Online Video Poker introduction

Video poker merges two popular games – poker and slots – and combines them into one of the most exciting games at an online casino. We have researched and tested a wide range of video poker games in New Zealand to save you time and give you all the tools you need to secure big winnings. Video poker offers extremely competitive odds, but you need to possess skill and knowledge to take advantage of these.

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Aces and Eights
  • Joker Poker
  • Double Bonus Poker

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It is important to learn the rules and get to grips with the best strategies to give yourself the opportunity to make a profit from video poker. Our comprehensive guide provides everything you need to know about one of the most entertaining sections of an online casino.

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Video Poker Rules

The rules of video poker are simple – you are dealt five cards, you choose which to hold and which to discard, your discarded cards are replaced and you are paid out according to the value of your hand.

Jacks or Better is the most well-known video poker game. It requires at least one pair of Jacks in your hand in order to start winning.

Most games are played with a deck of 52 cards. The rules are generally the same across all variants, with some subtle differences.

For example, in Deuces Wild the number 2 (deuce) is the wild card and stands in for others in order to form a winning hand.

The traditional poker hand rankings are used to determine the winners of the game. For instance, a royal flush (A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit) is the best hand and will pay out the biggest amount.

In progressive video poker, there is a separate jackpot exists which keeps increasing until one lucky player scoops the prize. When the jackpot is paid, it resets to zero and starts to build again.

How to play like a professional

Best Game Tips

Video poker is a skillful game, although you will need to put in plenty of practice in order to hone your craft.

The professionals would always choose a game that has a low house edge to increase their chances of winning. Free play options are a great way to familiarise yourself with the different games, so take advantage of these before spending real money.

There are lots of different promotions and bonuses available on video poker, and using these can give even more opportunities to win big.

Remember to take a break from playing at an online casino during each session to keep your mind fresh and never play the games if you are under the influence of alcohol.

How to win/Best Strategies

As with most casino games there is an element of luck to video poker, but apply the correct strategies and your chances of winning can be greatly improved.

Each game will have different winning combinations, so spend time learning these so you know what to do when you are dealt certain cards. Find a strategy chart that lists the card combinations and that tells you what you should hold or discard.

For instance, if you’re dealt only one high card in Jacks or Better, hold it and draw four new cards, or if you have a pair of 10s, hold them and draw three new ones. In Joker Poker, if you have the elusive joker in your hand always hold any four-card Flush without an Ace or a King.

There are numerous other recommended strategies to play in video poker, so keep your chart close at hand to boost your chances of winning.


Pay tables in video poker are displayed on the game, which makes it easy for you to decide which hands to try and achieve. Payouts are usually based closely on the following odds:

  • Royal Flush – 250/1
  • Straight Flush – 50/1
  • Four of a Kind – 25/1
  • Full House – 9/1
  • Flush – 6/1
  • Straight – 4/1
  • Three of a Kind – 3/1
  • Two Pair – 2/1
  • Jacks or Better – 1/1

The majority of online casinos in New Zealand offer Jacks or Better with a 9/6 ‘full pay’ table. This means that if you were to get a Full House you’ll be paid 9/1, and 6/1 on a Flush.

Video Poker Glossary

To get the most out of playing online video poker it is worth learning the various terminology used in the game. Here is a list of the most popular terms.

  • Action – Playing a game is known as giving the machine action
  • Bet Max – Also known as maximum bet which is five coins per hand on most games
  • Cash Out – Players request to have their credits moved into their account
  • Comps – Short for compensation, these are the additional rewards such as cashback you get for using a slot or VIP card when you play
  • Deuces Wild Video Poker – A form of video poker where deuces act as wild cards
  • Discard – The cards that you decide not to hold after the initial deal
  • Double-Up – A secondary betting option where you have the chance to try to make your win bigger by entering the double-up round.
  • Draw – The second deal of the cards after you have selected cards to hold or discard
  • Edge – The mathematical advantage the casino has on the games
  • Flush – A five-card hand that contains cards all of the same suit
  • Four of a Kind – A hand where four cards have the same value
  • Full House – A hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair
  • Hold – After the initial deal you have the option to keep any or all of the cards
  • Jacks or Better – A classic form of video poker
  • Pay Table – The list of possible payout displayed on the game
  • Progressive Jackpot – A jackpot that grows according to the amount of action a game receives
  • Royal Flush – The highest possible hand – a royal flush is an ace-high straight flush
  • Straight – A hand consisting of five cards in consecutive order but different suitsStraight Flush – A hand consisting of five cards of the same suit in consecutive order
  • Strategy Card – A card showing the correct plays for every possible hand on a particular game
  • Three of a kind – A hand that has three cards of the same value and two different cards
  • Two Pairs – A hand that consists of two separate pairs of cards
  • Wild Card – Any card that can substitute for all other cards. Common examples are the deuces in Deuces Wild and the joker card in Joker Poker

Interesting Facts

Actor Ben Affleck is a good poker player – he once won the California State Poker Championship which had a prize of $356,000. Here are a few more interesting facts:

  • The earliest video poker game was known as Draw Poker – it featured the lowest possible hand of two pairs
  • A standard 52 card deck consists of 2,598,960 possible five-card hands
  • The odds of being dealt a Royal Flush are about 649,740/1
  • The poker term “Dead Man’s Hand” (two pairs, Aces and Eights) is the hand that was dealt to “Wild Bill” Hickok when he was shot in the head during a poker game
  • Players have a 50/50 chance of being dealt no pair in a five-card deal
  • The term “jackpot” originated from a form of poker in which the pot grew larger and larger until a player could open bidding with a pair of jacks
  • Legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather once hit a royal flush jackpot for over $100,000

You now possess everything you need to know to be successful in playing video poker. Keep an eye on for all the best information about the top casino operators in New Zealand.