Slots vs Video Poker

Slots and Video Poker are both machine based casinos games offering generous jackpots to those lucky enough to win. That is however where the similarities end and while you may be tempted to choose one in favour of the other without doing too much research, there are a number of differences that you should take into account before doing so.

Here we compare slots to video poker so that you can determine which of these really is the best and most suitable game for you.

Luck versus Strategy

Slot machines are governed by RNG’s which means that results from one spin to the next are completely random. They therefore do not require any strategic game play at all. The only real skill related aspect of playing these games is in their selection, which involves finding out which games offer the best payout rates before you play. Other than that though, no matter how fast or slowly you spin the reels or what game play options and choices you opt for, the house advantage remains stable.

Video Poker on the other hand is extremely strategy based and players are even able to lower the house edge by employing strategic game play methods. This requires a fair amount of time and effort in studying sound video poker strategy, memorizing it and playing accordingly. Also, each video poker variant has its own set of rules so you will need to adjust your strategy for each game that you play.

In-play differences

Slots are easy to play, all you have to do is select your coin size and number of paylines that you’d like play and press the “spin” button to play. Occasionally you’ll hit a bonus feature that leads to a second screen within the game where you’ll need to pick an object to reveal a prize or shoot something to win.

Video poker on the other hand is a little more complicated. In addition to placing your wager and pushing “bet”, you will be dealt a hand and will be required to select which cards to keep or discard. You will then need to draw additional cards. While it’s pretty easy to learn to play this game, it does require more action and thought on your part than slots do.

Payout Rates

Slot machine payouts vary widely depending on where you play. Land based casinos offer payout rates ranging from 85% to 95% while online slots generally range from 90% to 96%. While these aren’t the worst odds you’ll find in casino games, video poker is definitely a better option with some full-pay machines offering 100% and above returns.

Although rare, be on the lookout for full-pay Deuces Wild (100.76%) and Double Bonus (100.2%) games as these give you the opportunity to gain a long term advantage over the casino. If these games are not available then opt for full-pay Jacks or Better video poker which offers a 99.54% payout rate that is still superior to slots.


Both video poker and slots offer some generous jackpots but if you’re someone who dreams of winning a life changing amount, then slots are probably more your game as some progressive slots offer rewards that run into the multi-millions mark.

Video Poker Jackpots on the other hand usually pay up to 40000 coins for a Royal Flush and even their progressive variants only range up to the $250,000 mark. That said however, you do have more chance of winning these jackpots than you do the larger slots ones.

While you don’t have to choose one game of the other, inevitably most of us tend to just that. It does however pay to be informed of the differences between these two machine based casino games so that you don’t just pick one based on a whim but rather according to your game play preferences and objectives.