Free Online Video Poker Games

Liliana Costache
Written by Liliana Costache
Liliana Costache

Liliana Costache

Online Gambling Content and Localization Manager

  • Over 10 years of experience in the iGaming industry;
  • German, Swedish, and EU Gambling Regulatory Framework certification by the iGaming Academy;
  • Over 15 years of expertise in crafting engaging and SEO-optimized content;
  • 25+ years in translation and localization.

If you’re interested in Video Poker you’ve come to the right place because on this CasinosLists page you will find everything related to video poker. Learn how to play online video poker, which are the best video poker games, and what strategies to use to increase your winning odds.  

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Why Should You Play Video Poker?

Video Poker is among the most popular online casino games on the market since it requires a combination of strategy and luck to win. The fairness of the game is given by a special random-number generator without completely ruling out strategy. This means that video poker is the perfect combination between a luck-based machine and a skill-based card game.

If you hate the expression “the house always has the edge” then video poker is definitely the game for you. Also, video poker is a great game for any introvert gambler who finds actual poker tables intimidating.

There are a lot of beginners which start off by playing video poker, they fall in love with the game and after they master it, they move on to actual poker. 

It doesn’t matter if you choose video poker as a transition game or you fall in love with its perfectly balanced mechanics and remain a fan forever. You definitely have to give video poker a try and see for yourself why this is such a popular and beloved casino game. 

One of the many reasons why this game is so popular is the fact that video poker has some of the highest odds among all other casino games. This game gives a very low house edge (casino’s profit) and a big chance to win for the gambler. As the game is so beloved, the casino is still making money in the long run as more and more players start enjoying video poker. 

Video Poker History

Video poker was invented in the early 1970s’ when it was first introduced as a machine and it was referred to as a “poker slot”. It has a lot in common with actual poker with the exception that video poker is a single-player game where the gambler plays against a machine or an algorithm compared to actual poker which is a multiplayer game where players compete against each other. 

The first actual models were produced in the mid-’70s and were quite primitive by today’s standards. 

Video Poker started to gain a lot of popularity in 1979 when SIRCOMA (Si Redd’s Coin Machines which would later become International Game Technology aka IGT) firstly launched Draw Poker. This was the moment when video poker took off because players found the machines far less intimidating compared to actual poker tables. 

Online video poker entered the picture much later, however, given the already increasing popularity, it became one of the most played online casino games in the world. 

Right now there are around 19 different video poker variations and more will probably appear on the market in the future since this game attracts thousands of new players each year. 

How to Play Video Poker

The market is full of video poker variants developed by a lot of big software providers. Almost every game developer in the industry came up with its own version of video poker. With such a wide range of versions and varieties, players can’t really complain about a lack of choices. 

Video poker is not a hard game to learn or master. All variants of video poker are based on simple five-card draw poker mechanics and all of them use a standard 52-card deck. 

After selecting your wager, all you have to do is press the “Deal” button and the game will randomly give you five cards. You will need to pick which of the cards to keep and which cards to give up. Once you press “Draw” the machine will randomly replace the discarded cards with new ones. 

All payouts are based on five-card combinations or “poker hands” which are ranked as follows:

  • Royal Flush - Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 (all of them of the same suit, either hearts, clubs, spades or diamonds)

  • Straight Flush - Five consecutive cards of the same suit

  • Four of a kind - Four identical cards of the same rank but of different suits

  • Full House - Three identical cards of the same rank and two identical cards of another rank

  • Flush - Five consecutive cards from the same suit but smaller than the Royal Flush

  • Straight - Five consecutive cards from mixed suits

  • Three of a kind - Three cards of the same rank but of different suits

  • Two Pairs - Two identical cards of one rank and two identical cards of another rank

  • Jacks or Better - Two Jacks, Two Queens, Two Kings or Two Aces

There is no other player or dealer’s hand to beat. Prizes are strictly according to the paytable displayed in the game. Usually, the RTP (Return to Player) is between 97% and 99,5% which is a lot higher compared to other machines like slots, for example. 

Types of Video Poker

While most video poker machines nowadays are just variations of the five-card draw poker, there are some attempts to introduce other variations based on the seven-card stud, but at this moment there are only a few around. 

  • Jacks or Better - This is perhaps the most popular and the simplest variation of video poker. The rules are quite similar to classic poker as players are offered five cards and any card bigger or equal to Jack ensures a payout. Being the simplest version and offering easy wins, this is the recommended variation for beginners looking to start their journey with video poker.

  • All American - You will need to form at least a pair of Jacks to get a payout. The rest of the combinations are as expected, double pairs, three of a kind, flush, square, straight flush and the royal flush. This variation is identical to the Jacks or Better one with the exception that All American has larger payouts for straights and flushes but smaller prizes for two pairs and full houses. It is one of the highest return variations of video poker on the market, however, it is preferred by veterans and mastered by few. 

