Best Video Poker Casinos in Canada
Video Poker Intro: A Timeless Classic for Canadian Players
Video poker machines have been a staple of both land-based and online casinos for decades. And for good reason: they offer players a low house edge, the ability to play for long periods of time on a small bankroll, and the chance to hit big wins, including the elusive Royal Flush.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about video poker, including:
- How to play video poker
- The different types of video poker games
- Best Games to Play & RTP
- The best video poker strategies
- The best video poker casinos for Canadian players
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, we’ll help you learn everything you need to know to win at video poker.
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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
How to Play:
- 1. Set your bet size.
- . Click the Deal button. You will be dealt 5 cards.
- Decide which cards to keep and which ones to discard. You can use the Hold button under each card.
- Click the Deal button again. The cards you held will remain on the screen, while the rest of the cards will be replaced.
- If you have a winning combination, you will be paid out according to the paytable of the game.
Auto Hold feature:
Most video poker machines have an Auto Hold feature. This feature calculates the best odds for a winning hand to land in the next round and automatically holds the cards. You can accept or discard the Auto Hold suggestion.
Our Video Poker Tips for beginners:
- Before playing with real money, try out the free mode that most casinos offer. It’s an excellent way to learn how to play.
- The Auto Hold feature is a great introduction to video poker, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the game. After playing a few rounds, you’ll begin to understand the payouts and game mechanics.
- Don’t hesitate to experiment with different strategies.
- Video poker can be very enjoyable, and due to its high RTP, it’s one of the games with the lowest house edge, making it definitely worth playing.
- Play Responsibly
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.
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
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
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%
- 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.
Different Types and Each RTP
Video poker games have become a staple in both land-based and online casinos due to their blend of strategy and luck. Each variant has its own rules, strategies, and paytables which can influence the Return to Player (RTP) percentage.
Below is a list of some of the most popular video poker games and their typical RTP when played with optimal strategy. Please note that these RTP values are approximate and can vary slightly based on the specific paytable offered by the casino and how accurately the player follows optimal strategy:
- Jacks or Better: RTP: approximately 99.54%
- Deuces Wild: RTP approximately 100.76% (This indicates a player advantage, but it’s based on a “full pay” version which is rare.)
- Double Bonus Poker: RTP Approximately 100.17% (Again, based on a full-pay version.)
- Double Double Bonus Poker: RTP approximately 98.98%
- Bonus Poker: RTP approximately 99.17%
- Bonus Poker Deluxe: RTP approximately 99.64%
- Triple Bonus Poker: RTP approximate values range from 98% to over 100% depending on the paytable.
- Joker Poker (Kings or Better): RTP approximately 100.64% (for the best paytable version)
- Aces and Faces: RTP approximately 99.26%
- Tens or Better: RTP Approximately 99.14%
- All American: RTP approximately 100.72% (for the full-pay version)
- Super Jackpot Poker: RTP varies widely based on the jackpot amount but usually sits below 99%.
- Louisiana Double: RTP approximately 94.00%
Remember, these RTP percentages assume that players are using optimal strategy for each specific game. Not using the optimal strategy can significantly decrease these percentages.
Also, always check the specific paytable of the video poker machine you’re playing. Even within the same game type, there can be variations in payouts which can affect the RTP. Casinos might not always offer the full-pay versions of these games, which have the highest RTPs.
Most Popular Types of Video Poker
The popularity of video poker games can vary based on the region, the casino, and individual player preferences. However, among the list provided, the following are typically considered the most popular:
- Jacks or Better: This is often seen as the original or classic version of video poker and is a staple in most casinos. Its straightforward rules and decent payouts make it a favorite among many video poker enthusiasts.
- Deuces Wild: The game’s unique twist of having all twos act as wild cards adds an exciting element, making it a sought-after variant.
- Double Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker: Both these games offer additional bonus payouts for specific four-of-a-kind hands, which can be very appealing to players looking for bigger payouts.
- Joker Poker (Kings or Better): The addition of a joker acting as a wild card offers a different dynamic to the game, making it popular among many players.
- Bonus Poker: Similar to Jacks or Better but with bonuses for certain four-of-a-kind hands.
When I Play, I choose game based on the optimal player experience (taking into account both entertainment and potential returns), I normally play Deuces Wild, especially if it’s a full-pay version. The game’s wild cards (the deuces) add an interesting dynamic, creating more potential winning hands. The full-pay version even offers an RTP over 100%, giving players a slight edge when played with perfect strategy. However, it’s essential to understand that such versions are rare, and playing with optimal strategy requires practice and knowledge.
But remember, the best game for any player depends on personal preference. Some enjoy the simplicity and purity of Jacks or Better, while others like the nuances and strategies required for games like Double Double Bonus Poker. Always play the game that you find the most enjoyable and suits your play style.
Best Strategy for Playing
Video poker is one of the few casino games where players can influence the outcome based on their decisions. Therefore, an optimal strategy is crucial. However, the “best” strategy for video poker varies depending on the specific variant you’re playing.
Here’s a general breakdown for some of the most popular variants:
Jacks or Better:
- Prioritize keeping any paying hands, unless you have 4 cards to a royal flush.
- Hold onto 4 cards leading to a straight flush.
- Keep any three cards to a royal flush.
- Hold any low pairs (below Jacks) over hoping for outside straights.
- Don’t break a straight to try for a flush.
- Never hold a kicker (an extra high card) with any pair.
- With two unsuited high cards, keep the lowest ones, as they can lead to a straight as well.
- Never discard a ‘2’ (deuce).
- Don’t keep two pairs; only keep one of them.
- With three deuces, only keep the deuces unless you have a royal flush or five of a kind.
- With one deuce, keep paying hands, four cards to a royal flush, four cards to a straight flush, three cards to a royal flush, or a single pair.
- Without a deuce, keep paying hands, four cards to a royal flush, four cards to a straight flush, three cards to a royal flush, or pairs.
Double Bonus Poker & Double Double Bonus Poker:
- These games prioritize four-of-a-kind hands, especially with aces, 2s, 3s, and 4s.
- Don’t break up full houses or flushes, except for the chance at a four-of-a-kind.
- Keep four cards to a straight flush over a lower paying four-of-a-kind.
- Always hold onto three aces over any other hand, except a pat royal flush or four aces.
The strategy is similar to Jacks or Better, but you’ll prioritize four-of-a-kind with aces, 2s, 3s, and 4s.
- Always keep the joker.
- Without a joker, prioritize four cards to a royal flush, straight flushes, or paying hands.
Our General Strategy Tips:
- Always play the maximum coins if you can afford it. This often unlocks the full value for the royal flush payout, improving the game’s RTP.
- Familiarize yourself with the specific paytable for the game you’re playing. Payouts can vary, which might change your strategic approach.
- Consider using video poker strategy charts or software trainers. They can guide you to make the best decisions for every possible hand combination.
Remember that the above strategies are just general guidelines. Individual game situations might require a deviation based on specific hand combinations and the game’s paytable. The key is practice and understanding the nuances of each game variant.
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.
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