Best Casinos for Video Poker

Poker has been a longtime favorite of gamblers, so it was inevitable that casino owners would want to convert it into an electronic game for more casual players. The first major success was in 1979 when the game Draw Poker was released by SIRCOMA (which later became International Game Technology).

While most players on the casino floor continue to flock to the slots, an educated minority stick with video poker due to its ease of play and superior odds. The same is true of online video poker, as both versions are the rare case where the player can gain a mathematical advantage over the house under the right circumstances.

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Rating 3.5/5


up to $1,600

  • Reclaimable welcome bonus
  • Significant jackpots
  • Long-standing industry brand
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Rating 4/5


up to $200

  • Reliable game play
  • Excellent reputation
  • Solid software partners
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Rating 4/5


up to $300

  • Clever alternate reality theme
  • Solid live chat customer service
  • Low bonus rollover requirements
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Rating 4/5


up to C$500

  • Game selection if first-rate
  • Bitcoin gambling supported
  • Heaven for slots players

Why These Sites Are the Best

Legitimate and Trustworthy

There’s no single factor that we value more than the safety of our readers as they venture into the world of online gambling. After an unfortunate encounter with a rogue site, was founded with a mission to prevent this from happening to anybody else. There are too many high-quality, ethical gaming operations out there to have our readers wasting time with any fraud.

Our team of experts digs deep into every website we rate and review. They comb through a site’s past, analyze its reputation with previous customers, and examine the terms and conditions for anything troubling. If an online casino finds itself on our list of recommendations, you can be sure it passed all of our tests with flying colors.


Having a wide range of games and options available to our customers is another quality that we take extremely seriously. This becomes even more significant when discussing forms of gaming like video poker, where there are many similar versions with slightly different payouts, odds, and rulesets.

We want there to be plenty of choices when you sign up with an online casino so that you may find a version that best suits your needs. The websites found in our recommendations are where you’ll find a bevy of the best real money video poker games anywhere on the net.

Good Betting Odds

Sure, having tons of variations of video poker to play on a safe website is fantastic, but it won’t be fun for long if it’s impossible to ever win! That’s why our team looks into the rates of return for games offered at the online casinos we vet. While it’s expected that the house will always have an advantage (Vegas wouldn’t have all those beautiful buildings otherwise), if the balance is too far in the casino’s favor, it stops being fun.

The locations found on our recommended list offer the best real money video poker online by setting fair betting odds that allow readers to get the most bang for their buck. In some regions, the winning probability of gaming machines is regulated by the licensing authority in the jurisdiction, while in others, it’s not. Our experts take all of this into account when formulating our rankings.

How to Play

If you’ve never played video poker at online casinos before, I’m happy to report that it’s one of the easiest games to figure out. Most versions are played with a 52-card deck, although one or more jokers are sometimes added into the mix.

After the player makes his/her wager and presses the deal button, they’ll receive a five-card poker hand. At this stage, the player must decide which cards to retain and which to discard.

Once this decision has been made, the game replaces the discards with new cards. This gives the player a final five-card hand, and the payout is determined by its overall value in the game of poker.

Full Pay vs Short Pay

When deciding which video poker game to play, it’s always important to know if it’s a full-pay or short-pay game. A full pay offers the largest payout, which is usually expressed as 9/6. A short pay offers a smaller amount, such as 8/5.

The first number is the payout for a full house, while the second number expresses the payout for a flush. So in the case of a 9/6 game, a full house would pay 9:1 odds, while the flush would be worth 6:1.

Casinos can get greedy and lower the size of the payout, so it’s important to check before playing. Fortunately, all you have to do is look at the paytable for the required information.

Sample Pay Table

Most games of video poker are similar in regard to the rules, which is why the pay table is so important. Learning to understand the difference between these tables is important, as the long-term difference between a 9/6 and 8/5 game can be significant.

The following is an example of a video poker paytable. It’s taken from a game of 9/6 Jacks or Better, which is a full-pay machine with a house edge of 99.54% (assuming the player is using perfect strategy).

  • Royal Flush – Pays 800 to 1
  • Straight Flush – Pays 50 to 1
  • Four of a Kind – Pays 25 to 1
  • Full House – Pays 9 to 1
  • Flush – Pays 6 to 1
  • Straight – Pays 4 to 1
  • Three of a Kind – Pays 3 to 1
  • Two Pair – Pays 2 to 1
  • Pair (Jacks or Better) – Pays 1 to 1 (even money)

Video Poker Bonuses

Casino bonuses are given out in order to lure in new players and retain existing ones, and they can be a welcome addition to your account if you’re willing to deal with the wagering requirements. Also known as the playthrough amount, wagering requirements are a multiple of the bonus (and often the deposit) that must be risked before money associated with the bonus is eligible for withdrawal.

Not all games satisfy these wagering requirements. Slot machines are always accepted, as their high house edge makes it likely that a player is going to burn through their bonus money while trying to meet the wager requirements. Since video poker offers the player a much better chance of success, it’s often excluded as a way to meet the playthrough amount, or it contributes much less relative to slot machines.

Common Variations

The following are some of the most popular forms found at the best video poker online casinos. Of course, the actual selection depends on which type of gaming software is being used by your casino of choice.