  • Deuces Wild - This is a very interesting variation, suited more for experienced players. For the five cards in your hand, you can actually get two prizes, one for the strongest three cards and the other for the entire hand. 

  • Tens or Better - A variation of Jacks or Better with the lowest paying hand being a pair of tens instead of a pair of Jacks. The paytable is identical with Jacks or Better without any payouts differences. 

  • Joker’s Wild - As the name implies, the game adds a Joker into the whole mix. This variation acts a lot like a slot because the Joker card acts as a Wild, substituting for any other card to form higher-paying hands or complete a combination. In this video poker variation, another pair of cards is added which is the Joker Pair. It is the closest version to slot machines and also great for beginners thanks to the Wild’s help.

  • Bonus Poker - Another variation of Jacks or Better but with a higher payout for four of a kind hands. Depending on the developer and the version, Bonus Poker may have different payouts for four of a kind hands. 

  • Double Bonus Poker - As the name suggests, Double Bonus Poker is an improved variation of the Bonus Video Poker. It has incredible rewards for four of a kind but smaller for other hands.

  • Double Double Bonus Poker - A rare variation of video poker, identical with the Double Bonus Poker but with an additional bonus prize based on the kicker that remains after the four of a kind hand. 

  • Progressive Jackpot Video Poker - This is not actually a variation since a Progressive Jackpot can be offered for any of the variants above. However, keep in mind that the video poker games which offer Progressive Jackpots regardless of the variation will usually offer a terrible paytable to compensate for the potentially staggering wins. It’s only recommended for high rollers and should be avoided by beginners or players on a tight budget. 

Video Poker Strategy 

Find the best paytable out there. It is crucial to find the best pay chart out there. Since there are so many video poker variants developed by so many software providers, it’s important to take a look at the game’s RTP and paytable. You will have more chances to win if you pick a variation with a paytable that offers around a 99% return compared to a game that only offers a 97% return.

Keep an eye out for bonuses. One of the great benefits of being able to play at online casinos is the fact that you can claim a wide variety of bonuses and promotions which can help you start off on the right foot. There are plenty of bonuses and offers but the best you can hope to claim is a no deposit bonus. Always check the wagering requirement and terms and conditions of the bonus.  

Money management is another very important thing to keep in mind. While it may sound redundant, it is actually overlooked by many gamblers. Never overbet your bankroll. Just play at a level you feel comfortable losing. 

A big loss can take you out of the game and keep you from playing for a good amount of time and we all know that the more you play, the more chances you have to win. At the end of the day, smaller, more frequent wins can add up and also, a smaller loss can be recovered quite easily. 

Start easy and work your way up instead of going straight for variations like All American. With over 19 different variants of video poker, players surely have a wide pool of choices. However even if they have better odds and higher payouts, some variations are harder to master compared to others. For beginners and newcomers, it is a good idea to start off with something like Tens or Better or Jacks or Better.

Always practice! Before playing any version of video poker for real money it is a good idea to try it for free. That’s why here on we offer a wide variety of video poker games that you can play for as long as you want without having to spend a single penny. Give them a go and see how they work and what they have to offer before opening an account and playing them for real money.

Final Words 

Online video poker has become the top choice for many gamblers all around the world for just the right reasons. In its essence, this game is very much like a slot machine but it has the major advantage of giving the players the ability to influence the outcome instead of having to rely only on a random algorithm.

It’s the perfect poker version for introverted players who are too shy or beginners who don’t feel ready to take on a table full of other real players. It keeps the fun factor while also removing the pressure and it also offers a higher winning chance thanks to its luck-based part.

Summing everything up, if you haven’t tried video poker by now, you should definitely go for it. It’s an incredible game that has the ability to charm every gambler and provide some potentially big wins and an extraordinary gambling experience.

Video Poker FAQ

Can I play video poker for free?
Yes. Video poker is available both for real money and in demo mode, for free. While online casino sites mostly offer just the real money option, you can practice all you want on CasinosLists. There is no deposit and no download required and you can play for as long as you want.
Which is the best video poker online game variant?
This is a matter of choice. Each player has his/her own preferences, but it’s generally agreed that the easiest option, the one that’s fun and exciting and offers some great payouts is Jacks or Better.
Can I claim casino bonuses for video poker?
While they do not turn up as often as slots bonuses which are the most common ones, video poker bonuses do exist. You should be able to find both no deposit free bonuses, welcome bonuses and reload bonuses that work on video poker games, if you know where to look. Just remember to read the terms and conditions to make sure that the games you are interested in are available.

Page Contributors

Liliana Costache

Liliana Costache

Online Gambling Content and Localization Manager

About Liliana Costache

  • Over 10 years of experience in the iGaming industry;
  • German, Swedish, and EU Gambling Regulatory Framework certification by the iGaming Academy;
  • Over 15 years of expertise in crafting engaging and SEO-optimized content;
  • 25+ years in translation and localization.
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