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No Download Video Poker

No download video poker is a lot more common now than ever before. At one time, if you wanted to play casino games on the Internet, you had to download a software client to your desktop or laptop computer. In fact, you still have that option if you want it.

But in recent years, mobile devices—especially Apple products—have become more popular than ever. The modern version of a casino download is the “online casino app”, but apps aren’t necessarily required, either. At a lot of sites, you can play games like Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild right there in your Internet browser.

No download games have several advantages over the kind you would download to your computer, but they also present a few drawbacks. One of the biggest advantages is that you can start playing immediately. Even with today’s ever-more-common high-speed Internet connections, it still takes some time to download casino software.

Some people are just too impatient for that. We ordered lunch delivered a few days ago to the office, and it arrived 15 minutes after we placed the order. That’s a great turnaround time by almost anyone’s standards, but guess what—we still would have preferred to have gotten our order a little bit faster.

That’s not an uncommon attitude. And if you’re like the rest of us—impatient and ready to get started immediately, then no download video poker is probably the way to go.

But in terms of graphics and sound effects, most online casinos offer better quality games via their software download. This is even true of those “free-play” games you can buy on disk via Amazon. The sound effects and graphics are just plain more realistic than the instant play versions available via the Internet.

On the other hand, we are talking about video poker here, not 3D slot machine games. You only need the graphics and sound effects to be so good.

Instant Play Video Poker

You’ll often see these games referred to as “instant play video poker” games. That’s because it takes literally no time to speak of to get started. If you don’t have an account at the online casino, you can play most of the instant play games for free, but if you want to play for real money, you do have to register an account at the casino.

Of course, setting up an account at an online casino isn’t hard or time-consuming. You input the kind of information you would expect to input:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • A deposit method
  • Some form of identification, which usually serves as proof that you’re old enough to play for real money

Once you’ve set up an account and funded it, you can then gamble at the instant, real-money Joker Poker and Bonus Poker variations to your heart’s content. For the most part, any video poker game that you can imagine is available at some casino in an instant play format. And if the casino accepts real money players, then you can wager on these games just like you would if you had downloaded a software package.

Of course, if you have a dial-up connection, it will take forever to play these instant play games. That might sound like it’s impossible in this day and age, but we understand that there are some rural areas where high-speed Internet isn’t available. We even have friends who have satellite Internet connections which are fast, but not nearly as fast as the cable connections we have in the city.

You should keep that in mind. Instant play games only seem instant if you have a fast computer and a fast Internet connection. If this is a hobby you intend to pursue on a serious basis, we recommend getting the fastest computer and the fastest Internet connection you can afford. You might even consider downloading the casino software, but that’s up to you.

Free or for Real Money?

One of the questions every Internet video poker player is going to face is whether to play for free or for real money. That’s especially true of players who are playing these no download games. Plenty of sites offer no download games you can play in your browser for free.

In other words, you’re not limited to dealing with online casinos. Some sites just like having lots of eyeballs, and if they can get you to stay on their site and play their free games, they can make money by showing advertising during the games. But that’s not the only way such sites make money.

One popular instant play video poker site for free that we know of serves no advertising at all. Instead, they monetize their site by selling memberships and software packages that help train their players to play with perfect strategy. They’re not entirely free, either. The site does offer some tournaments and contests which are only available to their members.

Of course, we don’t see much point in playing “free” casino games. The entire point of gambling is to risk something of value in exchange for the chance of winning something of greater value. Skipping that aspect is just silly, in our view. We’ve written about that in detail on other pages, but it warrants mentioning here, too.

We should point out, though, that some of these free games do serve a couple of useful purposes. The most significant of these is learning how to play the games. Some free, no download video poker games include tutorial functionality that will help you learn the appropriate strategies for these games. Others don’t offer this, but you can still learn how to place your bets, hold cards, and cash out your winnings—even if those winnings consist of nothing more than “play money”.

But the most common type of instant play video poker is that offered by an online casino as an enticement to prospective real money players.

Which Versions Can You Play?

