Video pokerWhen it comes video poker, slots, or other online games, it’s all about the odds.

If you have to choose between land-based casinos and online casinos, the odds that you get in almost any online casino are way better than in their land-based counterparts. This is understandable – the land-based casinos have to pay for the venue, staff, security systems and a myriad of other things, whereby the online casinos can cut down on all these costs, and operate on a considerably smaller margin.

Between video poker and slots, things may not seem so clear at first, but when you know the stats, the choice is straightforward – online video poker beats slots head-on. In fact, of all the online casino games, video poker is definitely among the ones with the best odds.

The Payout Percentages

Every online casino has the ‘house edge’, or they would quickly be out of business, and for video poker, it is approximately 3%. The remaining 97% are returned to the players. Compare this with the returns for online slots, which can be as low as 87%, and the choice is clear.

In relative terms, you have about 5 times greater chance to hit the jackpot by playing the video poker compared to slots.

What determines the payout percentages? As the reference, take a look at the following paytable:

  • Royal Flush: 250
  • Straight Flush: 50
  • 4 of a Kind: 25
  • Full House: 8
  • Flush: 5
  • Straight: 4
  • 3 of a Kind: 3
  • Two Pair: 2
  • Jacks or Better: 1

With the paytable above, the casino gets to keep 2.71%, which means that 97.29% are returned to the players. If you see the paytable that offers less, it’ll bring your payout percentages down.

Improving Your Odds

Here are 3 things that you can do to improve your odds:

  1. Go for ‘Jacks or Better’. There are plenty of different video poker games. It’s a good idea to start with a popular game with a simple strategy, such as Jacks or Better, which is the original video poker game.
  2. Practice. Most online casinos allow you to have a practice run without real money. Use it to your advantage to learn the game inside out before putting any real money to risk.
  3. Master the Common Situations. It is important to know what to hold and what to discard, and how your choices affect the winning probabilities. Some practice games even warn you when you’re applying the wrong strategy.