7 Reasons Why You Should Consider Playing Online Video Poker

By in Video Poker on
6 Minute Read
Online Video Poker Logo screen

Online video poker games certainly can serve as a way to pass the time during your days stuck in the house. But it’s a pastime that is really about more than just fending off boredom. It’s actually an extremely friendly game for gamblers, as we’ll prove by giving you seven reasons why you should consider online video poker.

You might be under the impression that all gambling games are created the same. Anybody who is even remotely familiar with gambling, either in casinos or online, probably understands that the odds are stacked against the gambler. After all, if people were winning all the time, casinos and online gambling sites would go out of business pretty quick.

But there are certain games which are much friendlier to gamblers than others. And video poker stands at the top of that list. In fact, many people who play video poker regularly won’t bother with anything else in terms of their gambling exploits.

If you’ve never played video poker before, either in casinos or at top gambling sites, you might not know too much about it. You might think that it’s just another type of slot machine because they are often located in the same part of the casino. Or you might think it is somehow related to the poker games that you watch on television.

Video Poker is Unique

Neither of those views quite capture what online video poker is all about. Consider video poker to be a combination of the qualities possessed by both table games and slot machines. In that way, it’s like a mash-up of sorts.

But imagine a mash-up that takes only the best parts of those games that we mentioned and leaves the bad stuff out. That’s really what you’re getting when you sit down at a video poker machine or play the game online. You can understand then why the people who play the game regularly love it so much.

Online video poker really checks off all the boxes when it comes to what you should be looking for in a game. Beginners can pick up and learn the game in no time at all. And experienced players can get the kind of mental challenge that they crave.

If you’re someone who is frustrated by the lack of gambling options for you now that the sports world has pretty much unanimously gone on hiatus due to the Corona virus, you might want to think about online video poker. It’s really simple to sign up with an online site. From there, it’s just a matter of funding the account and allotting some of it for a video poker game.

What you’re likely to find is that online video poker can provide just about everything you’re looking for that you might be missing out on with the cessation of other gambling opportunities. And you might find that you love it so much that you want to keep up with it once normalcy returns. You’ll enjoy online video poker so much that you’ll want to keep it as a regular part of your gambling rotation.

In the following article, we’ll outline the seven reasons why you should consider playing online video poker. You’ll find out how the variety, simplicity, and money-making opportunities found in the game are hard to beat. And you’ll also learn how it comes out on top of other online gambling avenues in those departments.

Reason #1: Online Video Poker Is Easy To Play

It can be intimidating to start up a brand new gambling game, especially if you’re going to put real money on the line. Learning all the rules and the strategy can seem like too much of a hassle. That’s why people usually fall back on the games that they know, even if those games don’t really do them too many favors.

Luckily, you can be up and running playing online video poker in a matter of minutes, and doing so well enough that you aren’t hurting your chances of winning money. This is especially the case if you’ve had some experience with poker of any kind and how winning hands are made.

But truth be told, even complete newcomers shouldn’t have a hard time getting the hang of things. And, luckily, there are many ways to get up and running.

Our video poker section will tell you everything you need to know about the basics of the game. And you can get much more in-depth by clicking on the various links.

You can also take advantage of the many online free video poker sites and mobile video poker apps that let you play the game without any kind of membership or payment. These resources will let you get the rhythm of play down without having to put real money at stake. That takes a lot of the pressure off you.

Basically, video poker mimics the table game known as Five-Card Draw poker. You get a five-card deal and then decide which cards you want to hold and which you want to discard.

The cards that you hold will be part of your final five-card hand, which will determine whether you win or lose the hand. And you get to draw new cards for the ones you discard,

Your goal, unlike Five-Card Draw poker, isn’t to beat everyone at the table. All you have to do is make a winning hand. In non-wild card games, here are the hands you’ll be trying to make:

  • Pair of Jacks of Better
  • Two Pair
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight (five cards of consecutive rank, like 3-4-5-6-7)
  • Flush (five cards of same suit)
  • Full House (Three of a Kind and Two Pair in the same hand
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush (Straight with five cards of same suit)
  • Royal Flush (Ten, Jack, Queen, Kind and Ace of the same suit)

Make one of those winning hands and you’ll win back money. Online video poker is as simple as that, in terms of the mechanics of play. If you can get the hang of that, you’re ready to roll.

