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Evolution Video Poker Live Strategy, Review and How to Play

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Introduction to Evolution Video Poker Live

I can’t tell you how delighted I am that Video Poker has finally made it to Live Dealer. You can now play five variations of Video Poker and up to 100 hands with a Live Dealer, just as you can if you were sitting at a VP machine in a Las Vegas Casino. It’s awesome.

Video Poker has one of the highest RTPs in casino games and rivals Blackjack as the best game to play if you want a good return on your bets.

Evolution Video Poker Live is a mix of live dealer and RNG, with options to play Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker, depending on the game volatility you like to play.

Don’t worry if you’ve not played Video Poker before. In this article, I’ll explain how to play, which of the five options may be best for you, and I’ll show you the optimal strategy for playing each. As usual, a video review complements what I’ve written so you can see the game in action.

Video Poker Live At A Glance

Finding the essential bits in a review can take some time, so I’ve picked the relevant bits about Video Poker live and produced this “At A Glance” list.

This probably means more to you if you already know how to play Video Poker, but don’t worry, I’ve covered the summaries in detail further down in the review if you’re new to the game.

After reading this, why not try playing at one of my recommended Live dealer Video poker casinos?

  • There are five versions to choose from: Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker & Double Double Bonus Poker.
  • Jacks & Better is the 9/6 version.
  • One deck of 52 playing cards is used.
  • The first five cards are dealt by a live dealer. Subsequent cards are drawn from an RNG deck.
  • You can play up to 100 hands.
  •  The RTPs range from 99.54% to 97.96%, depending on which version you play.
  • All players play the same five live cards, but each player’s decisions are unique.

video poker live

Who Video Poker Live will Appeal To!

Video Poker will appeal to people who like card games and understand Poker hand values.

Skill is needed to decide which cards to hold or throw away, so using a strategy will help you play this game successfully.

Video Poker is not a game for people who want to place a bet and sit back to watch the results. Video poker needs the player’s interaction, so I play this game.

The other main draw of video poker is the incredible RTP. Only Blackjack rivals Video poker in terms of RTP. Some versions of Video Poker, like Full Pay Deuces Wild, have an RTP of over 100% (100.76%) when played with an optimal strategy. You can’t find this game much in Land-based casinos, and it’s unavailable online for obvious reasons.

Live Video Poker Video Review

live video poker video review

How To Play Video Poker Live

Video Poker with a live dealer is very straightforward and follows this flow.

  1. Pick the version of the Video Poker you want to play.
  2. Select your bet amount and the number of cards you want to play.
  3. The dealer deals five cards onto the table.
  4. You choose which cards to keep or throw away.
  5. The RNG Dealer replaces the cards you’ve thrown away with new cards from a virtual deck to make a new five-card hand.
  6. You’ll win if the hand contains a poker-ranked hand for your game version.

Let’s look at each stage in a bit more detail.

Pick the Version of Live Video Poker to Play.

Picking the version of Video poker you want to play is important as the version dictates how you would play certain hands.

While poker hands are the same, whatever game you play, the payout structure of one game differs from another. So, for example, you may hold specific cards to win a hand in one version but may discard them in another for the chance to win a better hand. For example, You’d hold a high card Jack in Jacks or Better but discard it in Deuces Wild.

The versions also have different RTPs; some games are more volatile than others, so picking the right one for you is important.

Let’s look at the high-level details of each version and why you might want to play them.

Jacks or Better Live

Jacks or Better is the most basic version of video poker. It’s almost the entry-level game of choice.

The goal is to get a hand with at least a pair of Jacks or better to win. Jacks or Better is a medium volatility game, as it offers a balanced mix of smaller and larger wins.

It’s a good choice if you prefer a steady pace of gameplay with moderate risk.

jacks or better paytable

Tens or Better Live

Tens or Better follows the same basic rules as Jacks or Better, but the minimum qualifying hand to win is a pair of tens instead of Jacks.

Tens or Better has lower volatility than Jacks or Better because the threshold for a win is lower.

This version also suits players who like more frequent wins with less risk.

tens or better paytable

Bonus Poker Live

Bonus Poker is similar to Jacks or Better but offers increased payouts for certain four-of-a-kind hands.

The additional bonuses apply to four Aces, four 2s, 3s, or 4s, and four 5s through Kings.

Bonus Poker has a slightly higher volatility than Jacks or Better due to the enhanced payouts for specific hands. Bonus Poker is a good choice if you want better wins for a little more risk.

bonus poker paytable

Deuces Wild Live

In Deuces Wild, all the 2s (deuces) act as wild cards, which substitute other cards to form winning hands. This increases the chances of getting strong hands, such as four-of-a-kind.

