Our List of Top Free Video Poker Online Casinos Canada in 2023
How we Review & Rate New Top Online Video Poker Casinos
We have incredibly strict criteria as a part of our proprietary rating process. While some things factor into this overall rating more than others, we believe there are enough online video poker casinos out there that we can afford to be picky in our recommendations. Here we'll take a quick look at some of the most important criteria we use and what we like to see in each Canadian online casino.
Available Bonuses & Rewards
Poker bonuses are a big part of what we consider because we think it's important for players to get a good deal. This includes free online poker opportunities that can lead to real money payouts. However, it also includes no deposit cash, welcome bonuses and other special offers that allow you to play video poker to clear the wagering requirements. Since fans of this genre don't like to jump around as much compared to those who follow other games, we place a lot of importance on loyalty rewards as well. Those rewards can very easily become a majority of the value that you get from promotions, so it's a critical element that we look at.
Selection of Free Games & Video Poker Software Providers
Within this poker genre, having a strong selection of different titles to pick from is one of the foundations of a solid gameplay experience. However, to get a lot of options like this, you need games to come from multiple software providers. That's why we heavily favor the sites that have software contributed from several different top developers. What's more is that this allows for situations where you can have more than one pay table for the same style of game, which puts you in a position to choose the pay table with the smallest house edge.
Convenient Payment Methods
For us to rate a place highly, we need to see a number of easy to use banking options. Credit and debit cards are available virtually everywhere, as are electronic wallets. For players in Canada, Interac for bank transfers directly to and from your account is also a convenient option, and Instadebit is one of the more popular e-wallets. For larger withdrawals, particularly from jackpots, it's common to see bank wires available as well. As long as you can have a primary and backup option for both your deposits and withdrawals, we're generally happy as long as cash outs are processed quickly.
Legit Gambling License and a Legal Online Casino Site
To make sure that the site is fair, we look for a current license from a reputable regulatory body. It's critical that they have no major infractions against their licensing, or we have a hard time taking them seriously. For those places that have more than one license, we make sure of which applies to players from Canada so that you know which regulatory entity you're dealing with as well.
Other Rating Criteria
We check for a few other pieces of information when we put together our CA casino reviews and come up with our overall rating for a particular real money online casino. A lot of these things are important to everyone, including those who are specifically looking to play video poker. However, some of them may not be as important to every single person.
- Mobile Compatibility - Most video poker games fit with no download needed on a phone or tablet screen pretty comfortably just because of how the games are laid out. However, we want to see each site we rate highly have Android, iOS and Windows options so that everyone can get in on the action on the go.
- Safety/Security Protocols - Security is one of our primary concerns. This includes how the site manages the safety of players and the encryption of their personal information and financial details.
- Currency Issues - We prefer to see players able to bet in Canadian dollars. This is even the case for free video poker casinos because you'll want to cash out any winnings you get in CAD.
- Customer Service - It's a bad feeling when you have an issue with your account, but you can't get in touch with the support team. That's why we prefer to see 24/7 service available via multiple means with an emphasis on options that get a quick reply.
Why are Online Casino Video Poker Games so Popular?
The popularity of free bonus poker games comes down to two major factors. For one, having a strategy-based title that gives better average payout percentages depending on how well you play is a big deal to a lot of people. Additionally, having the ability to land sizable prizes worth at least 800 times what you have wagered makes it an interesting experience as well. Having a variety of titles available and payout rates often well over 99% helps to give this genre a following that's tough to beat.
Rules and Gameplay
The basic format of most poker games are roughly the same. You place a wager, and you're dealt five cards from a standard 52-card deck (or a similar deck with jokers added). From there, you're able to choose up to five cards to discard, and new cards are drawn from the remaining cards in the deck to replace them. After this draw, your resulting five cards are compared to a pay table based on the best possible hand you can make. If you qualify for a win, it's paid out immediately, and you're ready to begin the next hand.
