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Daniel King

Canadian Online Video Poker: How to Play and How to Win

Author: Daniel King | Posted on: 2021-05-31 | Last updated on: 2022-01-24

Imagine the rush when you see that final card flip over and you look at a royal flush. Your royal flush! The adrenaline runs through your veins as you watch the credits roll into your account and you take home the biggest jackpot video poker can offer.

Have you ever wanted to feel what that’s like? Have you been close before? Canadians are playing online video poker more and more and the choices of games to play and potential to win is huge. The availability of mobile gaming has made it easier than ever to play and win!

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Basics of Video Poker

Video poker is what happens when you take one of the most popular and enduring card games of all time and blend it with technological advancements in the gambling industry. As the world shifts to more and more digital gaming, poker has come right along and transformed with the times. This has given countless people the opportunity to learn and play the game of poker.

The appeal of video poker is hard to resist as it takes the best of many gambling games and brings them together. The strategy and game play of one of the most popular gambling games ever mixed with the excitement of the lights and sounds of video gambling. This creates the potential for the perfect game. Video poker games (sometimes referred to as video poker slots) have different variations to give everyone the chance to play.

Video poker is like the card versions of poker but with some simple changes. While the gameplay for each is slightly different, the basics are the same. There is a rank system of hands from the least valuable to the most valuable. This determines how much the payout is.

Online Video Poker Game stages

Video poker is version of poker but with some simple changes. While the gameplay for each type is slightly different, the basics are the same.

Here is how it goes:

  1. You bet coins which vary in value. How much a coin is worth is up to the player and this can vary from a cent to dozens of dollars.
  2. You get dealt 5 cards. From these, you can choose to keep any cards you consider valuable and discard all unnecessary cards.
  3. These cards are replaced by other cards dealt by the dealer. What you have in your hand is the hand you play.
  4. If your poker hand is on the pay scale, you get paid out! Depending on what you bet and what hand you have, substantial winnings are available.

Best Video Poker Games at Canadian Online Casinos

  • American poker v
    American poker v
  • Turbo poker
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  • Joker poker by Wazdan
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  • American poker gold
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  • Magic poker
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  • Jacks or better by Pragmatic
    Jacks or better by Pragmatic
  • Jacks or better multihand
    Jacks or better multihand
  • Tens or better by Playtech
    Tens or better by Playtech

Types of Video Poker


The beauty of the video poker games available in video poker casinos is their range and diversity. Poker has changed over the centuries it has been played and it continues to adapt today. The variations of video poker all stem from the central ranking system of hands that have dominated poker for the last 150 years.

The odds of winning vary by game but for the savvy video poker player, they can make sure a higher payout rate than almost any other game that you can gamble on. The difference between video poker and card poker is what makes a viable hand. Card poker allows low pairs to count in game play. Pairs need to be at minimum jacks to be considered a legitimate hand on the pay tables of video poker games.

Whether you play at real money video poker casinos or free play video poker casinos, online poker is fun and satisfying to play. Your video poker strategy will depend on the game that you choose. The different games have different rules including wild cards, bonus games or extra high payouts for certain hands. Whether you play Deuces Wild, Double Bonus Poker or Aces and Eights, everyone finds a favorite game to play. Tips on how to win and how to play as well as basic strategy changes with each game.

Regardless of the game you are playing, be it video poker classic free online or video poker multi hand for real money, you need to be aware of what’s important and what’s not. This is the key to enjoying your game play and being successful.

Jacks or Better Video Poker

Jacks or better is one of the most basic of the video poker games. Video poker casinos all over the world offer this popular game to players.

mobile video poker

The game play is simple. First step is to place a bet. The value of these bets can range wildly from machine to machine and player to player. The player chooses the amount of coins they are willing to bet and gets 5 cards. In real money video poker casinos, you can bet up to $100 per hand. After receiving your 5 cards, you decide which cards are worth keeping and discard the rest. The dealer gives cards to replace your discarded ones and your hand is then paid out based on the pay scale of that machine if you have a winning hand.

Deuces Wild Video Poker

Deuces wild is an amazingly popular game in the world of video poker world. The game play is almost the same as Jacks or Better except for one small difference. All 2’s (deuces) are wild. Being wild means that it can be any card. It automatically becomes the card you need to have the best hand possible.

This is great news! Having wild cards greatly increases the chances of drawing a winning hand. As an example, if you have a 3 of a kind of 9’s and you also have a 2, this would become a 4 of a kind of 9’s.

Since the odds of you drawing a wining hand are higher, the pay outs for the hands including wild cards are slightly less than what would be called a “natural” hand. Natural hands are winning poker hands that do not contain any wild cards.

Aces and Eights Video Poker

Aces and Eights is another variation of the most standard games in video poker. It plays like Jacks or Better with a slightly different pay scale. No wild cards increase your chances of drawing a winning hand in Aces and Eights but there is an increased payout for certain hands.

The hands that pay out more in Aces and Eights are…you guessed it! Aces and Eights. 4 of a kind of these cards will pay out more than a flush (all cards of the same suit), a straight (all your cards in a row), a full house (a pair and a three of a kind in your hand) or any other 4 of a kind. Aces and Eights is not common as a card poker game but is a favorite in video poker casinos.

Double Bonus Video Poker

Double Bonus video poker is one of the most fun and exciting of all the video poker games available. It isn’t found on all online video poker sites but is an engaging and a potentially lucrative game to play.

Double Bonus works like this. The pay scale is similar to Jacks or Better with a few small differences. The 4 of a kind category is separated into subcategories which pay tiered winnings. That means that 4 of a kind of 2’s, 3’s or 4’s will pay higher than a 4 of a kind of any card between 5 and King. 4 of a kind of 2’s, 3’s or 4’s with an Ace, 2, 3 or 4 as your fifth card will also pay out higher rewards.

