Your Online Gambling Guide To Video Poker

In the world of online gambling, video poker is becoming increasingly popular in Canada, and we have found the best places to play for Canadians. Playing video poker for real money offers a fast, exciting poker variant, and so the shortlisted sites here can offer the latest software with the best security, whether you're playing on your desktop or with a mobile app.

Any of the sites shortlisted here will offer:

  • A range of the top games titles
  • Generous welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions
  • Top security software and gaming body regulation

If you'd like to try out video poker then there are a range of free games to help you get started. The game offers big prizes, and small betting amounts, so once you've worked out how to play you should be well set to play video poker for real money.

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Rules Of The Game

The most common online video poker game will be similar in format to five-card draw. After you decide your betting amount you are dealt five cards and decide which to keep and which to discard. You win real money prizes based on the strength of your hand, with a pair of jacks paying even money, Royal Flush bringing a huge jackpot, and other poker hands paying out amounts in between the two. Learning how to play video poker for real cash is fairly straightforward - it's largely about knowing which cards to keep and which to discard.

Some online video poker games offer progressive jackpots, with huge prizes, while another casino online might still offer as much as 800 times the initial stake for hitting a royal flush.

The real money video poker games with the highest regular payouts are called 'nine and six' - this means payouts will total nine times the initial stake for hitting a full house, and six times the initial stake for hitting a flush.

Video poker interface

We've prepared a few pointers for players who are new to video poker, and wondering what they should expect when playing the game. The interface used at online gambling sites is very user friendly and simple to use, whether you are playing on mobile or desktop. Below you can see exactly what will be on your screen during a game. We've labelled the most important features:

Video Poker interface Click to enlarge

Pay Table This shows the scores your selection of cards will earn if they match a particular type of poker hand. As seen by the columns, the higher the rank of the cards making up your hand, the higher the score.


Held Cards After the cards have been dealt, you can choose whether to replace all or some of your cards. Just press the ‘Hold’ button over each card you want to keep as part of your hand. The rest will be drawn again.


Final Draw Once you have decided which cards you are keeping, hit the ‘draw’ button to see the final selection of cards and find out whether you’ve hit the big time!

Blacklisted Canadian Casino Sites
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Game Variants

A good video poker online casino will usually offer several variants, one of the most popular being 'Deuces Wild'. In this game, a two (or a 'deuce') can be used as a wildcard, meaning it can become any card in the deck depending on the preference of the player. This means when gambling online video poker games with the 'Deuces Wild' categorization offer players more ways to hit winning hands. The payouts can be lower if you use a deuce to make your hand, but Deuces Wild can be a fun and profitable way to gamble on the Internet.

Both Deuces Wild and Jokers Wild (a similar video poker online gambling game using a 54-card deck including two jokers as wildcards) allow online casino players to make another winning hand, 'five of a kind', where a deuce or a joker can be added to a four of a kind hand.

Sometimes a casino will offer games such as '10s or better', where the lowest hand required for a real money video poker win is a pair of 10s rather than a pair of jacks. Also, many games offer lower odds such as 8/6, 9/5 or 8/5 - to maximize your winnings the 9/6 games are almost always the best bet.

Video Poker Strategy

There are certain occasions where real money video poker progressive jackpots rise so high it can actually become mathematically profitable to start betting on those machines, even if the standard payouts are lower.

Gambling online for real cash can be great fun, and there is a huge variety of video poker games - perfect once you think you've worked out how to win.

We have found the best video poker online casinos for Canadians with the best jackpots and payouts, so once you think you have sussed how to win you will have a ready-made guide to the best sites on the internet.

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Video Poker FAQ

How does video poker work?

Video poker functions like a cross between a slot machine and a game of five-card draw. Players receive five cards, choose which to discard–these are replaced with new cards from the deck–and try to use any remaining original cards and the new cards to build the best poker hand possible.

In most variations, a player wins a real cash prize if their hand contains a pair of Jacks or better. The better the poker hand, the higher the payout players will be rewarded with. The game is played on a video machine, hence the name, and uses random number generators so no real cards are involved.

Why play video poker?

Video poker offers all the excitement of playing on a slot machine for a potentially lucrative real money prize but allows experienced poker players to use their expertise to put together the best hand possible.

For Canadian players who have never played poker before, the game offers a way for newbies to learn which hands are the best and practice their skills without having to find, or face off against, other players from Canada or elsewhere in the world.

Where can I play video poker?

All of the top online casinos offer video poker alongside their video slots. You can find a range of different variations, each with different rule changes and odds, so be sure to keep reading to find out the best video poker options to try.

You can also find the game in land-based casinos but, because the game is virtually identical to its web-based equivalents, there's really no benefit to dressing up and making the trip to an offline casino if video poker is all you're planning to play.

What game should I play?

Different video poker titles you'll find at most online casinos include the following:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Aces and Eights
  • Double Bonus
  • Jokers Wild

Each of these games has a payback rate of close to, sometimes even exceeding, 100% so with sensible play you have a chance of making a profit. Any game with wild cards is always a fine choice–there's little worse than being dealt a hand that's one card away from a Royal Flush, and a wild card gives you another chance at hitting it.

Which offers the best odds?

With payback rates of 100.76% and 100.64% respectively, Deuces Wild and Jokers Wild are the best choice for Canadian players who really know their poker strategy and are looking for a chance to make some real cash playing video poker.

Double Bonus (100.17%) and Double Double Bonus (100.06%) also have payback rates of over 100% but, with a slightly higher variance–more on exactly what that means below–they're not quite as desirable as the titles mentioned above.

What is variance?

Variance refers to the relationship between the payout offered by each hand and how it contributes to the return % of a machine. Confused? Let's look at a real world example. Say that Two Pair has a payout of 10 on one machine and 5 on another, based on an initial bet of 5. In the first machine, Two Pair might represent around 25% of the potential returns but it's only around half that in the second. Two Pair is a much more common hand than, say, a Royal Flush. This means that players will win more real cash from smaller winning hands.

All you need to know is that titles with a lower variance offers more regular small wins that help to make your bankroll last longer, while a higher variance machine offers more chances at infrequent big hits. Which you choose will depend on your own personal preference.