Video Poker Rules

Video Poker is one of the most enjoyed casino poker games for many reasons. The most prominent of which is its simplicity of play. Far too many people are intimidated into thinking that poker is all about the televised tournaments and games they see depicted on television and in films. In fact, the game of Video Poker is so easy to approach that anyone can play. We’ve broken down the game into easy to follow steps you should have no problem with in our how to play resource. Here, we’ll be taking a more detailed look at the rules of the game and how the progression of a poker hand affects the outcome of the game. Having a good understanding of this process will further disambiguate the game and make it less intimidating.

After you’ve gone through this resource you should have no problem going further into the game’s mechanics with our betting strategy and odds resources.

The Basics

The rules of a Video Poker game might differ from one game to another, so we are going to discuss different rules that could change based on where the game is played. There are only a few that you need to be aware of before playing, but understanding what they are and how the influence the game will go a long way into making you a more well-rounded player.

Minimum Paying Hands

As its name suggests, there is a hand of a certain strength that must be held at a minimum by the player in order to qualify for a payout. This minimum paying hand changes from one game to another and is directly influenced by certain mechanics, like wild cards being included in play. Some games require hands as low as a pair of 10s, other require a hand as strong as a three of a kind. Keep this in mind while you are identifying which Video Poker games to play. If you bet big with the idea that a game’s minimum paying hand is lower than it actually is, you will be in for a shocking realization.

Wild Cards

When a wild card is introduced into the game, it comes along with certain influential characteristics that change odds and payout structures. Not only this, but you really do not have any say over how the wild card is used once it is dealt. While they can be any card in the deck, they will automatically be applied to the highest ranking hand that can possibly be made from the cards you currently hold. Wild cards are almost exclusively jokers and deuces when applied to Video Poker games. It is even possible for some Video Poker games to offer both joker and deuces as wild. Keep an eye out for casinos offering these games as they offer the biggest player advantage.

Hand Rankings

In most Video Poker games, the traditional poker hand hierarchy is applied to any outcome. In this case, the Royal Flush is the most valuable hand and a high card alone is the weakest. Most games will not accept a high-card as a minimum paying hand and will instead require at least a pair of 10s or better to receive a payout. However, some variations of Video Poker, such as Bonus, Double Bonus, and Double Double Bonus Video Poker do not take this hierarchy into consideration and instead offer payouts based on a different set of criteria that is unique to that game. You can see the traditional hand hierarchy from strongest to weakest in the table below:




Royal Flush


Straight Flush


Four of a kind


Full House






Three of a kind


Two Pair


One Pair


High Card

Qualifying Bets For Jackpots

When it comes to jackpot Video Poker games, there are a surprisingly large field to choose from. However, what most players fail to take into account when playing is that there is a minimum q2ualifying bet that you need to make in order to be considered for the jackpot. You can find this amount in the games official rules section. However, if you are having trouble locating it, casino support is always there to let you know the exact bet amount you need to wager to qualify.

Video Poker Drawing Rules

Video Poker is a 5-card draw poker game where players receive an initial hand of cards. They will use these cards to create the highest value hand possible following a discard phase. There are really only thee rounds of play and the game ends after the discard phase, when hand value is calculated and payouts are assigned.

First Deal

The game begins with an initial deal of five cards. These cards are random according to certified RNG testing that all our recommended casinos undergo, both internally and externally through third party auditors. You will make a survey of your cards and have to decide which to keep and which to hold as you move on to the discard phase.

Discard Phase

When you have decided which cards to keep and which to let go, you will proceed to the discard phase of the game. You can click on or tap on your cards, if you are playing on a mobile device, to toggle a hold action on those cards. Cards that are held will be carried over into the next phase of the game. Once you have decided and successfully held those cards you want to keep, you will click the appropriate button on the game’s interface to enter the next phase. New cards will be dealt according to your selections.


After you have discarded the cards you did not wish to keep in the previous stage and new cards have been dealt, the game is over. Your hand will then be calculated in terms of strength and you will receive a payout if you have qualified for one according to the size of your wager.

When it comes to the basic rules of Video Poker it couldn’t be easier. You can follow these essential steps of the game and turn any hand into a winner. Keep in mind that unique variations of the game may throw in additional mechanics to change the style of the game, but these are the foundation of every Video Poker experience. Utilizing our how to play, odds, and strategy resources will further assist in bringing your game to the next level.

You are now equipped with the essential knowledge of the rules of blackjack. For more information on the game, you can read our other blackjack resources. When it comes time to find the right casino at which to play, we have a huge selection of recommended casino with great Video Poker games as well as lucrative promotions for you to claim.

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