Video Poker in Michigan

There are huge differences in the number of video poker games available at Michigan casinos. The largest, including MGM Grand Detroit and Firekeepers Casino, have more than 100 games. The smallest tribal casinos only have a handful of video poker terminals.

You will soon find video poker games at licensed online casinos in Michigan. These are available via your web browser and Android and iOS casino apps.

Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Joker Poker have been joined by many more variations over the years. New titles like Hot Roll, Ultimate X and Super Star add bonus games and the potential for big prizes to the mix. Add the multi-hand variations, bonus poker and other versions, and you will find that Michigan has enough variety to keep even hardened video poker fans happy.

This page has you covered for all things video poker in the Great Lakes State. Here, you will find information on the laws, odds, and the availability of games at both live casinos and online.

Is video poker legal in Michigan?

Live and online casinos are legal in Michigan, though the latter has yet to be opened. Physical versions of games such as craps, blackjack and slots are not allowed outside of the confines of a casino.

Casino gambling in Michigan was made legal in 1996. The Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act authorized three commercial casinos in Detroit the following year. You will find slots, table games and video poker at the MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino. There are more than 20 tribal casinos throughout the state’s two peninsulas.

Online casinos, including slotstable games and live dealer casinos, are 100% legal and regulated in Michigan. Act H4311, passed in 2019 and signed into law that year by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 20. This bill set up a framework for online gambling regulation and licensing. This covers casino games and poker. Separate concurrent bills introduced sports betting and expanded lottery gaming.

The initial licenses are available to the commercial and tribal casinos. These venues began partnering with online brands immediately to develop their products. The first online casinos could go live as early as late-2020, though more likely sometime in 2021. To legally gamble online in Michigan, you must be 21 years old or above.

Online casino apps  will not work outside of state borders.

Can you play video poker online?

Most online casinos in Michigan will likely have video poker games available. These can be accessed either through your computer’s internet browser or via an app for Android and Apple devices, including tablets.

Online casinos are typically dominated by slots, with live dealer table games also popular. This means you will usually need to dig into the menu to locate the video poker games. Online software from big names like IGT, Game King and NetEnt has multiple options.

Here are some of the games expected to be available at Michigan online casinos:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Joker Poker
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Bonus Poker
  • Multi-Hand Video Poker Variations

When you begin playing at online casinos in Michigan, you can likely take advantage of a lot of generous bonuses and incentives. These include no-deposit bonuses, loss rebates for your first few days, or big matched bonuses designed to encourage deposits.

Video poker at sweepstakes casinos

An alternative to waiting for the licensed online casinos in Michigan is sweepstakes casinos. These websites use laws designed for marketing via sweepstakes contests to operate legally across the United States. They offer slots, video poker and some table games.

As the player, you can enjoy casino games in the same way you would any other site. Behind the scenes, however, these casinos work differently.

You will not be able to buy chips directly at casinos like Chumba Casino and FunzPoints. Instead, you buy play-money chips and are given free sweeps cash or premium points to play the ‘real money’ games with.

Best casinos for video poker

All Michigan live casinos have at least a few video poker games. The difference between the best, which have more than 100 machines to choose from, and the rest, is significant. The five casinos below are the places to head for variety, choice of paytables and innovative video poker games.

You will find these terminals on the casino floor and also in bar-top format in sports bars within the resorts.

No. 1 — Four Winds Casino

This tribal casino has the largest selection of video poker games in Michigan. More than 125 titles include many ‘Super Times Pay’ variations, along with Ultimate X, Max Action and Hot Roll Poker. You will also find the standard video poker formats on offer. This casino also hosts more than 3,000 slots and 60 table games. You can join their loyalty program, the W Club, and enjoy a hotel and dining options, including a Hard Rock Café.

  • Address: 11111 Wilson Rd., New Buffalo, MI 49117
  • Phone Number: 866-494-6371

No. 2 — Firekeepers Casino

Another large tribal casino, Firekeepers offers more than 115 video poker games, plus 2,900 slots and more than 75 table games. Video poker fans will find a huge list of variants to choose from. These include multi-hand games (including Hundred Play and Fifty Play Draw Poker), bonus games like Ultimate X and Super Times Pay, plus Quick Quads, Magic Deal and Hyper Bonus Poker. This casino, which opened in 2009, is a joint venture with Full House Resorts.

