Video poker is one of the perennial casino games that rivals video slots when it comes to popularity. You can find video poker in both online and brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the world, and the reasons for its popularity are numerous. For starters, it is a fast-paced and exciting casino game, which boasts a lower house edge and has an element of skill to it, just like the regular poker game.
On this page, you will find out more about how video poker works. You will also learn which bonuses you can expect to see in online casinos and what their terms and conditions are, as we want you to be fully informed before you decide to claim them. Furthermore, we’ll tell you which different video poker tips and tricks to use and where to play video poker legally and safely. Stay tuned!
As we have pointed out earlier, video poker games are right there with slot machines in terms of popularity and can be seen in both land-based and Indiana online casinos. However, in recent years, it seems online casinos have started to take precedence over their land-based counterparts, at least when video poker is concerned, and that didn’t come out of the blue.
First, in online casinos, video poker players can find hundreds of versions of video poker games, such as Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Double Bonus, and many others. These games are available in multiple denominations, from pennies to multiple dollars, so the betting limits are usually lower than those you can find in land-based casinos.
Moreover, in online casinos, you are always a couple of clicks away from all video poker games available in the library, so you can easily switch between them. On the other hand, in land-based casinos, you need to stand up and roam around the casino floor in search of an available video poker machine you’d like to play. On a busy night, you might even have to wait your turn for quite some time, and that kind of experience is a proper buzzkill.
Speaking of land-based casinos, we can’t deny that the noise, the smoke, and the crowds contribute to a unique gambling experience, but at times, that whole atmosphere can be quite cumbersome. When playing online video poker, you are in full control. You can do it from your home or on the go. All you need is a stable internet connection and a computer or mobile device, and you are ready to play. You won’t get distracted by other players and the commotion, so you can concentrate fully on the action and never miss a beat.
In addition, with online casinos, you can expect to see and claim a variety of bonuses, both as a new player and as a loyal one. Most, if not all of these bonuses are applicable to online video poker games, and some are even designed specifically for video poker games, giving you free credits for them. Therefore, you’ll get a chance to receive some valuable freebies when you sign up and/or make your initial deposit.
Online casino bonuses for video poker games come in many shapes and forms, depending on the casino. The majority of these bonuses are directed towards new video poker players and are seen as a reward from the casino for the account registration. These welcome bonuses can be categorized into deposit and no deposit bonuses.
Speaking of casino bonuses, the importance of their terms and conditions can’t be stressed enough.
Probably the most important conditions of use are those related to wagering requirements. Wagering requirements, also known as rollover or playthrough requirements, tell players how many times the bonus amount needs to be wagered before the winnings generated on video poker can be turned into real cash that can be withdrawn. The wagering requirements mostly range between 1 and 60 times, depending on the casino and the size of the bonus. Some online casino sites offer zero wagering requirement bonuses, but these are quite rare.
Other essential information you can find in a casino’s terms and conditions is related to the expiration date of the bonus. Yoou need to meet the rollover requirements by that date. You’ll have to clear the bonus before it expires, otherwise, all winnings and bonus cash will be void.
Some video poker bonuses will also require you to insert a special bonus code in order to trigger the bonus. These codes are normally found on the casino’s bonus page, but if they aren’t there, you can always find them on the terms and conditions page.
You might be wondering, “What good is a video poker bonus if you can’t turn it into real cash?” Here is an example of how to do it, and why it is important to know the terms before you opt in.
Let’s say the casino offers a 100% deposit match welcome bonus offer worth up to $100. The bonus has a 10x wagering requirement with a 7-day expiration date. So, if you deposit $30, you will receive another $30 in bonus. Now you have $60 to use on video poker.
To get ahold of any winnings generated from the bonus, you will need to wager a total of $300. With video poker, all bets on those games count 100% towards meeting the requirement. Any winnings left after you have cleared the requirement can then be withdrawn to your account.
The best video poker bonuses are those with no wagering requirements whatsoever, but you shouldn’t get your hopes up, as those are the rarest of them all. Generally speaking, the lower the requirement, the better. Also, you need to pay attention to the expiration date of the bonus.
Moreover, you need to be aware of any restrictions related to video poker games the bonus applies to. You should know ahead of time which of them can be used in clearing the playthrough requirement. The greater the choice, the better.
The main difference between free and real money video poker games is that you have to stake real cash in the latter, and the jackpots you might win are yours to keep.
Check out the main differences and advantages of both forms of video poker games:
The first condition of playing real money video poker games in the US is being physically present in a state that does not prohibit online casino gaming. Only then can you visit online casinos and look for your favorite games.
