Video Poker Strategy & Guide

Video poker is a game that has been around since the 1970s when it was first introduced into casinos. Walk into any land-based casino today and it’s likely that you’ll find a range of video poker machines of different types. Video poker is also widely available to play at several online casinos, some of which we will list further down in this article.

The game has become one of the most played in casinos over the past half a decade and the reasons for this are plenty. As well as being easy to learn, video poker generally has a very low house edge which means that players have a much greater chance of making a profit compared to when playing some other casino games such as slot machines.

This video poker guide will explain the various types of the game as well as provide information such as the house edge, how to play video poker, where to play it online and much more.

Video Poker House Edge

There are various types of video poker and each game variation has a different average payout and house edge. However, video poker is generally considered to be a very favourable game for the player in terms of low house edge in all its forms.

You can view the house edge for some of the most popular types of video poker below.

GameReturnHouse Edge
Jacks or Better (9/5)98.449%1.551%
Jacks or Better (8/6)98.392%1.608%
Jacks or Better (8/5)97.298%2.702%
Jacks or Better (7/5)96.147%3.853%
Jacks or Better (6/5)94.996%5.004%
Deuces Wild (full pay)100.762%-0.762%
Deuces Wild (regular pay)99.569%0.431%
Double Bonus (10/7)100.172%-0.172%
Double Double Bonus (10/6)100.067%-0.067%

Types of Video Poker

If you visit any online casino or land based casino, it’s likely that you’ll come across different types of video poker games. It’s important to understand how each variation of the game works as although much of the game is based on luck, you can increase your chances of winning by making smart moves based on video poker basic strategy.

Here are a few of the most popular video poker game types…

Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better is one of the most popular variations of video poker. It is relatively low variance which means that wins are often but tend to be smaller. This makes it a great game for the casual player who likes to spend time playing video poker without a huge risk to their bank.

Jacks or Better House Edge & Payouts

Jacks or Better in its 9/6 form has a house edge of just 0.457% which is one of the lowest of any casino game. This means that for every £100 you wager of Jacks or Better, the game will pay out, on average, £99.54.

HandProbabilityReturn ratePayout
Royal Flush0.002%1.981%800x
Straight Flush0.011%0.547%50x
Four of a Kind0.236%5.906%25x
Full House1.151%10.361%9x
Three of a Kind7.445%22.334%3x
Two Pair12.928%25.856%2x
Jacks or Better21.459%21.459%1x

The best hand you can have in Jacks or Better is a Royal Flush which pays 800x your stake.

Many games allow players the chance to double their winnings if they have a Jacks or Better hand which is a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. This is a bonus round in which five cards are dealt, one face up and the other four face down. The play must select one of the four face down cards which has a higher value than the face up card in order to double their winnings.

How To Play Jacks Or Better

Jacks or Better is a very easy game to understand and learning the rules of the game isn’t difficult at all.

The rules are the same as five-card draw poker but as you are not playing against any other players, there is no raising or calling involved.

At the beginning of the game, you decide how much you would like to bet and this is the stake for the game.

The aim of the game is to have one of the winning hands as shown in the table above. The minimum hand to receive a payout is Jacks or Better which returns your stake back. Any of the other winning hands will return a profit from your stake.

The machine/computer will deal you five cards and you have the option to keep any of the cards you are dealt. The cards that you decide not to keep are replaced with new ones which will give you your final five cards which you will hopefully have a winning hand from.

Jacks or Better Strategy

As you don’t know what cards will be dealt, a lot of Jacks or Better is luck. However, you do get to decide which of the initial five cards that you want to keep and so there is some strategy involved.

Thankfully, Jacks or Better strategy is easy to learn and it is as simple as using a cheat sheet which is often widely available from the casinos themselves.

Why would a casino give you a cheat sheet?

Well, the casino still has the house edge on all video poker games and so they want to make it look like they’re helping you but ultimately, they know that they will make an overall profit in the long term from all of their players.

Jacks or Better Cheat Sheet

Below is a Jacks or Better Cheat Sheet which you can use when playing online or print it out for when you are playing in a real casino.

The sheet shows you how many cards you should keep based on the hand you are dealt with the initial five cards that are drawn.

