video Poker Game

To start a game of video poker, you need to:

- Insert money or credits into the machine.
- Choose the number of credits you want to bet.
- Press the "Deal" button to receive your initial five-card hand.

Poker Hand Rankings

Understanding poker hand rankings is crucial for success in video poker. The standard poker hands, from highest to lowest, are:

- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Flush
- Straight
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- One Pair (usually Jacks or Better)

Discarding and Drawing Cards

After receiving your initial hand, you can choose which cards to keep and which to discard. Simply press the corresponding buttons beneath each card on the screen. Once you've made your selection, press the "Draw" button to replace the discarded cards with new ones.

Winning Hands and Payouts

Payouts vary depending on the specific video poker variation you're playing and the strength of your hand. The paytable is displayed on the machine's screen, making it easy to see the potential payouts for different hands

Video Poker Strategies

Basic Video Poker Strategy

While video poker is partly based on luck, employing the right strategy can significantly improve your odds of winning. Here are some fundamental tips:

Hold Strong Cards

Always hold cards that contribute to potential winning combinations. For example, if you have a pair of Jacks or better, keep them.

Discard Unnecessary Cards

If your initial hand doesn't contain any cards that help create a winning hand, discard all five cards and draw new ones.

Consider the Paytable

Different video poker variations have varying paytables. Pay attention to the paytable and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Advanced Video Poker Strategy

For more experienced players looking to maximize their chances, advanced strategies like optimal play and card counting can be employed. These strategies vary depending on the specific video poker variation being played.

Tips for Successful Video Poker Play

Manage Your Bankroll

Set a budget for your video poker gaming session and stick to it. This ensures you don't spend more than you can afford.

Play Maximum Coins

To qualify for the highest payouts, always play the maximum number of coins allowed on the machine.

Practice for Free

Many online casinos offer free video poker games. Use these opportunities to practice your skills and familiarize yourself with different variations.

Join Players' Clubs

If you're a regular video poker player, consider joining a players' club at your chosen casino. These clubs offer rewards and bonuses that can enhance your gaming experience.

Stay Informed

Keep up to date with the latest video poker trends, strategies, and variations to stay ahead of the competition.


Video poker machines offer a thrilling blend of luck and strategy, making them a favorite among casino-goers. Understanding the various types of video poker, following basic and advanced strategies, and implementing effective tips can help you increase your chances of success. So, whether you're a novice or an experienced player, try your luck and skill at video poker for an exciting casino experience!