Free Video Poker – How and Where to Play With No Cost

Video poker is often associated with betting real money in an attempt to win
big payouts.

But did you know that you can also play this game for free?

Many websites and online casinos offer free video poker, allowing you to
enjoy the game without spending a dime. And this serves as good practice for any
aspiring real money player.

Of course, you can make your free video poker experience all the more
enjoyable by knowing its advantages and where to play.

That said, let’s cover everything you need to know about free video poker,
including where to play, practicing, pros & cons, and if / when you should
consider the real money version.

Where to Play Free Video Poker

Introduction to Video Poker

You have four main options when playing free video poker:

  1. Online casinos
  2. Social gaming apps
  3. Websites
  4. Training Software

All four methods have a purpose for video poker players. Some are better for
enjoying the game, while other ways can groom you to become a successful player.

Which method you choose will depend upon your specific interests. That said,
let’s discuss the benefits of each option along with how you play.

Playing Free Video Poker at Online Casinos

One of the best ways to play free video poker is through online casinos. The
reason why is because internet casinos offer a number of games in one section.

Here are the steps for playing for free at most casinos:

  1. Visit the casino’s website through a PC, Mac, or mobile device.
  2. Create an account.
  3. Navigate to the video poker section.
  4. Choose the desired video poker variation.

Focusing on step #2, you don’t always have to create an account to play for
free. If this is the case, you can skip to step #3.

Most online casinos run Flash software, meaning you can get started right
away without downloading anything. But you’ll still find a few download-only
casinos through PCs and Macs.

The advantages to playing for free at an internet casino include the

  • Advantage #1 – You have access to a wide variety of games.
  • Advantage #2 – You can easily sign up for real money play by making a
  • Advantage #3 – You can play as long as you want.

Here are the downsides to playing for free at online casinos:

  • Disadvantage #1 – You have to sign up at many online casinos.
  • Disadvantage #2 – Some casinos push you to sign up and / or spam
    you after creating an account.

Playing Through Social Video Poker Apps

Video poker screens and setups have remained largely unchanged since the
1970s. But social gaming apps differ by introducing new and exciting elements to
the game.

Some of the fun aspects that you can expect from social video poker apps

  • Achievements

    Share your accomplishments with Facebook friends.

  • Coins

    Your score is determined by how many coins you can earn in
    video poker games.

  • Fun Graphics

    Social apps offer completely unique graphics and video
    poker experiences.

  • Leaderboards

    Test your skills against other players through
    leaderboard races.

Most players can appreciate what social gaming brings to the video poker
arena. If you’re interested in playing these apps, here are simple steps to play
via a smartphone or tablet:

  1. Visit the App Store (iPad / iPhone) or Play Store (Android).
  2. Search for “video poker.”
  3. Choose an app to install.
  4. Click “open” to begin playing.

One thing you’ll notice when searching for mobile video poker apps is the
larger variety.

We had hundreds of options to choose from after running a search. And you can
look at the best-rated apps to screen out the good from the bad.

The advantages to playing video poker through social gaming apps include:

  • Advantage #1 – Unique features that you won’t find with regular video
    poker games.
  • Advantage #2 -Leaderboards that create fun competitions.
  • Advantage #3 – Show off achievements to friends.

Here are the downsides to playing social video poker apps:

  • Disadvantage #1 – Some video poker players may not want the extra frills
    that come with social gaming.
  • Disadvantage #2 – Most apps give you few coins upfront, then expect you
    to purchase more.
  • Disadvantage #3 – Not all games are available immediately, and you must
    unlock them.

Playing at Websites

Many video poker websites also offer free games that you can play. Although
the game variety is normally limited, this gives you a convenient way to play
video poker.

Here are the steps to enjoy the game at websites:

  • Achievements

    Share your accomplishments with Facebook friends.

  • Coins

    Your score is determined by how many coins you can earn in
    video poker games.

  • Fun Graphics

    Social apps offer completely unique graphics and video
    poker experiences.

  • Leaderboards

    Test your skills against other players through
    leaderboard races.

Most players can appreciate what social gaming brings to the video poker
arena. If you’re interested in playing these apps, here are simple steps to play
via a smartphone or tablet:

  1. Google Video Poker.
  2. Browse through sites to find free games ( & are the first two we found with free video poker).
  3. 3Enjoy the games.

The advantages to playing video poker at websites include:

  • Advantage #1 -Easy way to search for games.
  • Advantage #2 -No app downloads, fees, or signups involved.

Here are the downsides to playing video poker at websites:

  • Disadvantage #1 – Game selection is limited (usually only Jacks or
  • Disadvantage #2 – Doesn’t offer much of an experience.

Using Video Poker Trainers

Video poker trainers are programs that alert you to strategy mistakes while
you’re playing. The goal is to gradually eliminate your mistakes through

These programs are perfect when you’re trying to become a better player and
win more money. And what’s nice is that you can find plenty of free training
sites available.