Variations in rule sets typically come down to two points. The first major source of variation is in the pay tables themselves, and you can even see differences across the same type from one provider to another. Additionally, you can include wild cards or the lack thereof as one major way these titles are broken up into sub-genres.
RTP and House Edge Explained
In real money video poker, RTP rates (or return to player rates) are typically expressed as a percentage. This is the amount of your wager, on average, that will be returned to you through winnings provided that correct strategy is followed. It's not uncommon to see RTP rates at higher than 99% in this genre, but again, it assumes that you play correctly.
Likewise, house edge is a measure of how close that RTP is to 100%. For example, in a game with a 99.2% RTP, the house edge would be 0.8%. This is essentially the average amount that the house takes from each bet that you place over the long run.
Video Poker Odds
Being familiar with certain types of odds can be useful when formulating strategies in these games. However, things usually break down to two different sets of odds: the odds of being dealt a hand in your first five cards and the odds of hitting a specific draw. Here we'll list out some of the commonly sought after numbers for both assuming a 52-card deck with no wilds.
- Royal Flush (Dealt Straight) - 649,739:1
- Straight Flush (Dealt Straight) - 72,192:1
- Any Four of a Kind (Dealt Straight) - 4,164:1
- Full House (Dealt Straight) - 693:1
- Flush (Dealt Straight) - 508:1
- Straight (Dealt Straight) - 254:1
- Four of a Kind in Aces (Dealt Straight) - About 54,000:1
- Four of a Kind in Deuces (Dealt Straight) - About 54,000:1
- Four of a Kind in 2s to 4s (Dealt Straight) - About 18,000:1
- Royal Flush (After Draw) - About 40,000:1
Real Money Casino Games vs Free Video Poker Online
Whether you decide to play for real money or in free video poker games really comes down to how you feel about the advantages and disadvantages of each. They're both the same when it comes to the strategy elements, but when it comes to the aspects of potentially taking away cash prizes once you're done with your sessions, that's where the real differences come out. Each player has to make this decision on their own, and to help you with that, we have broken down the key pros and cons of free video poker with no registartion vs real money in what follows.
Pros for Real Money
- You're more easily able to take advantage of special bonuses and other promotions that add to your bankroll.
- Players get more access to certain types of titles that may be restricted otherwise, like poker games with progressive jackpots.
- Your flexibility with bet sizing is at its greatest when you're playing for real.
Cons for Real Money
- Playing for real money means putting up wagers that you're risking for a chance to win, which may not appeal to some players.
- If you're playing free video poker games due to some type of free chip or similar promotion, you can get chances to win without risking your own funds.
The Most Popular Online Video Poker Games
It's not uncommon to see more than a dozen different styles of video poker available at a given site. Video style poker machines, both free and paid, are favorites of many Canadians, but with so many variants available, you may not know where to start. To help you know what's out there, we'll take a look at each of the most popular styles in Canada and give you an idea of what you can expect.
Jacks of Better
The most common style, which is often seen as the foundation of the entire genre, is Jacks or Better. This is a non-wild card game that gives payouts whenever you have a pair of jacks or better as your final hand, which is where the name comes from. For the vast majority of new players, this is the best place to start. It has a balanced pay table, and the strategies are foundational in the sense that all other games can be considered to have a variation of the strategy found at these machines.
Double Bonus is a part of the Bonus Poker set of variants, and it's the most popular from that set in Canada. What sets this non-wild title apart is that it has multiple payouts for different types of four of a kind wins. These are the "bonus" prizes referred to in the title, but what's interesting is that most of the correct strategies here are the same as in Jacks or Better. Overall, the main difference is a higher level of volatility that comes from having more chances to hit bigger payouts.
Often considered the most popular wild card variant, Deuces Wild is played with all of the "twos" in the deck as completely wild. That means they automatically adjust your hand values to make the single best possible hand type available (based on payouts). These machines also introduce two additional types of hands with five of a kind and wild royal flushes, the latter of which is worth less than a "natural" royal flush that doesn't use any deuces. Because of its extremely fun play style, it's one of the most popular free Canadian video poker games out there.