The real double bonus is the choice to double your winnings. After you win, you get the chance to double your money. You get 5 cards face down and one of them is turned up. This card belongs to the dealer. To win, you must flip a higher card than the dealer`s. If you do, you double your winnings. If the dealer’s card is higher, you lose it all.

Jokers Wild Video Poker

Jokers Wild video poker is also a popular video poker game, although not as popular as Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better. Video poker slots that use wild cards are always interesting and exciting to play because the odds of getting a good hand and getting paid out a hefty win seems high.

Jokers Wild is the same as Deuces Wild. The difference is that instead of dealing cards from a 52-card deck of cards, you are getting cards from a 53-card deck. The 53rd card is the Joker. The Joker is wild like the 2 in Deuces Wild.

The interesting thing about Jokers Wild is that if you play with a solid basic strategy, your payout percentages can be over 100%. You do this by using odds and math instead of guesses to decide your bets.

Video Poker – Real Money vs. Free Games

Like almost all video-based gambling games, video poker players have the choice of choosing to play from free game sites or use real money video poker casinos. While the game play is the same, the experience of your playtime isn’t. Playing video poker classic, free of charge and without anything on the line is nothing like playing video poker, multi hand or single hand, for real money.

The pros and cons to both of these styles of play are obvious and how you choose to play is a personal choice.

Pros and Cons of Real Money Video Poker

If you play with real money, you can win real money! By playing with real money, you can lose real money!
The level of excitement and adrenaline is higher when you have real money on the line. A higher chance of gambling addiction when using real dollars.

Pros and Cons of Free Video Poker

You can play for as long as you want without fearing losing anything. The level of excitement isn’t the same when you are playing for free.
You can practice your skills and techniques for as long as you like! Some games are only available to those playing with real money.

How to Play Video Poker

Everyone who plays poker wants to win. There are many ways to look at this when you are deciding what you would like to accomplish. Winning may look different to different people and it is important that you know what “winning” means to you.

Playing video poker is simple once you get a hang of the rank system of winning hands. If you are new to poker, here is a tip. Have a chart on you or play on a site that provides you with a chart of these hands in ranked order. The method of playing is similar for all video poker games.

  1. Choose a game to play You need to decide which variation of video poker is the one you want to try your hand at. They are all similar but have enough differences to be confusing if you aren’t paying attention.
  2. Transfer money to coins (if you are playing for real money) This will give you the ability to bet on your hands.
  3. Place your bets and get dealt your cards There will be a minimum bet and a maximum bet and all the options in between. Max bet gives you the highest return on your winning hands but costs more per hand to play.
  4. Evaluate your hand and decide which cards you believe are worth keeping TIP: if you are playing with wild cards, NEVER discard a wild card. They will always help you out in the end.
  5. Discard cards and get replacement cards You receive the same number of new cards as the number of cards you choose to discard. These cards will make up your final hand.
  6. Check your hand to determine if there are any winning combinations You don’t actually have to do this because the computer will pay out any winning hands automatically without you having to pick anything but it’s always fun to see what you got dealt.
  7. Collect your winnings! Any winning hands will be awarded and you can continue to play or cash out.

Video Poker Hands

poker hands

This is a breakdown of the raked poker hand system from lowest to highest.

  • Pair (one pair of cards)
  • Two Pair (two pairs of cards)
  • Three of a kind (three of the same card)
  • Flush (all cards have the same suit)
  • Straight (all cards are in sequence order)
  • Full House (three of a kind and a pair)
  • Four of a kind (four of the same card)
  • Straight Flush (straight of the same suit)
  • Royal Flush (straight flush of 10, jack, queen, king and ace)

How to Win at Video Poker

Everyone who plays poker wants to win. There are many ways to look at this when you are deciding what you would like to accomplish. Winning may look different to different people and it is important that you know what “winning” means to you.

Are you looking for an exciting and good time but don’t care if you take home any money? If that is the case and you play and lose your budgeted amount but had a great time then you can consider that a win.

That isn’t the case for most players though. Winnings come in the form of cash and credits. To play and win with video poker, it is important to follow a basic strategy that you believe will get you in the winner’s circle more often than not.

These are tips that will help you win at video poker and develop your own video poker strategy.

  • Make sure you know and understand the pay table for the games you are playing. This can ensure you aren’t making any foolish mistakes by placing bets for hands that you can’t get.
  • Don’t drink while gambling. Having too many drinks will impair your judgement and you could make some gambling decisions you regret.
  • Always, always, always max bet. You increase the percentages that you get back by max betting.
  • Learn the right strategy for the game.

Video Poker Strategy

Strategy is important when it comes to video poker and these tips will help you play at an optimal level.

  1. Always hold these hands: flush, straight, pair, two pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind. Discard the rest and see what you come up with.
  2. Keep a low pair instead of a high card: These can lead to 3 of a kind or better.
  3. Never break up a flush or straight: the only exception is when you are one card away from a royal flush.
  4. Keep open-ended straight draws: If you don’t have anything else, open-ended straight gives you many options for a winning hand.

Identifying the best Video Poker Fit

Choosing a perfect game fit is straightforward. Meanwhile, we recommend you give a try to all the video poker types available. Pick one of our top video poker casinos in 2022 to get your Royal Flush right away!


How do I know which video poker machine is hot?

Video poker machines and their win or loss ratio is determined by a random number generator so you can’t tell if a machine is hot.

Why is video poker better than slots?

Video poker blends chance with skill, making it more engaging than slots.

What is a pat hand?

A pat hand is a hand that doesn’t contain any wild cards.

What are quads?

Quads are another term for 4 of a kind.

What are the odds of hitting a royal flush in video poker?

The odds of hitting a natural royal flush is 1 in 649,740.