How to play Video Poker

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Basic Rules
Video Poker is very easy to play. It combines the visual game experience of slot machines and the rules of poker. Basically, it is a poker slot game where you are playing alone and not against other people. While most slots are based solely on chance, video poker requires both skill and luck to succeed.

Introduction and origins

The first video poker machine was introduced in 1970 by Dale Electronics under the name Poker-Matic.

Video Poker became successful in casinos throughout the 1980s. Some people felt more comfortable playing it compared to the classic table games. Jacks or Better was the only variation offered back then. Nowadays, there are many more to choose from. Read our quick guide and practice for free.

Basic Rules

The rules are based on Five-Card Draw poker. The difference is that you are not playing against other players.

The gameplay is as follows:

  • At the beginning of the game, you are dealt 5 cards by the machine.
  • If you are not satisfied with the hand, you can draw up to five new ones. Press “Hold” on the cards you want to keep, and then press “Deal”.
  • The machine will replace your discarded cards.
  • Your final hand defines the payout, and you will win according to the paytable shown on the screen.

The majority of video poker games use a standard 52-card deck. Some have jokers as wild cards to give you a better chance at high-value hands. The card rankings are similar to other famous card games – 2 is the lowest value, and Ace is the highest.

The hand rankings are just like in poker (from low to high): Pair, Two pair, Three of a kind, Straight, Flush, Full house, Four of a kind, Straight flush, Royal flush. There are some exceptions. Usually, the pair of Jacks is the lowest-paid hand (hence the name Jacks or Better). Other video poker games have extra paid hands, for example, 4 deuces or five of a kind. Furthermore, there are games that may not pay for a single pair or even two.

Different variants at Masino Games

  • Jacks or Better – played with 52 cards, the pair of Jacks is the minimum value hand for payout.
  • Joker Poker – uses a 52-card deck + 1 Joker for a wild card. A Pair of Kings is the lowest hand.
  • American Poker – also played with a wild joker card. Five of a kind is the highest value hand – any 4 of a kind + the Joker.
  • Aces & Faces – Four Aces is the second-best hand (only behind Royal Flush). You get better payouts for Four Jacks, Queens, or Kings.
  • Double Joker Poker – played with two Jokers and 54 cards in total.


Arguably the best advantage of video poker over the regular slots is that you know how much you can expect to win – according to the particular paytables. Also, it is up to you which cards to hold and which to discard.

If you are a new player, our advice is to focus on Jacks or Better kind. It is the most played variation of the game, so there are many different strategies and guides online.

With a total of 2,598,960 possible hands (52-card deck), you must play frequently and get familiar with each type of game. This is the key to be successful – you need to play a lot and try different strategies.

Thankfully we have developed the perfect platform where you can practice, learn and get better. Enjoy our free Video Poker games and become a real pro!

Download the Masino Games App (no real money)

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