Traditional Vs Video Poker: Which Is Best?

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07 Dec 18
Traditional Vs Video Poker: Which Is Best?

Traditional Vs Video Poker: Which Is Best?

Poker is one of the most popular casino games in the world and is played by millions of people every day in both online and land-based casinos. However, the one drawback of poker is the fact that you need other people to play against. You can’t just pick up a deck of cards and crack on yourself, like other games like solitaire or roulette.

Sometimes you don’t have the time to play poker against others, or you just don’t want to. And that’s fine because video poker can give you the chance to play in a solitary way that traditional means simply can’t offer.

Read on to find out how video poker differs from traditional poker and where can you play it.

A brief history of video poker

In the mid-1970s a breakthrough in technology allowed casinos to offer their patrons a unique gaming experience that a modern-day audience would find incredibly primitive. The software was video poker, which combined a small processing unit and a small TV screen that enabled players to gamble independently of the table.

A decade after the advent of video poker, further technological advances increased the popularity of the gaming format and the graphics. Many new visitors to casinos would regularly play video poker as oppose to table poker in order to save embarrassment or simply because they were intimidated by playing in close physical proximity to other players.

The creation of video poker effectively marked the birth of the contemporary poker derivatives that we regularly play today with online casino providers.

Is video poker better than real poker?

  • Land-based video poker: For those traditionalists out there, nothing can beat the experience of heading down to the casino to play poker. Although, you’re not much of a traditionalist if you’re going to the casino and choosing video poker in favour of the real table. While nothing can beat the ambience of a real-world casino, if you’re going there to play video poker by yourself, playing from your own home is remarkably similar as an experience.
  • Online video poker: All of the major poker gambling sites offer some form of video poker to their customers – and these games draw on the traditional layouts of original video poker games. There are also updated versions available with improved graphics and enticing themes for those who need more than the thrill of the game to enjoy poker. Often the biggest draw of poker is the social element – you can interact and compete face-to-face with real players. You can’t do this with video poker, but this won’t bother you if you’re not a fan of the exclusivity of more traditional forms of poker. In addition, the gaming technology itself ensure the playing experience is more immersive and engaging than ever.

It’s impossible to answer this question objectively, as ultimately it all comes down to personal preference. However, the reason why many people play video poker online is because it’s the most convenient option, and just as engaging as playing on a machine in a land-based casino, which makes it on balance the better option. To find out these benefits and more, head to this reputable online casino and check out video poker for yourself.

How is video poker regulated?

When video poker was first launched, people were concerned it would give gambling operators the ability to weight the odds in their favour as they could fix the machines – but regulations ensured this could never happen.

In the US and the UK video poker is heavily regulated and all providers must ensure that their machines deal completing random card sequences in order to mimic the real experience.

In the US, this regulation means that all video poker machines are tested to check they are truly random, and is enforced by the Nevada Gaming Commission. In the UK, it’s even more heavily regulated. The Gambling Commission oversees the entire industry – and regularly shuts down gambling operators that flout the rules.

The variations of video poker

There are many different ways to play video poker. The original games were known as “full-pay” machines which, if every hand was played correctly, offered a 99% return. “Short-pay” equivalents provided slightly lower returns.

Here are the main three variations in operation today:

  • Deuces Wild: Every two in the pack can be used as a wild card
  • Joker’s Wild: Works the same way but with jokers rather than twos
  • Multi-Play Games: Players must take an extra two cards from a different pack with every hand they draw

How to win at video poker

It’s essential to research any game that you’re playing. When it comes to any form of poker, you’ll need more than basic knowledge of the rules – only a solid understanding of the ins and outs of the game will do. Plus, depending on where you’re playing, there’ll be different pay tables. Check this out before you get started.

Next – know when to call it a day. Just like any random number generator-powered game, like slot machines, your luck can soon change. If you notice massive changes in the amounts you’re winning or losing, make sure you quit while you’re ahead, or at least have a solid strategy in place.

And last but not least, remember that video poker games are random. That means there’ll be no patterns for you to read and act upon. While you can scope out your opponents in real poker, it’s not possible with video poker, so don’t forget that.


Video poker is almost a different discipline of poker – it’s like comparing pool to snooker. The main points to the game may be the same, but the rules are entirely different. As with anything in life, the best thing to do to find out if you like it is to try it first – and that’s certainly the case when deciding between playing video poker in a land-based casino or online.