Video poker is one of the best games for online casino players.

It offers great returns for every dollar wagered. Video poker often qualifies for online casino bonuses and VIP programs. There are many ways to improve your return when playing this game.

Find the best online video poker games

One key when looking for the best video poker game is to know which title to choose. The fancier the name of the game, the lower the payout tends to be at an online casino. The complicated games also offer more variance, a feature some players enjoy.

The best video poker game at most online casinos is Jacks or Better. It is also the simplest basic strategy to learn. There are only 15 lines to learn to play. There is nothing tricky about it. You hold the following, in this order from the top:

  • Quads and straight/royal flush
  • Any 4 to a royal flush, regardless of the fifth card
  • Trips, straight, flush and full house
  • Four to a straight flush (noting you never throw a straight or flush to draw to it)
  • Two pair
  • Pair of jacks or better
  • Three to a royal flush
  • Pair of 10’s or lower
  • Four to an open ended straight
  • Two suited cards jack or higher
  • Three to a straight flush
  • Two off-suit cards jack or better
  • Suited ten with another face card
  • Single card jack or better

If your hand does not apply to any of these lines, discard all five cards.

The typical Jacks or Better pay table returns 99.5 percent. This means the house only theoretically wins $.50 for every $100 wagered at the game. The more you disregard the above strategy, the higher the house edge is.

Pay table per coin for full pay Jacks or Better

  • Royal Flush: 800
  • Straight Flush: 50
  • Four of a Kind: 25
  • Full House: 9
  • Flush: 6
  • Straight: 4
  • Three of a Kind: 3
  • Two Pair: 2
  • Pair of Jacks or Better: 1

Bonus Poker

Bonus Poker is a slightly different game than Jacks or Better.

The variance is a bit higher because four of a kind aces, twos, threes and fours have a bonus payout. In exchange for this, a full house pays 8 and a flush 5.

If it does not pay 8/5, do not play it. The strategy for Bonus Poker is identical to Jacks or Better. The return is 99.2 percent.

Bonus Poker pay table per coin

  • Royal Flush: 800
  • Four of a Kind Aces: 80
  • Straight Flush: 50
  • Four of a Kind – 2s, 3s and 4s: 40
  • Four of a Kind – 5s through Kings: 25
  • Full House: 8
  • Flush: 5
  • Straight: 4
  • Three of a Kind: 3
  • Two Pair: 2
  • Pair of Jacks or Better: 1

Double Bonus Poker

Double Bonus Poker is a step up on the variance chart from Bonus Poker. It has the same strategy with two exceptions.

A player dealt a full house with three aces will drop the bottom pair. The other change is keeping only a pair of aces when two pair aces-up is dealt.

The game offered at online casinos with the pay table below has a return of 99.11 percent with five coins played.

Double Bonus Poker pay table

  • Royal Flush: 800
  • Four of a Kind Aces: 160
  • Four of a Kind 2s, 3s and 4s: 80
  • Quad 5s through Kings: 50
  • Straight Flush: 50
  • Full House: 9
  • Flush: 7
  • Straight: 5
  • Three of a Kind: 3
  • Two Pair: 1
  • Pair of Jacks or Better: 1

Double Double Bonus Poker

Double Double Bonus is a step higher on the variance chart above Double Bonus Poker.

It basically has the same pay table as Double Bonus except there are bonuses for quad aces, twos, threes and fours if one of those cards is also the kicker. It ticks the flush and straight down one to compensate for that.

The simple strategy between Double Bonus and Double Double Bonus is the same.

Double Double Bonus Poker pay table

  • Royal Flush: 800
  • Four of a Kind Aces with a 2, 3 or 4 kicker: 400
  • Four of a Kind Aces: 160
  • Four of a Kind – 2s, 3s and 4s with an Ace, 2, 3, or 4 Kicker: 80
  • Four of a Kind – 2s, 3s and 4s: 80
  • Four of a Kind – 5s through Kings: 50
  • Straight Flush: 50
  • Full House: 9
  • Flush: 6
  • Straight: 4
  • Three of a Kind: 3
  • Two Pair: 1
  • Pair of Jacks or Better: 1

Tips to improve online video poker returns

The most important factor in receiving a good return at video poker is learning the strategy for each game. Wizard of Odds is an exceptional resource for this. There is an app at that site that will correct your play when making mistakes, as well as charts with the best pay tables and strategy.

Videopoker.com is owned by IGT, the manufacturer of most video poker machines in the world. It also offers an app that will correct errors for a small monthly fee.

Finding the machine with the best pay table is imperative. Two machines sitting next to each other in a casino may have different payouts for the same game. This can also happen at online casinos that use multiple software packages on the same platform.

The payout may also improve as the denomination goes up. Quarters and higher often return better than nickels.

Five coins should be wagered on each hand as that triggers the royal flush bonus payout. A bet of one to four coins on most machines will usually pay 250-1 on a royal flush. A bet of five coins raises that to 800-1. That is a difference of about 1.3 percent in the pay back return of the game.