Play Video Poker

With just a little knowledge, it is easy to play video poker for fun, and make money, too! This article shows how.

Video poker is simpler than table poker, and hence, easier to play. Unlike table poker, which includes such favorites as Texas Hold ‘Em and Stud, video poker is typically a simplified version of a single card game – Five Card Draw. More advanced video poker games may allow several variations, but they are all essentially draw poker. Also unlike table poker, the play in video poker involves a single player against the “house”, which is the computer.

The Screen

A typical video poker game’s screen is divided into three sections. The top section usually shows the payout table. The kinds of hands are shown, and a number, representing either the dollar amount or, more often, the number of credits, which the player will be awarded for each kind of hand. Where the player’s hand matches more than one winning payout, only the highest paying amount is used.

The middle section of the screen shows the five cards of the player’s hand. (As noted above, players play video poker using a variation of five card draw, and there are no other player’s hands to display.) Above or below the cards the word “hold” or “held” will appear during play, if the card in question was carried over from the previous round.

The bottom section of the screen contains the current status, including the number of credits or amount of money available to the player, the current total bet, and a set of command and option buttons.

The Play

It is much easier to play video poker than table poker. After placing an initial bet, the player hits the Draw or Deal button, and the computer deals a five card hand to the player. All five poker cards appear face up on the video screen.

The player then chooses which cards to keep. Some video poker games require the player to keep at least one of the five cards, while others allow the player to discard all five cards and receive an entirely new hand. At this point, the player may be allowed to increase the bet.

The video poker game replaces the discarded cards from the player’s hand with more from the same deck. The results are then matched against the payout table, and the payout for the highest match, if any, is awarded to the player and added to the total balance or credit. If there are multiple matches, only the highest is paid. If there are no matches, the player’s bet is lost.


For each credit or amount of money the player bets, the video poker game reduces the bet amount from the player’s total credit and adjusts the payout table. For example, if the payout on a straight flush is 50, and the player bets 2, then the payout table will change to show that with end of play, video poker payout on a straight flush would be 100 (or 50 times 2).

Have Fun!

Following these simple directions, anyone can play Video Poker.