How to Select the Right Video Poker Game

How to Select the Right Video Poker Game to Win
How to Select the Right Video Poker Game to Win

Understanding video poker is not that tough. This is why this game is so popular. It’s a truism that casino games are only popular because they are easy enough to understand that the general public is willing to play. This means games like video poker are designed so that you can learn how to play in a few minutes. Here is how to select the right video poker game.

Here are the basics of how to play video poker along with some of the distinctions and subtleties you should know about if you want to get some good out of it.

Here you will learn how to select the right video poker game and start winning at it here.

The Basics of Video Poker Games

The Basics of Video Poker Games
The Basics of Video Poker Games

In this game, you bet between one and five coins, and the computer deals you a random hand made up of five playing cards. All these are virtual, but the chances are the same as what you’d see with a real deck of cards.

You need to select which cards you want to keep, press a button, and the computer replaces the rest of those cards with new cards. This is done randomly using the same probabilities you’d see with a freshly shuffled deck of cards.

If your hand is a winner; as defined by the paytable; you get paid as per the strength of the hand. This is, again, ascertained by the game’s paytable. That ends the game.

You repeat this sequence until you run out of money or decide it’s time to quit.

But is also a fact that not all video poker games are the same, and even among specific variations, the games can differ based on their paytables.

Here you will also find the differences so that you can make decisions about which are the right video poker games for you to play.

Video Poker Games and Variations

Video Poker Games and Variations
Video Poker Games and Variations

To win video poker games, the first thing you have to do is choose the right game. You have dozens of video game types to select from, but most of them aren’t worth playing. Among the games that are worth playing, not all the paytables are good enough to warrant your action.

Some of the most popular types of video poker variants that players should focus on are the following games:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Joker Poker
  • Double Bonus
  • Pick’em Poker

You need to pay attention to the pay tables for the games you choose, too. Even a change from nine coins to eight coins for a particular hand can lower the game’s expected return by 1% or more. These changes in payouts can also affect the correct strategy for playing each hand is, too.

If you’re a serious video poker player, you might play 40 hours a week as well. $25 per hour multiplied by 40 hours a week is $1,000/week in extra losses just due to the game selection.

1. Jacks or Better Video Poker Games

Jacks or Better Video Poker Games
Jacks or Better Video Poker Games

Jacks or Better is the most basic video poker game and the original. Everyone interested in video poker should start by learning how to play Jacks or Better. You have no wild cards, and any hand with a pair of jacks or higher results in a payout.

For the most part, the best Jacks or Better games are those that pay 9 for 1 chance on a full house and 6 for 1 odds on a flush.

Many Video poker players call this a 9/6 Jacks or Better game, or 9/6 JoB. They also call this a “full pay” Jacks or Better game.

If you’re playing this game properly, the expected return is 99.54%. If you put $100,000 into action on this game, for example, you would expect to get $99,543.90 back in winnings. Your net loss would be $456.10.

If you’re an advantage player, you wouldn’t play even this best possible version of Jacks or Better unless you were getting a good rebate from the slots club or some other kind of casino promotion to make your mathematical expectation over 100%.

In short, you’d want a situation where putting $100,000 in the machine returned at least $100,000.

2. Deuces Wild Video Poker Games

Deuces Wild Video Poker Games
Deuces Wild Video Poker Games

Deuces Wild is mostly the second video poker game most players learn. All the twos in the game are wild cards. Hence, they replace whatever card you need to make the best possible hand on the paytable. The presence of four wild cards, of course, results in a wildly different strategy for the game.

A full-pay Deuces Wild video poker game pays 15 for 1 for a five-of-a-kind. It also pays 5 for 1 for a four-of-a-kind. If you are playing with the right strategy, you’ll find a 100.76% return on this game over time. Bet $100,000 on Deuces Wild, and you’ll see $100,760 in payouts or a profit of $760.

Full-pay Deuces Wild is not mostly played now, but another version is popular with video poker lovers — “Not So Ugly” Deuces Wild.

Not so bad Deuces Wild pays off at 16 for 1 for a five-of-a-kind and 10 for 1 for a straight flush. The expected return for not so ugly Deuces Wild is 99.73% if you play perfectly.

You’ll often see this version of Deuces Wild called “NSUD” on video poker websites.

3. Joker Poker Games

Joker Poker Games
Joker Poker Games

You’ll also see Joker Poker called Jokers Wild, and the game is a sort of cross between Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. The big difference is that there’s only one wild card—the joker. You can find a wide variety of Joker Poker games across the country.

One version of Joker Poker pays even money for a pair of kings or a pair of aces, and this version is often called “kings or better” Joker Poker. The best pay table for kings or better Joker Poker pays 20 for 1 for a four-of-a-kind and 7 for 1 for a full house.

You’ll sometimes find some variation in the payout for a royal flush, too. 4,000 for 1 is the more common payout, and the payback percentage for that version is 100.65%. At one time, you could find such games that paid off at 4,700 for 1 for a royal flush, and that version had a payout percentage of 101%.

Another more popular version of Joker Poker only offers a payout for two pairs or better. Obviously, this game requires a different strategy.

4. Double Bonus Poker Games

Double Bonus Poker Games
Double Bonus Poker Games

It is a variation of Bonus Poker, and both games are just like Jacks or Better. You don’t have any wild cards in Bonus Poker or Double Bonus Poker. The big difference is that you get paid a lot more for a four-of-a-kind in these games. Full houses, flushes, and straights usually have slightly better payouts, too. This is one of the right video poker games.

The game makes up for this by only paying even money on two pairs, which normally pays off at 2-for-1 odds in Jacks or Better. The ideal versions of Double Bonus Poker pay 10 for 1 for a full house and 7 for 1 for a flush.

This game is called 10/7 Double Bonus by savvy video poker players, and the expected return is 100.17%.

The only drawback to Double Bonus Poker is that the best strategy for the game is harder to learn than the strategy for Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild.

5. Pick’em Poker Games – Right Video Poker Game

Pick’em Poker Games
Pick’em Poker Games

Pick’em Poker might be the most unusual variation of video poker on this list, as it only offers you two choices to make on every hand instead of 32 choices.

Pick’em Poker uses a deck of 52 cards, but you start out with two cards instead of five. Then, you get two more cards. From the second set of cards, you opt on which card to keep; the first two cards are kept by default.

Then, the game deals with two more hands, and you get paid off on the hand ranking of your final five-card hand.

Pick’em Poker players are almost like a video poker version of a five-card stud instead of a five-card draw.

A full-pay version of Pick’em Poker has a payback percentage of 99.95%, which is amazing considering that the strategy for playing is much easier than with other video poker variations.


That’s all you need to know regarding How to Select the Right Video Poker Game. This is how you have to choose video poker games to choose, but remember that the next step in the process is to analyze what kind of perks the players club offers you at the casino. You’ll earn comps points in the form of cash rebates, rooms, meals, and shows via your membership.