Are Video Poker Games Similar to Slot Machines?

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You can play many types of games in a modern online casino, yet slots and different variations of video poker are by far the most popular. You’ll see them in every online casino out there, and yes, they look a bit similar. There are five reels in slots and five cards in video poker, and the symbols appear randomly. But do they have anything in common? Not much, actually.

Video poker and slots are like two poles of the same planet. At the slots pole, you may know nothing about what you play; at the video poker pole, you have to be an expert in the chosen game in order to get the most from it. It’s a contest between trying your luck and betting on your experience and knowledge.

Let’s figure out whether these two games have anything in common.


Okay, let’s get right to the point. Both these types of games use RNG as the base of their gaming processes. It means that each spin of the reel and each hand of cards is randomly generated. Previous results don’t affect the current game, and the current result, in turn, doesn’t affect the following games in any way.

It’s the most common mistake that punters all over the world love to make. If you’re into gambling, you’ve probably heard of the gambler’s fallacy. In short, it’s the belief that if you keep losing one spin after another, the odds of winning increase with each loss.

Random Number Generator (RNG) ensures that this won’t be the case. You have literally the same probability to hit the jackpot after a long losing streak as you do after a huge win. If you win ten times in a row, your odds of winning the eleventh spin will be exactly the same as if you haven’t ever won at all. And you cannot trick it.

That wraps up the similarities between these two games, but we have a lot of differences to talk about, so let’s proceed.


Slot games and video poker are fundamentally different when it comes to the approach you should use to succeed, the game rules, and the possible outcomes. Here, we’ve gathered the most significant differences between these two types of games:

  • Slots usually have a lower house edge than video poker. The usual house edge for slots varies from 2% to 9%, which means that in the long run a player loses between 2 and 9 percent of his balance. No slots offer a negative house edge.The best-paying video poker game (Full-pay Deuces Wild) offers you a negative house edge of -0.76%, which means that if you follow the right strategy, you will slightly increase your balance over time. The correct strategies for all video poker variations are well-established and are freely available all over the Internet. The thing about them is that they’re pretty complicated, and a player needs to dedicate a considerable amount of time for mastering them.
  • While playing Deuces Wild, you have to learn the rules and strategies to win more often. In slots, you merely have to hit the “Spin” button and try to quit while you’re ahead.Slot games and video poker
  • Slots offer higher jackpots. That’s the undeniable advantage of slots: you won’t ever get a 10 million jackpot in video poker, while in slots such wins happen quite often. Some slots offer progressive jackpot systems, where a fraction of each bet made by players all over the world goes toward increasing a jackpot. The biggest-ever win in slots was almost €19 million. In full-pay Deuces Wild, you can get no more than 800 times your bet, which will usually be $4000, as 800 times the bet win is offered for five coins.
  • In slots, the game’s RTP stays the same regardless of the size of your bet, and in video poker, it varies. The regular Deuces Wild paytable shows that if you bet five coins, the size of the royal flush payoff quadruples, as compared to a 4-coin bet payoff. This means that you can take full advantage of a video poker game only by betting max coins.
  • If you’re keen on bells and whistles, you won’t get much of them from video poker. It’s not about flashy animation and bonuses, which means that you only get cards, math, and strategizing. In modern slots, on the contrary, you may enjoy a full spread of bonus games, achievements, multipliers, wild symbols, and other goodies that can make the gaming experience much more interesting.

After reading all this, you might be asking: “Why would a real money casino offer a game with a negative house edge?” The answer is simple. Casinos keep offering Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, and other similar games because the vast majority of gamblers are willing to play them just as they play slots. In slots, you can’t make a bad decision that will affect your outcome, while in video poker, random turns result in a drastic decrease of your win rate. The losses caused by a few professional players who use proper strategies are fully covered by the majority of people who play without any plan whatsoever.

How Much Effort Are you Willing to Invest?

This is an essential matter since not everyone plays games just to win and not everyone is willing to learn complex gambling strategies to improve their odds. If you want to tap a few buttons and maybe hit the jackpot if you’re lucky then slots are your choice, because in Deuces Wild it’s way more difficult to win. As you learn how to play, you may spend several minutes per each dealt poker hand, digging into manuals and looking for a correct turn. If you entirely rely on luck in Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, or Double Joker, the RTP figures will be even less than in slots.

That’s the reason why casinos love Video Poker, Craps, Roulette, and Baccarat. While their RTP rate is really good, they include built-in ways to make a stupid move that will reduce your odds of winning.


Comparing slots to video poker is like comparing heads or tails to chess. Video poker games and slots are entirely different in their structure and have various advantages, but they’re both beautiful in their particular ways. Slots are highly preferable for those who play for fun and want to enjoy every single spin, taking the occasional wins and losses for granted, not worrying much about the rules and strategies. Video poker, on the contrary, is for those who want to research and learn more about the game they’re playing. If you don’t rely on luck but rather want to win by skill and knowledge, video poker is your choice.

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