Deuces Wild has higher volatility due to the presence of the wild cards and offers the potential for big wins but also has a higher risk.

If you want larger payouts and don’t mind the occasional losses, Deuces Wild is a good choice.

deuces wild paytable

Double Double Bonus Poker Live

Double Double Bonus Poker is an enhanced version of Bonus Poker. It features even higher payouts for four-of-a-kind hands, mainly when they include Aces and high-ranking kickers (additional cards that accompany the four-of-a-kind).

This variation has the highest volatility due to the increased payouts. Double Double Bonus Poker is the one to play if you’re seeking the potential for substantial winnings on four-of-a-kind hands and are comfortable with higher risks.

double double bonus poker paytable

Choosing one version over another depends on your preferences for wins and your tolerance to risk.

Jacks or Better or Tens or Better are good options for a steady game with moderate wins.

If you want a bit more excitement and the potential for bigger payouts, Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker, but they come with higher volatility.

Double Double Bonus Poker is the most volatile but gives the most significant wins, but you need to stick with it as losses occur more frequently.

It’s all about picking the game that meets your playing style, attitude to risk, the amount in your bankroll and the type of playing experience you want.

Choose Bet Amount, Number of Cards and Game

This is where you set up your game sessions.

First, pick the game you want to play using the drop-down on the paytable. Select from:

  • Tens or Better Live
  • Jacks or Better Live
  • Deuces Wild Live
  • Bonus Poker Live
  • Double Double Bonus Poker Live

Then, pick the amount you want to bet on each card and the number of cards you want to play.

There are 15 seconds of betting time, so you have to be quick.

video poker live picking hands

The Dealer Deals the Cards

Having previously shuffled one deck of cards, the dealer deals five cards face up onto the table.

You then decide which cards to hold and which ones to discard.

Look at the Video Poker playing strategy if you have trouble deciding what to do.

If you fail to act, a default decision is made on your behalf.

video poker live first hand

RNG Replaces the Cards Not Held

Once the time has run down, the RNG engine replaces the cards not held with new cards.

It does this on all hands randomly, meaning all the hands will have different hand values.

video poker live completed hand

Winning Hands Highlighted and Winnings Paid

All the winning hands are highlighted in different colours depending on the hand value they won with.

If you reference the paytable, you’ll see the colours for each hand-value payout to make cross-referencing easier.

video poker live result

Video Poker Live Odds, Payouts and RTP

The RTPs for Video Poker are insane compared to other live casino games. Only Blackjack can beat the Return To Player on Video Poker.

The best RTP sits with Jacks or Better at 99.54%, with the worst, surprisingly, Tens or Better at 97.96%.

Double Double Bonus, with its big payouts, has an RTP of 98.80%, while Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker come in with 98.91% and 99.17%, respectively.

The main differences in the games lie with the wild cards (in Deuces Wild), enhanced payouts for specific four-of-a-kind hands (in Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker), and the inclusion of kickers (in Double Double Bonus Poker).

Each game has a unique payout structure with variations for the same hand rankings.

Hand ValueJacks or BetterTens or BetterDeuces WildBonus PokerDouble Double Bonus
Royal Flush800800800 (natural)800800
Four Deuces200
Four Aces, 2/3/4 Kicker400
Four 2s/3s/4s, A/2/3/4 Kicker/ Four Aces, 5+Kicker160
Four 2/3s/4s/ 5+Kicker80
Four Aces80
Straight Flush505095050
Wild Royal Flush25
Four of a Kind25204
Five of a Kind15
Other Four of a Kind / Straight Flush50
4 2s, 3s, or 4s40
Other Four of a Kind25
Full House96489
Flush65356
Straight44244
Three of a Kind33133
Two Pair2221
Jacks or Better111
Tens or Better1
RTP99.54%97.96%98.91%99.17%98.98%

Strategies for Video Poker Live

Like Blackjack with its basic Strategy, there is an optimal way to play Video Poker. The Strategy can change a bit depending on the version of video poker you’re playing.

So using the correct video poker live strategy is essential to ensure you have the best chance of winning hands.

In this section, I’ll go through each Video Poker variation and detail the exact playing strategy you should adopt for each one.

  1. Jacks or Better
  2. Tens or Better
  3. Deuces Wild
  4. Bonus Poker
  5. Double Double Bonus Poker

My thanks go out to my friend Michael Shackleford, The Wizard of Odds, for helping me simplify the strategies for you.

These strategies work for Video Poker, whether playing with a live dealer, on an online video poker machine, or at land-based casinos.

Jacks or Better 9/6 Strategy

This version of Jacks or Better Live is known as 9/6. This signifies the paytable for a Full House and a Flush (9 for an FH and 6 for a Flush). It’s important to know this as the strategies can be different for games with a lower paytable.

