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Video poker is one of the most classic forms of casino entertainment. If you’re new to online gambling, you may not know much about video poker and could be wondering why you should ever pick these games over all the other options.

This article will help introduce you to the world of online video poker for free and teach you everything you need to know about the game and all of its variations. In our free casino games section, you can even try many of these variations playing just for fun and with no risk involved. If and when you feel ready to play video poker online for free, there are the best sign up offers waiting for you to give you the boost you need to get started in style.

Even if you’d never played a single hand of video poker online for free before, this guide would offer a complete overview of the game. It is a game that involves a mix of luck, skill, and strategy, and if you get all these pieces lined up correctly, you’re up for some great fun.

Brief History of Video Poker

To start at the very top, let’s take a brief look into the history of this classic game. Video poker is one of the oldest forms of casino entertainment that was born from first slot machines. First slots that were invented back in 1891 featured images of playing cards on the reels. Then, in 1898, a Card Bell machine was invented, which was the first of many video poker games.

In the early 1900s, the first draw poker machines were invented. These allowed players to have a say in the game as they had an opportunity to hold certain cards before spinning the reels again. However, two cards were missing from the deck in these early versions of video poker games (jack of hearts and ten of spades), which lowered the players’ chances of making the royal flush.

Later, in the 1970s, first video poker machines were introduced to casino floors. These enjoyed great popularity with the players, just like their predecessors, primarily because poker was the favorite game of many.

With this brief historic overview out of the way, we can now move on to what’s really important, and that’s explaining why online video poker games might be well worth your time even in today’s iGaming environment. This may be an old and classic game, but even free online video poker games available at some casino sites can be a lot of fun.

Basic Rules of Video Poker

When we’re talking about the best free video poker games in this guide, we’re actually talking about several different popular variations of the game. While all of them are quite similar in most aspects, there are some fine subtleties that make certain video poker free games better than the others.

Most casino sites offering free games video poker feature variations such as:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Aces & Eights
  • Tens or Better
  • Joker Poker
  • Aces & Faces

No matter which variation you pick, almost all of them are based on fundamental rules of all high poker variations. Your goal is to make the best possible hand, starting with one pair and going all the way to the royal flush. In some versions that include jokers or wild cards, you can also get five of a kind, which pays even better than the royal flush.

How to Play Video Poker?

The way online video poker works is that you’ll find the game you want, choose the bet size and click deal. You’ll be dealt five random cards and given an option to hold anywhere between none and all five of the cards. Once you press the deal again, you’ll receive replacements for those cards you decided to discard.

After the second deal is over, the hand is complete, and you’ll be paid according to the pay table.

The pay table is really important in this game as it is what determines how good a particular variation is. We’ll go into more detail on this topic later on, but just keep in mind that you’ll always want to study the pay table before you start playing. This is another reason why free video poker online games are so great as you can find out all the important information without risking any money.

Advantages of Video Poker

There are so many great games you can play at online casino sites. You can choose from so many different slots, there is often a great live dealer casino, and you can access most of these even on your gadget and try free mobile games. So, with all these options, why would you ever want to play video poker? To be honest, most variations look really outdated and not too appealing.

However, video poker machines also have some of the lowest house edges out there. What this means is that the casino advantage when you play video poker is often under 1% as opposed to 3% to 5% or 6% on most slots and table games.

Furthermore, video poker is also one of the very few games that involve strategy. With slots, roulette, or baccarat, your decisions really don’t matter – it’s all down to luck. If you play video poker games online, all of your decisions, from choosing what variation to play to what cards to hold on a particular draw, matter a lot.

So, if you’re someone who also enjoys the challenge and don’t want to just rely on luck, this is the game for you. We also provide you with a great range of no download free video poker machines you can use to practice on so you don’t have to start risking any of your hard-earned money before you feel completely ready.

Video Poker Downsides

Like all casino games, video poker machines aren’t perfect. They have certain downsides, and you might not be happy with what they have to offer. Once again, we suggest free video poker apps and games to try before you buy. There is no point in spending your money on a game you’re not going to enjoy.

One of the most apparent problems with video poker is the fact you will actually need to learn the strategy for different variations if you want to play it right. If you don’t know the strategy, you might actually be better of trying your luck on a roulette wheel in a live dealer casino. Making the wrong choices can actually improve the house edge by quite a bit.

