When browsing the video poker games available in our online casino, you may ask yourself whether you should play single-hand or multi-hand video poker. For most players, the answer is both. The version you choose to play often depends on where you are in your video poker journey.

Without a doubt, beginners are better off playing single-hand video poker like Double Bonus Poker and Bonus Deuces Wild. It’s the simplest and best way to learn and hone your poker skills, as you focus on one hand at a time. But once players master single-hand variants, the natural progression is to increase the number of hands played per round. Playing more hands per round lets you capitalize on landing winning hands right off the bat, and real money,—playing this volume of hands would take far longer if you only ever played single-hand video poker. 

With two of our 11 versions of video poker, you can choose to play between 1, 3, 10, and 52 hands per round. That provides four simple steps to increase volume in a gradual way. In this free strategy guide, we’ll explain the differences between playing one hand per round, and playing multiple hands per round for real money, so that you know what to expect when you move up the ranks when you play video poker.

What's Multi Hands Video Poker?

Online video poker multi hands is any version that deals you more than one hand per round. You’ll see these advertised as 3 Hand, 10 Hand and 52 Hand games, and in some land-based casinos, you can even find 100-Hand games. In our casino, you can play multi-hand Jacks or Better and Joker Poker; each comes in 1, 3, 10 and 52-Hand variant games. While some video poker games like Bonus Deuces Wild are only single hand play. 

No matter what wild version of multi-hands video poker you’re playing, the strategy for the best play is the same as the single-hand video poker game like Bonus Deuces Wild or Double Bonus Poker. As for the online gameplay, it’s almost the same as the single-hand video poker version, but there are a couple of key differences. For one, there is always a primary hand and secondary hands with multi-hands video poker. In your primary hand, you’re dealt five cards; you get the cards you want to hold onto for your final hand by clicking them. You’ll then swap the unwanted cards for new ones by using the “Draw” button; you get to do this once. Your final five-card hand that you will play for real money will comprise the cards you kept and the new ones that replaced the cards you mucked. 

Here’s where video poker strategy vary from the single-hand video poker like Bonus Deuces Wild: the cards you kept will appear in all of your secondary hands. For example, if you’re playing 10-Hand Jacks or Better and kept a pair of Queens in your primary hand, all nine of your secondary hands will also have a pair of Queens. The rest of your play hand; however, is made up of cards from a unique deck, and that’s the case for each hand—be it primary or secondary. The end result in our Jacks or Better example is 10 semi-unique hands that all share the Pair of Queens; the other three cards in the play hand will vary from hand to hand when playing for real money.

The Benefits of Playing Online Multi-Hands Casino Video Poker

Most seasoned video poker casino players would rather play multi-hand video poker games for real money. When you play multi-hands video poker, you get through a greater volume of hands in a shorter period of time. This is significant for players looking to get the elusive Royal Flush, which has poker odds of coming once every 649,740 hands and offers a 4000-coin jackpot. That would take a long time to reach if you’re playing online casino video poker single hand games.

Another benefit of playing multi-hand casino video poker games is the greater bonus for landing a solid hand on the initial deal. When you’re dealt a good or the best hand right off the hop, you know what your minimal payout is going to be for all of your secondary hands, and many of them will be even greater. For instance, if you’re dealt a pair of Kings on the initial deal, you can play that pair of Kings into quads, 3 of a Kinds, or even a Full House for many of your secondary hands. To see what you landed, check the paytable for the flashing real money payouts.

The Difference with Online Single Hand Casino Video Poker

The main differences between single and multi-hand video poker games are real money payouts, cost and variance. If you compare the real money paytable of an online single-hand and online multi-hand version of the same game, you may notice some small differences. The online single-hand casino version, like Bonus Deuces Wild, often has a slightly better real money payout for a couple of the best hands. For example, with 1-Hand Jacks or Better, you’re paid 45 coins for a Full House and 30 coins for a Flush. Play an online multi-hand poker casino version of the same game, and you’re paid 40 coins for a Full House and 25 coins for a Flush. It’s not a big difference, but this strategy can add up when you’re trying to minimize the house edge. Not all video poker games have these differences, so it’s important to compare the paytables before playing any of the games to find the best one for you. For example, our version of Joker Poker has the same paytable for single-hand and multi-hand casino games.

When upgrading to an online multi-play casino video poker game, keep in mind that the cost per round increases. You’re betting coins on each hand, so if you’re used to wagering five coins per hand, you’ll be wagering a total of 260 coins for the 52-hand variant, 50 coins for the 10-hand variant, and 15 coins for the three-hand variant. You can always increase and decrease the coin values to accommodate your bankroll, but keep in mind and don't go wild, the coin values differ slightly between single-hand and multi-hand variants of the same game. Online multi-hand casino games have a $1 max and $0.01 minimum for coin values, whereas the single-hand casino games have a $5 max and $0.05 minimum for coin values. 

The level of variance is measured by just how wild the swings are between wins and losses. Games with high variances will result in big wins and big losses, thus requiring a bigger bankroll. A game with low variance has lower wins and losses and can accommodate small bankrolls. The type of video poker casino game you play dictates the variance you can expect. For example, Jacks or Better is a low-variance poker game, whereas Double Bonus Poker is a high variance poker game. 

In addition to the type of casino game you play, the number of hands you play also affects the variance level. As a rule of thumb, the more hands you play, the greater the variance is, and the bigger bankroll you’ll need. That’s because the impact of the initial deal is amplified by being replicated throughout all of your secondary hands. If you have a solid hand, say you’re dealt a 3 of a Kind before the draw, you’re going to experience a far more wild payout than what you’d get if you landed a 3 of a Kind playing 1 hand video poker. Conversely, landing a weak hand will result in greater losses with the multi-hand casino versions than the single-hand casino ones. To see just how great the difference in variance between multi-hand video poker casino games and single-hand games, see the free chart below.

Game  Variance
1 Hand Jacks or Better 19.5
3 Hand Jacks or Better 23.4
10 Hand Jacks or Better 37.2
50 Hand Jacks or Better 115.8

Multi-Hands Video Poker Variations

In our casino, you can play multi-hand versions of Jacks or Better and Joker Poker; both come in 3, 10 and 52-hand online video poker variations. Choosing between them is simple and free: If you prefer video poker with wild cards included, go for Joker Poker, and if you prefer a classic video poker experience with no deviations from tradition, go for multi-hand Jacks or Better. We’ll go into further detail about how each game is played and the strategy.

Jacks or Better is the poker game that started them all. It has nine winning hands that range from a Pair of Jacks to the Royal Flush. To win, simply play and try to build a hand with at least a Pair of Jacks—the higher the hand ranks on the paytable, the more you’ll be paid. When you play with optimal strategy, Jacks or Better has a house edge of 0.46%. 

Jokers are wild in Joker Poker, meaning they can stand for any other card in the poker deck. This game has 12 winning hands that range from a Pair of Kings to the Sequential Royal Flush. This is the only video poker game in our casino that includes the Sequential Royal Flush on the paytable; it has a massive 20000-coin jackpot when you land Ten-Jack-Queen-King-Ace, suited, going left to right only. 

The only thing that’s better than landing a top-tier hand when playing online video poker for real money is landing that hand 52 times. Just imagine seeing 52 Royal Flushes populate on your screen—it's wild—that’s the reason so many of our video poker players prefer multi-hand video poker over the single-hand variants, like Bonus Deuces Wild. Try video poker today with Jacks or Better or Joker Poker and see what your poker preference is.