Video Poker vs Pokies

Video Poker vs Pokies 

Video poker and pokies are two of the most popular forms of online casino games. While they may sort of sound the same, they are vastly different. Players who take a beating on pokies often turn to video poker with its strategic element, while those who aren’t interested in strategy prefer the pokies games of chance and luck.

So, how do these games compare? Let’s take a closer look.

The Difference Between Pokies and Video Slots 

While these games often fall under the same category at online casinos, play one of each and you’ll quickly realise how different they are.

One of the biggest differences is that pokies hope for combinations of symbols from left to right on the reels while video poker depends on the traditional rules of poker.

Video poker offers up two rounds – first with five cards on the screen. You can pick any number of the cards to hold in place while others are replaced with new cards in round two. After the second round, the hand is compared for any poker combinations. The combinations don’t need to appear from left o right and there is no payline reward.

Pokies are a game of chance. You don’t need any skills, just luck. You spin the reels and wait for them to stop to see if any symbols line up to create a winning combination.

As you can see, the betting methods and options are different. You bet per round with video poker and wager on each pay line with pokies. 

Let’s discuss a few more differences. 

  • Pokies Have Bigger Progressive Jackpots

Pokies are renowned for progressive jackpots with millions of dollars. But only a handful of pokies offer this kind of money. The point is, you can make a life-changing amount winning a pokies jackpot. 

Video poker games typically offer payout for a royal flush of about 4,000 coins. There are a few progressive jackpots, but a lot less compared to pokies.

  • Video Poker Requires Strategy 

This is the biggest difference between pokies and video poker. Every decision in poker has a long-term impact on your winnings. 

Pokies, on the other hand, require careful bankroll management and choosing games with the highest payback. Then you hit the spin button and hope for the best. There are a few newer pokies that feature bonus rounds that rely on your skills, but these count for about 5% of your overall payback. Video poker requires more skills, so in this regard, there’s just no comparison.

  • Higher Pay Back in Video Poker 

Video poker machines might not offer you the chance to scoop a major windfall, but they offer considerably higher payback than pokies. For instance, full-pay deuces wild can pay back as much as 100.76% while 9/6 Jacks or Better can pay back 99.54%.  

This is higher than any pokies machine can offer. The best pokies pay back around 99% with the average sitting around 97%. Online pokies certainly offer better returns than their land-based counterparts, but they’re still not as high as video poker games. 

  • Pokies Are More Relaxing 

If you’re not worried about high returns and strategy, sit back and relax as you spin the reels. All you do is select your bet size, spin the reels and hope for bonus rounds, free spins and wins. That’s it! 

With video poker, you need to select the bet size, receive the 5 cards and decide which ones to keep and which to discard. You then click draw to complete the hand. You need a few seconds to think during the draw round. 

If you’re of a casual gamer who wants to relax while playing fun games, pokies are definitely for you. 

  • Max Bets for Top Pay Back in Video Poker 

If you want max payback in video poker, you need to make the max bet. That’s because you can get your hands on a much bigger flush payout when you wager the maximum number of coins. For example, if you bet 4 coins and get a royal flush, you can win 1,000 coins. But if you bet the max 5 coins and get a royal flush, you stand to win 4,000 coins. 

Some pokies require specific bets, like progressive jackpots and bonus rounds. For example, if a progressive jackpot is a 50-pay line game, you need to play all 50 lines to qualify for the main jackpot.

The Similarities Between Video Poker and Pokies 

Video poker and pokies also share a few similarities. 

  • Both Use Random Number Generators 

Random Number Generators (RNG) create a sequence of numbers that you cannot predict. It’s totally random, and both video poker machines and pokies use RNG to make sure everyone has a fair chance of winning. There are those players who think there’s a strategy or pattern that will bring in guaranteed profits. But the RNG is in place to make sure every outcome is different and independent of the last round. 

  • The Same Pokies and Video Poker Games Might Offer Different Pay Back 

The same video poker variant can have different payback based on its paytable. Online pokies typically offer a standard payout with each game, no matter which online casino you’re playing at. But there are exceptions where a particular game can feature a different payback from one casino to the next. The best example of this is the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot from Microgaming. This game’s payback can offer anywhere from 88.12% up to 95%. 

  • An Alternative to Table Games 

Video poker and pokies provide a good alternative to table games. Whether you just need a break from table games or don’t want to learn the strategies and skills that go with them, you can enjoy pokies and video poker at your own pace. Many online casinos also give you the opportunity to practice in demo mode with no risk to your own money. If you want to play for real money and win, you’ll need to register an account and make a deposit. 

  • Both Have Betting Options 

In both pokies and video poker, you can change betting options to suit your bankroll and preferences.

In video poker, common wagering options include: 

  • Changing the coin denomination 
  • Betting 1 to 5 coins per hand 
  • Playing multiple hands per turn 
  • Making side bets 

For pokies, common options include: 

  • Double-up option after wins in some games 
  • Changing the coin size 
  • Changing coins per line 
  • Adjusting pay lines 

There are some betting options in video poker and pokies that are almost similar like the coin denomination and the coins per payline or hand. 

Which Game Is for You? 

These comparisons aren’t suggesting that one game is better than the other. Rather, they point out the aspects to consider when deciding which to play at online casinos. Of course, if you like mixing things up between strategy and luck, there’s nothing stopping you from playing both pokies and video slots and making the most of your gameplay. If you’re not sure which is for you, remember, most casinos let your try games out in demo mode first.