Play Online Video Poker in New York
Online video poker is a one-player draw poker game in which the object is to make the highest-scoring hand and win big payouts. In New York, video poker is an especially popular game among casino-goers, and the online version allows players to enjoy the game anywhere.
This page will cover everything you need to know about playing live or online video poker in New York.
What you will learn:
- The best online casinos for video poker
- Differences between real money and free video poker, plus the advantages of each
- Strategy tips and more in our complete online video poker guide
How to play video poker online in New York
Video poker is not just a favorite in New York casinos but also a popular choice at online casinos. While New York has yet to introduce real money online casinos, lawmakers are seriously contemplating doing so soon, adding to the already available online sportsbooks in NY.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers can travel to New Jersey to play video poker at the many NJ online casinos. They can also check out social and sweepstakes online casinos that use virtual currencies and, in some cases, offer the chance to redeem winnings for real cash prizes. Some of those sites feature video poker, such as Pulsz Casino with its Texas Hold’em game. Fans of regular poker, on the other hand, are able to play actual online poker in NY at social casino sites like Global Poker.
Why trust our expert opinion?
The PlayNY staff brings a wealth of experience to its reporting on all aspects of legal New York gambling. That experience includes first-hand knowledge of the gambling industry and online casinos in particular. Our editors and writers are well positioned to evaluate sites’ offerings and the quality of their games, including video poker.
Reasons why you can trust our judgment regarding the best NY online video poker options include:
- extensive journalistic experience;
- expertise in a variety of gambling industry issues;
- experience in poker (as players, staff and reporters);
- rigorous editorial process, including fact-checking and regular updates;
- independence when reporting;
- commitment to promoting responsible gambling.
Expected best online video poker casinos in NY
When New York online casinos launch, you can expect operators that already run online sportsbooks in NY to launch casino sites as well. Here are some of the better-known online video poker casinos we expect to launch in the state when the time comes.
BetMGM video poker
The BetMGM Casino has a ton of slots and table games, including a great variety of video poker selections. The site is well designed and frequently offers different promos and bonuses while inviting players to participate in the M Life Rewards loyalty program.
BetMGM Casino features multiple video poker options, highlighted by the classic Game King Video Poker, which offers nine different video poker variants. Then, there’s Five Play Draw Poker, which offers those same nine games while letting you play five hands at once. You’ll also find Double Double Regal Poker, a version of Jacks Or Better that pays extra for four-of-a-kind and for particular quad hands. Finally, there’s Destiny Poker, another Jacks Or Better game that incorporates an optional bonus game and side bet.
BetRivers video poker
BetRivers Casino is popular in several states thanks to its smart design, selection of slots and table games and many promotions including the iRush Rewards program. It’s especially good for video poker players, too, with a large selection of games.
Besides offering Game King Video Poker and all of the games BetMGM offers, BetRivers Casino features video poker options like Triple Play Draw Poker Multi-Hand, Ten Play Draw Poker Multi-Hand, the various Ultimate X Poker variants, plus other Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better games.
Caesars video poker
Caesars Casino provides the same variety of casino games online as at its many retail properties, including a nice selection of online video poker games. The site has become a favorite online casino in the states where it operates. Of course, all who play can participate in the renowned Caesars Rewards program as well.
As far as video poker selections go, Caesars Casino rivals BetRivers with all the standard options and then some. You’ll find the Game King Video Poker games, the Ultimate X Poker games, Triple Play Poker, Five Play Poker, Ten Play Poker, Regal Poker, Double Double Regal Poker, Deuces Wild, Deuces Wild Elite, and more.
DraftKings video poker
Most gamblers know DraftKings for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, both of which are very popular in New York. However, DraftKings Casino has a great selection of slots and table games as well, including video poker.
DraftKings Casino offers the Ultimate X Poker games and Game King Video Poker games, plus Triple Play Draw Poker, Five Play Draw Poker, and Ten Play Draw Poker. You’ll also find Casino Hold’em Poker, a popular Texas Hold’em version of video poker.
FanDuel video poker
FanDuel has followed DraftKings’ lead from DFS and sports betting into the realm of online casinos, with FanDuel Casino having earned kudos thanks to its many slots and table games, with video poker among the available choices.
FanDuel Casino currently offers only the Game King Video Poker selection of games. But as noted, that includes nine different ways to play video poker, including Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Bonus Poker, and more.
