This page shortlists the best Video Poker Casinos for Australians based on the software and games they offer.
Video poker is an immensely popular online casino game. It's essentially like playing poker against a machine on your computer, except that it's a much simplified version of the game. Video poker games date back to the 1970s, combining slots and poker. The game grew rapidly in popularity as it gave those with an interest in poker the ability to play against a machine instead of having to go into a casino. So it's only natural that when online casinos were launched, video poker became a staple game on offer.
Video poker has evolved into an increasingly sophisticated game over time. These days you'll find a wide variety of online video poker games. In its standard form the game is played with a 52-card deck, although the deck sometimes includes a joker, depending on the game type. There are upwards of 50 different types of online video poker in existence, varying according to the online casino and its software provider.
Video poker is of course available at online casinos that welcome Australians. Here you can play video poker both for free and for real money.
Shortlisted Real Money Video Poker Casinos
There are plenty of Australian casinos that offer a good variety of video poker games. Some even offer specific bonuses on their video poker games. Here is our selection of the Top 3 Australian real money video poker casinos:
Types of Video Poker Games
Online casinos today offer many different variations of video poker. You'll find that different casinos offer different games, particularly when they use different software providers. The most commonly found type of video game across all casinos is Jacks or Better.
Jacks or Better
There's a very simple reason why this game is called Jacks or Better: your final hand has to have at least a pair of jack for you to qualify for a payout.
The game is also very simple. You play it with four hands of cards. There are no wild cards and the paytables are easy to read. This makes it a very appropriate game for those who are new to video poker.
The mechanics and controls of online Jacks or Better are also very simple. You select the game from the list of available games at the casino, and it will open up in a new window. Next, you decide how much you would like to wager. If you want to bet the maximum amount allowed, click the Bet Max button, otherwise click the Bet One button. At some casinos you can also specify the size of your bet, and still others may even allow you to bet on specific winning combinations.
There are different variants of Jacks or Better available, and the best is probably the “full pay” game, also known as the 9/6 game. It is not common to find this game at an online casino, but it's worth keeping an eye out for. The moniker “9/6” refers to the fact that you get paid out at 9:1 for a flush and at 6:1 for a straight. So, for example, if you bet $10 on a game and get a flush, you will be paid out $90. The payout percentage of this game is really excellent, at 99.54%. This makes it a brilliant game to play if you can find it. Other Jacks or Better variations include 8/5 games and 7/5 games – the names once again referring to the payouts.
These are the different hands in Jacks or Better, in ranking order from highest to lowest:
- Royal Flush: This hand has A, K, Q, J, and 10 of a single suit.
- Straight Flush: This hand has any five consecutive cards of a single suit.
- Four of a Kind: This hand has four cards of the same value across suits.
- Full House: In this hand three cards are of one value and the remaining two of another value.
- Flush: This hand has any five cards of a specific suit, not necessarily in a sequence.
- Straight: This hand has five consecutive cards from different suits.
- Three of a Kind: This hand has three cards of the same value.
- Two Pair: This hand has two pairs.
- Pair of Jacks or Better: This is the lowest paying hand. It has a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces.
Deuces Wild is probably the second most common video poker game. The game plays exactly the same as Jacks or better, except that twos act as wild cards. Most offer payout percentages that are on a par with Jacks or Better games, so they're great to play. There are even some Deuces Wild games that have 100% payout percentages, although they are understandable rare.
Deuces Wild is played with a 52-card deck. All 2s in the deck all are wild cards. This allows you to use them to improve the hand you have been dealt, as they substitute for any other cards. Typically the minimum hand in order to get a payout is three of a kind.
Joker Poker was one of the original variations of the game. It is played with a 53-card deck – the normal deck plus a joker card. The joker is wild, so it can be used as any other card. Consequently there are more hand combinations that you can make than in Jacks or Better, so there are more ways to win.
Cards that you make without using the joker are called natural hands and they pay out better than equivalent hands that were made using the joker. So, for instance you get a natural royal flush and a wild royal flush. The payout percentage of Joker Poker is also pretty high.
Understanding Video Poker Odds and Return to Player (RTP)
Before you set out to play video poker, there are a few terms you should be familiar with:
- Video poker odds
- Return to Player (RTP)
- Full Pay video poker
Video Poker Odds
Every casino game is governed by odds and this is just as true for video poker. However, it differs from other games in that you have a bit more control over the ways of getting the odds to work more in your favour. This is why it's important to choose between the different variations of video poker at the online casino. Your chosen game and the playing strategy that you apply will have a big influence over how the odds perform for you.
The first thing therefore is to choose the right video poker variant. After this comes the playing strategy that you apply. One unchangeable thing no matter which video poker variation you choose is that the odds of getting a specific hand are always the same. It's a very different scenario to slots games with all their different payline variations. Obviously your payout in video poker depends on what your final hand is, so the first thing that affects your odds is the odds of that particular hand coming up.
Here's an example that will make this clearer. Let's say you play the Jacks or Better video poker variant, which has a very favourable 99.54% payout percentage. Your aim is to end up with a royal flush. So what are the odds of you getting a royal flush? Unfortunately, as you would expect for such a rare hand, they are not very favourable at 40,390:1. This means that you have around a 0.002% chance of getting the hand. To reflect this, the payout is the highest in the game at 4000 units. The lesson – the more valuable hands are more difficult to get, and the greater the odds against getting a particular hand, the higher the payout. So what does this tell you? The greater the odds, the higher the payout.
Return to Player (RTP)
Return to player or RTP, also known as the payout percentage, is the percentage of your total bets that will theoretically be paid out to you over a period of time. Again, let's use an example. Let's say you have made 100 bets of $10 each playing Jacks or Better. This game has a payout percentage of 99.54. So this means, by simple arithmetic that if you have wagered $1,000 in total, you can expect to win back 99.54% of this, which is $995.40. We need to stress that this is a theoretical number, based on playing correctly and not getting any major strokes of either good or bad luck.
The RTP is also what makes up the house edge. If the RTP is 99.54% then the house edge is 0.46%. In other words the house will always make 0.46% more than you do.
Full Pay Video Poker
Full pay video poker games are the variations that pay out the highest – they have the highest RTP. As we said above the full pay version of Jacks or Better has an RTP of 99.54%. This is way better than most other casino games you'll find.
How to Read a Video Poker Payout Table
Video poker is a very transparent game, in that you can always see what you can expect the game to pay out before you begin to play. This information is contained in the pay table. Looking at the pay table will give you an accurate indication of the games from which you can expect the best returns.
In the pay table below you see the payout percentage of the different variations of Jacks or Better. You can easily see from this which are the best variants to play in terms of expected return.
|Jacks or Better Variant||Payout Percentage|