Video Poker Machines — How Do They Work?

Is Video Poker different from slots? Is it hard to master? Read our article to find out!

The Highest RTP

Since entering the casino world in the early 1970s, this game became one of the most beloved choices for players around the world. And why is that? For starters, these machines have one of the highest RTPs in the casino industry.

Many consider these machines to be the same as slots, but they couldn’t be more wrong. One of the most important features that stands out is that you need a lot of skill in order to play. In addition, you can actually influence the outcome since the winning combinations are always the same. This gives you a sense of control, which many players find to be quite exciting and entertaining. And since Video Poker is quite a lonesome game, with just you and the machine, many would think that it would not be the first choice of casino enthusiasts.

However, this is one of the many misconceptions about this game. The way these machines work, they are sure to give you a gambling experience like no other. It is a given that the house always wins, but in this case, there are some exceptions. Namely, with the right combination of skills and high concentration, you can win big prizes quite easily. Actually, Video Poker is considered to have 5 times bigger chances of winning the jackpot. That’s why many slot enthusiasts eventually turn to Video Poker more often than you might think.

The way Video Poker is played, it takes a lot of pressure off of you since you are playing alone. And with no one else near you giving you a side eye and expecting you to make a decision fast, you can take your time making your decisions.

So how does a machine like this work? If the odds are in your favor, you might think that Video Poker is easy to master. Well, that is not always the case. We will cover all the basics of Video Poker machines and how to master them, so keep reading!

The Five-Card Draw


While there are some variations when it comes to these games, the thing they all have in common is that they draw five cards. There were some attempts to introduce the seven card system, but it proved unsuccessful. Most of today’s classics, like Deuces Wild, made the five cards draw what it is — a standard in the Video Poker world.

Each machine has a video screen on which the cards are displayed. There are no dealers or other players, as we’ve mentioned, so you can take your sweet time to plan your every move. Moreover, most of the machines have touch screens, which makes the game go even smoother.

Below the screen is the bill validator in which you can insert the money you are wagering. You will see your bets on the screen in the form of credits, with a maximum of 5 coins that you can bet with before each round.

After the machine deals 5 cards, you can choose to hold or discard your cards by pushing the suitable buttons. You will also have the option to cancel if you change your mind, but you have to do it fast — by pushing the hold button two times. After you’ve selected the cards you want to keep, you will have the option to push the deal button which will deal new cards instead of the ones you’ve discarded. Then, the machine will compare your hand to the paytable and distribute your reward accordingly.

Classes of Games

If you are playing in the US, you will notice that there are different classes that casino games belong to — a Class II and a Class III.

They were created back in 1988 after Congress passed an act called the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which dealt with types of games these casinos can offer. So the Class II games are all lottery games and some card games that aren’t played against the house. When playing these games, you play against other players instead.

Class III machines, on the other hand, include Video Poker machines, in addition to some table games. Those are all of the games you encounter when you enter a casino, or rather, choose to visit some of the many online casinos that offer this option. It also includes table games such as Roulette and Blackjack, as well as traditional slots.

The Paytable

Before you begin, it is quite important to choose the machine with the right paytable. Since you are more likely to win when playing this game than most others, this should not be too hard, as long as you know what are you looking for.

Basically, the main thing you need to research is the RTP (return to player) value of the particular Video Poker machine. For example, if a profit for the casino, known as the house edge, comes at 2%, that means can expect 98% of your investment to return to you over a large number of spins. Pretty sweet, right?

However, you should still study the small but significant difference between paytables for every machine, just to make sure you do not fall for those flashy signs promising more than they are able to deliver.

Random Number Generator

At the core of Video Poker, there is a Random Number Generator (RNG). This is a software that guarantees the fairness of these games. You know how they always say that you can never truly master a game to work completely in your favor? Well, you have RNG to thank for that. This feature is unimaginably fast and unpredictable and is used by the most respectable casinos in the world.

Spin by Spin

Like with every other game, you can never truly predict its outcome. However, the thing about Video Poker is that its outcome is always random, no matter if you’ve been sitting there for a few minutes or a few hours.

However, there is one more thing you should remember — no matter how they may seem, the games are all designed in a way to favor the house. So the more you play, the more you lose in the long run. Though, you should not be discouraged by that. It’s just how things work in the world of casino games, but that still doesn’t mean it is impossible to win. Because if it did, no one would ever play, right?

So the best thing to do is to try slowing things down, just to make the experience last longer. And if you start to feel like your concentration is a bit off, this is a great way to clear your head a little bit.


While Video Poker stands for a game with one of the best RTP rates in the gambling world, there are still many things you need to cover before trying them out. Simply, you can never be too safe. This game is much more relaxing than others, considering there are no other players waiting for you to make your move. On top of that, these machines are quite entertaining and easy to use once you are caught up on the basics of the game. Additionally, the RNG ensures the cards are dealt randomly, so you know you won’t be fooled by the machine in any way. And finally, don’t forget to have fun in the process!

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