Reason #2: Online Video Poker Can Be Played a Lot of Different Ways

When you choose a game that you plan to be playing a lot, you’d like one that lets you change things up every now and again. Otherwise, game play gets stale. And when that occurs, you’re more likely to make poor decisions that cost you money than you would if you were alert and excited.

Luckily, online video poker doesn’t let you fall into that rut. There are literally hundreds of different ways to play. And you can use that variety to find a game that’s perfect for your gambling needs and your preferred style of play.

If you want to keep things as simple as possible, you can play Jacks or Better. This is the most common format of the game, the one that people have been playing since the inception of video poker. It is a game known for its low volatility, which means that you can usually play it for a long time even if you have a small bankroll.

But there are ways to spice things up. You can find a different pay table which changes the way certain winning hands are paid.

For Instance:

You can choose one of the so-called “Bonus” pay tables, which pay much more for Four of a Kind hands than a Jacks or Better pay table would.

You can also play online video poker with wild cards involved. When a wild card appears in your hand, it can be changed into whatever specific card helps your hand the best. As a result, wild card games like Deuces Wild and Joker Poker give you a great opportunity to achieve rare, high-paying hands.

Finally, there are games with special features attached. Special features include things like progressive payouts, multipliers, bonus spins, free games and much more. When you play these games, you’re twisting around the basic format of online video poker just enough in ways that can be extremely lucrative.

Basically, you never have to get bored playing online video poker. You can play a different game every day of the week and still have plenty left to try.

Reason #3: Online Video Poker Is Played by One Person Only

You might think that this isn’t a big deal. After all, aren’t all online gambling games essentially one person at a computer? Well, not exactly.

Some games, like online poker, require groups of people to play, even if they aren’t in the same room. Whenever that’s the case, you are somewhat at the mercy of others who play the game. And there are a number of reasons why that can be frustrating.

Imagine that you’re a newcomer who gets stuck in a game with a bunch of experts. You might find that your chances to win are greatly diminished by your experience level. It’s no fun being the player who is considered the easy target.

The flipside to that is that you could find yourself playing a game with a bunch of novices who hurt your chances. Think of when you’re playing Blackjack and have the face card you’ve been waiting for snapped by someone who had no business hitting with the hand they have. Again, very frustrating stuff.

With online video poker, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Because it is literally you against the game. No other players are involved.

That means that you can play at your own pace. If you want to take ten minutes to decide what to hold and what to discard on a single hand, that’s your prerogative. Or you can blow through multiple hands in seconds if you prefer to move at a faster pace.

Basically, online video poker lets you be completely in control of your gambling action. It’s something that you might take for granted. But when it’s taken away from you, you miss it dearly.

Reason #4: Online Video Poker Incorporates Strategy

As we said above, video poker as a whole often gets lumped in with slot machines by people who don’t know too much about it. After all, slot machines represent another type of game that is a one-person experience. You can play slots without any interaction with others in the same way you can play video poker.

But slot machines don’t really have a strategic element to them. You just pretty much spin the reels and hope that they work out in your favor. For people who like to have some sort of control over the outcome of their gambling exploits, this can be extremely frustrating.

Online video poker rectifies that situation for you. We told you earlier about how, when you play, you get to choose what cards to hold and what ones to discard every time that you play a hand. When you do that, you are actually exerting some strategy.

The better that you do in terms of choosing these cards, the more likely it is you’ll win money playing online video poker. Sometimes you’ll get lucky on the draw when you make a wrong choice. (By right and wrong, we mean according to the probability math; more on that below.)

But the gamblers who make the right choices playing online video poker will do better over the long haul than those who make the wrong ones. Part of the challenge of online video poker is learning the right strategy for the pay table you want to play. If you can do that, you can maximize your payback.

You can adjust the strategy as well.

For Example:

If you’re looking for more a jackpot-style payback, you can skew your strategy to trying to make high-paying hands like Four of a Kind, a Straight Flush, or a Royal Flush. These hands pay out a lot on just a small wager.

