The Best Video Poker Games to Play in 2021

Date Published

Authored by

Paul De Freitas

Video Poker intro

The history of video poker reaches back as far as the 1970s. Back in the day, the term was usually used to describe a primitive piece of software installed onto arcade-like machines at casinos. As time went by and the video poker games got more and more advanced, they have become wildly popular among gamblers, newcomers, and veterans of the casino scene alike. Part of its appeal was the fact that it was much less intimidating to play video poker than to sit at a table and join a real-life poker game. This was particularly true for newcomers, who found it much easier to learn the ins and outs of poker at a video poker machine, cutting out the stress factor of other, more experienced players taking advantage of their inexperience.

Fast forward to 2021, and video poker online has outperformed its predecessor when it comes to the sheer number of active players and accessibility of the game. Online casinos do not require their players to pay lofty entry fees, nor do they bar them from playing at lower stakes. The minimum bet amounts can get as low as one dollar, and there's even the option to play free video poker without putting any sort of cash on the line. It's the ideal option for those who are only getting started in the online gaming world and don't want to risk too much as they learn the basics of the various slots and table games. If you'd like to get into video poker but aren't exactly sure where to start, which video poker variations are the best for you, or which poker games are worth your time, you've come to the right place! This article will take you through the basics of video poker, casino sites that host it, and how to find the right game.

Online Casino Games 101

Vegas Casino Floor

Vegas Casino Floor

Regardless of whether we're talking about video poker, live-streamed table games, or online slots, the fact remains that the world of online casinos is a large and complicated one. As a newcomer to this industry, you're likely going to be intimidated by the number of casino sites that are available, as well as the sheer amount of real money games you can play at any time of day and night.

Choosing the right e-gaming provider may be a difficult choice. With dozens of casinos offering pretty much the same services with similar prices and sign-up requirements, your decision will likely come down to the roster of games, bonuses on offer, and accepted payment methods.

Games on Offer

Just because a casino has a lot of games to offer, it doesn't make it a good platform right away. Many sites offer duplicate games counted as separate entities, sign exclusivity deals with the developers of subpar software, or don't provide the types of games you'd be interested in. For example, you may be someone who exclusively enjoys table games. Many legitimate and high-quality websites pride themselves on hosting online slots only, which would make them a poor choice when taking into account your interest. Just like with many other things in life, the rule of quality-over-quantity applies to the online casino industry.

Payment Methods

The same can be said about the payment methods on offer. A site may accept dozens of different currencies, e-wallets, and other payment methods, but rarely will you be able to find an online casino platform that does them all. You should always begin your search by making sure that they can process deposits and withdrawals using your preferred method of payment. Otherwise, they'll be useless to you.

Be particularly wary of using cryptocurrencies when making deposits and withdrawals to online casinos. They are still in their infancy and are virtually impossible to regulate. It's incredibly hard to prove that a casino runs cryptocurrency scams, so unless the site was proven to work and your close friends and acquaintances can vouch for it, it is best to stick to the traditional online payment methods for now.

Legitimacy

Of course, the legitimacy of your chosen website should also be taken into account. Thankfully, online gaming authorities in most countries are doing a great job of catching shady platforms and disposing of them relatively quickly. Some of these regulatory bodies even develop algorithms that scour the web in search of insecure casinos and ban them virtually as soon as they go online! However, this does not relieve you of the responsibility of staying vigilant whenever you try out a new online casino. Some scammers are very sophisticated and creative, allowing them to bypass most security measures and stay online long enough to make a couple of bucks off unwitting victims. Don't be one of them. Always double-check whether or not the casino you're using is legitimate with a trustworthy casino review website, such as A2Z Casinos. You can rely on us to provide you with the most up-to-date info regarding new online casinos, video poker games, and any online gambling-related news that's worth your attention.

Different Video Poker Games

Casino Video slot machines

Casino Video slot machines

Online video poker games have grown in popularity so much over the years mainly because they bring a simplified, quicker version of poker to gamblers all over the world. Rounds in video poker rarely last longer than a couple of minutes, and it completely removes the aspect of having to deal with and outsmart other players. However, it doesn't mean that every video poker game is the same. In fact, it's quite the opposite -- throughout the four decades since its conception, countless video poker variations have sprung up, some more popular than others. Below, you can find the most commonly played video poker types.

Deuces Wild

This variation of video poker gets recommended to beginners very often, mainly because it's easy to learn, fun to play, and doesn't involve too much risk. Of course, it also means that the returns will not be as spectacular as in the case of some other video poker games. Nevertheless, Deuces Wild is one of the best video poker variants to just pick up and play.

In Deuces Wild, you'll be playing with a full deck of 52 cards. The catch is that all Twos (or Deuces) are wild cards and can complete any winning hand by replacing the missing card. You won't find Deuces Wild in casinos too often because of how much power it places in the hands of the players by allowing them to use Deuces to complete winning combinations.

Tens or Better

This popular video poker game is named after its lowest paying hand -- a pair of Tens. The payouts are fairly frequent, but the paytable is adjusted so that they are lower than in the case of other video poker variants, making up for their frequency. For example, the payout for a full house is 6 times your bet, whereas, in most other games, it would be 9 times the initial wager.

Tens or Better also has a very attractive RTP (return-to-player) of 99.13%, which is unusually high when it comes to casino games. For comparison, most online slots have a return-to-player percentage of around 94-97%.