You might think that only a limited number of video poker versions are available for free or in a no download format. This is true on a case by case basis, but as a general rule, if you’re interested in a particular variation, it’s available.

The most common instant play versions include the following:

  • No Download Jacks or Better

    This is the most common and most played video poker game. In fact, this is the basis for almost all other games. The payouts start at a pair of jacks or higher, which is where the game gets its name.

  • Instant Play Deuces Wild

    This is probably the 2nd most common and popular variation. As the name would lead you to believe, the 2s act as wild cards, so you tend to see bigger hands. The highest paying hand is still a natural royal flush, though.

  • No Download Bonus Poker

    This is just Jacks or Better with a bonus payout for a 4 of a kind. Multiple variations of Bonus Poker exist, each of which has different criteria for their payouts based on the ranks of the cards making up the 4 of a kind.

  • Instant Play Joker Poker

    This is also sometimes called “Jokers Wild”. It’s similar to Jacks or Better, but you’re playing with a 53 card deck—the standard 52 cards plus a joker which acts as a wild card.

  • No Download Pick’em Poker

    This is one of our favorite variations, because it’s easier to play than most other games. It also has one of the best pay structures in the business, with a 99.95% expected return if you play with the appropriate strategy. Instead of choosing which cards of the 5 to keep, you only have to make 2 decisions in Pick’em Poker.

  • All American Video Poker

    This is another Jacks or Better variation, but this one has unusually high payouts for a straight flush, a flush, or a straight. The game pays for these higher payouts by offering lower payouts for a full house or 2 pair.

Android Apps and Apple Products

Almost everyone has a mobile device of some sort these days—some of them are Android powered, and others are Apple powered. In either case, if you’re downloading an app from the official store, you’ll be getting a “free” or “play money” version of the game.

You can find several apps for both operating systems that also provide training. Some of these tell you the correct play in every situation, but the ones we prefer have a “warn” functionality. You play normally until you make a mistake. When that happens, you get a warning from the game in question. You can then click on an icon which will reveal what the correct play was and why it was a better move than the one you choose.

Some of these apps also analyze pay tables to tell you the payback percentage for the game. That’s one of the brilliant aspects of video poker in general, in fact—if you know how much each hand pays, you can calculate the actual expected return of the game. It’s impossible to do this with a slot machine game, because you have no way of knowing what the odds of getting any particular symbol are.

But when you’re duplicating the probabilities inherent in a deck of 52 cards, calculating the payout percentage for a game takes some time and effort, but it’s possible. But it only takes a little time if you have a computer program doing these calculations for you.

In fact, you can find no download video poker calculators online, too. So you don’t have to download an Android or Apple app in order to figure this out. Just spend a little time on Bing or Google finding the sites where you can access a calculator of this nature.

If you’re paranoid, you might want to double check one calculator against another, but chances are, these calculators are pretty accurate. Site owners have little incentive to screw this part of it up.


No download video poker is easier to find now than ever before, but some sites refer to it as “instant play” video poker instead. You can play practically any variation you can imagine, from Jacks or Better to Pick’em Poker to All American Poker, for free or for real money, right in your Internet browser.

You’re not limited to dealing with online casinos for these games, either. Other sites offer variations of these games for free where you can play for “funny money” or “play money”. These sites are often monetized via advertising, so be prepared for that. Others offer membership benefits in exchange for a subscription fee. These aren’t a bad deal, either, especially if you’re hoping to master the correct strategies for these games. Most of these sites offer strategy training, too.

Android users and Apple users are both especially good targets for these kinds of games, especially if they want to play for real money. A lot of Internet casinos have apps you can download, but due to the terms in the Google Play and Apple stores, you’ll never find their software in one of those places. Many players just prefer to play in their mobile device’s Internet browser.

Regardless of whether you’re using the casino’s downloadable software or the instant play games, you’ll want to have the fastest computer and fastest Internet connection possible. No matter how good the provider is, if you’re trying to play video poker without a download via a dial-up connection, you’re bound to be disappointed.

There are advantages and disadvantages to playing with a downloadable software client and via your Internet browser. You’ll have to weigh the perks and drawbacks for yourself.

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