Other online casinos with video poker that could potentially come to New York include Bally Casino, PointsBet Casino, and WynnBET Casino.
Real money video poker vs. free video poker
Some online casinos offer players an option for certain slots and table games to play for real money or for free with “play money.” Video poker is often one of the games you can play for free in “demo” mode. This means you aren’t risking any actual funds, but you aren’t winning any money, either.
Here is a quick rundown of some advantages of each.
Online video poker for real money
- Win real money that instantly goes into your online casino account;
- Play the functional equivalent of video poker in a retail casino;
- Enjoy a range of different stakes, even as low as pennies per hand;
- Bet with bonus funds, which can help satisfy playthrough requirements for bonuses;
- Get complete access to all available video poker variants at the online casino.
Free online video poker
- You don’t need to deposit funds to play;
- Learn different video poker variants without risk;
- Practice strategy for free;
- Become familiar with different pay tables for different video poker variants;
- Note that free play may be available only for certain video poker games.
Online video poker playing guide
Online video poker is a version of the classic five-card draw poker game, only instead of playing against other players, you simply try to make the best possible hand. You are dealt five cards and then decide which cards to keep and which to discard and have replaced. If you discard any cards, you draw new ones, and the hand is over.
The game uses standard poker hand rankings, and a pay table shows you how much you win for each hand (e.g., three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, etc.)
Online video poker variations
We mention some of the more popular video poker variations above when discussing different online video poker sites. Here is a little more information about some of the most popular ways to play video poker:
- Jacks or Better — the most popular video poker game; make at least a pair of jacks or better to win.
- Deuces Wild — deuces are wild obviously, meaning they can count for any card; make three-of-a-kind or better to win; the payouts aren’t as high as in Jacks or Better.
- Joker Poker — uses a 52-card deck plus one joker, which acts as a wild card and again has altered payouts.
- Tens or Better — like Jacks or Better, but you win with a pair of tens, too, with many of the other payouts adjusted as well.
- Bonus Poker (incl. Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, etc.) — like Jacks or Better, but with different payouts for various four-of-a-kind hands (i.e., quad aces, deuces, treys and fours).
- Aces and Faces — a variation on Bonus Poker in which the payouts are higher for four-of-a-kind hands involving aces, kings, queens and jacks.
You’ll also often see multi-hand video poker variations that let you play three, five or 10 hands at a time (or even more).
Online video poker hands
As noted, online video poker uses standard poker rankings. To help us talk about odds and payouts, here is an example of a typical pay table for a game of Jacks or Better:
|Hand||1 Unit||2 Unit||3 Units||4 Units||5 Units|
|Four of a Kind||25||50||75||100||125|
|Three of a Kind||3||6||9||12||15|
|Jacks or Better||1||2||3||4||5|
When you play online video poker, you choose your stakes and then decide whether to bet just one unit all the way up to the maximum of five units. For instance, if the stakes are $0.25 and you bet the max, you’re betting $1.25 on your hand.
Notice the more units you bet, the higher the payouts. The increases are standard for most hands, but for a straight flush or royal flush, notice how you win even more if you bet more units, with a 5x bet hitting a royal flush being the biggest winner (by a lot).
If you bet $0.25 and choose “Max Bet” (or five units) and made a royal flush, you’d win 4,000 x $0.25 or $1,000. That’s 800 times your buy-in ($1.25). But if you only bet one unit and hit a royal flush, you’d win $62.50 or just 250 times what you paid.
By the way, you will sometimes see references to 9/6 Jacks or Better or something similar with what looks like a fraction appearing before the name of the game. That refers to the payouts for a full house and a flush — e.g., “9/6” means a 9x payout for a full house and a 6x payout for a flush.
When it comes to your odds of making each of those hands, that depends both on your original five cards and what decisions you make when discarding and drawing. You have a 1 in 649,740 chance of being dealt a royal flush in your first five cards. Even if you get four cards to a royal flush and discard and draw one, you’re still a big underdog at a 1 in 47 chance.
Online video poker strategy and tips
Just like traditional live or online poker, if you take some time to learn a little video poker strategy, you can drastically improve your chances of winning. Even knowing just a few do’s and don’ts will help you significantly.
Here are a few general strategy tips for video poker to get you started:
1. Bet the maximum
Take advantage of the oversized payouts for the highest-value hands and bet the maximum (five units). You can consider that price (5x) the cost per hand. You aren’t losing any equity on the lower value hands, either, when you bet the max.