Your HandNumber Of Cards To KeepNumber Of Cards To Replace
Royal Flush50
Straight Flush50
4 of a kind50
Full House50
4 to a Royal Flush41
3 of a kind32
4 to a Straight Flush41
2 Pair41
High Pair23
3 to a Royal Flush32
4 to a Flush41
Low Pair23
4 to a Straight41
3 to a Straight32
2 to a Royal Flush23
2 High Cards23
1 High Card14

Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild is another very popular version of video poker and widely available to play both online and in land-based casinos.

Similar to Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild has a very low house edge which makes it a popular choice of game with players looking for a but more value compared to other casino games.

deuces wild

Deuces Wild House Edge & Payouts

Deuces Wild is one of a very limited number of games that the player can actually have the edge over the casino. This is achieved when playing Full Pay Deuces Wild which has a payout of 100.76% and played with perfect strategy and maximum bets.

Because of it’s rare negative house edge which is in favour of the player, Full Pay Deuces Wild is popular with pro gamblers who are looking to return a profit in the long term.

Standard Deuces Wild has a payout of 99.569% which is still very high for a casino game and a house edge of just 0.431%.

GameReturnHouse Edge
Deuces Wild (full pay)100.762%-0.762%
Deuces Wild (regular pay)99.569%0.431%

How To Play Deuces Wild

When playing Deuces Wild, all four Deuces (Twos) are classed as wild cards and can be used to complete any hand. For example, if you were dealt a pair of Aces and there was a deuce also drawn, your hand would actually be three of a kind with Aces.

Other than that, the game works in a similar way to Jacks or Better with the aim being to make the best hand possible from the cards you are dealt.

You begin with setting the stake for your bet.

Next, five cards are dealt and you will be given the option to hold any of the five cards that you wish to.

Cards which are not held are replaced and it is then determined whether or not you are due a payout based on your final five cards.

Deuces Wild is played with a single 52 card deck and so you will have an idea of what cards cannot be dealt in the second round.

Deuces Wild Pay Table

HandFull Pay Deuces WildStandard Deuces Wild
Royal Flush800x800x
Four Deuces200x200x
Royal Flush w/225x20x
Five of a Kind15x12x
Straight Flush1.101%9x
Four of a Kind5x5x
Full House3x3x
Three of a Kind1x1x

Deuces Wild Strategy

As Dues Wild is similar to Jacks or Better, you can use the same strategy for when to hold or draw cards. However, as deuces are wild, you will need to take into consideration your best hand using the available deuces.

Play Video Poker Online

As we have mentioned in this guide, video poker is extremely popular and so it is widely available to play online at many of the top online casinos.

We’ve listed some of our favourite online casinos below, all of which offer several variations of video poker including Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.

William Hill

Deposit £10 Get £100 Bonus
*Opt-in required. X1 per customer. New customers only, min first deposit/transfer £10 to poker account. Game restrictions and Terms Apply. ♠ Twister Discovery Pack: 1X tournament tickets total value of €6. 3x €1 Age of the Gods Twister, 3X €1 Twister. ♥£100 Bonus Money: WHPoints to redeem Bonus (two stage redemption rate), expires in 45 days. ♦Bonus Spins: x40 wagering. expires in 14 days, Max redemption £20. Terms Apply. #ad


€365 Bonus For New Players
18+. €365 bonus is redeemed in installments based on Status Points earned. Tickets and prize wheel spins expire after seven days. Time limits, exclusions and T&Cs apply. For more information about this offer please visit the website. Registration required. Please gamble responsibly. #ad


£20 No Deposit Bonus
New players only • £20 free bonus: includes $1 immediate bonus & $31 in tournament tickets • Bonus will be granted gradually throughout 7 days after claiming • Each part of the bonus expires after 24 hrs • Immediate bonus may be withdrawn after a player has accumulated 2.5 bonus points for every $1 of the received bonus amount •This offer may not be combined with any other offer • Wagering requirements vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions & T&Cs apply #ad


Deposit £10 Get £20 Bonus
First-time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use Bonus Code ‘TWENTY’. Free Play given as cash and Spin & Go tickets over 6 days. Tickets expire after 21 days. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply. #ad