Here’s how you can find trainers:

  1. Search for “video poker” in Google, the App Store, or the Play Store.
  2. Play at free training sites through Google; download free apps through a
    mobile device.
  3. Play the training program and note any mistakes you make.

If you search through Google, you’ll find more training programs than through
an iPad, iPhone, or Android device. But the nice thing about app-based programs
is that you get fun social gaming elements.

The advantages to video poker training include the following:

  • Advantage #1 – Great way to learn from your mistakes.
  • Advantage #2 -Earn higher payback as you continue using trainers and
  • Advantage #3 – Easy to find free programs.

Here are the downsides to training programs:

  • Disadvantage #1 -Limited selection of training games. You’ll normally
    only find popular variations like Aces and Eights, Bonus Poker, Double
    Bonus, and Jacks or Better.
  • Disadvantage #2 – You must pay for programs that offer more variations.
  • Disadvantage #3 – Doesn’t offer the same fun as a normal video poker

Practicing with Free Video Poker

Of these, Jacks or Better is the best introduction to video poker because it
has a simpler paytable than other games. Furthermore, most video poker variants
are based on Jacks or Better, which makes it easier to learn other games in the

The other three variations on this list have more-complex paytables than
Jacks or Better. But they’re still on the lighter side regarding how many extra
payouts they include.

As a beginner, you want a paytable with as few payouts as possible for two

  1. It cuts down on the number of payouts you have to understand.
  2. It makes strategy easier because you’ll have fewer choices to make.

Some people enjoy playing video poker for the stimulating strategy alone and
have no desire to play for real money. Others are interested in using free video
poker to practice for the real money version.

If you’re in the latter category, then here’s some advice on practicing with
free play.

Start by Playing Free Jacks or Better

The video poker world offers dozens of games, including different paytables
for each variation. But we suggest that you play Jacks or Better (JoB) for the
following reasons:

  • It’s the easiest video poker variant to play.
  • The pay table is simpler than other games.
  • The strategy is less complex.

All three points are interconnected because Jacks or Better has fewer payouts
than what you’ll see with most games. To illustrate this point, let’s compare a
JoB paytable with Double Double Bonus (DDB):

9 / 6 Jacks or Better

Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
4 of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full House 9 18 27 36 45
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

9 / 6 Double Double Bonus

Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four Aces w/ 2,3,4 400 800 1200 1600 2000
Four 2s,3s,4s w/ A, 2, 3, 4 160 320 480 640 800
Four Aces 160 320 480 640 800
Four 2s, 3s, 4s 80 160 240 320 400
Four 5s through Ks 50 100 150 200 250
Full House 9 18 27 24 30
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

DDB has 13 total payouts compared to just 9 for JoB. This means that JoB is
simpler, has fewer payouts, and fewer strategy moves to consider.

JoB is also great place to start for free players because it forms the basis
for other games.

As you can see in the DDB paytable, the main differences occur in the five
bonus payouts for 4-of-a-kind hands. Provided you already understand JoB, then
DDB won’t require much of an adjustment – despite how many extra payouts are

Play with a Strategy Chart

Sometimes it’s fun to play free video poker without overthinking strategy.
But if you want to improve your chances of beating the house, you should
practice with a strategy chart.

A strategy chart ranks hand / card combinations in terms of their importance.
You scan down the rankings until you find the best-ranking combination in your

Below you can find a simplified Jacks or Better strategy chart. As you can
see, hands like the royal flush, straight flush, 4 of a kind, and 4 cards to a
royal flush are ranked at the top.

JoB Simple Strategy (Leads to 99.46% Payback)

1. Royal flush, straight flush, 4 of a kind 2. 4 cards to a royal 3. Full
house, flush, straight, 3 of a kind 4. 4 cards to a straight flush 5. Two pair
6. High pair (As through Js) 7. 3 cards to a royal flush 8. 4 cards to a flush
9. Low pair (10s through 2s) 10. 4 cards to an outside straight 11. 2 suited
high cards 12. 3 cards to a straight flush 13. 2 unsuited high cards 14. Suited
K-10, Q-10, J-10 15. One high card 16. Discard everything

Play with a Video Poker Trainer

Earlier, we covered the benefits of video poker training programs. But it’s
worth reiterating the value of a trainer for several reasons.

First off, training programs help you develop pattern recognition as you see
the same hands and situations over and over.

Here’s an example:

  1. You’re dealt 5c, 3c, Js, 3s, Qs.
  2. You keep 3c, 3s, Qs.
  3. The software alerts you to this mistake, and suggests that only 3c and
    3s should be kept.

Once you’ve moved past the introduction to video poker and feel comfortable
with the game, the next step involves learning strategy. The closer you are to
using optimal strategy, the better your chances are of beating casinos.

