Best Video Poker Casinos in Canada
Video poker machines were incredibly popular across both land-based and online casinos in the past. Even today many players love playing these games, mostly because of the low house edge and the ability to play for a long time with a relatively small bankroll. This is possible because of the frequent small wins you hit as you play, stretching your balance for a long time. Of course, you can also hit some big wins, especially if you manage to land the elusive Royal Flush across the board. In this article, we will explain the game of video poker in detail, as well as recommend some legit video poker casinos for Canadian players.
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History of video poker
Poker was and is still an incredibly popular game. Pretty much all casinos have poker tables or even poker rooms where you can put your skills to the test against other players. But finding a game wasn’t always easy and some players simply didn’t have the skills to compete against the more proficient players. So this is where the idea of video poker came from. It eliminates other players from the equation, leaving only you playing against the machine.
The first video poker game Draw Poker was released in 1979 by SIRCOMA’s which later became IGT. The game became incredibly popular across casino floors and soon everyone was playing the poker machines. Some games were also equipped with jackpot prizes, making them even more attractive.
But the feature that really made poker machines was the Double Up or simply put, the gamble feature. With this feature, players had the option to gamble their winnings and double, triple, quadruple them, or even more. All you had to do is guess if the next card on the screen would be black or red, or high or low, depending on the machine.
Some video poker machines allowed players to gamble their winnings up to 8 times, doubling the win every time. So, with some luck on your side, you can easily turn a small pair’s win into a substantial profit. The general rule among video poker players was to keep the bigger wins and gamble the smaller ones. If you managed to guess the cards a few times in a row you could easily make a hefty profit.
How to play Video Poker
Playing video poker is very easy. Even newbie players who never played poker before can instantly start playing the game. When you start the game the first thing you need to do is set your bet size. After that simply click on the Deal button and you are dealt 5 cards in total.
Under each card, you will see a Hold button. You need to decide which cards to keep and which ones to discard. On most video poker machines you also have an Auto Hold feature. It calculates the best odds for a winning hand to land in the next round and automatically holds the cards.
Of course, you can decide to accept the suggestion or discard it, holding different cards on the screen. Once you decide on the cards you need to hit the deal button again. The cards you held remain on the screen, while the rest of the cards are replaced. If a winning combination is won you are awarded a payout according to the paytable of the game.
The Auto Hold feature always gives you the best odds to score a win in the next card draw. This is why even players who know nothing about the game can be pros at video poker. Just set the bet and keep on hitting the deal button. After a while, you will surely learn the payouts and understand how the game works.
Video Poker Payouts
The payouts in video poker are generally easy to remember. They can differ from one video poker game to another. Below we will cover the payouts in one of the most popular video poker games, Jacks or Better.
- Jacks or Better – You need to land 2 Jacks in a pair or a higher pair. The payout is 1:1
- Two Pairs – You need to land 2 pairs of any cards. The payout is 2:1
- Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same value. The payout is 3:1
- Straight – Five consecutive cards, but not in the same suit. The payout is 4:1
- Flush – Five cards of the same suit. The payout is also 6:1
- Full House – One pair together with three of a kind, regardless of suit. The payout is 9:1
- Four of a Kind – Four same cards of any suit. Payout is 25:1
- Straight Flush – Five consecutive cards must be the same suit. Payout is 50:1
- Royal Flush – Landing a 10, J, Q, K, and A of the same suite. The top payout is 250:1
Tip: Always play five coins because if you hit a Royal Flush on one coin, you will win 250 times your bet. If you play four coins, it will be 1000 times your bet, but if you play at five coins, you will win 4000 your bet.
So it is better to play five coins of $1 than $5 on one coin.
There are many Jacks or better video poker variants, and the Payouts are often different on each, so look for the number just after or before the name, for example, 9/6 Jacks Or Better. This number refers to the payout on Full House, 9 times your bet, and the second number is the payout for hitting a flush, where you get 6 times your bet. The 9/6 Jacks or Better game pays out 99.54% in the long run if you play the game the right way.
Below, you can see the Jacks or Better different variants and payouts. It is easy to see why you should always play the variant 9/6 Jacks Or Better at online casinos:
|Jacks or Better variants||Payout|
There you have it. These are all the combinations you need to know and the payouts they award. There might be some additional combinations on different video poker variants, but these are the most common ones.
Video Poker RTP and Volatility
A huge advantage of video poker over classic poker games is the RTP value and the volatility. Video poker is run by a random number generator and the game must meet the predetermined values. Depending on the game in question the RTP value on some video poker machines goes over 100% or is very close to 100%. For example, Deuces Wild has an RTP of 100.76%, while Jacks or Better has an RTP of 99.54%. To reach this RTP value you have to employ an optimal betting strategy and simply have some help from lady luck.
This is why many players try video poker playing high bets. Depending on your session you can easily make a substantial profit in a short time. If luck is on your side in the gambling sessions and you manage to guess the right cards, you can walk away with a hefty withdrawal.
Online video poker casinos
Today it’s relatively easy to find online casinos which have video poker games in their ranks. Generally, the number of video poker games isn’t very big. At most online casinos see the best video poker casinos here you can find up to 5 video poker games, but in the end, you only need one. Jacks or Better is the most popular variant, along with Deuces Wild and Joker Poker. So, you can easily find a casino with video poker games, create an account and start playing for real money.
But before you do this there are several matters to consider. Not all casinos are good casinos and you need to do some research. You don’t want to end up playing at unlicensed or rogue casinos and end up getting scammed. This is why we have a list of legal Canada casinos, where all brands are tested and are proven to be fair and licensed. Below are some details that you should check before signing up at an online casino and playing for real money.
Operating License and Reputation
First, you need to play at legal online casinos for Canadian players. This means that the casinos have to be licensed, and if your are from Ontario the casinos must be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, as well as iGaming Ontario. This detail confirms that the casino in question is a legal one and if you run into any problems you will be protected at all times. If you play at unlicensed casinos and they refuse to pay you your winnings there’s nothing to do, simply because there’s no one to help you out.
Also, before you join a casino it’s always a good idea to do some research first. A quick browse across gambling forums will easily tell you if the casino is worth playing at. If many players complain about the casino in question you should look for another one to avoid any headaches.
When you claim a bonus to play video poker always make sure to check the bonus terms and conditions. At some casinos, video poker isn’t allowed for play because of the low house edge. At many online casinos video poker contributes only 5 to 10% towards the wager, but is allowed for play. Even if the wagering contribution is 0%, but video poker is allowed for play you can still give the bonus a try. You can play video poker to increase your balance and clear the wager on other casino games with a high contribution, like slots.
When it comes to payouts it’s always a good idea to play at online casinos where the payouts are processed fast. This way you can use that money to play again at some other casino and hopefully make another withdrawal. Also, a good sign if a casino is legit or not is the payout timeframe. If you see that the casino has a long pending period of several days and even a longer payout period, you are better to stay clear. The best Canadian casinos in the industry offer fast payouts, at some processed in hours or even minutes.