You should hold these cards if they appear in the five cards you’re dealt. If you have multiple options, choose the one higher in the list.

  • Royal Flush, Straight Flush, 4-of-a-kind
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • Full House, Flush, Straight, 3-of-a-kind
  • Four to a Straight Flush
  • Two Pair
  • High Pair (Jacks or Higher)
  • Three to a Royal Flush
  • Four to a Flush
  • Low Pair (10s or lower)
  • Four to an outside straight
  • Three to a Straight Flush
  • AKQJ unsuited
  • Two Suited high cards
  • Four to an Inside Straight with three high cards
  • Three to a Straight Flush
  • KQJ unsuited
  • QJ unsuited
  • JT suited
  • KS, KJ unsuited
  • QI suited
  • AK, AQ, AJ unsuited
  • KT sited
  • One high card
  • Three to a straight flush
  • Discard everything if you can’t hold.

Tens or Better Strategy

Use the table above.

Bonus Poker Strategy

Use the table above

Double Double Bonus Strategy

Use the table above.

Deuces Wild Strategy

As with the Jacks or Better Strategy, pick the highest option from the list when playing the hand.

Hand with Four Deuces – hold them all. It’s optional to keep the fifth card.

Hands with 3 Deuces

  • Pat Royal Flush
  • 3 Deuces only
  • Five-of-a-kind

Hands with 2 Deuces

  • Pat 4-of-a-kind to wild Royal
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • Four to a straight Flush 0-1 gap, not 34, 35, 46.
  • Two Deuces

Hand with one deuce

  • Straight Flush to Wild Royal
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • Full House
  • Flush to 4K
  • Four to a straight flush, 0 or 1 gap.
  • Straight
  • Four to a straight flush, two gaps.
  • 3 of a kind
  • Four to a straight flush, Ace low
  • Three to a royal flush, J-K high
  • Three to a straight flush, 0 gaps (67 to 9T)
  • Three to a Royal Flush, Ace high
  • Three to a straight flush, one gap (57 to 9J), 45, 56.
  • Four to a Straight, 0 gaps (567 to TJQ)
  • One Deuce

Hands with no Deuce

  • Royal Flush
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • 3-of-a-kind through to Straight Flush
  • Four to a Straight flush
  • three to a straight flush
  • Four to a flush
  • Two Pair
  • Three to a Straight Flush, 0 gaps (567 to 9TJ)
  • Pair
  • Four to a Straight, 0 gaps (4567 to TJQK)
  • Three to a Straight Flush, 1 or 2 gaps, 345, 456
  • Two to a Royal Flush, J or Q high
  • Three to a straight flush, Ace low.
  • Four to a Straight, one gap, 3456
  • Two to a Royal Flush, K High
  • Discard everything else.

Tips For Beginners

Video Poker can be a bit daunting when you first start playing, so here are my tips for beginners if you’re playing for the first time.

  1. Learn the rules, Poker hand rankings and the payout structure for each game you want to play. They have differences, so know what they are and how they affect your play.
  2. Start with Jacks or Better and Tens or Better Video Poker. These are the games on which all other variants are based and will be easier to learn.
  3. Set your Budget; don’t bet more than 5% of your Budget each game round. Play the number of cards that meet your Budget.
  4. Try practising with free video poker before you start placing real money bets. There are lots of Video Poker simulators online. Practice there before using your own money.
  5. Learn the Strategies for each of the game variations. They are listed here. While they may look complicated, they are not, and all follow a similar pattern.
  6. This is a tip for Video Poker in Slot form, other online or land-based – always play for maximum coins, as that is where the big payouts occur.

Poker Hand Rankings

High card

aced-60x409s-60x407c-60x405h-60x402s-60x40

The high card out of the five cards is an Ace. You’ll win nothing with this in Video Poker.

One Pair

9c-60x40 9s-60x40 kd-60x40 5h-60x40 2s-60x40

In this case, two identically valued cards are a pair of 9s. Only a Pair of Tens or more are winning hands in video poker.

Two Pair

9c-60x40 9s-60x40 3c-60x40 3h-60x40 2s-60x40

Two sets of pairs where each pair is different, e.g. 9s and 3s. This is a winning hand in most Video Poker variants other than Deuces Wild.

3 of a Kind

5h-60x40 5c-60x40 5d-60x40 qd-60x40 7c-60x40

Three cards with the same value in different suits. This hand wins in all Video Poker games.

Straight

2s-60x40 3h-60x40 4c-60x40 5h-60x40 6x-60x40

5 Cards for a run of consecutive cards from different suits is called a Straight. In this example, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. A winning hand in Video Poker.

