Video Poker Review

An Overview

Video poker brings together two of the hottest games in the gambling industry – slots and poker – to create one wildly popular game. While the standard form of video poker follows a certain set of rules, there are many other variants available to ensure that players at traditional and online casinos are never bored. While video poker does not require players to immerse themselves in strategies and calculations as they would need to when playing regular poker, it still requires a certain element of skill in order to decide which cards to play in a hand. In addition, video poker allows players to develop an advantage over the house if they ‘play their cards right’.

The Objective

Played with a standard deck of 52 cards, video poker calls on players to use their skills in order to create the best hand of cards possible from those that they are dealt. The skill element of the game lies in deciding which cards to discard after the initial five are dealt. Players choose the video poker machine that appeals to them and insert between one and five coins. Five cards are dealt. At this stage, the player decides which of the five to keep, and which to discard. Discarded cards are replaced and the player is paid out for any winning combinations. Video poker is a player-against-machine game and the actions of other players at the casino are of no relevance to the outcome of the game.

The History

The history of video poker is actually the combined history of slots and poker. Slots were created at the end of the 1800s in the United States, while variants of poker were played in that country in around the same era. Both games developed along their own tracks until 1975 when the Fortune Coin Company created the video bell slot machine. Four years later, SIRCOMA created Draw Poker and video poker soon became wildly popular in gambling establishments in the world.

Online Video Poker

The online video poker industry is huge, with software companies creating challenging and exciting versions every month. The game’s almost seamless transition from land-based casinos to the internet came largely due to the fact that it worked on computer program mechanisms already, therefore not requiring much effort to adapt the game to online casino use.

Video Poker Variants

While the rules of video poker generally remain the same, many different versions of the game have developed over the past decade. These range from Aces and Eights (with a higher payout on the ‘four of a kind’ combination) to Deuces Wild (where the two’s – deuces – are considered wild cards). Another popular form of video poker is found in progressive games, which link a certain number of machines to a network, and has the jackpot increasing every time a machine is fed. Progressive jackpots pay out millions of dollars each year to lucky players and add an element of excitement to the game.


As software companies continue to create video poker games that are even more interesting and exciting, the sky is definitely the limit when it comes to this gambling pastime.