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Free Video Poker: Playing Video Poker for Free

Some people might wonder what kinds of goals someone who is searching for the phrase “free video poker” in the search engines might have. Are they looking for a game where they can win money without risking any money of their own? Do they just want to practice casino games for fun without having to put any real money into action? Are they just looking for free advice and strategies they can apply?

We’re going to try to put together a section about free video poker on this site which will accommodate various players with various goals. We look at all of the options for just for fun video poker available to gamblers online. We have recommendations for what you should and shouldn’t do based on your goals.

We’re firmly of the opinion that video poker is one of the two best games in the casino. (The other is blackjack). Being able to play for free in order to familiarize yourself with the game and its strategies is a great thing that the Internet has made available.

After all, how many brick and mortar, land based casinos do you know of which offer free games of any kind—much less free video poker or slot machine games?

Video Poker Basics and Basic Strategy

We have a page explaining the basics of video poker game play and video poker basic strategy. This is the first of the free resources on our site. Here’s some of what we cover on that page:

The basics of how to play video poker
These are are easy to understand, but casinos can be overwhelming, especially to new players. We provide a free tutorial that will get you up to speed on how to play video poker in no time at all. We’ve even embedded some free games you can play in your browser on that page and on this one to help you get a feel for the game.
The basic strategy of video poker
This consists of figuring out which plays in which situations offer the best expected value. In most cases, you’ll stick with a winning hand that you get on the initial deal. For the most part, the only time you’ll break up a hand that’s a sure winner in order to draw to something better is when you have 4 cards to a royal flush. The payoff is so big on that hand that it’s worth risking a loss just to get a shot at that 800 to 1 payout.

Another good section of our site to visit if you have questions about the basics of video poker is our free questions and answers page.

Video Poker Simulators

We distinguish between online casinos which offer free video poker games to potential players and video poker simulators. On one hand, you could consider any online casino’s games to be “simulators” of a sort, although the distinction between a gaming machine using your personal computer and a gaming machine with its own computer seems hard to make.

But video poker simulators are most often used for training purposes. They often give you the opportunity to set the pay tables that you want in order to practice the correct strategy for a game you’re expecting to find at a casino.

Screenshot from a Video Poker Simulator

With these types of programs, you sometimes might have to pay some money upfront in order to use them. We still consider them free video poker games because you don’t have to wager any real money in order to play on these simulators.

We’ve devoted an entire page to the different kinds of video poker simulators available to gamblers.

No Download Video Poker for Free

Most of the free video poker games you’re going to find on the Internet require no download at all. Many of these are just sample games from online casinos, but you’ll find the occasional website which offers free no download versions of slot machines and video poker.

One wonders what the point of such a site might be. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. For the most part, if you find a site that hosts free no download video poker games that isn’t associated with at least one online casino, you’re visiting an ad supported site.

Here’s how that works:

Advertising on the Internet is sold based on impressions. That’s just a fancy word that describes how many times an ad is shown to a website visitor. If we log on to your site 5 times in one day, that counts as 5 impressions. (We’re assuming you’re showing us the same ad every time.)

The advertising dollars for free games is out there, but it’s a relatively low amount of money per impression. Luckily, with free versions of online gambling games, a website owner can get a lot of impressions per visitor. Every time you switch from one game to another, you’ve generated another impression.

In fact, on some pages, you might even create an additional advertising impression every time you press the deal button on the Jacks or Better game. In those cases, the game is set to refresh the entire page every time you play a new hand.

Video Poker Trainers

Video poker trainers have a lot of similarities to video poker simulators. We have a page about specific trainers that are available, but in brief, here’s what you need to know:

  • A video poker trainer is a computer program that has the optimal strategy programmed into it.
  • The game deals you hands, and you decide how to play each hand.
  • If you make an incorrect decision, the trainer advises you via some piece of online text.

Various training programs are available with varying costs. Even though these often cost money to buy, we consider them free video poker games because you don’t have to risk any money when you’re playing them.

Online Casinos

The biggest source of free video poker games on the Internet is the online casino industry. They have a vested interest in seeing you enjoy yourself while playing gambling games. After all, if you’re not having fun, you’re never going to lose any money playing at their online casinos.

The first time we played at an online casino was over a decade ago. We had a sneaking suspicion that the free games from these online casinos were rigged in favor of the player. Think about it, if you want to convince a player to upgrade from the free games to the real money games, what better way to do so than to convince him that he’s likely to be a winner.

We think that modern online casinos are less likely to do this, though. They’re more likely to just provide you a free version of the game that plays exactly like the game would play if you were playing for real money.

The embedded free video poker games on our site are here as a service provided by the online casinos we do business with. We’re confident that the companies represented here are reputable and safe for players.

You’re welcome to spend as much time playing these no cost versions of these games as you like. No one is going to tell you, look, you’ve spent enough time on the free version of this game. You either need to deposit some money and play for real or get lost.

Some gamblers play these play money games for months before ever signing up for a real money online casino account. That’s perfectly okay with most online casinos.

We’ve always wondered about how much fun it could be to gamble with no actual money at risk. After all, if you have nothing to lose, you couldn’t possibly expect to win anything, either, could you?

We’d be frustrated if we hit a royal flush on a free game. We know that risking no money is the only option for some players, but we want to be able to pocket that 800 to 1 payout when we eventually hit it.

In our view, the best use for these play money games is to get familiar with how the games work. They’re also a great opportunity to decide which online casino might be a good fit for your goals.

Some players love Microgaming’s look and feel, but others prefer Playtech. We think both companies offer professional and realistic video poker experiences, but sadly, neither of them accepts real money players from the United States.

On the other hand, Realtime Gaming also offers free versions of their casino games, and they do accept real money players from the United States. So if you’re from the USA, and you’re ready to get some real money into action, look for a site that’s powered by Realtime Gaming.


The phrase “free video poker” means different things to different gamblers. No matter what your goals are searching for the phrase, we want to be able to help you achieve that goal. That’s why we created this page and this section of the site.

The most common way to play video poker without risking any of your own money is to give the free no download games from the online casinos a try. You can find sites which offer free games which aren’t associated with online casinos, but they usually bombard you with a lot of advertising, and who needs that?

You can also enjoy play money games by buying software, some of which even offers training functionality along with their simulators.

You’ll find free versions of video poker embedded on the pages in this section of our site. The casinos which provide these games are reputable and trustworthy. We screen all of our sponsor casinos carefully, so if you decide to make the switch from the play money games to the real money games, you can feel confident that you’ll be well taken care of by any of our friends in the industry.