Legal online casinos nowadays offer multiple entry points to users. For instance, desktop users can use either the web browser version or a client download app for Windows and Mac devices. Both versions are bound to feature casino video poker games, but the client download software usually provides improved stability and multiple customization options you wouldn’t normally find in online web versions.
Players who want to play on the go can use either the mobile versions of casino sites or download native mobile apps to their smartphones and tablets, if apps are offered by the casino.
The real money video poker mobile casino apps can be found on Google Play Store for Android users and Apple Store for iOS users. In some cases, Android users will have to download the mobile casino apps directly from the casino’s site. In that event, users will have to tweak their settings to allow app downloads from unknown sources. Still, there is no reason for concern, as these apps follow the same security standards as those found on Google Play.
Numerous free video poker apps can be found on the Google Play and Apple Store. Players can download them to practice their skills for free and without stress. However, no real prizes can be won with the free apps, which doesn’t exactly make free online video poker games a perfect alternative to actual casino video poker apps.
Sweepstakes casino sites, on the other hand, are a perfect option for players not in states with regulated online casino gaming. Sweepstakes are allowed in most states in the US, as the games they offer are considered to be contests of skill or chance, and are thus regulated by a specific set of laws.
It is a well-known fact that US states are allowed to regulate gambling on their own accord. Naturally, some are more liberal than others — for example, the states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware are at the forefront of the online gambling legalization process. These states have legalized online casinos for all types of games, including poker, and some have even included sportsbooks. The residents of these states, and all the people who are physically located there, can play video poker for real money without any legal concerns.
Those players outside the borders of these states can find interesting alternatives for video poker games on online sweepstakes sites and casinos.
Sweepstakes casinos are more than a viable alternative for online casinos in places where gambling is not regulated on a state level. Video poker games and video slots found there don’t generate real money prizes and don’t require actual cash to be staked. Instead, players use a virtual currency called Gold Coins. These Gold Coins can be purchased using credit/debit cards, direct bank transfers, and other payment methods. They can also be obtained through various alternative methods of entry.
However, the best thing about sweepstakes and their currencies is that they can be redeemed for real prizes. Here’s how it works. For every Gold Coins purchase, players receive Sweepstakes Cash or Sweepstakes Coins. While the Gold Coins can be used to play casino games such as video poker, they can’t be transferred or redeemed for cash prizes. On the other hand, Sweepstake Coins can be used in a special mode of play and can generate winnings that can be redeemed as cash prizes. The usual exchange rate is one Sweepstake Coin for one US dollar.
There isn’t a magic formula that can help you win every time you play video poker, but, given how it is a game of skill, you should have some background in the game, or at least know the ranking of poker hands.
Still, there are some strategies and tips on maximizing your chances of winning when playing video poker, so let’s check them out.
One of the essential gambling-related skills is learning how to play responsibly. You need to be smart with your gambling habits, which is why you should always play only with the money you can afford to lose. Refrain from using credit cards to fund your casino account so as to avoid falling into a debt trap.
Progressive jackpot games in casinos are among the most popular ones, and for a good reason! They give you an opportunity to hit massive payouts for even the smallest of bets, since a portion of each bet goes to the common prize pot, and one lucky winner can take it all.
Usually, the payouts for a full house or flush hands in progressive jackpot video poker games are reduced, as the progressive jackpot is normally paid for the royal flush. However, as the progressive jackpot rises, so do the payout odds. After all, it’s the progressive jackpot we’re discussing here, not the standard 800 to 1 payout.
Even though this tip might seem a bit odd at first, you will see it has a lot of merit. The biggest fixed payout in video poker, 800 to 1, is given only when players win the royal flush while playing the maximum five credits per hand. Some versions of Jacks or Better or other games even give bonuses worth up to 4,000x the bet when you hit the royal flush. If you choose to bet between one and four credits, the best payout you can expect for a royal flush is 250 to 1. Of course, it can be risky to bet the maximum every time around, as it can seriously damage your payroll. However, if you choose video poker with the right pay table, it is only prudent to go for the top prize — of course, if your bankroll allows it.
For the highest-paying or full-pay game, you need to be on the lookout for a full 9/6 Jacks or Better game. Based on its pay table, this game comes with a 99.54% payback percentage if played with an optimal strategy. Another peculiarity about this game is that the payouts for a full house and the flush are larger than in other video poker games — 9 to 1 and 6 to 1, respectively.
Even if 9/6 Jacks or Better isn’t available, you should still stick to 9/5, 8/6, and 8/5 Jacks or Better versions since their payout percentages range between 97.3% and 98.45%, thus giving you a better chance of walking away with a win.