Video Poker Guide: How to Play with Key Strategies for Winning Big


Video Poker Guide: How to Play with Key Strategies for Winning Big

Discover the thrill of the best online video poker in Canada, a captivating blend of classic poker and slot machine convenience.

Our comprehensive guide caters to both novices and seasoned players, empowering them to master this exciting game and elevate their abilities.

Video poker reigns supreme in the casino world, celebrated for its accessibility and the chance to exercise strategic prowess.

In this article, we’ll delve into video poker fundamentals, unravel diverse game variations, and unveil essential strategies that pave the path to gaming triumph.

Basic Concepts About Video Poker

Video poker is a popular casino game that combines elements of both poker and slot machines. In Canada, as in most other places where video poker is played, it follows a standard 52-card deck. The objective of the game is to create the strongest possible five-card poker hand.

What sets video poker apart from traditional poker table games is that you’re pitted against a computer, not fellow players. This means no need for scrutinizing opponents’ wagers, employing bluffs, or deciphering facial expressions.

Video Poker Gameplay

Your primary objective is to craft the most favorable card combination using your knowledge of poker hands.

Video poker is often seen as a more methodical and strategic pursuit due to the unwavering payout table and rules.

It affords players the opportunity to formulate and employ precise strategies to elevate their prospects of triumph.

Unlike conventional table poker, video poker lacks adversaries to outwit, making it a game where your choices and grasp of poker hands take precedence.

This fusion of poker and slot machine elements delivers a dynamic and tactical gaming encounter, attracting enthusiasts searching for a distinct challenge.

Popular Video Poker Variations

In the world of online video poker in Canada, numerous variations exist, each with unique rules and strategic aspects. Some common video poker variants, each with its own characteristics.




Jacks or Better ♣️

In this version of video poker, to win, you need to form a pair of Jacks or higher cards. Winning combinations start with a pair of Jacks and go up to a Royal Flush. This is one of the most popular video poker variants. In “Jacks or Better”, it’s crucial to hold on to high cards and avoid keeping low cards. This is because you require a pair of Jacks or better to secure a win, and keeping low cards can diminish your chances of achieving a successful hand.

Deuces Wild ♦️

One of the key features of Deuces Wild is that all “wild” cards (typically twos) can substitute for any other cards in combinations. In this version of video poker, you might aim to collect “Tens or Better” as twos can be used to enhance various combinations. It also means that sometimes it’s worth taking risks and swapping out multiple cards to try to acquire wild cards and improve your chances of winning.

Double Bonus Poker ♠️

Double Bonus Poker offers additional payouts for specific combinations, such as “Four of a Kind” (four cards of the same rank) and “Four of a Kind with a Deuce” (four cards of the same rank plus a two). In Double Bonus Poker, it’s essential to pay attention to the payout table and strategically decide whether to hold cards in pursuit of bonus combinations. 

Familiarize yourself with these options to enjoy the diversity of video poker in casinos. Each variant brings its excitement and strategic challenges, offering players a range of experiences while pursuing winning hands and big payouts.

How to play video poker

Playing is an engaging process that can provide both entertainment and profit.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started with playing video poker:

  1. Step 1: Choose a Machine. At the first stage, select a video poker machine in a Canadian online casino that appeals to you. Machines can vary in terms of betting limits, game variations, and design. Pay attention to the payout table, usually displayed on the machine’s screen, to understand which card combinations result in what payouts.
  2. Step 2: Place Your Bets. Choose the size of your bet by pressing the corresponding “+/-” or “Bet” buttons on the machine. Typically, they are located on the machine’s interface.
  3. Step 3: Deal the Cards. After placing your bet, press the “Deal” or “Play” button to start the game. Visual effects and animations enhance the excitement of this process.
  4. Step 4: Select Cards to Hold. Now, you have the opportunity to choose which of the five cards to hold and which to replace. To hold a card, click on it, and it will be marked as “Held”. If you want to replace a card, click on it again. You can select any number of cards for replacement.
  5. Step 5: Swap the Cards. After selecting the cards to replace, press the “Draw” or “Hold” button. Cards that are not held will be replaced with new ones from the deck. This stage involves relying on luck and hoping for a better card combination.
  6. Step 6: Determine Your Winnings. After the card replacement, the slot machine will determine your poker hand and provide a payout if you have a winning combination.

This is the basic guide to playing.

Video Poker Strategies

Let’s explore the key strategies for mastering this captivating game of video poker in Canada. Understanding these strategies will help you make informed decisions and improve your chances of success.

💡 Selecting the starting hand is the first and one of the most critical aspects of video poker.

Your choice at this stage sets the course for the entire game. Let’s delve into some basic recommendations:

  • Strong combinations. If you have a pair of Jacks or higher, or if you have already got a winning combination (e.g., two pairs or better), holding all the cards in your hand is the right choice.
  • One high card. If you only have one high card, hold on to that card and discard the rest.
  • Multiple cards for a straight or flush. If you have several cards that could form a straight or a flush, hold on to them.
  • Empty Hand. If you don’t have a single strong card, pair, or the potential for a straight or flush, discard all the cards and replace them with new ones.

