Poker is established as one of the best casino games around and it’s easy to see why. You could be going all-in with a strong hand or bluffing your way on a high card, either way, it’s challenging and requires a lot of strategic thinking from the player. However, some players might not enjoy the length of the game and the time that’s taken to complete each hand.

That’s where video poker comes in. It combines the strategical thinking with the bright lights and speed of the slots, creating a memorable game in the process. Here we will give you an in-depth guide into exactly what video poker is and how it works. Then, you can head over to Lucky Nugget Casino and put your new-found knowledge to the test.

What is video poker?

In comparison to other casino games, video poker is fairly recent, as it first came out in the 1970s. Although, it wasn’t until the 80s that it was beginning to be regularly deployed in casinos. It’s popularity stemmed from the speed of the game and that it was less intimidating than sitting around the tables with other players.

When it comes to playing video poker, the rules are relatively simple. Whilst there are different variations to the game that might slightly tweak the play, generally they follow the same pattern and this is how it works;

– A player will be dealt five cards
– Once you’ve seen the five cards you can choose to keep or discard as many as you want
– Any that you discard will be replaced randomly
– This can only happen once and you will then keep the five cards that are left.


With those final five cards, you will be looking for the strongest poker hand possible, that’s how you win! These are the same poker hands that win games at regular poker, including;

Royal Flush

: A straight from ten to ace with all five cards of the same suit.

Straight flush: Any straight with all five cards of the same suit.

Four of a kind: Four of the same card.

Full house: Any three cards of the same rank and two more of the same rank. Such as three aces and two kings.

Flush: Any five cards of the same suit.

Straight: Any five consecutive cards of different suits.

Three of a kind: Any three cards of the same rank, such as three 10s.

Two pair: A pair of cards of the same rank, along with another pair of the same rank, such as two 8s and two 10s.

One pair: A pair of cards of the same rank, such as two 6s.

High card: The highest value card if none of the above hands can be made, such as one ace among five random cards.

You’ll know what you could win

So, when you are dealt your initial five cards, you will be looking to secure one of those possible outcomes. That’s where the strategical thinking can come into play. It’s important that you keep cards that give you the best possible chances. But, you need to try and work out the potential outcomes, how brave will you be when it comes to changing your cards?

In terms of payouts, they will be determined by whichever game you play, but each player will be notified of the possible wins before play starts. Landing a royal flush can see returns of at least 250x your stake, whereas a pair might just be enough to double your first bet. And, as with normal slots games, you can receive additional bonuses if you are playing with max credits.

Further down, you can still land huge multipliers for the higher hands, but of course, if you end up with cards of zero value, you will lose.

Understanding the value of the hands is pivotal to video poker. Failure to understand what you need could see you make the wrong call and therefore cost yourself the opportunity of a big win. For poker fans, knowing what is made up of each hand is common knowledge.

However, if you are a novice, then it’s important to grasp everything about the winning hands before you start.


A better house edge than slots

The speed and ease of playing video poker means that it’s seen as a game that is comparable to slots, and attracts players who are fans of slots. Yet, when it comes to potential winnings, video poker stands alone.

House edge refers to the advantage that the casino will have over the player and can be calculated by the return to player (RTP) percentage. Overall, through slots games you can expect that to range from 90-95%, but the RTP for video poker is 97-99.5%. Whilst this is only an average and applies when played over a long time by many, many players, it does mean you are more likely to emerge victorious by playing video poker.

Different variations

As briefly mentioned, there are different variations of video poker games that are accessible, whether you’re playing on your smartphone or hitting the local casino. So, these are the games to look out for and we will explain how they work.

Jacks or Better: The most popular video poker game around, Jacks Or Better gets its name because the payouts begin from a pair of jacks.

Bally’s All American: This is based on Jacks or Better and has the same formula for payouts. The only difference is it offers increased payouts for higher hands such as flushes and straights and reduced payouts for lower hands like two pairs.

Tens or Better: As you would expect, Tens or Better is called that because it will pay out from a pair of 10s.

Joker’s Wild: This game includes the joker from a deck of cards. When it appears it acts as a wild would in slot games and can substitute to make the strongest hand possible.

Bonus poker: Another that is based on Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker offers the players a higher payout for four of a kind.

Double Bonus: Similarly, Double Bonus does the same, except offering higher payouts for four aces.

Double Double Bonus: This offers increased payouts for different four of a kinds, which will be detailed before you play the game.


Ultimately, video poker is an entertaining game that allows you to combine elements of poker with the unpredictability and speed of slots. It’s important to learn how the hands payout before you start and also find a game that offers the largest payouts. Then, let the video poker fun begin!

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