The bottom line is that you have get to exert some control. And that can make a big difference when you choose online video poker over slot machines.

Reason #5: Online Video Poker Is Transparent

A lot of gambling games keep you in the dark. Not to keep picking on slot machines, but you have no idea when you play one how much it might pay you back compared to others like it. You might be short-changing yourself without even knowing it.

But video poker provides you all the information you need to know right on the screen. First of all, there is the pay table.

Here is what a common Jacks or Better pay table looks like:

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
4 of a Kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full House 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
3 of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15
2 Pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

This shows you how much you’ll win for each winning hand depending on how much you bet. You can adjust your strategy knowing this.

Slot machines also have pay tables. But the problem with slot machines is that there is no way to know how often a winning spin might show up.

By contrast, you can estimate how often the winning hands in an online video poker game will show up during game play. There are 52 cards in the deck used for video poker. As a result, the probabilities never change.

When you combine the pay table totals with the probabilities of making winning hands, you can estimate something known as the payback percentage. This figure shows you how much you can expect to return on your gambling investment playing online video poker.

As a result, you can compare one pay table and variation to the next in terms of payback. That will allow you to maximize your results. Basically, everything you need to know about your odds and payback playing online video poker is right there for you to see.

Reason #6: Online Video Poker Pays Back Well

We just told you that you can estimate your payback amount for a specific video poker game. In general, online video poker offers extremely competitive payback.

Even the weakest-paying online video poker games tend to pay around 95 percent back from your original investment. That’s a much higher total than what slots can offer. And it’s right around the same ballpark as what you can expect from online table games.

But if you’re willing to do a little searching around the internet, you might be able to find some online video poker variations which offer as high as 99 percent payback. That’s a very desirable number, even though it still means you’re expected to lose a little bit of your investment on average.

When the loss is only one percent or less, you can atone for it by taking advantage of rewards offered by online gambling sites. These sites want to attract as many players as possible. As a result, they’ll award you with free play or cash bonuses for signing on with them.

When you factor in these rewards with the 99 percent payback, you can actually push your payback over 100 percent. In other words, you can actually hope to win money back playing online video poker in the long run. Very few gambling games offer you the chance to eliminate the dreaded house edge like that.

Even if you can’t find these 99 percent games, you’re still making out better playing online video poker than playing just about any other type of online gambling game. If you think about gambling as an investment, online video poker is one of the safest ones around.

Reason #7: Online Video Poker Looks and Plays Just Like Casino Video Poker

Online gambling is a huge business, as many people prefer the convenience of doing their gambling away from the crowds and the stress. And, obviously, in times like these where many casinos around the world are temporarily out of commission, online is the best way to get your action.

But many casino games suffer a bit when they are played online, at least compared to their casino experience. Think about something like poker, where being able to read the faces of competitors is a skill that can help you win. You can’t do that playing the game online.

Other games like Roulette and Craps are complex enough that playing them online can be somewhat confusing. It’s hard to get the same feel for the game when the big tables are condensed onto a small screen.

Video Poker Remains the Same

In the case of online video poker, however, you don’t lose anything in terms of your experience. The mechanics of the game, your chances of winning, the way the game looks on the screen: All of those characteristics remain pretty much unchanged when you play the game online.

In addition, you can usually find all of the most popular casino video poker variations at top gambling sites. You don’t have to miss out on your favorite game just because you can’t get to the casino. As a matter of fact, there are many video poker games that can be found exclusively online, which means that you’re getting something online you can’t get at a casino.

It all adds up to the fact that you can play online video poker knowing that you’re not missing out somehow. That should give you peace of mind to give it a try.


We hope this article informed you about all of the reasons why you should consider playing online video poker. Check back again next week as we take another look at online video poker and all that it has to offer.

Jim Beviglia

Jim Beviglia joined Gamblingsites.org as a staff writer in 2018, parlaying his years of freelance writing into contributions on a number of different topics. He handles the sport of horse racing for GamblingSites.org and the intersection between the worlds of cryptocurrency and online gambling in a weekly blog. For his full-time job, Jim handles the television and track announcing duties at a h ...

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