If you want a game with some wild card play but without all of the craziness of Deuces Wild, then Joker Poker is where it's at. You can actually find three styles of this game with Kings or Better, Aces or Better or Two Pair or Better, each simply based on the worst hand that gives a payout. Additionally, Joker Poker uses a special 53-card deck with one wild joker added. Many players consider this to be a split between Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild since it does have the wild from the latter but has a play style that feels more similar to the former.
Popular Free Bonuses to Claim
A good way to boost the bottom line of your video poker real money winnings is to take advantage of free bonuses in a strategic way. However, many offers out there directly exclude this genre from being able to be played. That's why you need to pay close attention to the game restrictions. With that said, you will also find that the wagering requirements are higher for offers that do allow this type of play, and that's fine because your payout rate can often be super high (sometimes over 99.5 percent) to compensate.
No Deposit Bonus
A straightforward no deposit bonus is one of the easiest ways to get started playing free online video poker games. You'll sign up and have a set amount of bonus money credited to your account. Once you clear the wagering requirements, you're often free to cash out up to a certain amount. This ability to take down real money prizes if you can meet the terms and conditions is the main reason why these offers are so incredibly popular for Canadian players.
Free Bet Bonus
What makes a free bet bonus a bit different is that you don't typically have the same flexibility as you do with other deals. In short, they're normally set up in a way that you have to place those wagers at a certain level of stakes with a specific game. Nonetheless, if the restrictions allow, you can still land real money online video poker payouts with these deals.
Free Chip Bonus
A free chip works a lot of the same way when playing free video poker as what you see with no deposit bonuses. For the most part, the main difference is just in the terminology used by the various casino sites out there. That aside, we strongly recommend paying attention to any restrictions placed on which titles you can play and any maximum bet sizes that are a part of the terms and conditions of the deal. However, as long as you stay within those bounds, you'll be good when taking advantage of these offers.
Systems and Strategies - Free Tips on How to Win Online Casino Video Poker Games
As an overall genre, video poker allows for more strategy involvement than virtually any other type of casino game. Along these lines, you'll want to have a certain base level of knowledge before you play since you can actually increase your average payout rate by doing so. In what follows, we'll show you some of the most important tips that you can know to get the most from your potential payouts.
- Most titles have multiple pay tables with slightly different values. Simply choosing to play with the most favorable pay table is an easy way to boost your average payouts.
- In many cases, playing with five coins opens up a proportionately better royal flush win than playing with one through four. This brings up your overall payout rate even if you have to lower your individual coin value in the process.
- Virtually all playing strategy comes down to knowing which option to pick between two different competing hands. For example, you should always pick a low pair over one, two or three high cards unless those three high cards make a royal flush draw.
- Likewise, low pairs are better to hold onto than straight draws (except for KQJT), and high pairs are better to hold onto than flush draws.
- Here's one more tip that even many seasoned players don't know: Three to a royal flush is better than four to a regular flush in most titles.
Online Video Poker Games vs Live Dealer Poker - Know the Differences
Players can sometimes mix up live dealer poker games with video poker as a genre. The latter is played in a format where you'll win based on a pay table and rules that are usually mostly the same across variations. However, the former is a genre of different titles with different rules like Casino Hold'em, Caribbean Stud and others. It's also worth noting that Canadian online video poker sites often allow for free play on the video poker games but not with the live tables.
Pros & Cons of Download vs No Download Video Poker
At some sites, you'll have the option to download a piece of software to your computer to play. However, others allow you to simply play through your web browser. While a lot of the titles available on each platform are the same, you'll still find some key differences between the two options. Here we'll break down these differences and the advantages and disadvantages of playing on the no download/instant play, browser-based platform.
Pros for No Download Instant Play Platforms
- You can get started playing right away without having to wait on the time delay of a download and installation.