These strategies will help you have a good gaming experience.

Video Poker Game

Calculating Expected Values (EV) for Optimal Decisions

Understanding Expected Value (EV) is a pivotal aspect of video poker strategy. EV helps determine whether you should hold or discard cards in a given situation.

The 10 of spades, Jack of spades, Queen of clubs, Jack of clubs, and King of spades. Initially, you decide to hold the Jack of Clubs and the Queen of Clubs.

This gives you a high card pair, but is it better than the potential for a straight if you replace the 10 of Spades and the King of Spades? Let’s calculate the EV.

Holding the Jack and Queen would yield a winning combination if you get a pair of Jacks, Queens, or higher. On the other hand, replacing the 10 of Spades and the King of Spades could potentially result in a straight, which has a much higher payout.

By calculating the expected value, you can determine that replacing the two cards offers a higher EV and is the optimal move.

Management and Strategies

Bankroll management is a crucial part of video poker strategy. Additionally, knowing how to adjust your bet size is essential:

  • Minimum bets. If your bankroll is limited, start with minimum bets. This allows you to extend your playing time and reduce risks.
  • Increasing bets after wins. After a successful hand, it might be reasonable to increase your bet. For instance, if you had a good win, raising your bet on the next hand can maximize your profits.

Certain versions feature progressive jackpots that increase with each round. While these variants may require larger bets, the allure of winning a significant jackpot can be tempting. 

Progressive Jackpot Strategies

If you decide to play with a progressive jackpot, remember that bets are typically higher, but the opportunity to win a large sum can be very appealing.

To participate in the progressive jackpot draw, you often need to make maximum bets.

Practical Examples and Scenarios

Let’s consider a practical example. You have two Queens and two Aces in your hand.

According to standard strategy, you decide to hold both Queens and hope to get another Queen or an Ace to achieve a “Four of a Kind” combination.

In this situation, the expected value (EV) would be higher than if you discarded one of the Queens and tried to get a straight or a flush.

In video poker in Canada, making the right decisions based on the cards you’re dealt, and the potential combinations is crucial. It involves a combination of strategy, probability, and risk management.

By following these key strategies and understanding the nuances of the game, you can increase your proficiency and enhance your overall gaming experience.

Woman plays a video poker at a casino

Tips for Success

Playing video poker in Canada can be both exciting and profitable, but only if you follow specific strategies and maintain discipline.

Here are additional tips to help you achieve success in this thrilling game:

  • Know the rules and payout tables. Before you begin playing, make sure you have a solid understanding of the rules of your chosen variant and its payout table. This will enable you to make informed decisions.
  • Learn strategies. Familiarize yourself with basic strategies for card selection and bankroll management. Use them as a starting point and develop your strategic skills through practice.
  • Manage your bankroll. Set limits for your bankroll and stick to them. Never wager more than you can afford to lose. This will help you avoid significant financial losses.
  • Maintain discipline. Video poker requires discipline. Don’t get carried away or increase your bets during losing streaks. Stick to your game plan and strategy.
  • Analyze your play. After each gaming session, analyze your decisions and results. This will help you identify mistakes and improve your strategy.

Adhering to these tips will assist you in becoming a successful player and deriving enjoyment from this exciting gambling game. Remember that combining sound strategy with responsible gaming is essential for achieving success.

Strategies for a Successful Game

Here’s a brief overview of some of them:

  • This strategy recommends holding only full pairs, even if you have other high-value cards in your hand. It assumes that a pair can easily turn into three of a kind or four of a kind, resulting in higher payouts.
  • In specific versions such as “Jacks or Better”, card counting can prove beneficial. Seasoned players can monitor the dealt cards, enabling them to make more educated choices by considering the cards left in the deck.
  • Experienced players may engage in more intricate mathematical calculations to determine optimal decisions in complex situations. This involves considering various combinations and probabilities.
  • In some cases, experienced players may employ strategy charts that offer recommendations for different scenarios. These charts can be particularly helpful in complex variants.

Advanced tactics demand a profound grasp of the game and may pose a mastery challenge. They cater to seasoned players aiming to enhance their expertise and up their winning odds.

Nevertheless, adhering to prudent bankroll management and responsible gaming remains pivotal even when employing these advanced strategies.


In the article, we’ve explored the world of video poker in Canada – an exciting gambling game that blends elements of luck and strategy.

Drawing upon the key aspects of the game, we’ve provided a comprehensive guide for players of all experience levels. Seasoned players encourage the application of these strategies and tips in practice.

Video poker is an exhilarating journey, and with the right skills and decisions, it can serve not only as a source of entertainment but also a profitable hobby.

Don’t forget about bankroll management and enjoy your adventure in the realm!