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Video Poker Rules

Page summary: An overview of the rules for the various formats of Video Poker.

Video Poker Rules - How to Play Video Poker

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Video Poker is poker that is played on a machine. Video Poker has been around for quite some time and is offered in just about every casino in the world. There are a number of variations to Video Poker. The game is played with the objective of getting the highest poker hand. In Video Poker, the player is not playing against a dealer but rather playing to get a paying hand. The pay outs vary from one game to the next and sometimes from one machine to the next.


Generally, the player is dealt five cards in Video Poker. The player has the option to hold or discard any number of the five cards. After you discard, you will be drawing an equal amount of new cards. The object of Video Poker is to get the highest five-card poker hand possible.

Below, you will find the rules and strategies for a few of the most commonly played Video Poker games. However, there are numerous Video Poker games that have their own variants in terms of paying hands and pay out structure.

Jacks Or Better

Jacks Or Better is a commonly played format of Video Poker. The pay structure derives from the name. The normal poker hand ranking structure applies - a Royal Flush is the best hand and a pair is the lowest hand. In Jacks Or Better, the key difference is that the lowest paying hand is a pair of Jacks. The order of paying hands starting from the low end is a pair of Jacks up through a pair of Aces, then two pair, then three of a kind and so on.

Jacks Or Better - Hands you should hold:


  • Straight Flush - Three or Four Cards (draw only one or two cards)
  • Royal Flush - Three Cards (draw only two)
  • Flush - Four Cards (draw only one)
  • Low Pair - Lower than Jacks (draw three for three of a kind)
  • Straight - 4 consecutive cards (draw one)
  • High Cards - Two high cards (Jack or higher)
  • J,Q,K - Suited or off suit
  • Single High Card - J or higher.

These are hands you should hold if you do not already have a paying hand. Otherwise, draw five new cards.

Deuces Wild

If you've played any home draw poker games, you should be familiar with wild cards. However, if you're not, it's pretty self-explanatory. The deuces or twos are wild cards. This means that deuces can be substituted for any card. This can mean the value as well as the suit. In other words, if you have T,J,Q,K of clubs and a deuce, then you have a Royal Flush.

There are four wild cards in the deck. Because of this, there is usually no pay out in Deuces Wild for a pair. The lowest paying hand is three of a kind. The hands you should hold onto if you're not already holding a paying hand depends on if you are holding deuces. Often players don't know how to properly play their hand holding two or three deuces. The key is to maximize your profits and the odds.

Here is a basic chart for Deuces Wild:


  • Four Wild Cards - Hold (You can't get any better)
  • Three Wild Cards - Hold Royal Flush or five of a kind (or draw two)
  • Two Wild Cards - Hold four of a kind or four to a royal flush (or draw two)
  • One Wild Card - Hold paying hands, three or four to a royal flush, four to a straight flush (or draw four)
  • No Wild Card - The same as Jacks Or Better except you keep any pair (not just Jacks or higher) and draw three to shoot for three of a kind

There are other variations of Deuces Wild as well, such as Jokers Wild. In Jokers Wild the jokers are wild and pairs and two pairs do pay. However, pairs are only paid on kings or better. The strategy is very similar to Deuces Wild.

Typical Video Poker Pay Chart:

  • Royal flush - 4,000 coins (based on 5 coins bet), 250 when less than 5 bet
  • Straight flush - 50 coins per coin bet
  • Four of a kind - 25 coins per coin bet
  • Full House - 6 coins per coin bet
  • Flush - 5 or 6 coins per coin bet
  • Straight - 4 coins per coin bet
  • Three of a kind - 3 coins per coin bet
  • Two Pair - 2 coins per coin bet
  • Pair - 1 coin per coin bet

Video Poker is found in a wide range of variations and is offered at different stakes to accommodate all levels of players. You should have no problem finding an abundance of Video Poker machines at most casinos. With the advancement of online casino gaming, the action gets a little closer to home.

Be conscious of the game you're playing, the rules and the pay out structure. Apply the basic strategy tips to ensure that you're holding the proper cards given the scenario and are not wasting your draws. Draw to the highest odds and remember the objective is to get to a paying hand.