- Instant play options in your web browser tend to more easily work across different types of systems, including Linux and Mac in addition to Windows.
- Since video poker isn't something that requires a lot of incredible graphics, you don't have to worry about losing out on quality of presentation, which can be an issue with other types of titles.
Cons for No Download Instant Play Platforms
- In some cases, you'll miss out on certain titles that aren't available in the no download version of a software package but is available in the downloadable one.
- Small graphical tweaks can be made that slightly lower the quality of the presentation in the instant play versions.
Best Casino Software Providers
With so many different software developers out there, it's critical to realize that your exact availability of different types of video poker will be directly based on which software providers you have access to. If you know which of these are your favorites, it also makes it a lot easier to decide on a particular site to play with. In what follows, we'll show you what you need to know about the selections in this genre for some of the major providers in 2023.
Around two dozen types of online video poker games can be found within Microgaming's software suite. Of particular note is their SupaJax progressive jackpot version of Jacks or Better. Also, their All Aces game has one of the highest max RTP of any casino game at a whooping 99.92 percent. They were also one of the first providers to pioneer versions where you can play several draws on the same hand at once.
Some online video poker casinos will have the titles available from Net Entertainment. NetEnt slots are a popular choice, however, they ultimately only have four styles available. What makes their offering look so much more interesting is that they offer several versions of each variant based on being able to play one, five, 10, 50 or even 100 draws at once on the same hand. Their best option is Jacks or Better with a 99.56% maximum RTP, and like the other names mentioned here, they offer ultra low betting limits.
While Playtech's selection doesn't include quite as many titles as Microgaming, it's close. Additionally, they offer the 2 Ways Royals option that gives you the same 800x payout for a 6-5-4-3-2 straight flush that it calls a "low royal." That also happens to be their best-paying title with an RTP of 99.8 percent with correct play. In the progressive jackpot space, they offer Mega Jacks that is a progressive version of Jacks or Better as well as a 10-hand version that has a similar jackpot.
On The Go - Online Video Poker Casino Games on your Mobile
The basic format of how these games are laid out makes them perfect for taking them with you while you're out and about. Whether you have an iOS or Android device, all of our top recommended online video poker casinos let you play easily with both smartphones and tablets. Since each individual betting around is pretty quick, it's convenient for playing a few hands here and there without having to wait a long time for wagers to resolve.
New Real Money Online Video Poker Casinos
Every time a new Canadian free bonus video poker site opens its doors, we're always interested to check it out to see what it has to offer. The reason for that is pretty simple. We want to make sure that our recommendations from our reviews are for the best options out there for players. This includes making you aware of any new free video poker sites that offer great no deposit deals. However, it also means making sure that new sites are trustworthy so that players don't get taken advantage of.
Play These Other Recommended Free Games
Online video poker isn't the only title out there that's popular for free play. If you like this genre, you'll probably love blackjack and roulette as well because of the strategic decisions involved. However, other free play opportunities exist for online slots, bingo and other games. This is especially important for players who really like to enjoy a wide range of what's out there instead of centering all of their play on one particular type of experience.
Are there live dealer video poker games?No major live dealer provider offers video poker games. Instead, they may offer table poker styles like Let It Ride and Three Card Poker.
Do all online casinos offer video poker?Virtually all of the top sites out there offer some no download and no registration free to play games in this genre, and all of our highest rated and reviewed options have a great selection.
What are the odds of winning an online video poker game?This varies from title to title and is based on the RTP (return to player) percentage. It's easy to find games with RTP rates of more than 99% with correct play.
Are free video poker machines rigged?The titles found at our recommended free bonus video poker casinos are audited regularly by their regulatory bodies like eCOGRA to make sure they are completely safe and aren't rigged.
Can I use Bitcoin to bet on video poker?Yes, many of our highest rated suggests offer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum for deposits.
Which video poker game has the best odds?All Aces by Microgaming is typically regarded as having the best odds with an ultra-high 99.92% RTP.