What’s nice is that you have several options when you’re trying to learn
video poker, including the methods covered below.

Strategy Charts

We’re not saying that you would make this strategy blunder, but rather
showing how a trainer helps you in different situations. As you continue
practicing various hands, you’ll automatically make the right plays over time.

The big downside to video poker trainers is that the free versions are

The free program we use at only offers Aces and Eights,
All American, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Jacks or Better, and Joker Poker.

If you want more variations, you’ll need to buy a program like WinPoker,
which costs a minimum of $34.74 on

This takes us out of the realm of free video poker. But if you want to
practice games like full-pay Deuces Wild (100.76% payback) and 10 / 7 Double
Bonus (100.17%), then you need to buy a program.

Pros & Cons of Free Video Poker

Here’s a look at the overall pros and cons of playing free video poker.

Pros to Free Video Poker

  • It Doesn’t Cost Anything

    You can play as long as you want at online
    casinos, websites, and free trainers without betting real money.

  • Great Practice for Real Money

    If you want the best chance to
    beat real money video poker, then free practice is a great way to learn
    without risking funds.

  • It’s Entertaining

    Many video poker players enjoy the stimulating
    strategy that this game offers.

  • Earn Achievements & Share the Fun with Friends

    Social video poker apps
    give you the chance to share accomplishments with friends and earn

  • Easy to Find

    Whether you’re playing on a PC, Mac, smartphone, or
    tablet, you won’t have any trouble finding free video poker.

Cons to Free Video Poker

  • You Can’t Win Real Money

    The point of free video poker is to have fun
    and / or practice. But you can’t help but kick yourself after winning lots
    of fake money…instead of real money.

  • You Miss Out on Big Payouts

    What’s more painstaking than just missing a
    royal flush payout? How about winning one when you’re playing the free mode!

  • Tendency to be Careless

    We’ve touted the benefits of how free video
    poker can help you become a better real money player. But since you don’t
    have any money on the line, you’ll find yourself getting careless sometimes.

  • Sites Push You to Spend

    The good thing about free video poker is that
    you don’t have to spend any money. But online casinos and social apps will
    pressure you to spend money at various points.

When Should You Switch to Real Money Video Poker?

After you’ve been practicing for a while with free video poker, an inevitable
question will arise – when do you switch to real money play?

Unfortunately, you won’t find a clear-cut answer, such as moving on to real
money games after X amount of hours / hands.

But you’ll have a better idea after considering the following factors:

  • Bankroll Size

    If you want to last a while in real money video poker
    and improve your chances of winning, then bankroll size is important. If you
    have $625 (500 max bets) in 9 / 6 Jacks or Better, your risk of ruin is
    72.81%. If you have $3,750 (3,000 max bets), your risk of ruin drops to

  • Your Reason for Playing

    Are you hoping to win profits from the casino?
    Or are you just looking for a little action? In the latter case, you can
    start playing for real money whenever you feel like it. But serious players
    will need to consider more factors.

  • The Game You’re Playing

    What game do you plan to play? If it’s 9 / 6
    Jacks or Better (99.54% payback), then you have a good chance to win money.
    If your favorite casino only offers 9 / 5 JoB (99.44% payback), then you’ll
    need more money. At this point, it’s worth putting your real money video
    poker aspirations on hold until finding another casino.

  • How’s Your Practice Going?

    Ideally, you’ll play real money video poker
    with near-perfect strategy (everybody makes a few mistakes). If you’ve
    practiced enough with a strategy chart and training software, this should
    become a reality.

  • Are You Looking for Profits?

    If you’ve found a positive
    expectation video poker game like Deuces Wild, you can make profits. But you
    don’t want to play these games until you’ve trained so much that you’re an
    expert player. Otherwise, you’ll have a tough time making profits.

  • Do You Have Money to Lose?

    Even if you’ve practiced for hours and have
    become really good, you still have to consider the possibility that you
    might lose. Are you willing to part with your bankroll? Or is this money
    that you need to pay bills?


New video poker players should definitely consider playing for free in the

As we covered before, there are plenty of benefits to playing for free,
including entertainment, practice, widespread availability, and fun social
features (w / apps).

Of course, the absolute biggest advantage with free video poker is that you
don’t need to spend money. This is a huge plus whether you’re just playing for
fun, or you have aspirations of winning profits.

Our favorite method to play free video poker is through online casinos
because they offer a wide variety of games. Plus, if you ever decide to play for
real money, you can make a quick deposit at your favorite casino.

Social apps are another fun way to play because they have unique features
that enhance your video poker experience. We especially like the leaderboard
contests, achievements, and sharing results with your friends.

But no matter how you choose to play free video poker, you’ll find that it’s
nice to play / practice without the pressures of having real money at stake.