I can’t tell you how delighted I am that Video Poker has finally made it to Live Dealer. You can now play five variations of Video Poker and up to 100 hands with a Live Dealer, just as you can if you were sitting at a VP machine in a Las Vegas Casino. It’s awesome.
Video Poker has one of the highest RTPs in casino games and rivals Blackjack as the best game to play if you want a good return on your bets.
Evolution Video Poker Live is a mix of live dealer and RNG, with options to play Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker, depending on the game volatility you like to play.
Don’t worry if you’ve not played Video Poker before. In this article, I’ll explain how to play, which of the five options may be best for you, and I’ll show you the optimal strategy for playing each. As usual, a video review complements what I’ve written so you can see the game in action.
Video Poker with a live dealer is very straightforward and follows this flow.
Let’s look at each stage in a bit more detail.
Picking the version of Video poker you want to play is important as the version dictates how you would play certain hands.
While poker hands are the same, whatever game you play, the payout structure of one game differs from another. So, for example, you may hold specific cards to win a hand in one version but may discard them in another for the chance to win a better hand. e.g. You’d hold a high card Jack in Jacks or Better but discard it in Deuces Wild.
The versions also have different RTPs; some games are more volatile than others, so picking the right one for you is important.
Let’s look at the high-level details of each version and why you might want to play them.
Jacks or Better is the most basic version of video poker. It’s almost the entry-level game of choice.
The goal is to get a hand with at least a pair of Jacks or better to win. Jacks or Better is a medium volatility game, as it offers a balanced mix of smaller and larger wins.
It8217;s a good choice if you prefer a steady pace of gameplay with moderate risk.
Tens or Better follows the same basic rules as Jacks or Better, but the minimum qualifying hand to win is a pair of tens instead of Jacks.
Tens or Better has lower volatility than Jacks or Better because the threshold for a win is lower.
This version also suits players who like more frequent wins with less risk.
Bonus Poker is similar to Jacks or Better but offers increased payouts for certain four-of-a-kind hands.
The additional bonuses apply to four Aces, four 2s, 3s, or 4s, and four 5s through Kings.
Bonus Poker has a slightly higher volatility than Jacks or Better due to the enhanced payouts for specific hands. Bonus Poker is a good choice if you want better wins for a little more risk.
In Deuces Wild, all the 2s (deuces) act as wild cards, which substitute other cards to form winning hands. This increases the chances of getting strong hands, such as four-of-a-kind.
Deuces Wild has higher volatility due to the presence of the wild cards and offers the potential for big wins but also has a higher risk.
If you want larger payouts and don’t mind the occasional losses, Deuces Wild is a good choice.
Double Double Bonus Poker is an enhanced version of Bonus Poker. It features even higher payouts for four-of-a-kind hands, mainly when they include Aces and high-ranking kickers (additional cards that accompany the four-of-a-kind).
This variation has the highest volatility due to the increased payouts. Double Double Bonus Poker is the one to play if you’re seeking the potential for substantial winnings on four-of-a-kind hands and are comfortable with higher risks.
Choosing one version over another depends on your preferences for wins and your tolerance to risk.
Jacks or Better or Tens or Better are good options for a steady game with moderate wins.
If you want a bit more excitement and the potential for bigger payouts, Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker, but they come with higher volatility.
Double Double Bonus Poker is the most volatile but gives the most significant wins, but you need to stick with it as losses occur more frequently.
It’s all about picking the game that meets your playing style, attitude to risk, the amount in your bankroll and the type of playing experience you want.
This is where you set up your game sessions.
First, pick the game you want to play using the drop-down on the paytable. Select from:
Then pick the amount you want to bet on each card and the number of cards you want to play.
There are 15 seconds of betting time, so you have to be quick.
Having previously shuffled one deck of cards, the dealer deals five cards face up onto the table.
You then decide which cards to hold and which ones to discard.
Look at the Video Poker playing strategy if you have trouble deciding what to do.
If you fail to act, a default decision is made on your behalf.
Once the time has run down, the RNG engine replaces the cards not held with new cards.
It does this on all hands randomly, meaning all the hands will have different hand values.
All the winning hands are highlighted in different colours depending on the hand value they won with.
If you reference the paytable, you’ll see the colours for each hand-value payout to make cross-referencing easier.
The RTPs for Video Poker are insane compared to other live casino games. Only Blackjack can beat the Return To Player on Video Poker.
The best RTP sits with Jacks or Better at 99.54%, with the worse, surprisingly, Tens or Better at 97.96%.
Double Double Bonus, with its big payouts, has an RTP of 98.80%, while Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker come in with 98.91% and 99.17%, respectively.
The main differences in the games lie with the wild cards (in Deuces Wild), enhanced payouts for specific four-of-a-kind hands (in Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker), and the inclusion of kickers (in Double Double Bonus Poker).
