Learn All the Rules of Video Poker

VIDEO POKER Updated on: 5 September 2018

Although video poker is an easy-to-play game that tempts you to keep going, deep down, it is a game of skill. Not often will you hear this said about a popular casino game. Some will argue this is a good thing, but others might beg to differ. But both groups do have a point: video poker is a mixed bag because playing skill plays such a significant role in your performance, although chance is still the dominating influence in the game.

For instance, if you are looking for a game you can play without spending any time looking at its rulebook, then this reality about the game will work against you. But if you are looking for a game you can master and use to make yourself some money while enjoying genuine casino fun, then video poker might become the new love of your life.

With some practice and a clear understanding of all the rules involved, you will be well on your way to being a winning video poker player. I am going to show you how you can get to this point through the guides on this site. But for now, I am going to discuss the rules of video poker, which is the first step towards being the professional video poker player most people imagine they could become.

1. Video Poker v. Regular Poker

Video poker is available in both physical and online casinos. It is much like regular poker, except for the fact that with video poker, you will be playing against a machine and not other people. For this reason, video poker is a little more fun because you can play whenever you feel like, and at a pace that is more comfortable for you.

Although video poker is easy and fun to play, it does not mean you are off the hook as far as learning the rules of this game are concerned. Without these rules, you will just be floundering through the game with practically no chance of winning over the long term.

How Video Poker is Played

The first decision, and one of the most important, is choosing what amount of money you are going to bet. After placing your bet, you will then get a hand of cards. These cards will tell you how good of a winning chance you have. If the hand is not to your liking, you will have a chance to discard some or all of the cards and get new ones with the hope of getting a better hand, and hopefully, a winning combination.

The cards are assigned a value, and the value of the hand you finally end up with will be evaluated to determine if you have won or not. But the winning values are not cast in stone, and this is because each video poker variant has different rules. For instance, winning with Jacks or Better will be different from winning with Deuces Wild or Joker Poker in some way or another.

How Do You Know You Have Won with Video Poker?

So far, we have already established that there are card combinations worth pursuing in order to win with this game. But what exactly is needed to secure these wins. Let’s have a look at card combinations that bring in the dough as you play this amazing game.

Royal Flush

This is the ultimate card combination in video poker, because its winnings are the highest. The combination needs to have a Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and also an Ace, and they have to be of the same type.

Straight Flush

This is the next best thing as far as video poker is concerned. This combination requires you to have five consecutive cards of the same type. For instance, if you have a Three of Hearts, Four of Hearts, a Five of Hearts, a Six of Hearts, and a Seven of Hearts; then you have yourself a straight flush.

Four of a Kind

This requires you to get four cards bearing the same value in your hand. As per its position, this is also the third best paying card combination.

Full House

This phrase is quite popular in popular culture, but in a video poker game, it means that you have three cards of a kind and a pair of the same value.


If all the cards in your hand are of the same type, then you have a flush. Of course, if these cards have consecutive values, then that’s the better-paying Straight Flush.


A Straight needs you to have five consecutive cards. However, unlike the Straight Flush, this card combination does not need the cards to be of the same type.

Three of a Kind

This combination needs you to have three cards of the same value.

Two Pair

Here, you will need to have two cards of the same value in your hand. Of the three other cards left, two more also need to be of the same kind.


With this combination, you will need to have two cards of the same value. This is the lowest paying combination.

In Conclusion…

Some of the bets you see above pay out better than others. But as you can imagine, the better paying card combinations are also much harder to achieve. On the other hand, payouts sizes will also depend on the amount of bet you place when the game is starting. Unfortunately, this also means that if you lose, you will end up making a much larger loss. So, the trick is to bet with small amounts of money so that a few losses don’t cripple your chances of winning.

This article just covers the rules of the game. So, while this information is adequate to carry on a game of video poker, it is still not adequate for playing this game proficiently. I recommend that you look at the guide I have prepared on video poker strategies and how you can win with this game for more information. As I mentioned at the start, this is a game of skill, which means that although random chance will often get in your way, it will take raw skill to actually elevate yourself to the point of being a winner.