  • Address: 11177 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, MI, 49014
  • Phone Number: 877-352-8777

No. 3 — MGM Grand Detroit

This iconic resort opened in 1999 in downtown Detroit. It was the first luxury casino resort outside of Las Vegas and is the largest casino in Michigan. Alongside 100 video poker terminals, you can play 3,500 slots and 143 table games. Video poker options include All-Star Poker, Hot Roll Poker, Ultimate X and Super Times Pay. This casino includes a hotel, 12,000-seat theater, plus a selection of restaurants and bars.

  • Address: 1777 Third Avenue, Detroit, MI, 48226
  • Phone Number: 877-888-2121

No. 4 — MotorCity Casino

This large Detroit casino is housed in a historic building downtown. Their selection of 2,800 slots includes 160 games in a smoke-free area. There is also a poker room and 59 casino table games on offer. With almost 100 video poker machines, there are many traditional and innovative variants to play. These include 3/5/10 Play Poker, several different Ultimate X variants and entertaining options such as Dbl Big Wheel, Hot Roll and Hyper Bonus Poker.

  • Address: 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  • Phone Number: 866-782-9622

No. 5 — Greektown Casino

This casino is operated by Penn National Gaming and is located in the historic Greektown district of Detroit. There are 3,000 slots and video poker machines, plus table games and a poker room. With only 48 video poker machines, the proportion of these games is lower than at the other casinos on this list. The games include all the favorites, plus Hot Roll, Multi-Strike, All-Star and Ultimate X games.

  • Address: 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit, MI 48226
  • Phone Number: 313-223-2999

Popular video poker games available in Michigan

Alongside the traditional standards like Joker Poker, Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker variations, you’ll find some entertaining variations in Michigan. Here are three of the more popular titles found in casinos in Detroit and elsewhere which take the regular video poker format and make it more exciting:

  • Hot Roll Video Poker: This game adds a dice bonus feature on top of a standard game. This costs an extra five coins for 10 coins per hand total for the best paytable. You get a special dice card, which lets you go on streaks (hot roll is a saying that comes from craps). Different rolls get multipliers with the biggest being 12 times. You play a hand for each roll. This continues until you hit seven, which ends the bonus with a ‘seven-out’.
  • Super Star Poker: This popular video poker bar-top terminal contains all the most played games in one place. They include the standards, plus Super Times Pay, Spin Poker and multi-hand games. For some variety, you can play Siberian Storm slots and keno games on these multi-denomination consoles.
  • Ultimate X Poker: You pay five extra coins per line to enable the bonus feature on Ultimate X poker. This awards random win multipliers, which are displayed before the hands are dealt. You can play up to 10 lines. Multipliers start at two times and go up to 10 times. Ultimate X machines can switch game format. Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Double Bonus Poker or even Triple Double Bonus Poker can all have the multiplier feature on top of their regular gameplay.

Where to play video poker in Michigan?

Here is where to find the video poker in Michigan, listed in the order of how many games are available:

  • Four Winds Casino: 11111 Wilson Rd., New Buffalo, MI 49117, 866-494-6371
  • Firekeepers Casino: 11177 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, MI 49014, 877-352-8777
  • MGM Grand Detroit: 1777 Third Ave., Detroit, MI 48226, 877-888-2121
  • MotorCity Casino: 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI 48201, 866-782-9622
  • Greektown Casino: 555 E. Lafayette Street, Detroit, MI 48226, 313-223-2999
  • Little River Casino: Government Center Dr., Manistee, MI 49660, 888-568-2244
  • Soaring Eagle Casino: 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd., Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, 898-775-5777
  • Saganing Eagles Landing Casino: 2690 Worth Rd., Standish, MI 48658, 888-732-4537
  • Odawa Casino: 1760 Lears Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770, 877-442-6464
  • Island Resort and Casino: W. 399 US-2, Harris, MI 49845, 800-682-6040
  • Turtle Creek Casino: 7741 M-72, Williamsburg, MI 49690, 231-534-8870
  • Four Winds Casino Dowagiac: 58700 M-51, Dowagiac, MI 49047, 866-494-6371
  • Four Winds Casino Hartford: 68600 Red Arrow Hwy., Hartford, MI 49057, 866-494-6371
  • Kewadin Casino: 2168 Shunk Rd., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, 800-539-2346
  • Ojibwa Casino: 105 Acre Trail, Marquette, MI 49855, 906-249-4200
  • Northern Waters Casino: N5384 US-45, Watersmeet, MI 49969, 906-358-4226
  • Bay Mills Casino: 111386 W. Lakeshore Dr., Brimley, MI 49715, 888-422-9645
  • Leelanau Casino: 2521 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Peshawbestown, MI 49682, 231-534-8100

How to play video poker for free

There are many reasons to check out free video poker games. Some people want to nail the strategy before playing for real money, while others want to check out the available variations.