Each game has a unique payout structure with variations for the same hand rankings.
|Hand Value||Jacks or Better||Tens or Better||Deuces Wild||Bonus Poker||Double Double Bonus|
|Royal Flush||800||800||800 (natural)||800||800|
|Four Aces, 2/3/4 Kicker||400|
|Four 2s/3s/4s, A/2/3/4 Kicker/ Four Aces, 5+Kicker||160|
|Four 2/3s/4s/ 5+Kicker||80|
|Wild Royal Flush||25|
|Four of a Kind||25||20||4|
|Five of a Kind||15|
|Other Four of a Kind / Straight Flush||50|
|4 2s, 3s, or 4s||40|
|Other Four of a Kind||25|
|Three of a Kind||3||3||1||3||3|
|Jacks or Better||1||1||1|
|Tens or Better||1|
Like Blackjack with its basic Strategy, there is an optimal way to play Video Poker. The Strategy can change a bit depending on the version of video poker you̵7;re playing.
So it’s essential to use the correct video poker live strategy to ensure you have the best chance of making winning hands.
In this section, I’ll go through each Video Poker variation and detail the exact playing strategy you should adopt for each one.
My thanks go out to my friend Michael Shackleford, The Wizard of Odds, for helping me simplify the strategies for you.
These strategies work for Video Poker, whether playing with a live dealer, on an online video poker machine, or at land-based casinos.
This version of Jacks or Better Live is known as 9/6. This signifies the paytable for a Full House and a Flush (9 for an FH and 6 for a Flush). It’s important to know this as the strategies can be different for games with a lower paytable.
You should hold these cards if they appear in the five cards youR17;re dealt. If you have multiple options, choose the one higher in the list.
Use the table above.
Use the table above
Use the table above.
As with the Jacks or Better Strategy, pick the highest option from the list when playing the hand.
Hand with Four Deuces – hold them all. It’s optional to keep the fifth card.
Hands with 3 Deuces
Hands with 2 Deuces
Hand with one deuce
Hands with no Deuce
Video Poker can be a bit daunting when you first start playing, so here are my tips for beginners if you’re playing for the first time.
The high card out of the five cards is an Ace. You’ll win nothing with this in Video Poker.
In this case, two identical valued cards are a pair of 9’s. Only a Pair of Tens or more are winning hands in video poker.
Two sets of pairs where each pair is different, e.g. 9’s and 3’s. This is a winning hand in most Video Poker variants other than Deuces Wild.
Three cards with the same value in different suits. This hand wins in all Video Poker games.
5 Cards for a run of consecutive cards from different suits is called a Straight. In this example, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. A winning hand in Video Poker.
These are five cards, all from the same suit. This example has A, 3, 5, 8 and 10 hearts. This will win in all versions of Video Poker.
This combination hand comprises 3 of a kind and a pair and is called a Full House. Pays in all versions of Video Poker. Deuces Wild pays the least.
Four cards that are the same value, one from each suit. Depending on the version of video poker, this can be a very lucrative hand. The kicker (5th Card) is important in the payout structure.
This 5-card run in the same suit is called a Straight Flush. A good hand that pays well in VP.
The best possible poker hand. A straight run of the highest cards in the same suit, A, K, Q, J, T.
If you like Video Poker, these live dealer games use Poker.
I am a super fan of Video Poker, so imagine my delight when Evolution announced it was creating a live dealer version of the game.
My favourite two games are Deuces Wild and Double Double Bonus Poker. I like the volatility of both games, and the Wilds in Deuces Wild deliver that something extra. You always seem to get wins!
Using a live dealer to deal the initial cards is what I’d expect, but using RNG to provide the next set of cards is not something I would have envisaged. I don’t think it hurts the game and allows you to play multiple hands up to 100, which would be impossible with real cards.
I wouldn’t suggest playing 100 cards; it’s too many. I’d play no more than 10, the general limit most Video Poker machines have in Las Vegas.
It is also a small enough number to scan the hands to see how they progress as the new cards are added.
The pay tables are generous and in line with the 9/6 Jacks or Better, which you look for in the payables to ensure you’re getting the best payout odds.
This game will take people by surprise, and while it’;s not as fast as the Slot and land-based machine games, it will entice players to Live Dealer that haven’t played before.
For me, this is a hit, and I recommend you try it – but do your research on how to play first and use the strategies I’ve detailed above.
Video Poker Live is the first version to be released that uses a Live Dealer to deal the cards. It’s been produced by live games innovator Evolution, who already has a long history of producing Live Dealer Poker games. This one uses a mix of Live and RNG to allow up to 100 hands to be played simultaneously.
Once you know the rules, Video Poker is easy to play. However, learning about Poker Hand Rankings, payout tables, and strategies will enhance your enjoyment and chances of winning.
There are five versions of video poker in this one game. You can select from Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker.
Yes, there is a strategy you should use when playing, as it will maximise your chances of winning. Each game has a slightly different strategy, so make sure you pick the right one for your game. I’ve produced a strategy for each of the five variations here.
You can play up to 100 hands in Video Poker Live. My advice is to play no more than ten. You’ll still get a great experience, and you can see the hands’ outcome without relying on the playing interface to tell you which hands won.
The RTP is different for each of the games offered in Video Poker Live. Jacks or Better is 99.54%, Tens or Better is 97.96%, Deuces Wild is 98.91%, Bonus Poker is 99.17%, and Double Double Bonus Poker is 98.98%.
You can play Video Poker at casinos with Evolution live dealer games. My personal favourite, and the one I recommend, is Leo Vegas.
The Release Date for Evolution Video Poker Live is August 23rd 2023.