The Nerd Side Of Life

How is Video Poker Different from Slots

If you are a casino beginner, you might not be fully aware of all types of games one could find both offline and online. Video poker and slots are the two machine games that are typically present at many brick-and-mortar casinos, with many players preferring one of the options over the other one.

Often players draw comparisons between the two types of games as they definitely have some similarities. There are, however, several features that are typical only for video poker or only for slots. This is why you can often see players switching from slots to video poker or the other way around. If you are interested in the differences between the two games and which one is more suitable for you, we recommend you to continue reading.


Similarities Between Video Poker and Slots

One of the easiest ways to explain to a new casino player the essence of video poker is to describe the game as a combination of slots and classic poker. There are certain common features that both video poker and slot machines share and that is the reason why many players enjoy both of the games.

When you play slots, the outcome of every spin is determined purely by chance. If you are lucky enough to land a winning combination, you will enjoy a payout. However, if luck is not on your side, you can go multiple rounds without landing a single win. No matter how hard you try or the methods you utilize, there is no real way to affect the outcome of a slot spin. 

The luck element is one of the things that both video poker and slots share. Every new round of video poker starts with a random draw of 5 cards. There is no way to predict the first cards that will appear on the screen or affect in any way the potential of the initial draw forming a winning hand. 

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You are required to bet the maximum number of coins if you want to qualify for the highest possible payout in video poker. Typically, you can choose to bet anywhere between 1 and 5 coins in video poker games. The catch is that you can enjoy a significantly higher payout for Royal Flush only if you have bet 5 coins. This is also true for some slots that offer progressive jackpots, meaning you have a chance to win the progressive prize only if you have made a maximum bet on the spin of the slot.

Differences Between Video Poker and Slots

While video poker and slots do share some similar features, the two games are also quite different. Each of the forms of casino entertainment has its own strong points, leading to some players preferring one of the games over the other one.

The initial draw in video poker is very similar to the spins of slots, with the first 5 cards in the game being determined randomly. This being said, some players actually prefer betting on video poker as it is not entirely dependent on one’s luck. Once the player is dealt his/her initial hand, he/she has to make the choice of which cards to keep and which ones to discard. It is also possible to decide to keep all of your 5 cards if you believe that you cannot draw a better hand. Whatever you decide, your decision will play a big role in the result of the game and this is the main difference between video poker and slots.

When you play video poker, you can utilize a strategy, which is not something that can be said for slots. In fact, if you find a video poker game with the best possible payout for winning hands and you utilize an optimal strategy, you can often gain an advantage over the house. No matter how high the RTP of a certain slot is, you cannot tilt the scales in your favor, making slots and video poker very different when it comes to improving one’s winning odds.

Generally speaking, even though slots tend to offer bigger payouts, especially if one manages to trigger a progressive jackpot, video poker variations tend to offer better payback. A game of the likes of Jacks or Better Power Poker has an RTP of 99.54%. Even an 8/5 variation of Bonus Poker, which is definitely not the best-paying video poker game, offers an RTP of 99.17%. This is a much higher percentage than the one most slots offer at offline and online casinos. 

At the end of the day, it depends on what you are looking for in your gaming experience. If you want to have better chances of landing a win, you can opt for playing video poker and use your skills to improve your winning prospects. You can even take a look at the video poker tutorial at and learn more about the game. If you, however, do not feel like stressing over strategies and payouts and you want to simply enjoy your casino time, you can play fun and colorful slot variations. 

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