You’ll likely be able to enjoy many games in demo mode at Michigan’s online casinos. Simply find the title you want and click ‘demo’ or ‘free’ depending on which casino you choose and you’ll get play-money credits.

While your play-chips balance will not be saved between sessions, these demo games are a great way to enjoy video poker. You can make sure the games at your casino are compatible with your smartphone or tablet and that the buttons and cards are easy to use.

This is also a great way to check out bonus features like multipliers or dice and picks games on the newer and more complex variations.

What video poker game has the best odds?

Video poker has the lowest house edge of any casino games. The better odds compared to slot games and keno are a big part of what makes video poker so popular.

You can sometimes find full pay video poker games. These have a zero house-edge if you play the mathematically perfect strategy, which is probably why these games have become increasingly rare.

Typically, most video poker variants have a Return to Player (RTP) of 98% or better.

To get the video poker with the lowest house edge, you need to check the paytable. What you should look for first are the odds for straights and flushes. The best you will find is 9/6 and the worst are 8/5 or lower.

If you are playing bonus poker variants, keep in mind that the payout for straights and flushes will be lower.

The best poker hands, like royal flushes and straight flushes, also influence the odds of a game. The extra money you get for betting five coins for a royal means playing one to four coins increases the house edge significantly, sometimes by as much a 5%. Make sure you play the maximum coins, stepping down a denomination if needed.

Basics of video poker strategy

Your strategy will probably vary depending on which video poker game you are playing. Some universal principles will help you to keep the house edge low and give you the best shot at walking away with a win.

Checking the paytable, finding out the RTP and making sure you fully understand the rules of any bonus or special features is your starting point for all games. You should also ensure that you are betting enough coins to get the best possible returns.

Which cards to hold is very much game dependent. What you will find is the situations where you break a winning hand to try for a better one are rare. For example, in Jacks or Better, you will only break a pair of jacks or above when you have a strong draw to a royal flush. Pairs under jacks (which would not pay unless they improve) can be discarded when you have four to a flush or an open-ended straight.

If you are playing Deuces Wild or another game with wilds involved, then you will need to adjust your strategy. Here you only get paid for three-of-a-kind or better in many instances. This means holding small pairs is less profitable when you do have a shot at making better hands.

Bankroll management is a key part of the strategy for any casino game. This can be put to use for creating a stop-loss, deciding which denomination to play, and setting rules for yourself about when to move up and take a shot at the bigger prizes.

Is video poker rigged?

The shuffle of cards for casino video poker games is controlled by software called a random number generator (RNG). Every time you press deal, a new shuffle is created in that instance. Past and future deals are not linked.

RNG software of all the major video poker producers is tested over millions of deals. The results are then compared to the published paytable and RTP% to ensure they match. The good news is that many billions of video poker hands have been played already, and there is zero mathematical evidence that the deal is different from a completely random shuffle.

Any game with a house edge will mean the casino wins in the end. With video poker, that edge is small enough that you have a legitimate shot of having many winning sessions along the way.

Online video poker games are also audited for game fairness by all the major brands. You can play video poker online in Michigan with complete confidence.

Can video poker be beaten?

Having a low house edge means you will win at video poker more often than in other casino games. Over the long run, results will always revert to the mean, which in the case of this game is around 1% in favor of the house.

Bonus games add volatility to video poker. They also give you a shot at the jackpot-sized prizes that are comparable with slots. As long as you don’t risk too much of your bankroll on a single session, games like Ultimate X and Hot Roll Poker give you a shot at a windfall.

Online casinos offer bonuses and loyalty incentives to their players. Combined with the low house edge of video poker, these give you the best shot at a winning session. Keep in mind that some casinos exclude (or heavily weight) video poker for bonus clearance.

Wrapping up: Michigan video poker

There are almost 800 video poker machines in Michigan. With online casinos hopefully going live in late-2020, this number could be given a significant boost. All the most popular regular, bonus poker and novelty titles are available throughout the state, some that include ways to get multipliers of up to 12 times. If you are lucky enough to combine this with a royal flush, then a jackpot-sized windfall is heading your way.

Online casinos give you access to video poker games on your iPhone, smartphone, or computer. Alongside these titles, you will find hundreds of slots, table games like blackjack and roulette, plus live dealer casino games.

Online games can be enjoyed for real money or tried out in free-play mode. The free versions are a great way to try out the different titles and see which ones you like best before checking them out for real money.