2. Don’t break up pairs or other made hands
Generally speaking, if you are dealt even a small pair, you want to keep it rather than break it up to chase a straight or flush. Only when dealt four to a royal flush or straight flush (on the doorstep of giant payouts) should you toss a card and break up a pair.
3. Learn what to keep when dealt no pair
In video poker, there is slightly more than a 50% chance you won’t have even a pair among your first five cards. That means half the time you’ll need to decide what to keep (if anything) and what to discard among five unmatched cards.
Obviously, if you have four to a flush, you’ll toss the one unsuited card. You should do the same when you have four cards giving you an open-ended straight draw. But what to do otherwise? Here are a few recommendations:
- Keep three to a straight flush (e.g., 8s, 7s, 6s); discard two.
- Keep two suited cards ranked 10 or higher (e.g., Kh & Jh); discard three.
- Keep two high cards (jack or higher), suited or unsuited; discard three.
- Keep one high card (jack or higher); discard the other four.
- No pair and nothing higher than a jack? Toss all five.
4. Mind the pay tables
Not all pay tables are equal. In some cases, you might want to shop around a little to find the best payouts. This is relatively easy to do when playing online video poker as you can quickly look through different games and even different online casinos to find the best pay tables.
5. Manage your bankroll
As with any form of gambling, always be smart with your money. Never spend money you cannot afford to lose. Practice responsible gambling, and set limits on your spending (or time gambling) if needed. With online video poker, it’s easy to keep hitting that “Deal” button and draw another hand, but always remain mindful of your time, bankroll, and intentions.
Overview of video poker online NY
Online video poker is a terrific option for those who like casino games that involve a bit of skill and aren’t simply based on chance. If you are an online video poker player in NY, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best places to play.
NY online video poker FAQs
In terms of video poker game selection, Caesars Casino and BetRivers Casino stand out with a wide variety of options. You’ll find, however, that most online casinos have similar offerings when it comes to video poker, with the games having similar pay tables and features across the sites.
Yes, typically when online casinos offer welcome bonuses either in the form of no deposit bonuses or deposit matching bonuses, you can use those funds to play video poker games online. Sometimes bonuses come with stipulations limiting which games you can play. But in most cases, you’ll be able to use welcome bonuses to play video poker, other table games, slots and whatever else the online casino has to offer. Check the terms whenever you use those online casino promo codes to take advantage of bonuses and make sure you can play video poker with them.
Online video poker odds can have different meanings, and they change as you switch between the many video poker variations. There are the overall odds of winning while playing a correct strategy. In that case, we are talking about the “house edge” which differs depending on which video poker game you are playing (see the discussion of “house advantage” below).
In video poker, there are also odds of receiving certain hands either on the initial deal or on the draw. For instance, in Jacks or Better, your odds of being dealt a flush in your first five cards are 1 in 509. But if you are dealt four suited cards and draw one, your odds of hitting the flush are down to a little less than 1 in 5. Overall (and taking all of the different drawing scenarios into account), it’s about 1 in 90 to make a flush.
There are too many combinations to list here, but if you are curious, you can easily find tables online listing online video poker odds. Becoming familiar with the odds on the draw can be helpful when learning video poker strategy.
You will sometimes encounter the term “cycle” used with reference to online video poker. The term refers to the average number of hands it takes to hit a royal flush, with a common answer to the question being 40,000 hands. The idea is analogous to the number of spins it takes to hit a jackpot when playing live or online slots. Of course, since every video poker hand is an independent event in which the cards are dealt according to the program’s random number generator, there is no definite “cycle” or number of hands needed to hit a royal flush.
Rather, there is a probability of making a royal flush in video poker, and it differs depending on the game. For example, in Jacks or Better, the odds of making a royal flush are 1 in 40,391. That doesn’t mean you will make a royal flush if you play that many hands, though! We’re just talking probabilities.
Depending on the pay table, the house advantage, or edge, in video poker can be quite small compared to that of other casino games. In fact, if you use an optimal strategy and with certain pay tables, you can reduce the house edge to nothing or, in fact, have an edge yourself!
That said, the payouts are usually adjusted to ensure the house has some advantage even if you play perfectly, though even then it can be as low as less than 0.5%. Double Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better are often cited as having the lowest house edge among the different video poker variations. In any case, video poker compares especially well with other casino games in which the house advantage is much higher.