  • Jacks or Better The most common type of video poker game, it requires the player to get at least a pair of jacks in order to receive a payout. The full house pays 9 to 1, while the flush returns 6 to 1, making this a reliable option, especially for beginners.
  • Tens or Better The player needs at least a pair of tens to get paid. Since the required hand is easier to obtain, the payouts are smaller than Jacks or Better.
  • Aces and Eights While a pair of jacks or better is required for a payout, bonus amounts are also offered for four-of-a-kind aces, eights, or sevens.
  • Deuces Wild All two cards are wild, which means they can substitute for any other. This makes winning hands much more probable but drastically reduces most hands’ payouts as well. For example, four of a kind only pays out 5 to 1. However, getting four 2s pays 200 to 1, which makes things interesting.
  • Double Bonus Played with perfect strategy and a full-pay machine, this game gives the player an advantage over the house. Most of the game is fairly traditional, but after any winning hand the player is given the option to double their money. This is done by selecting one of four face-down cards and hoping that it’s higher than a single face-up card. In the absence of any wild cards, the payout table is higher than many variations, with four of a kinds becoming much more valuable. Four aces pays 160 to 1, which alters the optimal strategy somewhat.
  • Double Jackpot Bonus payouts are offered for various four-of-a-kind hands. Like the Double Bonus game, the player also has a chance to double their money after each winning hand.
  • Joker Wild The inclusion of wild cards makes getting a five of a kind possible, which pays out more than anything other than a natural royal flush. However, it means many of the other hands pay less. For example, three of a kind only pays 2 to 1, and a straight is only 3 to 1.
  • Double Joker Played just like the previous game, except two jokers are in the deck instead of one.
  • Loose Deuces All two cards are wild, but the player needs at least a three-of-a-kind hand in order to receive a payout.
  • Double Double Bonus This is another version of video poker where the player can receive a return higher than 100% if played correctly (and with the right pay table). Like most games, a pair of jacks or better are required for a payout, although special bonuses are handed out for four-of-a-kind hands with certain kickers.

Real Money Video Poker Online Strategy

The ideal strategy to use for any real money video poker game will depend on which version you have selected. However, while the payouts for particular hands may change, and the introduction of “wild” cards in some versions will alter the optimal way to play, the basics of video poker always stay the same. You’re trying to create the following hands using the five cards that you’re dealt.

Royal Flush

A royal flush is the best hand in poker. It’s made by getting the ace, king, queen, jack, and 10 all of the same suit.

Straight Flush

The second-best hand also involves five suited cards in sequential order, but they do not have to be face cards. For example, the 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, all of spades, is a straight flush.

Four of a Kind

As the name suggests, the third-strongest hand is comprised of collecting four of the same card. For example, four kings. In most cases, the fifth card doesn’t matter, but in some versions of video poker, the fifth card may significantly increase the payout of this hand.

Full House

A full house is made when a hand consists of a three-of-a-kind and another pair. For instance, if one is dealt three queens and two 4s, that’s a full house. If Uncle Jesse and Stephanie Tanner are there as well, even better.


A flush consists of five cards all of the same suit. In this case, the value of the cards doesn’t matter, only that the suits match. It’s the fifth-best poker hand.


A straight is when a poker hand is made up of five cards in sequential order, with differing suits. So, a hand consisting of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 would be a straight if the 2 and 4 were spades, the 3 was a diamond, and the five was a heart, for example.

Three of a Kind

Three of a kind is the seventh-best hand in video poker, and it’s relatively common. It’s when you hold three of the same number or face cards.

Two Pair

Two pair is a relatively weak poker hand comprised of two separate pairs. For example, a hand may look like this: 5, 5, J, J, 9. The two fives and two jacks make it two pair.


A pair is merely two matching cards. In most video poker games, the couple must be face cards or aces to receive any payout. Often it results in a push, with only the credits that were staked upon being returned.

A Note on Perfect Strategy

No matter what type of Internet video poker you choose, there’s an available strategy card that tells you the optimal plays for each situation (known as “perfect strategy”). These are available at numerous online sites, and they give you the best available chance of winning over the long term. Since you’ll be playing at home, you don’t even have to worry about memorizing it.

Legality of Real Money Video Poker Online

You may be worried that the best real money video poker online won’t be available in your region due to local gambling laws. The truth is, online gaming is still a gray area for many countries, while others have accepted and regulated the industry to great success. In regions like the European Union or the United States, things can get confusing due to there being one set of overarching laws or federal laws at one level, and then individual state or national laws as well.

For example, when Italy tried to block all forms of internet gambling within their borders, the EU stepped in and made them accept online betting sites from the UK and other treaty nations in accordance with a law which prohibits blocking access to services from other member countries. Now, Italy has allowed citizens to access these websites while also legalizing some forms of gaming themselves.

In the United States, you can live in a legalized gaming state such as Nevada, yet companies are still not allowed to host online casinos and sportsbooks from within the country. Citizens that could walk down the street to a land-based establishment are forced to utilize offshore sites for their betting. And while the laws block companies from hosting a website in the US, there are no laws against residents of the States accessing these alternative locations.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.