🃏 Video Poker In New Zealand 2021 🃏

Video poker is a popular online game due to the fact that players make choices that directly affect the overall outcome. Not only is there this control, but video poker can also come with high returns if played correctly. Read on as we take you through the most important video poker rules, strategies, payouts and tips in our official video poker guide.

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Rules of Video poker

Video poker is based on traditional hold’em poker except for one key feature, and that is that you only play against the computer and no other humans. To make sure that we are all on the same page, and for anyone who is new to poker, let’s make sure that we all know how to play video poker.

Video poker rules are simple. You first choose your bet amount and then click on the DEAL button. You’ll be given five playing cards and it’s up to you to decide which of the cards you HOLD or DISCARD. Make your decision and then click on DEAL/DRAW to replace the cards that you decided to discard. The payout table then determines your winnings.

You win payouts by finishing with a strong poker hand – just like in hold’em. The higher ranked the hand, the bigger the payout. We say the “type of game” because you will find multiple variations of video poker online and they all come with slightly different payout rules.

Video Poker Terms

  • Flush: five cards of the same suit
  • Full-House: three-of-a-king plus a pair
  • High-Card: any card higher than a ten
  • Inside Straight Draw: a straight with one missing card inside (3,4,6,7 with 5 missing)
  • Jacks or Better: popular version of video poker with a high RTP of 99.54%
  • Low-Card: any cards lower than a Jack
  • Open-Ended Straight Draw: a hand where you can complete a straight at either side (8,9,10, J leaves you with a 7 or Q to win)
  • Optimal Strategy: a strategy to maximise your payout potential
  • Quads: four matching cards, or 4-of-a-kind
  • Royal Flush: five cards of the same suit from Ten to Ace
  • Straight: any five cards in a sequence
  • Straight Flush: any five cards, in a sequence, of the same suit
  • Three of a Kind: three matching cards
  • Two Pair: a hand containing two pairs of the matching cards (i.e. 7, 7, K, K)
  • Wild Card: a substitute card that completes a winning hand

Video Poker Strategy

We have already established that this game offers some of the best payouts compared to other games at online casinos, and so you have a good chance of winning if you stick to the right strategy. But what is the right strategy to win? Well, considering there are multiple versions of the game we decided to give you our top tips on how to win. These tips will help you to create a solid strategic foundation for when you next play.

Core Strategy

1. Playing the Right Pay Table

You should always check the pay table of the game before you start playing and ensure that it offers a generous RTP. Jacks or Better is a popular choice with an RTP of 99.54%, meaning it will payout more often than something like Double Joker Poker which offers a lower 95.88% RTP. Look out for the bonus Royal Flush payouts that are triggered when you play the maximum bet amount as these can really help maximise your payout potential.

2. Knowledge is Power

Always read and understand the rules before you bet with your real money. Make sure you understand the payouts and betting amounts for the game, as well as all the winning hands, and play the demo version first if possible. We also recommend that you learn the ranking of each hand so you can quickly determine the chances you have in each betting round.

3. Keep Your Options Open

One of the key strategies when playing is to understand the art of keeping your options open. Don’t always play for the Royal Flush. Experienced players know that they will keep their bankroll topped up by taking the smaller wins with the Pair, Two Pair and Three of a Kind hands. If you play sensibly then you have more chances to chase down the bigger hands.


The payout table is linked to the RTP of the game and can vary from one game to the next. The RTP is used for video poker and other online casino games – like pokies – and this percentage represents how much money the casino will pay out, on average, over time. Note that it’s always less than 100%!

Payouts in video poker online are a little different to table casino games because you get fixed payouts per hand, as opposed to winning ‘the pot’ if you were playing traditional hold’em. It’s a bit more like online blackjack in that sense.

Below is the pay table for the 9/6 Jacks or Better game. You will see that all the payouts are proportional to the number of coins wagered, except for the Royal Flush. Here, by wagering the maximum amount, you will get the highest possible payout in the game which is four times higher than if you wagered the second-highest amount.

Hand & Coins 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1000 4000*
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
4 of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
3 of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
2 pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Game Tips

  • If you can afford to wager the maximum amount and compete for the top prize, do it. However, if you can’t, then play for the smaller, more consistent wins.
  • Open-ended straight draws (eight possible cards to win) are easier to land than inside-straight draws (four possible cards to win)
  • Never drop a low pairover three high cards
  • Never hold a kicker such as an Ace when you hold a low pair

FAQ Section

Is video poker legal in New Zealand?

Yes, it is legal and regulated via the TAG and New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

Are video poker games rigged?

No, as long as you play at licensed and regulated online casinos then all the games will be legit and fair.

Where to play video poker?

You can play at most NZ casinos and most of the sites that we recommend at Casino Reviews NZ will have video poker available.

Is video poker playable on mobile?

Yes, you can enjoy the video poker experience on any mobile device as long as the mobile casino you are playing at is optimised for it – which most are.

Which video poker game is most fair?

All video poker casino games are considered fair but some are more likely to payout than others. The Jacks or Better version is the most popular with its 99.54% RTP.

How does video poker work?

Regardless of whether you play Jacks or Better or the modern Wheel Poker game, you will be dealt five cards from a 52-card deck. You then decide which cards you wish to keep and discard. You’ll then get replacement cards for the ones you discard and this will be your final hand. Any payouts will be made according to the rank of your hand in the paytable.