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Understanding Video Poker Hands

Home » Understanding Video Poker Hands

Understanding Video Poker Hands

3d illustration of virtual playing cards featured above a smartphone.

Video poker was created in the 1970s and consists of a slot machine’s random numbers and video screens. It was created as an alternative to land-based poker and modified to match the buzz and rising popularity of slots, while still being a different but exciting experience. As a result, it wasn’t long before almost every casino had a video poker slot machine.

Fast-forward to today and it’s one of the most popular online casino games, requiring a combination of skill and luck. But unlike slot machines, winning requires the player to make decisions that can influence the outcome. 

Take a look at why so many people enjoy the game and the different hands that can help you win so that you can develop a solid video poker strategy.

Why Do People Play Video Poker?

Regarded as one of the best casino games, video poker eradicates the mind games, strategies and long playing hours that come with most casino table games. Also, the combination of extremely high RTPs (return to player) and a low house edge helped to make it one of the most popular casino games played for money.

Another much-loved factor is the element of skill involved, meaning the player has greater control over the outcome as they can leverage video poker tips (such as using a video poker strategy card) and their knowledge to increase their wins. Moreover, the accessibility and array of ever-evolving game variations have kept it fresh and exciting. Since it transitioned from machine slots to the online sphere it could be played anywhere, anytime.

Ever wondered if there was a difference between playing video poker online and in a casino? Here’s a hint: There are more games, bigger jackpots and you can play it anywhere, anytime.

Ranking and Payout of Video Poker Hands

Playing cards spread out on a green felt table.

If you’re interested in learning how to win at video poker, the first thing to learn is the value of each hand. That said, the value of each hand varies from game to game. With this in mind, note that this blog is valuing cards based on the most popular video poker slot, Jacks or Better. This list explains the combination of each hand, from high to low rankings, along with the maximum payout.

Royal Flush

This five-card combination is the highest-ranking hand in video, online and table poker. A royal flush is rare but lucrative and will result in a generous jackpot for those making a maximum bet. 

The hand: Ace, king, queen, jack, 10 of the same suit (spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs.)

Payout: The jackpot can pay out up to 250x your original bet. 

Straight Flush

Similar to a royal flush, it consists of five consecutive cards in the same suit. The difference is it can happen anywhere in the order of available numbers. 

The hand: Five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, all of clubs.

Payout: Because it’s more common on Jacks or Better, the payout will be 50x your original bet. In other game variations it ranges from 40x to 60x.

Four of a Kind

As the name suggests, it occurs when you get four of the same cards in different suits. 

The hand: Four cards of the same value. For example 5 of hearts, 5 of spades, 5 of clubs and 5 of diamonds.

Payout: 25x the amount you’ve placed. In other games, this varies between 20x and 30x. 

Full House

A full house is made up of a pair and a three-of-a-kind. 

The hand: Three cards of one number and two cards of another number. For example, 7 of spades, 7 of diamonds and 7 of hearts with 2 of clubs and 2 of hearts.

Payout: For Jacks or Better, your payout can be 9x your original stake.

Flush

A flush has the fifth highest value of returns and consists of five cards, in no order, but of the same suit.

The hand: Five cards of the same suit, for example, jack, 2, 5, 8 and king, all of hearts.

Payout: Jacks or Better has a payout possibility of 6x the bet. Other games offer up to 5x.

Straight

One of the likeliest hands to win, it occurs when you have five numbers in a row.

The hand: Five consecutive cards of mixed suits, for example, 5 of hearts, 6 of clubs, 7 of clubs, 8 of diamonds and 9 of spades.

Payout: A typical payout in Jacks or Better is 4x your bet. In other games, it ranges from 3x to 4x the amount. 

Three of a Kind

It’s just like getting four of a kind, but with one less card. The odds of getting three of a kind is 1 in 50 hands.

The hand: Three cards of the same rank, for example, 9 of hearts, 9 of diamonds and 9 of clubs.

Payout: 3x the wager across all games.

Two Pair

Occurring in every one in 20 hands, it’s the second most common victory in video poker.

The hand: Two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, for example, 10 of clubs, 10 of hearts, 8 of hearts and 8 of diamonds.

Payout: 2x the wager across all games.

Pair

A pair is one of the most common combinations but not all video poker games apply the same rules. In Jacks or Better, a pair of jacks will help you win about one in every five hands.

The hand: Two cards of the same number or rank, for examplem jack of hearts and jack of spades.

Payout: 1x your stake. This means you receive your wager back without winning or losing anything. 

Video Poker Games on BetMGM

A man sitting in front of a computer playing an online poker game.

As one of the biggest online casino platforms in North America, BetMGM provides many variations of all the online casino games included on the site, with video poker being no exception. 

Here are three of the best video poker games hosted on BetMGM.

1. Jacks or Better

The most popular and easiest-to-play variation, the game includes many exciting features. With an RTP that can be as high as 99.5%, it’s hard to ignore. In fact, most video poker game variations are based on Jacks or Better.

The machine will deal five cards — one face up, the rest face down. The player must make the best possible hand with the face-up and one of the face-down cards.

2. Bonus Poker

Inspired by Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker emphasizes four-of-a-kinds — offering a bigger payout for this hand than other variations. The RTP can be anywhere from 98% to 99.18%. 

3. Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild is hugely popular among players because of its exciting and engaging high-quality graphics. On some platforms the game’s RTP can be as high as 100.75%. 

Play Now on BetMGM

With plenty of video poker games to choose from, why go anywhere else but BetMGM? The titles shared here are not only a lot of fun but also offer enough variety to keep any video poker player satisfied.

And if video poker turns out not to be your favorite game, there is so much more on offer. From online slots and live dealer casino games to variety games and sports betting, there’s a wide range of gambling games for you to enjoy. Yes, you can even join a regular online poker game or online poker tournament. You’ll find it all at BetMGM. Register today to enter a world of fun.

There are many video poker games, each with their own rules. Learn more about video poker hands and how they rank in the most popular version of video poker.