The second issue with video poker if we compare it to slots is the maximum win potential. For example, you might win 800 times your bet for a royal flush playing Jacks or Better on five coins, but that’s not too impressive compared to modern slots that can produce wins of several thousand times your stake.

This really gets down to your personal preference and expectations from gambling. All free online video poker variations are fairly low in volatility, which means that you’ll be able to play a lot even on a smaller bankroll. But if you’re someone who looks forward to huge wins and gets excited about bonuses with big potential, slots are probably more your cup of tea.

Video Poker Strategy Advice

Since there are so many different variations of video poker, we can’t cover all the strategies in this article. That said, we’ll provide you with some fundamental tips and advice that should help you do well in almost any format.

As mentioned previously, the pay table is what you need to pay attention to the most when playing any version of the game, either it is free online video poker or not. To explain why this is the case, we’ll use the example of different pay tables for free Jacks or Better.

The house advantage for the game is determined by the way they set up the payouts for various winning combos. Usually, the casino will adjust pays for just two hands, full house and flush. This is more than enough for them to manipulate the RTP of the machine.

What you want is the full Jacks or Better pay table, where full house pays 9 coins and flush pays 6 coins (9/6). Sometimes, you’ll come across short pay tables, though, where either one of these values is decreased, i.e. 8/6 or 9/5.

Another very important tip you need to remember for almost all versions is that you should be playing on the max coin. Most video poker machines have a special bonus payout for a royal flush on the max coin. For example, in Jacks or Better, the regular payout is 250 times your stake, but on the max coin, you’ll get 800 times the stake if you play on five coins.

Beyond this, you’ll need to learn the strategy for every particular variation in terms of what cards you should hold in any given situation. You’ll find plenty of great charts for games like Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, etc. Given the different rules and payouts of these variations, your decisions won’t always be the same.

Once again, you can play free video poker games on your computer or mobile to practice these strategies for as long as you want without risking any real money. On top of that, with online video poker games, you can even have these charts open at all times and consult them while you play. We highly suggest you do this while you’re still learning to avoid any unnecessary mistakes and reduce your losses.

Picking Best Video Poker Games to Play

With all that’s been said so far in this article, you might still be wondering where to start and what variations you should actually pick. We’re bringing you some of the best video poker machines to play out there that offer the lowest house edge, and that represent a great choice for someone just starting.

  • Jacks or Better are one of the oldest and most popular forms of video poker. It is also one of the best-paying versions as long as you find the one with a 9/6 pay table. In this scenario, you’re looking at a return of 99.54%.
  • Deuces Wild is another variation that’s fairly easy to learn and offers a return of 99.73% in most cases. If you’re very lucky and manage to find a machine with the full pay table, you might even have a small edge over the house (around 0.7%).
  • Bonus Poker is very similar to Jacks or Better, but the pay table is adjusted so that full houses pay 8 to 1 and flushes pay 5 to 1. However, you’ll get better payouts for four of a kind aces and four of a kind deuces. In the end, this boils down to an RTP of 99.17%.

So, if you want to try your hand at this classic game after reading this article, feel free to check out our free video poker games and start there. Spend some time getting used to the way the games work and practice your strategy before putting your money on the line. Feel free to take as much time as you need because video poker machines aren’t going anywhere any time soon!

FAQ

Today people access the Internet not only from their home PC and laptops, but literally anywhere. The gambling industry doesn’t miss the segment too. In many cases you can easily play video poker right on your smartphone, whether it is powered by Android or iOS.
Yes. Many video poker sites provide opportunity to play without investing a single dollar. You just click Play and are instantly brought into action.
Absolutely. Welcome bonuses and other casino bonuses can be spent on just any game the casino provides including, of course, video poker.
There are strategies out there, but they are not secret. In fact, every strategy is a pure statistical evaluation that aims to calculate whether or not it is worth to play a given hand. The strategy solely depends on specific video poker rules. The pay table and the prize amounts are main parameters for the calculation. If you are new to video poker, you probably want to rely more on simple tactics first (see tips above). But as soon as you become accustomed with the particular online video poker game, you can investigate more complex opportunities.