There’s one casino game that has managed to stay under the radar since its inception in the ‘80s: video poker. It may lack the bells and whistles you’ll find at the slot machines, but that’s just fine with the many people who play online video poker at Cafe Casino. Throughout the years, this game has managed to maintain some of the best odds in the house – far better odds than the slots. All you have to do is deposit and play now at Cafe, using the tips and strategies in this article to maximize your winnings.

6 Reasons to Play Video Poker

 There are countless reasons why video poker is such a great game to play. For now, here are six of the most important benefits you can look forward to:

1. More Control Over Your Cards

Video poker is based on the classic game of 5-card draw poker, which gives you one opportunity per hand to swap cards and try to make the best poker hand possible. Each round begins with you receiving five cards, then you pick which cards you want to keep and which ones you want to swap out. Unlike the slots, this decision-making opportunity gives you control over your hands, making you an active participant in the game.

2. An Opportunity to Grow as You Learn

Video poker games come in the following variants: 1 Hand, 3 Hands, 10 Hands, and 52 Hands. This refers to how many hands of video poker you can play at once. It would certainly be overwhelming to try playing 52 Hand Joker Poker as a beginner; however, you can learn the game in its simplest form by playing the 1 Hand format, then gradually adding more hands per round as you get comfortable. 

3. The Freedom to Go Wild

Some video poker games use a standard deck of 52 cards, while other video poker games are wild – or at least include a wild card. Joker Poker and Deuces Wild are two of the most popular games at Cafe Casino; in Joker Poker, the Joker is your wild card, and in Deuces Wild, it’s exactly what the title says: All four of the Deuces (Twos) in the deck are wild. Since wild cards increase your chance of making winning hands, these games have higher minimum requirements for payouts. For example, you need to make at least a pair of Kings to win a prize in Joker Poker, compared to a pair of Jacks in the classic Jacks or Better game.

4. Practice Play

Winning cash prizes is the reason people play video poker for real money, but there’s also a real benefit to using the Practice Play mode at Cafe. This allows you to try out all the different strategies you can use to narrow the house edge as much as possible, without having to pay for your education. Then you can switch back to Real Money mode and put all that knowledge to good use. We highly recommend trying this if you’re relatively new to video poker.

5. The Lowest House Edges Anywhere

Did we mention video poker has really, really tiny house edges? All the games you’ll find at the casino have some kind of edge attached; this is the fee you pay the house for the entertainment they provide. With video poker, if you play your cards right, you can whittle that house edge to almost nothing – even lower than the 0.17% edge that you’ll find with some versions of Single Deck Blackjack. Compare that to the 2.70% edge with European Roulette, and you can see why so many people love playing video poker at Cafe Casino.

6. A Game as Simple as You Want it

Video poker is about as straightforward as it gets: five cards, one draw, make the best hand. But which cards should you keep, and which cards should you get rid of? Each hand you’re dealt has an optimal way of playing, depending on the rules of your chosen game and which five cards you’ve received. Optimal video poker strategies can get pretty complicated, but you can use a simplified strategy that delivers near-optimal results. Then, as you learn the game, you can tweak your strategy and get closer and closer to perfection – or you can keep things simple. It’s all up to you.

Types of Video Poker

When you browse the Video Poker menu, you’ll find over a dozen different games for you to play. Both the standard Jacks or Better game and Joker Poker allow to choose how many hands to play at once: 1, 3, 10, or 52. As recommended earlier, beginners should start with the “1 Hand” games. Then, as you develop your skills, you may want to play more than one hand at a time.

Alongside these two popular games, Cafe Casino is pleased to offer 1 Hand versions of the following:

  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Jackpot Poker
  • Double Double Jackpot Poker
  • Deuces Wild
  • Bonus Deuces Wild
  • Loose Deuces

Each game has a slightly different take on the rules, with different paytables and different house edges attached. You can see the paytable for your chosen game displayed prominently at the top of the screen when you start playing. Let’s return to Joker Poker as an example; the payouts are displayed for each winning hand when you bet one, two, three, four and five coins – each coin can be five cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, $1 or $5. Below are the possible payouts for a five-coin bet:

  • Kings or Better 5 coins
  • 2 Pair 5
  • 3 of a Kind 10
  • Straight 15
  • Flush 25
  • Full House 30
  • 4 of a Kind 100
  • Straight Flush 250
  • Royal Flush with Joker 400
  • 5 of a Kind 750
  • Royal Flush 4,000
  • Sequential Royal 20,000

That’s a big pile of coins you can win with a Sequential Royal Flush – the Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit, in that exact order reading from left to right. Note the different hands you can make with wild cards that are impossible in other games, like 5 of a Kind. This will naturally change the strategy you’ll need to maximize your winnings, so again, consider starting with Jacks or Better if you’re new to video poker, then give the other games a try when you’re ready.

Video Poker Hold Percentage

Before we look more closely at video poker strategy, let’s take a moment to consider the house edge. This edge is often referred to as hold percentage when dealing with video poker; you may also see Return to Player (RTP) used in much the same way as the slots. A standard “full-pay” Jacks or Better game has a hold percentage of 0.46% when using the optimal strategy, which means an RTP of 99.54%.

You can figure out the Return to Player for each of the games at Cafe Casino by referring to the paytables, then entering that information into an RTP calculator. Free versions of these are available online; make sure yours is from a trusted provider before using them. Knowing the RTP for your chosen game will help you make smarter decisions with your bankroll.

Video Poker Strategy

While the optimal strategy for video poker depends on the game in question, there’s one very important tip that works for all the versions: Bet the maximum five coins per hand. This qualifies you for the maximum jackpot, like the 20,000-coin prize for making a sequential royal in Joker Poker. If you only bet one coin, the prize is 500X, then 1000X for two coins, 1500X for three coins, and 2000X for four coins. You don’t need to be a math wizard to see why five coins is the optimal choice.

It’s important not to put too much of your bankroll at risk on any one hand, so choose the size of your coins wisely. If you’d normally bet one $5 coin, bet five $1 coins instead, so you can qualify for the jackpot. Then, use the right strategy for your chosen game; you can find examples of these in the other video poker articles at Cafe, or you can go online to get a free strategy tailored for the game you want to play. The simplified strategies are the easiest to start with, so choose one, try it out in Practice Play mode, then switch to Real Money video poker and show them who’s boss.

Congratulations: You now have all the tools you need to become a video poker expert. If you have any other questions, consult our FAQ and Help guides here at Cafe Casino; in the meantime, enjoy yourself at the virtual machines.