Flush

ah-60x40 3h-60x40 5h-60x40 9h-60x40 10h-60x40

These are five cards, all from the same suit. This example has A, 3, 5, 8 and 10 hearts. This will win in all versions of Video Poker.

Full House

5h-60x40 5c-60x40 5d-60x40 9c-60x40 9h-60x40

This combination hand comprises 3 of a kind and a pair and is called a Full House. Pays in all versions of Video Poker. Deuces Wild pays the least.

4 of a Kind

9d-60x40 9c-60x40 9h-60x40 9s-60x40 ah-60x40

Four cards that are the same value, one from each suit. Depending on the version of video poker, this can be a very lucrative hand. The kicker (5th Card) is important in the payout structure.

Straight Flush

3c-60x40 4c-60x40 5c-60x40 6x-60x40 7c-60x40

This 5-card run in the same suit is called a Straight Flush. A good hand that pays well in VP.

Royal Flush

aced-60x40 kd-60x40 qd-60x40 jd-60x40 10d-60x40

The best possible poker hand. A straight run of the highest cards in the same suit, A, K, Q, J, T.

Popular Live Dealer Poker Variations

If you like Video Poker, these live dealer games use Poker.

  • The most basic is 3 Card Poker, which you’ll find only at Evolution Casinos because they only have the license.
  • Casino Hold’em comes next, which is extremely popular. It has side bets, which make it more interesting.
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em works on the same principles as Texas Hold ’em, but you play against the dealer, not other players.
  • Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker comes with additional side bets.
  • Russian Poker is known as Royal Poker at Ezugi Live Casinos.
  • Bet On Poker by Playtech lets you bet as the hand is built.
  • Caribbean Stud Poker is also by Evolution and pits the player’s hand against the dealer.

Where You Can Play Video Poker with A Live Dealer

Video Poker Live is available at all casinos with Evolution live dealer games.

My personal Favourites are Leo Vegas and Bet Victor.

Summary

I am a super fan of Video Poker, so imagine my delight when Evolution announced it was creating a live dealer version of the game.

My favourite two games are Deuces Wild and Double Double Bonus Poker. I like the volatility of both games, and the Wilds in Deuces Wild deliver that something extra. You always seem to get wins!

Using a live dealer to deal the initial cards is what I’d expect, but using RNG to provide the next set of cards is not something I would have envisaged. I don’t think it hurts the game and allows you to play multiple hands up to 100, which would be impossible with real cards.

I wouldn’t suggest playing 100 cards; it’s too many. I’d play no more than 10, the general limit most Video Poker machines have in Las Vegas.

It is also a small enough number to scan the hands to see how they progress as the new cards are added.

The pay tables are generous and in line with the 9/6 Jacks or Better, which you look for in the payables to ensure you’re getting the best payout odds.

This game will take people by surprise, and while it’s not as fast as the Slot and land-based machine games, it will entice players to Live Dealer who haven’t played before.

For me, this is a hit, and I recommend you try it – but do your research on how to play first and use the strategies I’ve detailed above.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Video Poker Live?

Video Poker Live is the first version to be released that uses a Live Dealer to deal the cards. It’s been produced by live game innovator Evolution, who already has a long history of producing live dealer poker games. This one uses a mix of Live and RNG to allow up to 100 hands to be played simultaneously.

Is Video Poker Live Easy to Play?

Once you know the rules, Video Poker is easy to play. However, learning about Poker Hand Rankings, payout tables, and strategies will enhance your enjoyment and chances of winning.

What Versions of Video Poker Can I Play with a Live Dealer?

There are five versions of video poker in this one game. You can select from Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker.

Is there a winning strategy for Video Poker Live?

Yes, there is a strategy you should use when playing, as it will maximise your chances of winning. Each game has a slightly different strategy, so make sure you pick the right one for your game. I’ve produced a strategy for each of the five variations here.

How many hands can I play in Video Poker Live?

You can play up to 100 hands in Video Poker Live. My advice is to play no more than ten. You’ll still get a great experience, and you can see the hands’ outcome without relying on the playing interface to tell you which hands won.

What is the RTP of Video Poker Live?

The RTP is different for each of the games offered in Video Poker Live. Jacks or Better is 99.54%, Tens or Better is 97.96%, Deuces Wild is 98.91%, Bonus Poker is 99.17%, and Double Double Bonus Poker is 98.98%.

Where can I Play Video Poker with a Live Dealer?

You can play Video Poker at casinos with Evolution live dealer games. My personal favourite, and the one I recommend, is Leo Vegas.

What is The Release Date of  Evolution Video Poker Live?

The Release Date for Evolution Video Poker Live is August 23rd 2023.

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