Jacks or Better

Another video poker game with a very high payback percentage at 99.54%, Jacks or Better is also one of the simplest variations of the game out there. The lowest paying hand in this instance is a pair of Jacks or "better" figures, so Queens, Kings, or Aces. Another factor that simplifies the gameplay is even payouts, which means that your winnings from the lowest-paying hands are equal to your bet.

In most Jacks or Better video poker machines, you also have the opportunity to double your winnings by entering a bonus round after landing a winning hand. In this round, you get dealt a hand of five cards, but only one of them is face up. Your task is to pick out the card with a higher value than the revealed one.

Aces and Faces

Inspired by Jacks or Better, Aces and Faces take the fan-favorite format to the next level. It is one of the more complex video poker games (although no video poker game is really that complicated), seeing as it makes some pretty significant changes in the way it values various winning hands. Four Aces are the highest-ranked hand, as opposed to a Straight Flush in most other video poker games.

The payback percentage in regular 8/5 Aces and Faces games is 99.26%; however, it varies from casino to casino. Some platforms offer a 6/5 version of Aces and Faces with an increased house edge and a payback percentage of 97%, but a chance for much higher winnings.

Joker Poker

This is a fairly unusual variation of video poker, as it is played using a deck of 53 cards. The extra card is, of course, one Joker, which is used as a Wild Card and a booster for all of your winning hands. There is a catch, though -- the lowest winning hand starts with a pair of Kings, which is the highest starting hand out of all video poker online games.

The Wild Joker allows players to complete some pretty interesting winning hands, such as Five of a Kind, which is four cards of the same rank, and a Joker. It's the second-highest ranked hand in Joker Poker, right after the Natural Royal Flush (royal flush without any Wilds).

Due to the way this game plays around with the traditional poker rules, it is recommended to get familiar with other kinds of real money video poker before diving into titles that play around with the ruleset, such as Joker Poker or Aces and Faces.

Bonus Poker

Basically a Jacks or Better video poker game with some major tweaks to the structure of payouts and winning hands. The main difference is the fact that payouts can differ depending on the ranking of cards in your hand. For example, Four Aces will pay better than a Four of a Kind consisting of lower-ranked cards.

The standard variation of Bonus Poker is the 8/5 version, where landing a Full House will pay out 8 times your bet, and a Flush - 5 times your initial wager. Online casinos often play around with the structure of Bonus Poker, so it may be worth your time to browse around different platforms in search of the most profitable variants, such as Double Bonus Poker.

Progressive Jackpots in Video Poker

Table games and online slots with progressive jackpots, such as Mega Moolah, have become wildly popular within the online gambling community in recent years. This is mainly because of the accumulation of missed jackpots, which allow the lucky player to win millions of dollars with a single bet, provided that they hit the jackpot.

It should come as no surprise that the progressive jackpot feature has made its way to video poker machines, as well. Of course, due to the "frequent-but-low" nature of payouts in video poker, the jackpots never reach the astronomical amounts seen in games such as Microgaming's Mega Moolah, but they still provide a hefty payout, nonetheless. To make things interesting, scoring low winning hands does not entail a small payout, but rather increases the jackpot amount, accumulating the potential winning until a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, or Four of a Kind is drawn. The jackpot-winning hands vary from game to game.

Which Variation is the Most Popular Among Video Poker Players?

Gamblers who have just started to play video poker usually go for either Jacks or Better or Tens or Better at the start of their journeys. These fast-paced, simple video poker casino games are not only the easiest to learn but also the least punishing ones, as they offer frequent payouts even for very low winning hands. They may not be the biggest ever, and most certainly won't make you rich, but they reduce the risk that's often associated with online gambling and don't discourage newcomers from playing video poker again.

More experienced gamers often choose Bonus Poker or progressive jackpot video poker. Odds in these games may not be as favorable to the players as in the cases of Jacks or Better, but on the other hand, hitting the jackpot can easily get you thousands of dollars.

Where to Play Online Video Poker?

You'll find countless casino platforms offering all types of video poker to play online. However, not all of them are equal. Things like casino bonuses, or even specific video poker bonuses differ from website to website, and even game to game, so doing some research before depositing your money might be a good idea. Here at A2Z Casinos, we recommend only the best sites that offer online video poker. The three casinos listed below are all great places to start playing video poker at.

Jackpot City

As one of the veterans on the online casino market (founded in 1998), Jackpot City is one of the most trustworthy websites to start your gaming career. As far as video poker is concerned, it is a great platform to play Aces and Faces types of video poker, with three different variations of its gameplay allowing players to see all sides of this popular variant.

Spin Palace

With over 50 variants of video poker at your disposal, as well as a €200 welcome bonus for new users, Spin Palace is the place to start your gambling adventure. If you aren't already registered with any of the other online casinos out there, choosing Spin Palace is a no-brainer. From Jacks or Better all the way to Double Double Bonus video poker, this platform is a true paradise for all card game fans!

888 Casino

While their video poker offer may not be as wide as Spin Palace's, 888 Casino has it all -- Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Bonus Poker, as well as the other variations of video poker are all hosted on the platform, and while each variant is represented by only one piece of software, all of them are top-shelf, well-designed games, developed by some of the e-gaming industry's titans.

Get Reliable Online Casino News and Reviews at A2Z Casinos!

It is easy to get lost in the continuously growing scene of online gambling and casino sites. Using unreliable providers and playing on shady sites isn't only bad for your wallet. Some platforms even go as far as implementing psychological tricks to facilitate the development of a gambling problem in susceptible people. That's why it's important to have a reliable source of information about the very best casinos, online slots, and table games. You can rely on A2Z Casinos for all of that and more, as we have years of experience informing new players of the joys (and pitfalls) of this growing industry!

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